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Bob Newman's most enduring character is, of course, Gertrude, who after 70 years is still the most beautiful woman in the City Dump. Gertrude was "born" in 1960 when Bob loaned his naturally high voice to the unseen girlfriend of J.P.
Bob recalls Gertrude (with Joe Towey in 1980):
J.P.'s longtime girlfriend is much more than a comedic female stereotype. She's a role model for women, and guys in shabby dresses, everywhere.
Her affection and matrimonial goals mostly unrequited by J.P., Gertrude focused on her career as the city dump telephone operator.
In an attempt to make J.P. jealous, she once married his evil brother, I.M. Rags. (It's a complicated story. She thought she was marrying J.P. after he let his evil brother take over the show in order to trick her. They did a similar storyline on Melrose Place.)
Hot tempered, assertive and vain, Gertude often clamored for the spotlight (even establishing her own fanclub, The Gertrude Gang!) but she usually ended up the butt of J.P.'s pranks.
With her distinctive style, Gertude was into the grunge look 30 years before the rest of Seattle.
And just to remind the rest of us, she always topped off her ensemble with her "Miss City Dump" crown.
Here she is...
By the way ...
Gertrudes' original tin crown is currently on display at the bottom of Lake Union after a mishap at a public appearance.
Bob Newman, a close personal friend of Gertude, is offering $25.00 to anyone who can retrieve it.
Gertrude gives J.P. a hand with his cake:
But, after all the pies-in-the-face, Gertrude has always been J.P.'s most loyal friend.
It's a shame to cover up your smile, but now you can wear the famous smile of J.P. or Gertrude! Sure to bring a spark of joy and nostalgia to all who recognize it! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Seattle Children's.
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