Back in the day, Mickey Mouse attempted suicide and fought opium smugglers

Intrepid readers will remember that one time Mickey Mouse and Goofy espoused the salubrious effects of amphetamine-laced soft drinks.

The truth is, that helium-voiced cartoon rodent weathered many a dubiously family-friendly moment during his early years. Let's look at those occasions Mickey tried to kill himself and extolled the virtues of gigolos.

Perhaps the most bizarrely bleak Mickey adventure was the story arc that ran from October 8 to October 20, 1930. According to cartoonist Floyd Gottfredson, Walt Disney was inspired by the 1920 Harold Lloyd comedy Haunted Spooks, wherein the main character tries suicide and fails in a slapstick manner. In 1975, Gottfredson recalled the meeting where Disney pitched Mickey's grief-struck demise:

Back in the day, Mickey Mouse attempted suicide and fought opium smugglers

One that I'll never forget, and which I still don't understand was when he said, "Why don't you do a continuity of Mickey trying to commit suicide?"

So I said, "Walt! You're kidding!" He replied, "No, I'm not kidding. I think you could get a lot of funny stuff out of that." I said, "Gee whiz, Walt. I don't know. What do you think the Syndicate will think of it? What do you think the editors will think? And the readers?" He said, "I think it will be funny. Go ahead and do it." So I did, oh, maybe ten days of Mickey trying to commit suicide-jumping off bridges, trying to hang himself [...]

But strangely enough, the Syndicate didn't object. We didn't hear anything from the editors, and Walt said, "See? It was funny. I told you it would be."

Back in the day, Mickey Mouse attempted suicide and fought opium smugglers

Mickey eventually decides to live after some adorable woodland fauna convinces him not to hang himself. ("When I look into your smiling faces, I feel ashamed! It isn't such a bad old world after all! It took a squirrel to prove what a nut I was!") And lest we forget, Daisy Duck would take equally dire measures approximately 13 years later. This wasn't the only occasion Mickey bucked the hyper-sanitized image of modern Disney. A 1934 storyline saw his nemesis Pete moving opium...

Back in the day, Mickey Mouse attempted suicide and fought opium smugglers

...whereas this strip had Mickey talking like David Lee Roth. (To be fair, the term had a much more genteel definition decades ago.)

Back in the day, Mickey Mouse attempted suicide and fought opium smugglers

Finally, there was this incident, where Mickey assaults a transvestite and barks an epithet that's euphemistic as all get out. Indeed, this all makes that Mickey Mouse gas mask from World War II the paragon of normalcy in comparison.