Lessons Learned From Goofus and Gallant

Goofus Gallant Hightlights

Highlights Magazine’s Gallant was always the epitome of good behavior, following all the rules. Rude and disrespectful, Goofus did not. Who would you want for president?


Everything I learned about right and wrong behavior  lead straight back to Goofus and Gallant.

Next to Romper Room’s “do-bees” and “don’t-bees,” that dynamic duo from Highlights Magazine served as the guidepost  for common courtesy  for baby boomer kids, offering them a right way and wrong way of interacting with others.

Romper Room Mr Do Bee

Romper Room’s Mr. Do Bee

Long before I could read, my moral compass was set by a smiling Miss Louise who spoke to her virtual classroom on TV’s Romper Room. A popular character on the show was  Mr. Do Bee an oversized bumblebee who taught  the viewing audience manners.

“Do Bee a smiler… Don’t Bee a frowner. Do Bee a good listener… Don’t Bee a whiner.”

What self-respecting boomer didn’t want to be a Do-Bee!

Getting Along Well With Others


Goofus and Gallant first appeared in Highlights Magazine  in 1948, and was created by Garry Cleveland Myers and drawn by Marion Hull Hammel.  Highlights Magazine Fun With a Purpose 1966

Once I began to read, the Do-Bees were replaced by Goofus and Gallant the recurring magazine cartoon  twosome whose example of good and bad behavior offered a template for socially acceptable interactions.


Highlights Magazine Denist

No trip to the dentist was complete without a perusal of Highlights Magazine. Along with regular features like the Timbertoes and the Bear Family, Goofus and Gallant taught kids the rules of common courtesy. (L) Vintage Illustration Kurt Ard Saturday Evening Post 1957 (R) Highlights Magazine Feb. 1967

Highlights Magazine was a fixture in every self respecting dentist and pediatrician’s office.

While anxiously waiting to have a cavity filled, I would get a good old fashioned morality lesson from those two illustrated characters whose purpose was to demonstrate acceptable and unacceptable social skills when confronted with the very same situation. “Goofus grabs a toy from others. Gallant asks politely.”

Goofus Gallant Highlights magazine

Goofus and Gallant Highlights Magazine 1966

Gallant was always polite, kind, considerate, and mature. Goofus was rude, self centered, disrespectful irresponsible and immature.

The rules on how to behave were as black and white as the drawings themselves.

Goofus gallant 1 SWScan06485

goofus gallant highlihts magazine

Goofus and Gallant Highlights Magazine 1967


goofus gallant highlights magazine

Highlights Magazine 1967



Goofus and Gallant Highlight Magazine 1966


Goofus Gallant Highlights Magazine

Goofus and Gallant Highlights Magazine 1968

The choices were clear. No one wanted to be thought of as Goofus.

Well, not everyone apparently.

When it comes to common courtesy and good behavior Donald Trump is Goofus come to life.

Goofus teases those with physical challenges. Gallant helps them cross the street.

Gallant helps the foreign student  adjust. Goofus builds a wall to keep him out.

Goofus mocks and bully’s his classmates. Gallant respect’s others opinions.

Goofus Gallant Highlights Magazine

Goofus and Gallant Highlights Magazine 1967

If you had told me that one day boorish, Goofus would be the presumptive Republican candidate I would have laughed in total disbelief. But that is just what we find ourselves in now. A childish bully who can’t seem to get along well with others is bullying his way into the White House.


Goofus Gallant and Donald Trump

Maybe poor Goofus like Donald Trump lashed out at others when he was wounded. Goofus and Gallant 1967 Highlights Magazine

Last night on Megyn Kelly had her famous sit down with Trump and when the Fox newscaster tried to ask whether anyone had ever bullied or hurt Trump emotionally, he answered, “When I am wounded, I go after people hard, OK? “And I try to unwound myself.”

No matter how hard she tried to evoke some sense of regret or introspection about his bad behavior he said he didn’t “think it was healthy” to apologize for making fun of John McCain, Carly Fiorina, Heidi Cruz or even Megyn Kelly herself.

“Bimbo?” she asked when he said he hadn’t re-tweeted “the more nasty ones.”

“Ooh, OK, excuse me, Trump said without a hint of apology. “Over your life, Megyn you’ve been called a lot worse.”

Spoken like a true Goofus.

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© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.



  1. HAH! I use to love Highlights Magazine Sally! Before I make my comment on your final subject matter — somehow I knew it would get around to (t)Rump 😛 — I want to say how much I enjoyed their “Hidden Pictures” page(s)! For my age then, those objects were sometimes very well hidden. That would always be the very FIRST page I’d jump to! Thank you for the wonderful memory Sally! 😉

    Ahh, Goofus. He truly wants to portray a mentality of ‘I don’t give a shit about people, or certain people.<' There's major problem #1. 'There is nothing I need to change or refine about myself.‘ Major problem #2 — everyone has something flawed, something in need of improving, repairing, or overhauling. ‘Money is what makes life better; the more the better.</em' Major problem #3 — value is found in many forms, not simply wealth. ‘There are never-ending resources to exploit from others and the planet — that’s competition and capitalism, and I’m the best at doing it.‘ Major MAJOR problem #4 — delusional arrogance. And as you’ve aptly pointed out Sally… ‘I know how to treat women, especially “proper” women.‘ Massively major problem #5 — despite his horrible track-record in marriages (with models), in PUBLIC anyone can play the role of Mr. Gallant quite well if they have experience in front of a camera and can pander to an audience. Duh.

    I could list probably a plethora of other serious (t)Rump “problems”, but I know you get the idea Sally — you portray very well here in your blog! ❤

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Grrrrrr… my apologies once again for my erroneous HTML editing Sally. There’s something I need improving on! Hahaha. Would you be so kind as to add a “>”… in my above comment at the end of “the more the better” please? 🙂

      Thank you.


  2. It was just too irresistible not to compare Trump to Goofus,. Another favorite feature in Highlights was “What’s Wrong” where unusual objects take the form of normal things throughout the picture, and the reader is instructed to find the various objects that are wrong. It is easy to imagine Trump in this format

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooo… an excellent comparable analogy Sally!

      How many subjects — outside of Dog-Eat-Dog corporate business ethics and People-Chiding 101 — do you think (t)Rump could talk about intelligently with other scholars of that field? 😛


  3. I not only remember Romper Room. I also remember Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers. Too bad we don’t see their like today.


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