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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, 26 August 2020

The Whoopee Years - Cheeky Weekly Characters in the Popularity Polls - part 10

The 02 April 1983 poll results were the last to be published before Whoopee! absorbed the survivors from Wow! as of the edition dated 02 July 1983. A Top Ten voting coupon was printed in Whoopee!'s 30 April 1983 issue, the editor's final pre-merge opportunity to gauge the relative popularity of the comic's contents and thus decide which strips should be carried forward to the combined title and which should be culled to make room for the Wow! inductees. A further Top Ten coupon appeared in Whoopee and Wow! dated 27 August 1983, the editor no doubt keen to assess the readers' verdict on the newly-amalgamated comic's line-up.

A new set of poll results were printed in Whoopee and Wow!'s 19 November 1983 issue.

So which features had ended between the 02 April and 19 November issues?...

START_DATE END_DATE CE_ELEMENT
04-DEC-82 04-JUN-83 Rambling Rhymes
01-MAY-82 25-JUN-83 Beaky
22-MAY-82 25-JUN-83 Cheeky (second run)
01-MAY-82 25-JUN-83 Kids of Class Five
27-MAR-82 25-JUN-83 Little Ed
04-DEC-82 25-JUN-83 Quizmaster
09-MAY-81 25-JUN-83 Robot Granny
01-MAY-82 25-JUN-83 Smile-In
09-FEB-80 25-JUN-83 Smiler
02-JAN-82 25-JUN-83 Teacher's Pets
12-SEP-81 25-JUN-83 Tom Horror's World
01-MAY-82 25-JUN-83 Whoopee Winners
25-JUN-83 02-JUL-83 Tomy Competition
08-OCT-83 29-OCT-83 The Whoopee 500-Clue Crossword
31-OCT-81 05-NOV-83 Guy Fawkes Supermask

So 12 Whoopee! features were cancelled in preparation for the influx of material from Wow! Among those strips being terminated were the second run of Cheeky, and Robot Granny.

What strips had begun in the same period?...

START_DATE END_DATE CE_ELEMENT
09-APR-83 09-APR-83 Cheeky ET Challenge competition closing date extended
04-JUN-83 04-JUN-83 Frankie Stein Spot The Difference
25-JUN-83 02-JUL-83 Tomy Competition
25-JUN-83 25-JUN-83 Whoopee is joined by Wow next week
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Bleep
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Boy Boss
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Cheeky (Quick Strip)
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Comic Turns
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Creepy Comix
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Family Trees
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Gran's Gang
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Here Is The News
02-JUL-83 03-DEC-83 KBR
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Kid Comic
02-JUL-83 28-JUL-84 Letterbox
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Ossie
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 Shipwreck School
02-JUL-83 04-AUG-84 Spare-Part Kit
02-JUL-83 30-MAR-85 TV Quiz Kids
02-JUL-83 23-MAR-85 Team Mates
09-JUL-83 09-JUL-83 MY Gyro Tennis Competition
30-JUL-83 30-JUL-83 Superman III Fantastic Film Facts
30-JUL-83 30-JUL-83 Superman III Freebies
27-AUG-83 27-AUG-83 Cheeky ET Challenge Winners
24-SEP-83 24-SEP-83 Snack-Man Big Feasts Competition Winners
08-OCT-83 29-OCT-83 The Whoopee 500-Clue Crossword
05-NOV-83 05-NOV-83 500 Prize Competition
05-NOV-83 05-NOV-83 Whoopee 500-Clue Crossword Solution

As of the latest merge, Cheeky is relegated to a single row of panels on the weekly Quick Strips page. Gran fares rather better, being granted a new, human persona in the Gran's Gang series, although her page count is reduced from 2 to 1. Frank McDiarmid's Boy Boss transfers in from Wow!

These are the ongoing strips over the same period...

START_DATE END_DATE CE_ELEMENT
09-FEB-80 12-JAN-85 Cover Feature
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Bookworm
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Bumpkin Billionaires
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Calculator Kid
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Frankie Stein
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Lolly Pop
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Mustapha Million
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Paddywack
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Stage School
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Sweeny Toddler
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Toy Boy
16-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Chip
01-MAR-80 19-JAN-85 Top Ten voting coupon
10-MAY-80 09-MAR-85 Top Ten Results
01-NOV-80 27-OCT-84 Guy Fawkes Mask
23-OCT-82 30-MAR-85 Snack-Man
27-NOV-82 23-MAR-85 Calculator Corner
12-FEB-83 26-JAN-85 Freaky Frankie

Calculator Kid, Stage School and Mustapha Million continue unchanged. Paddywack joins Cheeky on the Quick Strips page. Thus all the features that transferred into Whoopee! from Cheeky Weekly back in February 1980 have survived this second merger, although Gran has undergone some changes and Paddywack, having at one time been elevated to Whoopee! cover star, has been reduced to a single row of panels. Cheeky has suffered the most ignominy, having at one time helmed his own comic while appearing in multiple pages in another, now just maintaining a token presence. I've always had the feeling that Bob Paynter, IPC's Group Editor, had an affection for the character and  was reluctant to ditch Cheeky despite the lack of reader enthusiasm.

