Drawn by Brian Platt
87 appearances (over 174 pages) from issue no. 1 (18/01/75) to no. 87 (11/09/76).
All were printed in black and white.
What does it say on the tin (or in that rhyming couplet at the top of the first page)?
“Honourable fun with number one son! ”
The strip was almost certainly inspired by the US TV series Kung Fu. Young Foo is of Chinese extraction and has been sent to Gorsedale, an English boarding school, by his father. After introducing himself to the Headmaster, he is shown to his dormitory by ‘Basher’ McConkey (the school bully), who takes offence at being called “O Bashed One ” and makes an attempt to punch Young Foo. But Young Foo is well practised in the martial art of Kung Fu and is more than a match for Basher. The tussles between these two formed most of the plots for the strip.
Basher’s first name is revealed to be ‘Cecil’ by Basher’s father at Gorsedale’s Parents’ day, in issue no. 46.
Professor Franz Furter, the science master, appeared in issue nos. 13, 28, 41, 49, 52, 59, 60, 67, 68, 77, 79, 82, and 84 (and looks incredibly like Professor Phumble, who appeared in no. 7). Other staff members named were Mr Brushup (the art master, no. 11), Reg Varnish (the woodwork teacher, no. 37), Dr Phlab (the school doctor, no. 40), and Miss Finem (the school librarian, no.47).
Only one other Gorsedale pupil was named – Bertrand Bigmouth Junior. After his arrival at the school in issue no. 8, he also appeared in nos. 24 and 80 (where the ‘Junior’ bit was dropped).
Young Foo was one of seven strips to transfer to BEEZER AND CRACKER when the two comics merged. The other six were Billy The Kid and Pongo, Iron Hand, Jest A Minute, Joe Soap, Little 'Orror and Scrapper.
Sammy appeared at the bottom of the second page in all but issue nos. 12, 27 (where Young Foo himself appeared), 63, 85, and 86. In issue nos. 14 and 23 it was to solicit jokes (a non-Sammy solicitation for “Chinese Chuckles ” had appeared in no. 12), and in no. 87 it was to announce that Young Foo would be appearing in BEEZER AND CRACKER the following week. The rest of the time it was to tell a joke (the same joke in issue nos. 38 and 65, nos. 51 and 77, and nos. 57 and 84). Up to issue no. 47 the jokes were ‘Chinese’ themed (though towards the end somewhat tenuously, i.e. references to “yellow ”, e.g. “What’s yellow and stupid? Thick custard! ” or “What leaves yellow footprints in the sand? A lemon sole! ”). Sammy would ‘tell’ the jokes while using his fingers to make his eyes slanted and ‘announce’ “Velly funny, eh? ” Nine of the jokes, in issue nos. 13 (only a week after the first solicitation), 15, 16, 22, 24, 25, 34, 37, and 40, were credited to readers, who won a pound for their effort. I’m sure the Duke of Edinburgh enjoyed them.