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Welcome to the Cheeky Weekly blog!
Cheeky Weekly ™ REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, COPYRIGHT ©  REBELLION PUBLISHING LTD, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED was a British children's comic with cover dates spanning 22 October 1977 to 02 February 1980.

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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Cheeky Weekly cover date 05 January 1980

Art: Frank McDiarmid

Cheeky bounds boldly into the new decade, although there is an indication inside our favourite comic that it will not survive very long into the 80s. Nevertheless, Cheeky and pals are putting on a buoyant display for the cover, although Jogging Jeremy (the subject of this issue's Comedy Catalogue) can’t even match the athleticism of Snail.

New Year’s Day 1980 is on a Tuesday, so Cheeky’s Sunday is set 48 hours before the commencement of the leap year, and includes the farewell appearance of Sid the Street-Sweeper.

Frank again

Charlie Counter, lacking funds as is often the case, is unable to watch the New Year match (the ‘wanting to get into football ground’ scenario being a stock comic plot). Thanks to Calc’s plan involving footballs stuck in a tree, Charlie ends the strip enjoying the match from the comfort of the Director’s box.

Art: Terry Bave

Elephant and The Man in the Plastic Mac are considering their respective and contradictory new year resolutions, but by the end of the story both have abandoned their plans and the status remains very much quo.

Art: Robert Nixon
We’re treated to a 2-page Monday, which commences with the Cheeky clan gathered around the clock chiming midnight, so strictly speaking it’s Tuesday. Regular Hogmanay reveller Uncle Hamish (see the new year festivities of 1978 and 1979) is in attendance, and can any party be a success without the presence of luscious Lily Pop?

Art: Frank McDiarmid

The second ‘Monday’ page sees Cheeky’s party in full swing, following which there is further resolution rumination as Sir contemplates his new year educational strategy.

Art: Robert Nixon

On the (proper) Tuesday page a post-party toothy funster is out and about.

More Frank

The Soggy the Sea Monster reprint finds the likeable leviathan encountering a party on a yacht, but whether the story was originally written with a new year theme, or the ‘Happy New Year’ in the final panel was added specifically for its reuse here, remains unclear.

is contemplating the new year. His pals are concerned when they see him bulldozing the playground, but are relieved when they learn his plan is to replace everything with brand new equipment – part of his scheme to change things for the new decade (although he sticks with a traditional slap-up feed conclusion). 

Art: Joe McCaffrey

The Gang attend a new year fancy dress party in their reprint adventure.

Travelling north of the border to enjoy Hogmanay, 6 Million Dollar Gran and the Potts family meet another of their Caledonian relatives, Uncle Hector, (we’d previously met their Uncle Hamish McPotts – not to be confused with Cheeky’s uncle – in the 28 October 1978 edition). To complicate things further, Gran meets yet another Hamish, claiming him to be a cousin (presumably of the Potts rather than her own, since she's a robot), at the conclusion of this week’s tale.

Art: Ian Knox

On the Chit-Chat page, Cheeky’s cryptic reference to exciting things to come, and the absence of the solicitation for readers contributions that has appeared on all previous outings of this feature, suggests that the comic may have a limited future.

The toothy funster’s Saturday amble around Krazy Town allows him to quiz his pals on the progress of their new year resolutions, before Cheeky's slithering sidekick leaves his grinning companion indoors struggling to write his own resolutions, and heads into the back garden for another Snail of the Century.

Making their final Cheeky’s Week appearences this issue (along with Sid the Street Sweeper) are Herman, Goalie Cat, Gunga Jim, and Willie Brushiton.

A pleasingly all-Frank McDiarmid Cheeky's Week issue gets the year off to a promising start.