Whoopee and Wow! 27 August 1983
Ossie art: Robert Nixon


So what was the readers' verdict on the combined title?...

Whoopee and Wow! 19 November 1983
Calculator Corner: Jack Oliver
Stage School relinquish the first place they attained in the previous poll, slipping to number 5. Must try harder.

Poll Date Feature Position
10/05/80 Stage School 8
15/11/80 Stage School 6
20/06/81 Stage School 10
20/02/82 Stage School 7
07/08/82 Stage School 8
21/08/82 Stage School 10
02/10/82 Stage School 5
06/11/82 Stage School 3
04/12/82 Stage School 8
22/01/83 Stage School 4
02/04/83 Stage School 1
19/11/83 Stage School 5

Gran's transformation into a human sees her re-enter the top ten for the first time since November '82.

Poll Date Feature Position
10/05/80 $6,000,000 Gran 7
15/11/80 $6,000,000 Gran Not placed
20/06/81 Robot Granny Not placed
20/02/82 Robot Granny Not placed
07/08/82 Robot Granny Not placed
20/02/82 Robot Granny Not placed
02/10/82 Robot Granny Not placed
06/11/82 Robot Granny 10
04/12/82 Robot Granny Not placed
22/01/83 Robot Granny Not placed
02/04/83 Robot Granny Not placed
19/11/83 Gran’s Gang 7

Calculator Kid, who has been reliably hanging around the middle of the top ten for most of his Whoopee career, is absent from the results for the first time.

Poll Date Feature Position
10/05/80 Calculator Kid 4
15/11/80 Calculator Kid 2
20/06/81 Calculator Kid 5
20/02/82 Calculator Kid 4
07/08/82 Calculator Kid 6
21/08/82 Calculator Kid 5
02/10/82 Calculator Kid 6
06/11/82 Calculator Kid 8
04/12/82 Calculator Kid 6
22/01/83 Calculator Kid 3
02/04/83 Calculator Kid 5
19/11/83 Calculator Kid Not placed

Mustapha Million also fails to secure a place among the top ten for the first time, although his popularity has been waning steadily for many months.

Poll Date Feature Position
10/05/80 Mustapha Million 1
15/11/80 Mustapha Million 1
20/06/81 Mustapha Million 1
20/02/82 Mustapha Million 3
07/08/82 Mustapha Million 4
21/08/82 Mustapha Million 4
02/10/82 Mustapha Million 4
06/11/82 Mustapha Million 7
04/12/82 Mustapha Million 4
22/01/83 Mustapha Million 7
02/04/83 Mustapha Million 9
19/11/83 Mustapha Million Not placed


Cheeky and Paddywack are yet again absent from the Top Ten, having failed to register in any of the poll results.

Part 11 of my examination of the fortunes of the ex-Cheeky Weekly funny folk in the Whoopee Top Ten polls can be found here.

Back to part 9

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

The Whoopee Years - Cheeky Weekly Characters in the Popularity Polls - part 9

Whoopee's July 1983 absorption of Wow! was looming closer as the second set of poll results of that year were published in the 02 April edition. Since the previous results were announced in Whoopee dated 22 January 1983, one Top Ten voting coupon had been published, in the comic dated 29 January.

Those of you who have been following my series examining the poll results will know the question that's coming next - what features had ended between the results of 22 January and 02 April? I always begin by identifying any such features as it could well be that they were culled due to the lack of support from readers.

Here's what ended...

START_DATE END_DATE CE_ELEMENT
05-MAR-83 19-MAR-83 Snack-Man's Munch Maze Game


Having satisfied ourselves of that, we must proceed to the corresponding issue of the strips that had commenced in the same period...

