‘Doonesbury’ creator to speak at Yale, take ‘Louis’ award

Wednesday, April 18 will be homecoming day at Walden College (a.k.a. Yale), when “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau comes to New Haven to give a public talk and collect a “Louis,” the highest award bestowed by Mory’s, the famed Yale club.

Garry Trudeau’s “Doonesbury” had its roots in the “Bull Tales” strip the artist drew for the Yale Daily News.

A public discussion with Trudeau and Yale School of Art Dean Robert Storr will take place at the University Theater, 222 York St., at 4:30 p.m. Free and open to the public, the event is not ticketed, and seating is first-come, first-served.

Following the talk, the Yale Marching Band will provide the fanfare as Trudeau, several real-life classmates he immortalized in his strip (the “real” B.D. and “original” Mike Doonesbury, among them), and Handsome Dan (on a leash) make their way to Mory’s for the private Louis award ceremony and reception.

Trudeau has been skewering public figures and social trends since his student days at Yale, when he first brought his strip “Doonsbury” to life. “Bull Tales,” the progenitor of “Doonesbury,” evolved from a drawing of Yale quarterback Brian Dowling that Trudeau did for the Yale Daily News in 1968, and Trudeau’s fictional Walden College, a thinly veiled stand-in for Yale, went on to become an icon of the baby-boomer generation in its youth.

“Doonesbury” was first syndicated in 1970, and today the strip appears in close to 1,400 newspapers worldwide.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree at Yale in 1970, Trudeau attended Yale School of Art, earning his M.F.A. in graphic design in 1973. In 1975, Trudeau became the first comic strip artist to win a Pulitzer Prize. He was also a Pulitzer finalist in 1990. His animated short film, “A Doonesbury Special,” which he wrote in collaboration with John and Faith Hubley, was nominated for an Oscar in 1977 and won the Cannes Film Festival Jury Special Prize in 1978.

In addition to his work on “Doonesbury,” Trudeau has written plays with Elizabeth Swados and joined forces with director Robert Altman for HBO and Sundance Channel miniseries. Trudeau married journalist Jane Pauley in 1980. They have three grown children and live in New York City.

Trudeau will be the second recipient of the “Louis,” which was named after Louie Linder, the first proprietor of Mory’s. The first “Louis” was given to award-winning actor Paul Giamatti, (B.A., 1989; M.F.A., Drama, 1994).

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