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 05-Jan-1980, Issue 113 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Happy Leap Year' - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
4Joke-Box Jury
5Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
6Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
7Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
8Stage School - Art Robert Nixon
9Stage School - Art Robert Nixon
10Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
12Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
13Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue 'Jogging Jeremy Jokes'
14Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue 'Jogging Jeremy Jokes'
15Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
16Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
17Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
18The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
19The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
20Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
21Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
22Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
23Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
246 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
256 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
26Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
27Ad: IPC 'Mickey Mouse' 14 of 18 Ad: 'Penny' 2 of 3
28Speed Squad - Art Jimmy Hansen
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Snail of the Century - Art Frank McDiarmid

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Profile - Zoot Soot

From our 21st century perspective, with domestic heating available at the flick of a switch or click on a screen, it’s hard to imagine a time when the mere act of raising the temperature in the living area to a comfortable level involved lugging lumps of crumbly black carbon into the room, piling them in the fireplace and igniting them with the aid of bits of wood and scrunched up newspaper. After enjoying an all-too-brief cosy period, the grate would have to be cleared out and the dusty residue disposed of before the whole process was repeated. Making its way up the chimney as a result of the combustion process, in addition to all sorts of pollutants, was soot; a fine black powder which accumulated on the brickwork. Apparently a serious coating of soot in a chimney could result in the dust catching fire, although possibly this was a rumour put about by chimney sweeps, who were employed by fireplace users to ensure a clean and healthy flue.

I’m not sure how many kids of the late 1970s would have encountered a chimney sweep in real life. I suspect many would have been aware of Dick Van Dyke’s cockneytastic portrayal of Edwardian sweep Bert in Disney’s supercalorific (all those spoonsful of sugar) fantasy blockbuster titled, as Dick/Bert would have it, ‘Moiry Porpins’.

A considerable number of Krazy Town residents were clearly still reliant on coal for their heating, as chimney sweep Zoot Soot joined the Cheeky’s Week cast as of the 12 May 1979 edition of the toothy funster’s comic.

Cheeky's first brush with Zoot
Art: Mike Lacey

Zoot (whose name references the natty 1940s apparel), appears to have avoided the early uncertainty over his appearance which afflicted Ah Sew as well as Messrs Chips and Mutton, since the character design used by Mike Lacey above is also in evidence on the sweep’s second outing, drawn by Frank McDiarmid, and the third, by Jimmy Hansen.

Zoot's second appearance
Art: Frank McDiarmid

In the comic dated 07 July 1979 readers were introduced to the cheery chimney champion’s offspring. Sadly, the adolescent assortment was never seen again.

Frank again

Ursula gets fired
More Frank

Cheeky's grate chum was among the Krazy Town folk selected to appear alongside a mega-sized rendition of the toothy funster on the Giant Cheeky Poster.

Change was sweeping the country
Mike Lacey

Zoot’s final Cheeky Weekly appearance was as a non-speaking participant in the 19 January 1980 edition, in which Ursula dreamily reported on Crystal Belle’s prediction for the new year.

Farewell to the flue-fixing funnyman
Frank McDiarmid

The silly soot-shifter appeared in 14 issues of Cheeky Weekly, but never graced the Cheeky's strips in Krazy.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Zoot Soot1412-May-197919-Jan-1980

Count of elements by artist

Character Artist Total Elements
Zoot SootFrank McDiarmid7
Zoot SootMike Lacey4
Zoot SootFrank McDiarmid pencils2
Zoot SootJimmy Hansen1

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Profile – Mr Mutton

Unsuitable for vegetarians it undoubtedly was, but meat-based humour appeared on the comedy menu as from Cheeky Weekly dated 15 September 1979, wherein the toothy funster had his first encounter with Krazy Town’s retailer of animal components, Mr Mutton.

Mutton's first appearance
Art: Mike Lacey
Mike Lacey’s artwork from Mutton’s first appearance was re-used on the veal vendor’s second outing, in the issue dated 22 September 1979. The rest of the page featured Frank McDiarmid's pencils, and the pasted-in art suggests to me that Frank hadn't seen Mike Lacey's design for the new character when he drew the set.

Art: Mike Lacey and Frank McDiarmid pencils
Mutton’s third appearance a week later, penciled and inked by Frank McDiarmid, wasn’t in fact an appearance – only his voice was heard/read. My guess is that there was still uncertainty as to the character design at the time that the page was drawn, resulting in this off-panel interjection. I have previously speculated on what seem to have been similar issues relating to the early visuals of Ah Sew and Mr Chips.

