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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, 24 July 2019

The Whoopee Years - ‘Cheeky’s Week’, ‘Cheeky’s Pal’ and ‘Tee-Hee TV News’

Whoopee! dated 12 September 1981 was something of a revamp issue, introducing 2 strips to the comic and refashioning Cheeky's contribution.

Only one of the strips commencing in this issue was new, as the other saw the return of a character who had first appeared in another comic 12 years earlier. The entirely new strip was Ken Reid’s Tom Horror’s World, and the revived character was Willie Bunk, drawn by Frank McDiarmid in a new series of 'spectacular' adventures.

In the same issue, Cheeky’s quota of comic pages was reduced from 4 to 2. Following the end (for the time being at least) of the toothy funster’s eponymous strip, our grinning pal was allocated the centre pages in which to conduct his humorous business. However, within that double-page spread were located 5 Cheeky-related features;

Cheeky’s Week

Cheeky’s Pal

Tee-Hee TV News

Untitled Joke Section This column of gags appearing between Cheeky's Week and Cheeky's Pal would over the weeks feature a rotating selection of Krazy Town stalwarts (and occasionally celebrities of the day) delivering comical quickies.

Additionally there was a Cheeky-related strip featuring his slithering sidekick entitled, not too imaginatively, Cheeky’s Snail, which I'll be reporting on in a future post.

Whoopee! 12 September 1981
Art: Frank McDiarmid
Margaret Thatcher and Patrick Moore join in the fun


Maybe this reduction in the number of Cheeky pages resulted from negative feedback from veteran readers regarding the, as they saw it, inordinate amount of Cheeky material in the editions published since Whoopee! absorbed our toothy pal’s comic. If this was the case, it may be that the new format, with 5 features across 2 pages, was intended to persuade disappointed former Cheeky Weekly readers that although his page count had been halved they were still getting plenty of grinning gagster fun. Additionally, calling the main strip Cheeky’s Week (the title of Cheeky Weekly's cover strip from 30 September 1978 to 30 June 1979) would bring back fond memories of the toothy funster’s heyday, when each issue of his own comic portrayed a full 7 days of Cheeky fun. In reality the new feature showed only a single day in each issue.

The layout of the pages was consistent in each edition, although Cheeky's usual appearance seated at the tripe-writer was missing from Whoopee! dated 26 December 1981, as the introduction to what was for that issue titled Cheeky's Yuletide Week was in the form of jokes found inside Christmas crackers (Cheeky was also without his glasses - see below - but sporting a paper hat, in that week's Tee-Hee TV News).

Cheeky's Pal was of course also the title of an occasional feature way back in Krazy, a strip that eventually evolved into The Burpo Special which appeared in 23 issues of Cheeky Weekly. The Whoopee! run of Cheeky's Pal was similar to The Burpo Special and each week focused on a different member of Cheeky's supporting cast. Ursula was the subject of the strip in Whoopee! dated 28 November 1981, and the episode commenced with the fearsome female located next to a pile of comics, saying saying 'Humph! That Cheeky has said some really rotten things about me over the years! What's this now?'. There then follows a selection of gags presented as if Ursula is reading them from a comic (panels-within-panels as it were). However the comic Ursula is holding is Whoopee (without exclamation mark) and not, as one might have expected, Cheeky Weekly, while the pile of comics at her side are not identified. This was the only occasion on which this 5-features-across-2-pages arrangement was printed in monochrome. All the other episodes were printed in red spot colour.

Ursula scours old comics for historic slights.
Clearly all the supposed 'old' material was drawn
specially for this strip by Frank McDiarmid.



Tee-Hee TV News occupied a single TV-screen-shaped panel each week and saw our toothy pal presenting a humorous 'news item' while wearing a pair of authoritative Trevor McDonald-style glasses (except in the 1981 Christmas issue as mentioned above).

Frank McDiarmid provided all the weekly artwork for the strips mentioned in this post.

The 2-pages-with-5-features Cheeky format ran in Whoopee! for 19 17 weeks (thanks to Stephen Archer for the correction) from 12 September 1981 to 02 January 1982, the issue in which the first instalment of the 4-part cut-out-and-keep Cheeky Diary 1982 appeared (not the first time the toothy funster had provided somewhere for readers to record their daily witticisms).

Cheeky's Week made 3 further appearances on its own and in monochrome, coming to an end in the 23 January 1982 edition.

But you can't keep a good gagster down, and our toothy pal returned the following week. I'll be documenting that subsequent run soon.

4 comments:

  1. not a good period...love the film spoofs later...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As you know, things would get worse for our toothy pal.

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  2. We’ll go down the gloomier-than-Glad road when we come to it; something to look forward to, eh? For now, if I’m not wrong wasn’t 12/9/81 to 2/1/82 17 weeks, not 19?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are of course correct - have updated my post. Thanks for pointing out my error.

      Delete