Writer: Dan Parent
Pencils: Dan Parent
Inking: Jon D’Agostino
Lettering: Bill Yoshida
Coloring: Barry Grossman
Original Publication: Cheryl Blossom, No. 4
Cover Date: August, 1997
Length: 11 pages
Although I have the original issue, I’m reviewing this story from the digital edition.
Cheryl is driving her sports car and is stuck in rush hour traffic. She’s going crazy, both from the traffic and from the traffic reports on the radio stating the obvious. She switches stations and comes across a knockoff of Howard Stern. She hates him but decides to listen to his show out of curiosity.
He says a bunch of misogynistic stuff, shocking her and pissing her off. His guest is a knockoff of Pamela Anderson, who Cheryl loves. Cheryl gets pissed again when he asks her why she’s not wearing a bikini. Amusingly, she says “I’m an actress, not a Baywatch model!” He talks shit about her. Cheryl picks up her car phone (which really just looks like a cell phone), calls the station, and demands to speak to the asshole. Sensing something “good” will come of this, the guy working the switchboard puts her through.
Cheryl lets the asshole have it – and also sticks up for the Pamela knockoff. He plays his behavior off as “teasing”. Somehow, he knows she’s calling from a car phone. She lets him know who she is, but he doesn’t give a shit and hangs up, which pisses her off. She calls up again.
He honks a horn into his microphone, which scares her. Pissed, she parks her car and runs in high heels to the station, which, um, well, you’re a trooper, Cheryl. Actually, the station is identified as WCAX, which is presented in this story as a talk radio station. Anyway, Cheryl intends to “seek revenge”.
Cheryl enters the station, blows past everyone, and enters the recording studio. The Stern knockoff guesses who she is.
Cheryl demands he treat female celebrities with respect. He calls her “kinda cute”. She detects a wig and pulls it off his head. She laughs about it. He says no one can see. She pulls her camera (which I guess she just carries around with her) out of her purse, takes a picture of him, and runs away. He demands someone get her. He chases her through the building. The Pamela knockoff thinks Cheryl will escape. By the way, it’s interesting that, after playing a “tool girl” in the previous story, Cheryl now meets the original tool girl. Also, there’s a black female cohost, who is completely made up for this story.
The listeners love Cheryl and flood the station’s switchboard.
Soon, back at home (I guess traffic was no longer a problem), Cheryl gets a call from the station, offering her her own radio show. She takes, like, one second to think about it and then enthusiastically agrees. Penelope comes by to ask her something.
We don’t find out what that is, though. However, a caption lets us know Cheryl’s parents agree to let their daughter give it a try.
Unfortunately, Cheryl is oblivious to a heartbroken, lonely caller’s economic situation and suggests a tropical vacation – and getting a higher-paying job.
Then a guy named “Jake” calls, but it’s just Jason pulling a prank by belching. He plans to inundate her with calls.
Somehow not recognizing her own brother’s voice, Jason pranks Cheryl again, honking a horn into the phone. The Stern knockoff, listening in, loves it. Cheryl is upset that Roth, the guy operating the switchboard, isn’t doing a good job screening the calls. Roth apologizes and says Jason is “so convincing”. Cheryl screens the next call, which is supposedly from Jane, a retired schoolteacher with a problem. Believing it’s Jason again, Cheryl takes the call and puts “Jane” on the air.
“Jane” is very lonely and asks for advice on how to meet new people. Cheryl calls her a loser, tells her to stop whining and feeling sorry for herself, and honks a horn into her microphone. She also calls the woman (who’s a real caller) “Jason”. When Roth informs her that it was a real caller, Cheryl’s worried. He informs her that the switchboard is suddenly flooded with negative phone calls. Rather than take responsibility and offer an on-air apology, Cheryl leaves, because she can’t handle this.
Cheryl runs past the mob outside the station, who chant “Down with Cheryl!” Keep in mind that it’s been less than a minute since the call ended.
Later (probably on another day, since Cheryl’s wearing different clothes), Cheryl sees an exclusive interview on a knockoff of A Current Affair, which was off the air at the time, with the “old lady” that she’d honked. Cheryl calls Mr. Reynolds, one of her producers, to resign. He informs her that they’ve already replaced her with a “new media darling”. Cheryl slams the phone down in anger. She informs Jason and blames him. Jason tunes into the station to find out who she’s replaced with. It’s Jane, hosting her new show, Radio Chat With Jane. Also, to add insult to injury (even though the listeners can’t see it), Jane’s granny sweater is covered with blossoms.
This story was myopic. A lot more could have been done with Cheryl hosting her own radio show. This deserved to be an issue-length story. As it is, it’s rushed. Also, if Cheryl had just apologized and explained why she’d acted as she had (and it’s not like there’s a lack of on-air evidence that she was being pranked), then she’d still have a job. But she seems to not be able to handle any amount of conflict.
A “Cheryl’s on the Air!” fashion page sits between the two parts of this story. A 2-page “Dear Cheryl” letters column by Sara Algase follows the story.
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