Frank McDiarmid

Frank gave us a splendid, full-length depiction when the silly sausage seller made his next outing in the 13 October 1979 edition.

Frank again
Next it was the turn of Jimmy Hansen to delineate the humorous hawker of ham, Jimmy seemingly taking inspiration for the butcher's stance from Frank’s rendition above.

Jimmy Hansen

Mike Lacey also adopted the leaning-out-of-shop-doorway pose in the 03 November 1979 comic.

Mike Lacey

Frank then treated us to a chipper, chopper-wielding Mutton.

Lena Zavaroni
Prior to the issue dated 24 November 1979, the steak seller had been limited to single-panel appearances, but in said issue he was seen in 2 panels, although shocked into silence in the second due to spectral presence in the minced beef.


Mike Lacey returned to draw Mr Mutton in the 01 December 1979 comic, using again the leaning-out-of-doorway pose. A week later Frank took his pencil to the meaty mirthster, showing him behind his counter, and in the 15 December 1979 edition Frank drew the second 2-panel Mutton gag, giving us a rare (but well done) view of the rear of the butcher’s establishment. The third and final 2-panel offal drollery occurred in the 19 January 1980 comic, and a week later Mutton made his farewell Cheeky Weekly appearance in the penultimate issue dated 26 January 1980.

Mike Lacey
After this, Cheeky Weekly readers heard nothing more
from Mutton. Not a sausage.

The perky purveyor of pork featured in 15 editions of the toothy funster's comic.

Character Total Issues First Appearance Final Appearance
Mr Mutton1515-Sep-197926-Jan-1980

Count of elements by artist
Character Artist Total Elements
Mr MuttonFrank McDiarmid8
Mr MuttonMike Lacey5*
Mr MuttonJimmy Hansen1
Mr MuttonFrank McDiarmid pencils1*

*When I created my comic database, I designed it to assign artists by element per page only, not by individual panel. Although it can assign more than one artist at element level (see for example Laugh and Learn), it can't accurately reflect instances such as Mutton's second appearance where in one panel the artist was Mike Lacey and Frank McDiarmid pencils, while the rest of the element has been assigned to just Frank McDiarmid pencils - if I assigned the art on this element to Mike Lacey and Frank McDiarmid pencils, all characters within the element would inherit the same dual (strictly speaking triple in this case due to the FMcD/Pencils attribution) art credit. Instances of more than one artist working on a single panel are extremely rare so adverse impact on the data as things stand is negligible. Maybe a way of recording this unusual circumstance will get addressed if I ever get round to designing comic database version 2.0. Anyway, you may consider that Mike Lacey should be credited with 6 Mutton appearances, although it could be argued that since one of those 6 actually re-used previously published artwork, 5 is in fact the correct number. Whatever your view, there were in truth no depictions of Mutton by the artwork team I refer to as Frank McDiarmid pencils.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Whizzer and Chips - The Cheeky Raids part 33

New readers start here... After Cheeky Weekly folded and was incorporated into Whoopee as of February 1980 six strips that had originated in the toothy funster's title survived the merge and continued to appear in the amalgamated comic. Whoopee itself foundered in March 1985 and was merged into Whizzer and Chips. Three of the surviving Cheeky Weekly strips successfully negotiated this second merge and went on to appear in the newly combined publication, rather inelegantly titled 'Whizzer and Chips now including Whoopee'. The survivors were Mustapha Million, Calculator Kid and (appearing only twice) Stage School. Cheeky continued to appear, but as a member of The Krazy Gang, who had moved into W&C when Krazy, the comic in which the Gang originated, expired in April 1978. However, the Krazy Gang's Whizzer and Chips run ended in the issue dated 08 February 1986. Calculator Kid survived a little longer, his run of reprints coming to an end in the 26 July 1986 edition and leaving Mustapha Million as the sole Cheeky Weekly survivor.

Our middle-eastern moneyed mate was unmolested for 7 weeks following the unwanted attentions of Odd-Ball in Whizzer and Chips dated 14 February 1987, but this blissful state of freedom from Whizz-kid interference came to an end in the 11 April 1987 edition. Can you spot the furtive infiltrator? Scroll down where all will be revealed.

