The Bash Street Kids

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The Bash Street Kids (or also known as The Bash St. Kids) is an ongoing comic strip featuring in the British comic The Beano. The strip was created by Leo Baxendale under the title When the Bell Rings, and first appeared in The Beano in issue 604, dated 13 February 1954. It became The Bash Street Kids in 1956 and since then, it has become a regular in the comic, featuring in every issue.

Like many long-running UK comic strips, The Bash Street Kids is anachronistically frozen in the era in which it began. It portrays Class 2B of Bash Street School, Beanotown, where the teacher and headmaster still wear mortar boards and gowns and pupils sit at wooden desks with inkwells. They are taught by a stereotypical teacher, who is known as Teacher (his wife is called Mrs Teacher). The characters were inspired by the view from the D. C. Thomson & Co. office windows, overlooking the playground at the High School of Dundee. Leo Baxendale remarks: "In fact, the catalyst for my creation of Bash Street was a Giles cartoon of January 1953: kids pouring out of school, heads flying off and sundry mayhems. Straight away, I pencilled a drawing of 'The Kids of Bash Street School' and posted it from my home in Preston to R. D. Low, the managing editor of D.C. Thomson's children's publications in Dundee. I received an offhand response, a dampener. It was only after I'd created Little Plum (April 1953) and Minnie the Minx (September 1953) that the Beano editor George Moonie travelled to Preston on 20 October 1953 and asked me to go ahead with Bash Street (he gave it the provisional title of 'When The Bell Goes'; when it appeared in The Beano in February 1954, it was titled 'When The Bell Rings')."

Characters in the strip

The strip centres around Class 2B, which contains ten pupils:

  • Danny - The leader, with the soul of a pirate. Wears a skull and crossbones sweater which his grandma knitted for him and a floppy red school cap, which indicates his rebellious nature. He is quite crafty, with a unique intelligence. He was appointed leader very early on in the strip, after he gave each kid a wine gum. He is one of the central characters in The Beano Interactive DVD alongside Dennis, Gnasher, Minnie the Minx and Roger the Dodger. His real name has been revealed in The Wizard to be Daniel Deathshead Morgan. Singled Out has called him 'Deathshead' in the title header recently.
  • 'Erbert - A short-sighted boy who struggles to see, even with his spectacles. The rest of the class (excluding Cuthbert) have great fun swapping his thick-rimmed spectacles for others in the class and watching the resultant mayhem. 'Erbert (form of Herbert) is sometimes considered to be the 'least' mischievous student and, in one strip, he was sent to the Posh Street school, because he was thought to be better suited there - but the other students saw him as still one of the Bash Street gang and bullied him, so the Bash Street kids took them out and got him back to his rightful school.
  • Fatty - A fat boy who can never stop eating. Being called Fatty does not bother him - in fact, he likes it. It is only in the later strips that Fatty has been made fun of for his weight, to which he usually just reacts in trying to prove the others wrong.
  • Plug - A hideously ugly pupil who uses his face defensively; he is so ugly that when he pulls a face, he becomes handsome. He has an impish sense of humour. His name derives from the term plug-ugly. He later appeared in his own comic, called simply Plug (1977-1979), which starred him and his two pets, Pug from Pup Parade and Chunkee the Monkey. This strip was later incorporated into The Beezer comic. In the longer Bash Street Kids Adventures stories, Plug is softer than the other Bash Street Kids in being the only one with a girlfriend (in Pluggy Love, in the 2008 Beano Annual). His name used to be Pug: the L, according to The Beano, was added when Smiffy had a spare one after spelling the word "sily". Plug's "real name" was first revealed as "Percival Proudfoot Plugsey" on the cover of Plug, though earlier issues of The Beano give him the name Claude. Plug briefly inherited Smiffy's naive comic attribute in comic libraries such as 'The Time Machine' and 'Darkest Africa'. In the Beano issue No. 3438 (28 June 2008) however, in Singled Out, he was addressed by his full name by Teacher.

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