Admittedly, I am too young to have ever watched it myself - but I was listening to mom and dad reminisce about it last night, and I realized something.
He was totally vegan. Or at least vegetarian.
And the show, the original write up or whatever - had to be produced by vegans. 'Popeye - strong to the finish because he eats his spinach,' (or something like that). His best friend's name was Wimpy, and he was gluttonous and ate hamburgers and stuff all the time. There was another guy guy who's last name was 'Hamgravy.' He was kind of lazy, and prefers not to earn his money honestly. (Haha. Reminds me of the meat industry.) Olive Oyl (aka, Olive Oil) was thin and portrayed as super attractive, to the best of my knowledge.
The subliminal message? Meat eaters are weak, lazy and gluttonous. Healthy plant-derived products make you strong and attractive.
I think it's really cool that, back in that time period especially, there were already people who seemed to support the idea that vegetables are much healthier than meat products, and didn't buy into the meat industries insistence that meat makes you big and strong and you need it to be healthy.
I suppose maybe I'm over thnking, and reading a lot more into the show than the writers intended - but I'd like to doubt it.