Whizzer and Chips 11 April 1987
Art: Barry Glennard

Oo-ar!, it be the rich-but-hating-it head of the Bumpkin household, Pa, who in the above story seems to be smuggling some of his cash into Mustapha's mansion, no doubt hoping to lose it amongst the piles of moolah already in there. The phrase 'I made a mug of Mustapha Million' (even in its Yokelese variant) is now getting annoying. STOP IT!

More (hopefully mug-free) raiding fun soon!

Whizzer and Chips Cover Date Raider Raided
06 April 1985Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
04 May 1985Bloggs (Store Wars)Mustapha Million
11 May 1985JokerThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
18 May 1985Calculator Kid & CalcOdd-Ball
01 June 1985
Mustapha Million
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Boy Boss
08 June 1985Odd-BallCalculator Kid
06 July 1985Toy BoyCalculator Kid
13 July 1985Pa BumpkinThe Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
27 July 1985JokerMustapha Million
24 August 1985CheekySid's Snake
14 September 1985
Calculator Kid
Calculator Kid
Store Wars
05 October 1985Mustapha MillionAnimalad
19 October 1985Odd-BallMustapha Million
23 November 1985
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Sweeny Toddler
Calculator Kid
The Krazy Gang (Cheeky)
Mustapha Million
18 January 1986Mustapha MillionSuper Steve
25 January 1986
Mustapha Million
08 February 1986
The Krazy Gang ends this issue
AnimaladMustapha Million
15 February 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
15 March 1986Odd-BallCalculator Kid
29 March 1986Calculator KidMaster P Brain
05 April 1986Bumpkin BillionairesMustapha Million
12 April 1986AnimaladCalculator Kid
31 May 1986Lazy BonesCalculator Kid
07 June 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
28 June 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
26 July 1986
Calculator Kid ends this issue
No Cheeky-related raid this issueNo Cheeky-related raid this issue
16 August 1986Mustapha MillionJoker
23 August 1986Sweet ToothMustapha Million
18 October 1986Winnie the Royal NagMustapha Million
06 December 1986Toy BoyMustapha Million
13 December 1986Mustapha MillionOdd-Ball
17 January 1987SidMustapha Million
14 February 1987Odd-BallMustapha Million
11 April 1987Pa BumpkinMustapha Million

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Cheeky Weekly cover date 29 December 1979

Merry Christmas Pals! I’m not entirely sure who drew Lily Pop, busting with Christmas cheer, on this week’s festive cover, which maintains the tradition of the snow-bedecked masthead. Louise looks to me like the work of Frank McDiarmid, but Lily and Cheeky don't seem quite 'Frank' to my eyes.

Cheeky Weekly reaches its third Christmas, although this is only the second festive issue because last year’s failed to appear due to industrial troubles. As with the previous issue, several of the elements included this week were in fact prepared over a year ago. A while back I examined the edits which were necessary in order to incorporate the artwork a year later than intended, so I’ll be linking to those posts as we progress through the yuletide fun, beginning with Sunday, which was actually originally drawn as a Thursday page.

As mentioned in the above link. It’s not Speed Squad who follow ‘Sunday’, it’s young Charlie Counter and his battery-powered buddy. Charlie helps Dad clear the front path by rolling a snowball, but said frozen agglomeration goes rogue and fetches up in the local park. A bully gets covered in the white stuff just as the judging of the snowman contest (prize; a big box of chocs) commences. You’ve read enough comic strips to guess how the chilly tale concludes.

Art: Terry Bave

I suspect that the Calculator Kid strip that Terry Bave drew for the 1978 Christmas Cheeky weekly was eventually used in the 1980 Cheeky Annual - see the Wednesday link below. If I'm right then this week's strip is new and not held over.

There’s a distinct lack of festive fun on Paddywack’s page (maybe no readers sent in Chrimbo gags), after which it’s Monday (originally Sunday).

Instead of being followed by 6 Million Dollar Gran, it’s Mustapha who’s up next, having a Christmas Eve encounter with Santa, who is evidently on the little-known maritime leg of his annual deliveries. Our ever-generous middle eastern pal gives away all his toys to the giftless island-dwellers, and there’s a heartwarming conclusion to the story as the dilemma facing Mustapha’s pals is resolved.

