Image of a cartoon character on a white hill with blue sky in the background. The character has a red coat on and red feathers.
The Shmoo was introduced in the Li'l Abner comic strip in 1948. Created by cartoonist Al Capp, the Shmoo is shaped like a bowling pin and is very amiable. It also reproduces prodigiously, and its only wish is to help mankind. In the comic strip, the multiplying Shmoos are eventually deemed a menace and hunted down. Though the Shmoo appeared sparingly in Li'l Abner, it inspired nearly 100 products and became a pop culture sensation. Candy-filled Shmoos were even dropped over West Berlin as part of "Operation Little Vittles" during the 1948 Berlin Airlift. The Shmoo also generated debate about its social implications as an allegory on mankind's greed.