Upon being ordered to return to work Sledge asks, "What if I get a note from my doctor?" Trunk yells, "I don't care if you get a note from Dr. Jonas Salk". In 1955 Dr. Salk developed a 'killed virus' vaccine for poliomyelitis. At that time polio was a devastating disease whose summertime epidemics paralyzed tens of thousands of children in the US each year. It was the most feared children's disease. When the development of Salks effective vaccine was announced the entire world celebrated and Salk was declared a hero if not an actual savior. He became the most honored doctor of his generation.
The governor is Fritz le Chatte, a more or less Frenchified version of 'Fritz the Cat'. Fritz the Cat was a very successful underground comic by R. Crumb about the adventures of a college student cat in a world of anthropomorphic animals. In 1972 an animated feature film of Fritz, by Jim Bakshi, became the first X-rated cartoon film in Hollywood history. The Fritz the Cat movie was both highly successful and influential.