Art: Joe McCaffrey

Joe again

There follows a reprinted adventure for Soggy the Sea Monster, which touches on the festive season only tangentially. More in a Christmas mood is Elephant on the Run, wherein The Man in the Plastic Mac, out shopping with his wife for a turkey, notices elephant tracks in the snow. Hunting down the errant pachyderm, TMITPM is dismayed to see his leathern-skinned quarry hopping on a waiting bus. Elephant's implacable pursuer launches his shopping bag, containing the turkey, at his fleeing foe...

Art: Robert Nixon

...the large-eared fugitive, having set the bus in motion by inadvertent trunkular engagement with the bell-ringing mechanism, avails himself of the frozen bird and a Slap Up Festive Feed (SUFF) ensues.

Christmas really kicks in with a bumper 3 Cheeky’s Week pages devoted to our toothy pal’s December 25th, culminating in a full-page SUFF for Cheeky and pals.

Cheeky’s Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue of Christmas Jokes provides a whole-box-of-crackers-worth of festive funnies, after which it’s Boxing Day.

Tub has a rather tedious adventure at the Chistmas circus during which his jumper changes from white to pink for no apparent reason. Surprisingly, there’s no SUFF conclusion.

Pages 17 and 18 are the location of Cheeky’s Christmas card to readers, signed by the toothy funster, some of his pals and the Cheeky Weekly production team including Frank McDiarmid, writer Willie (Gordon) Cook and editor Bob Paynter. I realise Snail can’t hold a pen, but he could have ‘slithered’ a message, and he had over a year in which to add his greeting.

Cheeky and Louise are wearing the same hats as on the cover
Art: Frank McDiarmid
Six Million Dollar Gran is enduring a Christmas heatwave, but the local mountains (where is this supposed to be set?) provide the synthetic senior citizen with plenty of frozen flakes with which to cool down the town.

Art: Ian Knox

Cheeky is still consuming turkey on Thursday.

Why, Dad, Why’s SUFF begins with son considering it a dull affair due to the rather stuffy guests, then degenerates into a food fight but all ends happily.

Art: John Geering
There’s a yuletide filler on page 23 in the form of Cheeky’s Christmas Quiz, following which is a reprint episode of The Gang (originally appearing under The Double Deckers title). Last week’s Gang story was a Christmas one, which I suspect was the only genuine festive Double Deckers tale in the strip’s original run. Thus this week’s adventure has had some of the dialogue altered to refer to a Christmas party – the original probably concerned just a generic party (a reference to Disco Kid has also been added). Tiger’s references to her soft toy, Tiger have been changed to ‘my toy’.

Turkey is still on the menu on Friday.

Then mean-spirited Mr Scroonge plots to spoil the kids’ Christmas party by luring Disaster Des past the venue. A pity the old miser didn't appear again – a nice character design by Mike Lacey.

Mr Scroonge is so mean he won't even give away a 'humbug'

Art: Mike Lacey

Art: Robert Nixon
...using their showbiz wiles, the kids relocate the food to their hut and a SUFF is enjoyed by all (except teacher).

We don't have to wait until 3pm for Cheeky's Christmas message on the Chit-Chat page...

Following which we reach the end of Cheeky’s Week.

Snail heads out into the snowy garden to see what his wildlife pals got for Christmas, bringing this super celebration issue to a conclusion.

We say goodbye to a number of Cheeky's pals in this issue, namely Crunching Chris, Flash Harry, Libby, Snoozin' Susan and Spiv. The members of Speed Squad also make their final appearance in Cheeky's Week. They actually ceased to appear in Cheeky's Week back in the 23 June 1979 issue, but this week's artwork was of course prepared some months before that date.

Frank McDiarmid does his usual excellent work this week, providing 13 festive fun-packed Cheeky's Week elements, plus the Christmas card. Here's looking forward to Cheeky Weekly's Christmas 1980 edition (irony).

