The principal characters were Pogo the opossum; Albert, an alligator; Cherchez La Femme (Churchy), a turtle; Howland Owl; Houndog; and Ma'mzelle Hepizbah, a skunk. It was a vehicle for Kelly's liberal and humanistic political and social views and satirized, among other things, Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-Communist demagogy and the sectarian and dogmatic behavior of Communists.
In the 1950s and later, a "Pogo for President" campaign, with followers wearing "I Go Pogo" buttons, became an expression of political protest. "Pogo" was also distinguished by exceptional linguistic inventiveness and playfulness, as expressed, for example, in the Pogo version of songs such as "Deck the Halls with Boston Charlie" (for "Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly") and "Ma Booney lice soda devotion" (for "My Bonnie lies over the ocean."
Perhaps the most famous quotation to come from this series is, "We have met the enemy, and they is us!" This is typical of the wry and politically astute commentary to be found in the daily and Sunday strip. It was distributed by King Features Syndicate to hundreds of newspapers for many years. The individual strips were collected into at least twenty books, some reprinted editions remain available today.
There was even a claymation movie featuring the antics of those swamp creatures.