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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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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


  1. “Mr Chips Jokes”: are these ABOUT Mr Chips, or is the usage possessive? Or does it describe what he’s doing: “Mr Chips jokes”? (Can’t think what the right grammatical term is just now.) An apostrophe after his name would have clarified the matter, if required. It’s amazing you’ve not spotted this.

    1. I'm glad you raised this - no the usage is not possessive cf. 'Manhole Man Jokes and 'Constable Chuckle Jokes'. While the characters mentioned do indeed joke, the sense here is indicative of humorous quips about or relating to the subject, so no apostrophisation (that's probably opened a whole new grammatical can since I doubt it's a real word) is necessary.

  2. This is a bit like Mr Logic - made-up long-winded words (a relatively recent change; I well remember the days of having to consult the dictionary to understand what he was on about)!

    1. Sadly, I have no knowledge of Mr Logic.