Lasting 109 years, The Katzenjammer Kids was the longest-running American comic strip in history until its conclusion in 2006. The children’s book Max & Moritz from Europe served as inspiration for Rudolph Dirks’ creation of the comic in 1897. The strip follows the comedic exploits of Hans and Fritz, mischievous brothers who can’t stay out of trouble at home or at school.

The Katzenjammer Kids is an American comic strip created by Rudolph Dirks in 1897 and later drawn by Harold Knerr for 35 years (1914–1949). It debuted on December 12, 1897, in the American Humorist, the Sunday supplement of William Randolph Hearst’s New York Journal.

It inspired several animated cartoons and was one of 20 strips included in the Comic Strip Classics series of U.S. commemorative postage stamps.

After a series of legal battles between 1912 and 1914, Dirks left the Hearst organization and began a new strip, first titled Hans and Fritz and then The Captain and the Kids. It featured the same characters as The Katzenjammer Kids, which Knerr continued.

The two separate versions of the strip competed with each other until 1979, when The Captain and the Kids ended its six-decade run. The Katzenjammer Kids published its last original strip in 2006, but is still distributed in reprints by King Features Syndicate, making it the oldest comic strip still in syndication and the longest-running ever.

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