The Vaccine Mascot Who Looked Kind of Like Scrappy

There’s only one downside to thinking as much about Scrappy as I do: He may well take over your brain. Or at least I tend to see him–or hints of Scrappyness–in the darndest places.

The most recent instance came when I was reading an article about Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination program. In the background on some signage, a cartoon kid brandished a medicine bottle and beamed. He looked like Scrappy to me.

More specifically, he looked like Scrappy in a familiar stock pose, in which he wears a cap backwards and sticks out his right hand in salutation, often with Yippy by his side. The Mintz studio must have liked it, since it pops up frequently in one form or another.

Israel’s kid turned out to be a mascot for Clalit, the country’s largest healthcare organization. He predates the current pandemic but has turned his attention to promoting vaccines in recent months.

It’s true that he lacks the basketball-head proportions of Scrappy as depicted in the above examples. (Scrappy later developed a slightly more realistic physique himself, but by then he’d stopped wearing a cap regularly.) But the Clalid kid still has a Scrappy vibe to him–if Sony decided to make new Scrappy cartoons in CGI, he might well look like this.

However, when I went in search of other images of Clalid’s mascot, I discovered that he usually doesn’t sport a cap–and without it, he ceases to be Scrappy’s doppelgänger. (Actually, he looks more like Charlie Brown.)

I also found a line drawing of him in which even I would not detect the slightest tinge of Scrappyness.

Even with his hat on, the Clalit kid’s resemblance to Scrappy is presumably a coincidence, unless Israel is more familiar with Scrappy than I’d guess. Bottom line: Stick a cartoon boy with big black eyes and a grin in a red shirt, short pants and cap, and then put him in a jaunty pose, and the odds are pretty good that he’ll look kind of like Scrappy. To me, that is.

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