Comics – Cheryl in the Morning

Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 5
Cover Date: September, 1997
Length: 11 pages

Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.

At home, Cheryl is watching a knockoff of Live with Regis and Kathie Lee and complaining about how the female cohost is “so self-absorbed”. Jason points out the obvious. Clifford says she won’t be hosting the show much longer. Cheryl is surprised.

Clifford has a friend that manages the show. He tells Cheryl that the Kathie Lee knockoff is getting released from her contract. Cheryl loves receiving “inside Hollywood gossip”. Jason asks Clifford for the reason. Clifford explains she’s involved in a land scandal: she bought an entire town in the middle of nowhere and had it leveled just to build a superstore. He looks way too happy when he explains this. Cheryl correctly remembers the woman owns that particular chain. Clifford explains she tried to hide her name from the scandal, but it leaked out.

The woman is then fired on live TV, much to her cohost’s – and the audience’s – delight. Clifford says they’re going to have to search for a new cohost. Cheryl gets stars in her eyes.

Cheryl shows up at the tryouts at a beach (presumably Pembrooke Beach), which is packed. She learns from a sign that the show is filming at Pembrooke Beach all next month (actually, the sign says “tape”, which is much more realistic; it’s Cheryl that says “filming”). Cheryl sees horny females mobbing the Regis knockoff, He starts to fall off the platform. Cheryl rushes to save him…

…but refuses to pull him up until he gives her the cohost job. Otherwise, she’ll drop him into the “mob of crazed housewives”. He agrees. Cheryl pulls a microphone out of her ass and has him loudly proclaim his decision. She then pulls him up. The other females are upset.

On another day, Cheryl shows up at Pembrooke Beach to check out the set. Apparently, this is only a tryout for the next couple of weeks. Cheryl’s name is in the show’s title, but she gets second billing.

Cheryl is full of herself. The Regis knockoff says this is crazy, but the director points out that there are lots of photos in the tabloids of Cheryl saving him and says this is great press. He also brings up her reputation as a “publicity maker” and her looks. Cheryl has had a new sign made for the show, giving herself first billing.

On the first day of taping (they don’t use Cheryl’s sign), the Regis knockoff introduces Cheryl, who walks onto the set. A female audience member complains Cheryl isn’t “wholesome” like the previous cohost. If she’s shaming Cheryl for her outfit (which is likely), she can fuck right off. The Regis knockoff introduces their first guest, a Jenny McCarthy knockoff, who he calls a “sex symbol”. She walks onto the stage. Cheryl isn’t pleased.

The Regis knockoff compliments her appearance “on behalf of male America”. Creep. Cheryl says she looks “much older” up close, pissing her off. The Regis knockoff tells Cheryl that he’ll handle this.

While he does the interview, Cheryl parades around the stage in a skimpy bikini to get attention, pissing off the Jenny knockoff. The camera operators, being men, focus on Cheryl, angering other members of the crew.

Soon, the Regis knockoff introduces their next guest, an animal expert named Charles Fowl (ha). He’s brought lizards and snakes and holds a snake in his hands. Cheryl screams, but he warns her against it, saying she’ll startle them. It’s their sliminess that she doesn’t like. Somehow, the snake gets on her and curls around her. Cheryl tells Charles to get it off her, but he just tells her that she’s scaring the owl, Owlie. Owlie then perches on her head. The audience loves it. One member calls Cheryl “the funniest thing since Lucy“. One of the female crew members, who had previously criticized Cheryl’s behavior, is now gleeful that the phones are ringing off the hook from a loving home audience.

Soon, the Regis knockoff introduces their last guest, a Martha Stewart knockoff. For some reason, Martha has blue hair. She says they’re going to cook a quiche. An eager Cheryl lights the oven. Martha tries to stop her, saying the gas has been on “far too long”. Why has the gas been on at all? And how was Martha planning on cooking anything? Anyway, an explosion occurs. Martha starts strangling Cheryl for ruining her segment, vowing she’ll “pay” for this. Cheryl says Martha’s gone fucking cuckoo. A fight ensues, though it’s unclear who starts it. The audience loves it, and one female member says it’s “better than WrestleMania“.

Soon, the director looks at the ratings (which are up) and says Cheryl’s a hit. The female crew member from earlier says it’s too bad that they have to let her go. Their biggest sponsor is dropping them, if they don’t drop Cheryl. The sponsor claims the show is bad for their image. The director is upset, because the ratings are skyrocketing.

Soon, back home, Jason laughs about Cheryl’s firing to her. Cheryl says some “big corporate stiff” didn’t like her. Clifford claims responsibility, shocking her. Cheryl asks him why she was bad for her company’s image. Clifford says not his company; she was bad for their family image. Jason agrees and continues laughing. Cheryl angrily tells him to shut the fuck up.

This story was bullshit. Sure, some of it was on Cheryl: forcing her way onto the show and trying to get attention by wearing a bikini. But the rest of it was very clearly not her fault. Animals attacked her, and she received no help. She tried to be helpful by lighting an oven for their celebrity guest, not knowing the gas had already been on for a long time. The guest then tried to murder her. And then her own father sabotaged her chance at stardom. Poor girl can’t catch a break.

A “Leading Lady Fashion” Cheryl fashion page sits between the two parts of this story. A 1-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column by Sara Algase follows the story.

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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