GOODIES COR COMICS SYNOPSIS #25
(by Linda Kay)
(from C&G 97 – January 2004)
23 June, 1973 No. 48
From Buster Keaton to Abbot and Costello and even up to and including Eddie Murphy's most recent film for Disney, the haunted house comedy is a staple. The Goodies themselves touched upon the haunted house theme, albeit in their own unique style, in their first season episode "Cecily." It was only logical that the Cor!! comic artists would want to have a bash at their own comedy scare-fest, and they certainly tip their hats to the cliches of that genre in the Cor!! comic we'll review in this issue.
Header: THE GOODIES AREN'T "FRIGHT-FULLY" KEEN ON INVESTIGATING A HAUNTING!
The Goodies are doing their laundry (using their tap, a bucket and a package of Wiz, which claims it "Washes pale black") when a country gentleman named Earl E. Bird comes racing into their office looking panicked. The Goodies jump in fright at the man's appearance and request, Bill jumping into Graeme's arms and Tim's tie standing straight up (presumably not from over-starching!).
EARL E. BIRD: My country h-house is h-haunted ... and I want you Goodies to lay the ghost!
BILL: *G-GUG-GHOST? H-E-L-P!*
The Goodies are next seen pedalling their trandem toward a large country estate with a sign out front which reads "Earl E. Bird's Stately Pad." Tim looks nervous and Bill is positively shaking on his seat. Graeme is relaxed and trying to calm Bill down.
GRAEME: Stop shaking, Bill - just keep telling yourself there are no such things as ... !
As the trandem enters the yard Tim spies a large, ghostly sheet hovering just ahead of them. He is literally scared off the bike, which proceeds without them, while Tim smashes into Graeme and Bill behind him.
TIM: ... *GHOSTS! EEEEEK, THERE ARE!*
All three Goodies huddle together, shaking ... their hair turned white (as an indicating balloon above them points out, "White with fright") as the trandem continues onward, pulling a cover off a large statue of the Earl looking resplendent in his finest garb . . . this is the "ghost" Tim had seen.
TIM: *Phew!* What a relief! It's just a new statue of the Earl waiting to be unveiled!
As the Goodies proceed to the front door of the estate they are met by a very ghastly looking butler (an Egor of sorts), who motions them to step inside. The Goodies look as if they'd rather forget about the assignment, Bill even trying to sneak off while Tim hangs onto the back of his vest to keep him there.
BUTLER: Step inside, if you dare ... the master telephoned me to expect you!
TIM: After you!
GRAEME: B-be my guest!
BILL: N-no, I-I insist!
Once inside the estate the Goodies take off their shoes and begin to tiptoe through the house, passing a suit of armor on display against the wall (of course it is wielding an axe).
TIM: Quietly does it - we want to catch the spooks napping, not the other way round!
They continue tiptoeing while a loud CLANG! CLANG! rings out from behind them.
GRAEME: *Ssh!* I said quiet!
They turn to see the suit of armor has apparently come to life and is coming after them, its axe above its head ready to strike.
GRAEME: *Eek!* We're being followed by a suit of armour!
BILL: *Ooer!* And it's about to cut up rough at that!
The Goodies dive behind a table as the suit of armor brings the axe down, smashing a huge hole in the floor where they had been standing.
TIM: *Phew!* That was the closest shave I've ever had!
The Goodies look down into the hole that has been created to see into the cellar where they spy a magnet hanging from the ceiling beneath the suit of armor. A set of footprints lead to the door out of the cellar.
TIM: Look - the armour must have been drawn along by that magnet, but whoever was holding it has disappeared!
BILL: Then maybe there isn't a gug-ghost after all!
The Goodies turn to go up a staircase and are horrified to see a headless man in period costume standing at the top, his head tucked underneath his arm. They shake in fear, Tim's knees knocking.
BILL: *EEEEK!* I spoke too soon!
TIM: *A h-headless ghost!* I can't *FACE* it!
Graeme calmly leads the others up the stairs walking backwards, which confuses the headless man into running away.
GRAEME: We don't have to - we'll go up the stairs *BACKWARDS*!
At the top of the stairs the Goodies nervously peer into a room which turns out to be a library.
TIM: Did that ghost come in here?
GRAEME: Why should it? It couldn't hold a book, *and* its head as well!
They walk to a large bookcase, standing on a semi-circle carpet as Tim takes a book from the shelf marked "Self Defense by My Kraty."
TIM: Well I'm going to borrow one - this is one subject that's never too late to learn!
Predictably the bookcase swivels around, sweeping the Goodies through a secret panel in the wall.
TIM: Ee - we've *BOOKED* ourselves for a mystery tour!
The Goodies find themselves in a secret room where they spot the butler with two thugs (one peeking out from the headless man's costume, the head sitting on the table with a indicating balloon saying "Stolen From Waxworks"). The men are gloating over a bunch of stolen items from various homes, among them a bag of loot (which includes a brown wrapped package marked "Best Fillet Steak."), candlesticks, jewels, a crown and a box marked "Heirlooms." The Goodies eye the men with contempt.
GRAEME: Well, well ... look *WHO* and *WHAT* we've found!
BUTLER: GULP! It's a fair cop!
THUG IN HEADLESS COSTUME: We've been robbing country houses and hiding here, pretending to be ghosts to keep the old earl away!
The police are herding the crooks into a paddy wagon while the Earl congratulates the Goodies, who are on their trandem and prepared to leave.
COP: You three can haunt a prison cell for a few years!
EARL E. BIRD: Well done, Goodies - it's a relief to learn there are no such things as ghosts!
BUT BACK AT THE OFFICE ...
The Goodies enter their office to find a ghostly figure moving around by their laundry.
BILL: *Eek!* Wrong again - our place is haunted now!
The Goodies beat a hasty retreat (Graeme's glasses left suspended in midair) as a scrub woman lowers the sheet to reveal she was beneath it.
SCRUB WOMAN: *Really* - you'd think I was going to ask them to do their own laundry, but I only wanted some help to fold this big sheet!
Sign-Off Line: Our TV Chuckle Champs Return Next Week!
Additional material from this issue:
The Quick Cor-ments section includes this letter from an enthusiastic reader:
"I think it is a great idea having THE GOODIES in COR!! I am a great fan of theirs and always try to watch them whenever they appear on television." - A. WALLWORTH, SOUTHPORT.
RATING (using the BLACK PUDDING RATING SYSTEM):
IIII - Officially amazing.
Okay, haunted house stories are totally predictable for the most part, but this one has enough good site gags and some fun art to keep the momentum going. As usual there are a number of gags hidden in the background. When the Goodies first approach the manor there's a pair of eyes peering out from the darkness over the shoulder of the butler. A portrait on the wall reacts when the suit of armor smashes a hole in the floor below it. A mouse looks curious as the Goodies peer into the cellar to find the magnet. The library shelf includes several books with gag titles: Boxing by A. Wright-Cross, Cut Your Own Hair by Dan Drough, Haunted Houses by Hugo Ferst, Russian Costumes by Serge Pullova. When the Goodies prepare to leave and the earl is telling them he's relieved there are no such things as ghosts we can see a ghost looking out from an upstairs window of the manor and a pair of eyes in darkness at another window. When the Goodies return to their office there is a small sign hung on the outside of the door which reads "Out Goody-ing." And finally the sheet the scrub woman is folding reads "Army Surplus."
But what's really fun about this comic is the art, plain and simple. There is a lot of action in the scare scenes. The trandem movement is very well done, and the Goodies tiptoeing around the manor with their shoes off is particularly expressive. The story may be cliched, but it's certainly not boring, which makes this comic a particularly good one.