Cheeky Weekly Cover Date: 29-Dec-1979, Issue 112 of 117
1Cover Feature 'Christmas Issue' 2 of 2 - Art Frank McDiarmid
2Sunday - Art Frank McDiarmid
3Calculator Kid - Art Terry Bave
4Paddywack - Art Jack Clayton
5Monday - Art Frank McDiarmid
6Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
7Mustapha Million - Art Joe McCaffrey
8Soggy the Sea Monster reprint from Shiver and Shake - Art Robert Nixon
9Elephant On The Run - Art Robert Nixon
10Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
11Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
12Tuesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
13Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue 'Christmas Jokes'
14Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue 'Christmas Jokes'
15Wednesday - Art Frank McDiarmid
16Tub - Art Nigel Edwards
17Christmas Card (single appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (single art on feature)
18Christmas Card (single appearance) - Art Frank McDiarmid (single art on feature)
196 Million Dollar Gran - Art Ian Knox
20Thursday - Art Frank McDiarmid
21Why, Dad, Why? - Art John K. Geering
22Ad: IPC 'Shoot' 9 of 13 Ad: 'Penny' 1 of 3
23Christmas Quiz (single appearance)
24The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
25The Gang reprint from Whizzer and Chips - Art Robert MacGillivray
26Friday - Art Frank McDiarmid
27Disaster Des - Art Mike Lacey
28Stage School - Art Robert Nixon
30Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
31Saturday - Art Frank McDiarmid
32Snail of the Century - Art Frank McDiarmid

Thursday, 5 July 2018

The Cut-Out Features – Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogues

As I’ve mentioned before, some cut-out features were used as marketing tools, running simultaneously across IPC’s titles, such as 1978’s mini-comics or the same year’s spotter books promotion. Occasionally, however, a title would mount a go-it-alone cut-out feature such as the Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue series which commenced in the toothy funster’s comic dated 17 November 1979.

Cheeky Weekly 10 November 1979

The front and back pages of the first
Comedy Catalogue, Cheeky Weekly17 November 1979

Cheeky Weekly's final cut-out feature consisted of 11 comedy catalogues, all of which presented a collection of gags in text form accompanied by a scattering of graphics. Each catalogue contained jokes around a particular theme; 10 of them collected jokes pertaining to a particular character from the Cheeky’s Week supporting cast, and the remaining catalogue featured Christmas jokes. Each catalogue occupied 2 Cheeky Weekly pages (all the gag collections were printed in monochrome on pages 13 and 14), and readers were invited to snip out the pages, rotate them through 90 degrees, fold, then assemble into a 4-page anthology of corny gags.


I suspect that the real purpose behind the joke booklets was to cheaply fill some pages of the toothy funster’s comic by recycling a selection of Cheeky's gags from earlier issues, as the title wound down to its eventual cancellation after the 02 February 1980 issue. Cheeky Weekly had been featuring recycled material since its first edition, but in the comic's prime the reprints had been incorporated into the toothy funster's universe in an imaginative way. As the comic entered its final months a more cynical approach appears to have been adopted as some seemingly random old strips were dusted off and bunged in to fill up some space. In the 06 October 1979 issue Ringer Dinger was conscripted to revisit some of his earlier telephonic escapades, although Ringer was brought back from the comics graveyard only 3 times. Introduced in the same issue in which the Catalogues began, a resurrected Soggy the Sea Monster began a run of recycled adventures. What all these reprints had in common was that they were sourced from other IPC titles. The Comedy Catalogues saw the editor sustaining an ailing Cheeky Weekly by preying on its own archive and, by not presenting them in their original cartoon form, subvert IPC's apparent rule that reprinted material had to be at least a few years old.

The Comedy Catalogues appeared in every issue from 17 November 1979 to the penultimate edition dated 26 January 1980. The first gag booklet featured Knock-Knock Door jokes, commencing with what was described as Cheeky's 'first ever Knock-Knock joke', and indeed it was, from way back in the debut issue of Krazy.

So the question is, of course, were all the jokes in the catalogues in fact sourced from earlier issues? Readers of this blog will know that I am assiduous in my research but even for me, scouring the pages of every issue for every joke from every catalogue is too arduous a task. Instead I chose to focus on the Mr Chips booklet since, of the 10 Cheeky's Week characters featured, Mr Chips appeared in the fewest issues (21).

