A Sausage or a Can of Beer? The Goodies in Comics

« Slap him up and down upon the floor
Tickle his feet and hear him giggle
Then unzip him down the middle
Give that gibbon what he’s hollerin’ for! » — Stuff That Gibbon (words and music by Bill Oddie)

Back in the late 1970s, before I had even heard of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, nor even of Benny Hill, for that matter… I discovered The Goodies, thanks to the CBC’s belated programming of their exploits*. While The Goodies do share a *lot* of DNA with the Monty Python gang (they were school chums, close friends, collaborators and friendly competitors practically all along the way), this trio’s comedic format veers sharply away from the Pythons’ methods: Graeme, Bill and Tim play ‘amplified’ versions of themselves, and use the skit format sparingly, reserving it for mid-show intermission ‘blackouts‘.

While the trio was formed in 1970, it only made its comic strip début (and bow) in 1973**, where they held a weekly feature in the pages of Cor!!, also making an appearance in the magazine’s 1974 annual and The Goodies Annual, the whole lot hitting kiosks in ’73.

« Apparently licensed for just the one year, The Goodies were unique in the fact they were the only adapted characters featured with the comic’s pages with copyright credit being given to Bill Oddie, Tim Brooke Taylor (sans hyphen) and Graeme Garden. According to Robert Ross’ book The Complete Goodies, the strips were all authorised and approved by The Goodies prior to publication and Tim still displays an original Cor!! strip in his study. »

Scans (and detailed synopses!) of The Goodies’ Cor!! shenanigans are helpfully provided by their fan site, goodiesruleok.com.

And now, some introductions from the aforementioned The Goodies Annual 1974 (the only one of its kind, poor thing):

GoodiesGraemeA
The Goodies’ brainbox, Graeme Garden, born in Aberdeen, Scotland, on Feb. 18, 1943. « He lists his hobbies as painting, drawing, playing the guitar and banjo, apologising for playing the guitar and banjo, trying not to travel in cars and, of course, being a Goodie. »
GoodiesBillA
The Goodies’ resident singer-songwriter and ornithologist, Bill Oddie, born in Rochdale, Lancashire, on July 7, 1941.
GoodiesTimA
« Tim Brooke-Taylor was born very suddenly in Buxton on July 17th, 1940, among those dark, satanic hills of Derbyshire. » I like the sound of that… very Luke Haines. He was The Goodies’ conservative type, and the one who greatly relishes essaying the cross-dressing roles. And he was, after all, the fair one without any of that pesky, telltale facial hair.

GoodiesReunion01AGoodiesReunion02AGoodiesReunion03AGoodiesReunion04AGoodiesReunion05A

GoodiesReunion06A
Among other, er, goodies, the annual contains a whopping 33 pages of comics. However, as it was fairly typical for UK comics of the period, no creator credits appear anywhere.
GoodiesAnnual74A
« The comic strips form a large part of the official Goodies Annual, although “none of us had anything to do with the design or stories”, explains Graeme, “but we were very happy with the results.” »

Goodies, Goodies

Take a little good advice, try a trip to paradise
It’s not hard to find, you’ve got it on your mind
Can’t pretend it wouldn’t be nice
It’s whatever turns you on, Goodies

A circus or a seaside pier, a sausage or a can of beer
A stripper or a clown, prices going down
You can make it happen here
Fun for all the family, Goodies

Goodies, goody goody yum yum
Goodies, goody goody yum yum
Goodies, goody goody yum yum

Goodies are coming for you and you and you and you
It’s anything you want it to be, a record or an OBE
A four minute mile, a policeman with a smile
I know you won’t believe what you see.

(The first Goodies Theme; words and music by Bill Oddie.)

-RG

*« In Canada, the series was shown in on the CBC national broadcast network during the late 1970s and early 1980s, in the traditional “after school” time slot, later a Friday night 10 pm slot, and occasionally in a midnight slot. Several episodes were also shown on the CTV Television Network. In the mid-1970s it was shown on TVOntario on Saturday evenings, repeated on Thursday evenings, until being replaced by Doctor Who in 1976. » [ source ]

**I hear they’ve turned up in The Beano, circa 1994.

6 thoughts on “A Sausage or a Can of Beer? The Goodies in Comics

  1. tref December 6, 2019 / 18:12

    Back in San Francisco, after Monty Python ended my father would get up from the couch and leave the room. He had no patience for the Goodies. I enjoyed the show, though it was closer in tone to the Monkees than Python. That said, we both enjoyed their film, The Goodies and the Beanstalk. They produced a book that was pretty funny, too. Alas, never heard of the comic book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gasp65 December 6, 2019 / 22:14

      Hi George! My dad wouldn’t have stood for The Goodies, but then he wouldn’t have sat still for the Pythons either. Your point about the Monkees is an excellent one; both troupes are playing “amplified” versions of themselves, and mostly eschew the skit format. Thank goodness the Goodies didn’t fizzle out the way the Monkees did (imho) in their second season. Goodies-wise, I’m on series 6 currently, and they’re still terrific. It’s easy to be snobbish about it, but man, physical humour is *hard*. Besides, if it’s good enough for Jacques Tati…

      Don’t feel bad for never having heard of the comic book: I only discovered it this year, investigating after a passing mention somewhere. I might have found out about it earlier, but then Nigel, the insufficiently-hip English kid who moved down the block when I was fifteen or so, only brought issues of Battle Action and Look-In (I recall some Worzel Gummidge strips). My earliest exposure to UK comics; I was not impressed.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Matt Brunson December 9, 2019 / 01:45

    Wow, talk about a blast from the past! My entire childhood was spent growing up overseas (Argentina, Portugal and Kenya), and, during the stretch in Portugal (1974-1982), THE GOODIES was one of the earliest imported shows I remember seeing. As a wee lad, I quite enjoyed it, and, even all these decades later, I have never forgotten the “Goodies, goody goody yum yum” portion of the theme song. So cool that there was a comic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gasp65 December 17, 2019 / 23:24

    So, Matt– hope it’s not prying… your dad was an engineer? a diplomat? Sounds like a healthy, colourful childhood. “Les voyages forment la jeunesse”, and all that. And yes, once it gets its hooks in you, that theme song is altogether ineradicable.

    Like

    • Matt Brunson January 3, 2020 / 03:14

      So, so sorry for the late reply! (Alas, I never get notifications when someone replies on another page.) I often tell people that my dad was a global drug runner, but he actually was a plant manager for Firestone’s international division. I love that I grew up overseas, although, in the early years, I lamented that all the kids stateside were luckier because they got to spend all day eating Hostess Twinkies while watching THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN. 🙂

      P.S. Happy New Year!

      Like

      • gasp65 January 9, 2020 / 12:28

        I’m sure you eventually got over your disappointment after catching an episode of T6MDM and tasting a Twinkie, right? I prefer Hostess’ Fruit Pies (apple only), but certainly don’t consider them *actual* food. A great 2020 to you as well, Matt!

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s