|The first Interval. Art: Frank McDiarmid|
In the final panels of the first Saturday page in issues 1 to 59, Cheeky would be seen entering the cinema (usually leading the charge of kids trampling the long-suffering Commissionaire in the rush to get good seats).
Then there would be a cartoon supporting feature (or, on one occasion, a magic show).
This would be followed by the Interval (of which more later).
After the break, the latest episode of the adventure serial would commence. Over the weeks, a number of features fulfilled the role of the serial;
- Space Family Robinson
- James Bold in Island of Fear
- Archie's Angels
- Sonny Storm
- The Terrible Trail to Taggart's Treasure
Interval was the only Cheeky's Week feature to occur entirely within the structure of the Saturday morning pictures sequence.
|11 February 1978 - a Snail-less Interval|
Art: Unknown Cheeky Artist 1
- Cheeky (natch) who appeared in all 59 Intervals, as did Ursula.
- Snail, who was unaccountably absent for just one Interval - that dated 11 February 1978. Despite his absence during the cinema show, Snail was seen on Cheeky's shoulder in the same issue as he exited the cinema on the post-Interval Saturday page.
- Crunching Chris, whose cacophonous mastication was endured by the audience during 32 film shows.
- Snoozin' Susan, who snored through 20 programmes
|Frank McDiarmid's depictions of Ursula|
became more grotesque as the weeks passed
Some of the more unexpected characters to be seen during the Interval were Manhole Man (who emerged in the cinema via a manhole in the stalls), Knock-Knock Door, Paddywack (whose attendance at the cinema was surprising for the reason explained here) and Scruffbag, the school cat. Pet snails are of course regularly seen in cinemas.
The first Interval set the routine for most of the subsequent appearances of the feature;
Cheeky would deliver a gag to a gang of anonymous fellow cinema-attendees, who would sometimes be looking at the end caption of the preceding cartoon (occasionally using Warner Brothers' famous 'That's all, folks').
The toothy funster would insult Ursula the Usherette while selecting a snack of dubious provenance from her tray. Her responses to Cheeky's weekly ribbing were initially limited to silent fuming or guttural snarls, until she snapped in the 04 March 1978 comic and subjected the toothy funster to a retaliatory tirade that left him reeling. The lumbering lolly lady retained the power of speech in all but one of her subsequent appearances.
Walter Wurx would quite often be seen heading for an urgent appointment to check the cinema's plumbing.
As the adventure film was about to commence, Cheeky would try, and usually fail, to get a seat far from Crunching Chris, the only boy who could eat marshmallows noisily, and sonorous snorer, Snoozin' Susan.
The intervals in the 26 November 1977 and 24 December 1977 issues were the only ones to be introduced by a caption, which read 'During the interval…'.
All the Intervals occupied a full page, with the exception of that which appeared in the 04 February 1979 issue, which covered a half page. The remainder of that page contained a Bam, Splat and Blooie reprint from Buster which, Snail informed readers (by means of a gastropod-type thought bubble), was an extra cartoon before the serial.
In the 20 May 1978 issue, The Muppet Show's Waldorf and Statler were seen sitting in the balcony although, unlike in their TV appearances, they refrained from commenting on the goings-on around them.
In the comic dated 19 August 1978, Cheeky got a glimpse of his life 60 years into the future. It appears that the toothless funster of 60 years hence is still visiting the cinema on Saturdays, but for the Pensioners' Film Show. In an amazing coincidence, the senior citizens are enjoying a 60-year-old episode of Archie's Angels, which just happens to be the serial running in Cheeky Weekly 60 years earlier. In a further, astounding coincidence, the episode being shown this week in 2038 is the same one that Cheeky would have watched had he not been whisked into the future, meaning that the readers of Cheeky Weekly can continue to follow the Archie's Angels story uninterrupted.
Carriageway chaos occurred throughout Cheeky's Week in the comic dated 26 August 1978, as a learner driver terrified the populace of Krazy Town. Even the cinema patrons weren't safe, as the car motored through the interval.
The supporting cartoon was replaced by a special magic show in Cheeky Weekly's first birthday issue dated 21 October 1978.
The final Interval appeared in Cheeky Weekly dated 02 December 1978. In the following week's issue, Cheeky told us "Some of you readers have been wondering what I do on Saturday afternoons, after I've been to the cinema. Today, I'm going to watch our local football team". Thereafter, the Saturday pages depicted the toothy funster's afternoon pursuits. Interval stalwarts Ursula, Crunching Chris and Snoozin' Susan continued to appear in the comic after Interval came to and end.
Interval was an enjoyable part of Cheeky's Week and introduced one of the comic's most memorable characters, Ursula. However, by the late 1970s, attendance at Saturday Morning Pictures must have been in sharp decline due to the increasing number of homes with a TV, and the introduction of Saturday morning children's TV shows. It would seem that feedback from readers indicated the feature should be dropped.
Interval in the Cheeky Weekly Index
|Feature||First Appearance||Final Appearance||Total Issues||Total Issues Missed In Run||Page History|
|Feature||Artist||Number of Issues||First Appearance||Final Appearance|
|Interval||Frank McDiarmid pencils||18||12-Nov-1977||18-Nov-1978|
|Interval||Unknown Cheeky Artist 1||5||14-Jan-1978||04-Mar-1978|
|Tweety and Sylvester||27|
|Bam Splat and Blooie||5|
|Wile E Coyote||5|
|Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf||2|
|Hey Presto! Magic Show||1|
|Hickory Dickory Doc||1|