START_DATE END_DATE CE_ELEMENT
12-FEB-83 26-JAN-85 Freaky Frankie

Freaky Frankie was a (possibly reprint - Update: Thanks to Stephen Archer for confirming that Freaky Frankie originally appeared in Monster Fun) strip featuring Whoopee's horrific humour superstar, Frankie Stein. Consisting of three panels per strip, and featuring no dialogue (aside from the mechanical utterances of a speak-your-weight machine on one occasion), the strip was used as filler in 6 issues between February and June 1983, pending the arrival of features from Wow! Something of a harbinger of doom, Freaky Frankie reappeared one more time in January 1985 as Whoopee entered its final few months.

Other than Frankie's silent outings, no new features had begun since 04 December 1982, and none had ended since November 1982. This is of course because the comic was coasting towards the restructuring of its content that would result from the impending adoption of the survivors from Wow! in July '83, and a concomitant cancellation of Whoopee strips that was necessary to accommodate the newcomers.

So the ongoing Whoopee features (i.e. those with start dates <= 22 January 1983 and end dates >= 02 April 1983 - that's why the Guy Fawkes masks are included) at the time of the 02 April 1983 results were...

START_DATE END_DATE CE_ELEMENT
09-FEB-80 25-JUN-83 Smiler
09-FEB-80 12-JAN-85 Cover Feature
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Bookworm
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Bumpkin Billionaires
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Calculator Kid
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Frankie Stein
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Lolly Pop
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Mustapha Million
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Paddywack
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Stage School
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Sweeny Toddler
09-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Toy Boy
16-FEB-80 30-MAR-85 Chip
01-MAR-80 19-JAN-85 Top Ten voting coupon
10-MAY-80 09-MAR-85 Top Ten Results
01-NOV-80 27-OCT-84 Guy Fawkes Mask
09-MAY-81 25-JUN-83 Robot Granny
12-SEP-81 25-JUN-83 Tom Horror's World
31-OCT-81 05-NOV-83 Guy Fawkes Supermask
02-JAN-82 25-JUN-83 Teacher's Pets
27-MAR-82 25-JUN-83 Little Ed
01-MAY-82 25-JUN-83 Beaky
01-MAY-82 25-JUN-83 Kids of Class Five
01-MAY-82 25-JUN-83 Smile-In
01-MAY-82 25-JUN-83 Whoopee Winners
22-MAY-82 25-JUN-83 Cheeky (second run)
23-OCT-82 30-MAR-85 Snack-Man
27-NOV-82 23-MAR-85 Calculator Corner
04-DEC-82 04-JUN-83 Rambling Rhymes
04-DEC-82 25-JUN-83 Quizmaster

These are the poll results as printed in the 02 April 1983 comic...

Paddywack art: Jack Clayton

Stage School finally attain the number 1 spot. They've secured placings in all 11 polls to date, but have on a couple of occasions fallen perilously to number 10.

Poll Date Feature Position
10/05/80 Stage School 8
15/11/80 Stage School 6
20/06/81 Stage School 10
20/02/82 Stage School 7
07/08/82 Stage School 8
21/08/82 Stage School 10
02/10/82 Stage School 5
06/11/82 Stage School 3
04/12/82 Stage School 8
22/01/83 Stage School 4
02/04/83 Stage School 1

Calculator Kid's Whoopee career has seen him for the most part hovering around the middle of the top ten, a situation which remains unchanged this time.

Poll Date Feature Position
10/05/80 Calculator Kid 4
15/11/80 Calculator Kid 2
20/06/81 Calculator Kid 5
20/02/82 Calculator Kid 4
07/08/82 Calculator Kid 6
21/08/82 Calculator Kid 5
02/10/82 Calculator Kid 6
06/11/82 Calculator Kid 8
04/12/82 Calculator Kid 6
22/01/83 Calculator Kid 3
02/04/83 Calculator Kid 5

Mustapha Million is the third of our ex-Cheeky Weekly chums who has gained a place in each of the top ten polls since Whoopee absorbed the survivors from the toothy funster's comic, although his popularity has been dwindling fairly steadily since early '82.

Poll Date Feature Position
10/05/80 Mustapha Million 1
15/11/80 Mustapha Million 1
20/06/81 Mustapha Million 1
20/02/82 Mustapha Million 3
07/08/82 Mustapha Million 4
21/08/82 Mustapha Million 4
02/10/82 Mustapha Million 4
06/11/82 Mustapha Million 7
04/12/82 Mustapha Million 4
22/01/83 Mustapha Million 7
02/04/83 Mustapha Million 9


Robot Granny has failed to appear in the top ten since just scraping into the November '82 results. Cheeky and Paddywack have never appeared in any of the poll results.

My examination of the fortunes of the ex-Cheeky Weekly funny folk in the Whoopee Top Ten polls continues in part 10.

Back to part 8