Happy Jack Eckert was just as advertised — a large jolly fellow with an ego to match his girth. Billing himself as the World's Prize Fat Man, Eckert
also belonged to many fraternal organizations. Happy Jack boasted that he was “the largest Moose,
Elk, and Woodman of the World”, and proudly listed the numbers and locations of the
lodges where he held membership on the back of his pitchcard.
Happy Jack often appeared on stage decked out in his ceremonial garb, but in at least one pitchcard he posed completely in the buff — except for his shoes and frilly socks.
It was that cheesecake (beefcake?) pose, combined with Jusepe de Ribera's Drunken Silenus (now in the collection of the
Museo Nazionali di Capodimonte, Naples) that inspired this drawing. Here Jack is surrounded by satyrs, his W.O.W. ax, and a two-headed turtle — so he should feel right at home.
[To see more drawings from this series, please visit the Prodigies