GOODIES COR COMICS SYNOPSIS #3
(by Linda Kay)
(from C&G 74 – February 2002)
20th January, 1973. No. 26
The Goodies were known for doing all their own stunts for their television series in the classic Buster Keaton style. One has to wonder what kind of masochistic tendencies inspired them to pen such incredibly physical tortures for themselves to perform before the cameras. Indeed fans shall remain forever grateful for their pained devotion to the hard-knocks school of comedy.
One benefit of appearing in the comics pages is your characters can get equally knocked around and yet no injuries will occur (except for the occasional paper cut endured by the artist). And certainly The Goodies often fared as badly physically in their cartoon versions as they did on the telly.
The third installment of the Cor!! comics was no exception. Our heroes are adequately bashed around in this particular episode, and understandably so considering its subject matter ... the
gentlemanly art of boxing. So it is we present a review of this month's thrash-fest ... er, comic.
Header: BE ON GUARD FOR FUN ... BILL BECOMES A BOXER!
The Goodies are riding their trandem along a rural road. Bill is sitting at the back, not pedaling but reading a newspaper.
BILL: Hey, fellas ... this newspaper asks the question ... when will a British boxer become world heavy weight boxing champ again? Cor! Bet *I* could be heavy weight champ with a bit of training!
Graeme pushes Bill off the back of the trandem and Bill starts running after them as they pedal away.
GRAEME: Great idea! We'll train YOU! You can start your road work right NOW!
TIM: See you back at the training camp!
Graeme and Tim are at a gym fighting over a sweater with the word TRAINER across the front, each pulling on one arm.
TIM: Leggo, I'm going to be the trainer!
GRAEME: You Leggo! I knitted it!
Having apparently resolved their differences, they are both seen wearing the sweater (at the same time!). Bill approaches the two-headed trainer with a jump rope.
GRAEME: Right! We'll BOTH be trainer! Ready to start, champ?
BILL: Yes! I found a skipping rope outside!
Bill starts skipping rope, reciting out loud a skipping rhyme, but he inadvertently stomps down on a floorboard, the other end springing up and flipping Graeme and Tim into the air.
BILL: Salt ... mustard ... vinegar . . !
Graeme and Tim land roughly on a punch ball, which sticks up through the sweater and ends up situated between their heads.
BILL: . . . pepper!
Tim and Graeme watch with surprise as a little girl in pigtails and spectacles comes running in and grabs her jump rope from Bill, delivering a sound blow to his stomach as she does so.
GIRL: OY! That's my rope ... gimme!
Undaunted, Bill turns his attention to the punch ball, apparently not noticing Tim and Graeme are still attached to it and he pummels them.
BILL: I'll do some punch-ball bashing now!
TIM: OW! Hit the one in the middle! Better still ... do some shadow boxing first!
Bill turns his attention to the wall where he sees his shadow, leaving Tim and Graeme dazed and pained on the floor under the punch ball (which is now wearing the Trainer sweater alone).
BILL: Shadow boxing? Good idea ...!
Bill is startled as his shadow runs away from him along the wall.
BILL: HEY! I must be good! My shadow's scared stiff! He's run off! Now what do I do?
Graeme produces a can of black spray paint and begins squirting Tim in the face while Bill runs around throwing punches to the air (even a mouse is running for cover at this point!).
GRAEME: Make you another 'shadow' with this aerosol paint, that's what!
Painted black, Tim is wearing boxing gloves but is hardly any match for Bill's enthusiastic punches.
Bill continues to pummel poor Tim (who's being knocked right out of his shoes!) as Graeme heads for the door.
GRAEME: You're getting better. But you need real ring training now! I'll go and find you a SPARRING PARTNER!
SOON ... THE GOODIE CAME UP WITH THE GOODS ...
Graeme returns to the gym (which now has a boxing ring in the middle) leading a rather ratty- looking kangaroo wearing boxing gloves (it also has a patch on his fur and a zip on its pouch). Bill looks somewhat unsure and surprised. Tim is knocked out on the floor (only his feet are visible in the panel).
GRAEME: Look, champ! I've got you a sparring partner! Borrowed him from the local circus!
Bill and the kangaroo get into the boxing ring as Graeme and Tim (still black) watch from below.
BILL: An Aussie! Put 'em up, cobber!
Bill gets in one good punch and the kangaroo holds its nose in pain.
BILL: HEY! I got him with a left hook! I'm the greatest!
KANGAROO'S THOUGHT BALLOON: Stone the flymin' crows that hurt, sport!
A baby kangaroo pops out of the pouch and nails Bill with a gloved punch to the stomach.
KANGAROO'S THOUGHT BALLOON: Phew! Good on yer, son!
Tim and Graeme push Bill into the massage room (ominously labeled on the door with a skull and crossbones ... and it's best not to think about what the surgical-looking tools are doing on a nearby table).
GRAEME: That was a lucky punch . . . get on to the table I'll give you a massage!
Bill lays on his stomach on the massage table as Graeme begins pummeling his back (even the legs of the massage table are buckling under the abuse).
GRAEME: I'll soon knock you into shape! Then you'll be ready for the big time champ!
BILL: OOOOOH! AAAAGH! EEEEE!
Suddenly a promoter in a loud suit and derby hat rushes in to the room waving a contract and a pen.
PROMOTER: He's ready now! Sign this contract! You've got a great future!
BILL: I've made it! When's my first appearance in the ring!
CAME THE NIGHT ...
At the boxing arena a man is making an introduction to a large crowd. We see The Goodies in the ring with screaming fans in the seats all around. Tim is playing some exercise springs like a bass, Bill is laying on the massage table and clashing cymbals in his hands while kicking at a drumkit with his feet, and Graeme is playing Bill's back with his massage chops.
TIM: That chap wasn't a boxing promoter . . . he was a pop festival organiser! Now we're a pop group not a 'BOP' group!
BILL: OOH! OOH! OOH!
FAN IN CROWD: Grab that great new sound!
Sign-Off Line: YOU CAN BE SURE THE GOODIES WILL BOX CLEVER AGAIN NEXT WEEK!
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
III - Goody Goody Yum Yum.
This episode has some interesting artwork (very unlike any of the other strips in the series, as Bill's hair is drawn notably lighter than usual) and some cute ideas but suffers from a slightly weak plot and less than stellar dialogue that would be under par for the series (not to mention a bit of poor punctuation!). It's never quite clear where they are training, although one must assume it is an actual gym since a boxing ring is present. It would make sense if they converted their offices into a gym, but this doesn't seem to be the case. Their motivation for undertaking Bill's boxing training is a bit unclear, as no mention of potential financial gain is ever introduced.
But these are minor points . . . on the whole the story flows nicely and some cute boxing gags are utilized. The Goodies had touched upon the world of boxing (via ballroom dancing) some two years earlier to better effect, of course, but this venture into the world of pugilism was undoubtedly less painful for them, at least.