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Doonesbury is a comic strip by Garry Trudeau that chronicles the adventures and lives of an array of characters of various ages, professions, and backgrounds, from the President of the United States to the title character, Michael Doonesbury, now a middle-aged, remarried father.

Frequently political in nature, Doonesbury features characters representing a range of affiliations, but the cartoon is noted for a liberal outlook. The name "Doonesbury" is a combination of the word doone (prep school slang for "someone who is out to lunch") and the surname of Charles Pillsbury, Trudeau's roommate at Yale University.[1]



Doonesbury began as a continuation of Bull Tales, which appeared in the Yale University student newspaper, the Yale Daily News, beginning September 1968. It focused on local campus events at Yale. The executive editor of the paper in the late 1960s, Reed Hundt, who later served as chair of the FCC, noted that the Daily News had a flexible policy about publishing cartoons: “We publish[ed] pretty much anything.”

As Doonesbury, the strip debuted as a daily strip in about two dozen newspapers on October 26, 1970 — the first strip from Universal Press Syndicate. A Sunday strip began on March 21, 1971. Many of the early strips were reprints of the Bull Tales cartoons, with some changes to the drawings and plots. BD’s helmet changed from having a “Y” (for Yale) to a star (for the fictional Walden College). Mike and BD started Doonesbury as roommates; they were not roommates in the Bull Tales.

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