Here's a list of the Mr Chips gags as they appeared in the Cheeky's Week strips. I have paraphrased the jokes in the interests of brevity. Cheeky's carpentry-related ripostes (or those of Snail) are also included. The final column indicates whether the joke(s) featured in the Mr Chips Catalogue.

Issue Date Setup Payoff In Catalogue?
28-Jul-79 A carpenter’s favourite TV show? Plankety-Plank Y
04-Aug-79 Any good as a joiner? Joined the tennis club, joined the bridge club N
11-Aug-79 What do you get if you put a sail onto a carpentry tool? Plane-sailing N
18-Aug-79 A firm who makes planks wants me to become a director Offered me a seat on the board N
25-Aug-79 Tired of people asking me to give them bits of wood You’d think it grows on trees Y
01-Sep-79 Roof-makers favourite chocolates? Rafter Eights N
08-Sep-79 Why is a short plank like a fed-up pygmy? Both a little bored N
15-Sep-79 Had to get my teeth checked Mine are ok but my saw needs 3 fillings Y
22-Sep-79 Your son looks like you He’s a chips off the old block Y
29-Sep-79 What kind of wood is made from fried potatoes? Chipboard (sorry for my plank expression) N/Y
06-Oct-79 Asked headmaster to hold a nail while I hammered it I hit the head right on the nail N
13-Oct-79 How do you get trees to the sawmill? Along a trunk road (or if by train along a branch line) N
20-Oct-79 What would a cowboy carpenter feel like after a long day? Saddle saw (you are an old chiseller) Y/Y
03-Nov-79 The Prime Minister asked me to help form the government I’m a good cabinet-maker Y
10-Nov-79 Scouts always have a carpenter on their staff They’re good with knots Y
17-Nov-79 The carpenters’ football team played a team from the factory where they make our tools They hammered us (the scores were level at the start) Y/N
24-Nov-79 Thinking of doing a double act with Mr Haddock We’ll call ourselves Fish and Chips (or The Carpenters or Hinge and Haddock) N
15-Dec-79 Why is a carpenter at home chatting to kings and queens? He works with rulers every day Y
05-Jan-80 I’m resolving to stop telling jokes I’ll make my mind a complete plank N
12-Jan-80 Why is a carpenter superstitious? He’s always touching wood N
26-Jan-80 Spent a week replacing floorboards and now the woman tells me she doesn’t like the colour Completely floored me N

And here is the full catalogue, indicating whether each of the gags was sourced from Cheeky's Week.

There are of course more jokes in the Catalogue (42) than there were in the comic so it's no surprise that a considerable number are 'new', but it's also evident that not all the gags that appeared on the Cheeky pages were included in the Catalogue (readers would have been a little aggrieved if Thursday's joke in the 26 January 1980 comic was also included in that issue's Catalogue so that particular funny was clearly precluded from use).

So the answer to my earlier question is a rather inconclusive "some of the jokes had appeared earlier, but some hadn't". My guess is that the answer would be the same for all of the catalogues, although the editor had far more pre-used gags to choose from in the case of the Knock-Knock Door, who featured in 110 issues so maybe there were fewer 'new' gags in the Catalogues focusing on the more frequently-appearing characters.

Also Lost To Posterity - unlike the cut-out posters, the Comedy Catalogues were printed on 2 sides of a sheet, so removing them from the comic would not result in any other feature being excised.

Catalogue Contents Date
Knock-Knock Door Jokes 17/11/79
Manhole Man Jokes 24/11/79
Doctor Jokes 01/12/79
Six-Gun Sam Jokes 08/12/79
Mechanic Jokes 15/12/79
Constable Chuckle Jokes 22/12/79
Christmas Jokes 29/12/79
Jogging Jeremy Jokes 05/01/80
Farmer Giles Jokes 12/01/80
Petula Jokes 19/01/80
Mr Chips Jokes 26/01/80

Cheeky's Cut-Out Comedy Catalogue in the Cheeky Weekly Index