Comics – The Governor’s Gig

Writer: Frank Doyle*
Pencils: Stan Goldberg*
Inks: Stan Goldberg*
Colors: Barry Grossman*
Letters: Bill Yoshida*
Original Publication: Archie at Riverdale High, No. 90
Cover Date: February, 1983
Length: 11 pages

*I don’t have the original issue and am reviewing this story from the PEP Digital #45: The Best of Cheryl Blossom e-book (where it appears as a flashback within the 1996 story, “Don’t Rain on My Parade!”, from Cheryl Blossom Special, No. 4, which is one of the few issues of any Cheryl Blossom series for which there’s no digital edition). The story might originally be uncredited. The credits come from Grand Comics Database and may or may not be accurate.

Jason and Cheryl are in Jason’s sports car. Jason notices the Archies’ van parked outside a place called Star Rehearsal Hall and makes fun of them. Cheryl calls them “semi-literates”. Archie comes out with his gear. Jason insults him. Jughead comes out and gets in a sharp comeback. Jason continues insulting Archie.

Betty loads gear in the van and gets in a not-so-sharp comeback. Cheryl wants to leave. Jughead gets in a joke. Jason tears off. Betty, Jughead, and Archie breathe in his exhaust and cough. Archie seems to indicate Pembrooke Academy is relatively new.

As they arrive at Pembrooke Academy, Jason bashes “townies”, but Cheryl admits some of them are sort of cute in a low-class way.

They pass by a room, and Jason asks a guy named Birdie Birdwell how his new job heading up the entertainment committee is going. He says “Jolly fine, Jason!” He’s British, I’m guessing.

He has “a line” on a “smashing group” for their next dance. Cheryl’s excited. Jason asks for their name. Birdie reveals it’s the Archies, which makes Jason flip his shit. He tries to dissuade Birdie, but Birdie knows all about his personal gripe. It seems the Archies are popular with the rest of the Pembrooke crowd. After more nagging from Jason, Birdie leaves.

Jason and Cheryl leave the room. Jason keeps complaining. Cheryl gets in a hilarious dry zinger (which I won’t spoil). Then Jason realizes Birdie didn’t say he hired them yet, so Jason wants to stop it. Cheryl’s for it, and they have a bit of playful banter.

Archie, Veronica, Reggie, and Betty are just hanging out at Archie’s house, “all set for a gig” but lacking one. Jason calls, pretending to be “the governor’s aide” at “the state capital”. He invites the Archies to play the governor’s ball on Saturday night. Archie accepts, somehow not recognizing Jason’s voice nor questioning or verifying any of this. Ronnie thinks it’s a wrong number. Reggie wonders who recommended them. After Jason hangs up, he and Cheryl yuck it up. Oh, and it “doesn’t pay to incur the wrath of Jason Blossom”. Wrath? All that they did was insult him after he insulted them.

Jason continues to laugh over it. Cheryl hopes Betty and Veronica will think less of Archie after this. Birdie walks by, ready to call the Archies and hire them for the dance. Jason, unable to contain his laughter, encourages it. Cheryl says they’ll enjoy them. Birdie is confused.

On Friday night (I guess), the band’s packing their van for an overnight trip. Jughead exposits they’re 200 miles from “the state capital” and never went that far for a gig before. Assuming Riverdale is supposed to be in the Northeast (which most fans usually believe it is), this one sentence eliminates Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont. That leaves Maine, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. There are plenty of hints in the comics that Riverdale is in New York, and Riverdale has even gotten in on it by name-dropping Rockland County.

Anyway, Ronnie says this gig could make their reputation, and Betty says they might even be on television. OMG, television! An audience of people sitting at home and watching you perform! How awesome is that?! Yeah, this story is so ’80s.

Jason and Cheryl are sitting in Jason’s sports car, watching them leave. Somehow, they were unnoticed. They laugh. Cheryl guesses the band will guess Jason set them up. Jason hopes they do. Jason guesses they might pay for food and lodging, if they don’t “sack out” in the van. There’s probably gonna be at least two full fill-ups of gas, too. Cheryl calls them “pretentious peasants”.

On the road, Archie admits to Ronnie that he’s nervous “but not scared”. He says they’re good.

On Saturday, at the “capitol”, someone informs the governor that they have no music for the ball tonight. The leader of the high society group that they hired was too much of a snob for his men, and they all quit. That’s pretty funny. With the ball only hours away, the governor is upset. The guy that gave him the news offers to play the harmonica.

Miss Brown (some assistant, I guess) arrives to inform them of the Archies’ arrival. The governor goes out to the Archies (who are waiting outside his office) and asks them to play. They take ten minutes to set up and then play. The governor’s impressed, claiming they saved his life. The guy shows them to the ballroom, and they follow, not taking their gear.

At Pembrooke’s party, Birdie tells Jason and Cheryl that he found out why he couldn’t get hold of the Archies. He takes them to a TV and shows them the Archies playing the governor’s ball. Jason is shocked, and so is Cheryl. Birdie says they’ll be in “so much demand” after this. Cheryl is upset at Jason, who’s upset with himself.

This story was pretty funny – if a bit too contrived.

Author: markmooreauthor

I love watching anime and superhero movies, and I love playing video games. I also write fan fiction and original fiction.

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