Friday, 22 June 2012

Terry Fuckwitt

Terry Fuckwitt is a character in the British comic Viz.

He is understatedly captioned as "the unintelligent cartoon character". He is a brainless, notionless, mindless imbecile who mistakes gas bills for exam results and his neighbor for his mother. Terry looks the part as well: he is cross-eyed and has wild black hair sticking up ludicriously from his misshapen head in a style which appears to be dreadlocks. He also wears platform shoes, for no discernible reason. He is quite foul-mouthed and when he realizes that he has just done something stupid he will declare "Fuck me, I've got shit for brains, me." His frequent appraisals of his lack of intelligence are Terry's only correct statements.

He lives in suburban ignorance with his family, none of whom have any distinctive characteristics of their own: every story revolves around the ludicrous situations, scrapes and decisions involving the eponymous protagonist and the way those involved deal with him, usually in comedically violent slapstick. Terry's parents are always annoyed at their son's stupidity and often make unsuccessful attempts to get rid of him, such as by shoving him in a sack and throwing him into a river (which failed nonetheless). One strip shows Terry's frustrated father kicking him in the groin, even after Terry consents to do what is required of him. His father's violent contempt for him continues: when Terry somehow shrinks himself, he stomps him to death. A more recent strip shows Terry having a vase smashed on his head.

Terry is unable to make a sensible decision. When he was once asked by God to carry out a small favor in return for tonnes of gold and a place in heaven, and at the same time asked by Satan if he wanted to sell his soul for "a dried up piece of dog shit instead," Terry spent a few moments scratching his head before opting for the latter choice. Only after being tortured for four hundred billion years by demons in Hell did Terry conclude that he might have been better off making the other choice. Another strip featured him being asked if he murdered someone, to which he proudly declares Yes! (and regrets his mistake 10 years later).

The most stupid thing Terry ever did was to forget to turn up for his own comic strip. He appeared in the last frame asking if he was too late.

Most of the humor derives from outrageous and surreal misunderstandings. For example, at a day at the beach, Terry is told by his dad to go and find a suitable area for sunbathing. In the next frame, we see Terry standing near a small sandy hill and telling his father that he has found one. Terry's dad congratulates him on finding an isolated spot, but then points out the slight flaw in Terry's plan, namely that his proposed sunbathing spot is not on the beach but instead on the planet Pluto.

Often the first frame of every Terry Fuckwitt cartoon would have Terry cheerily greeting the readers saying he is off doing some activity (e.g., milking), only for the second frame to pan out showing that he is in totally the wrong place. For example, Terry is getting married, but it is revealed that he is not in a church, but in a nuclear power plant, and that his bride is a rod of uranium.

Such surrealness sometimes extends to the story development itself. Terry once went camping, only to be chastised by a farmer who "owned" the land, who was in turn chastised by a shop manager. Walking away, the farmer, calling himself a "fuckwit," realises his mistake – it is his land! The next frame features Terry's dad angrily storming out the back door of his house.

Perhaps the most bizarre example is when Terry was informed that he wasn't really Terry Fuckwitt at all, but rather Billy the Fish in disguise as Terry, which then segued into Billy's own strip.

The strip, like many others in the comic, often derives its humor from topical events. In early 2005, Terry was entered into the "Biggest Fuckwitt in the Country" contest after volunteering to be repeatedly hit in the crotch with a cricket bat and kicked in the head with a diving shoe non-stop for an hour. He only managed second place however, being beaten by Prince Harry's wearing of a Nazi uniform.

Terry Fuckwitt. Mind that dog shit, Terry! And that one. And that one.

Due to the dubious surname of the character, the comic never puts it in its entirety on the front page, even though it habitually advertises each featured character thereon per issue. However, in the January 2007 issue, his name, via spoonerism, is changed to 'Ferry Tuckwitt' on the front page to work its way around the swearing (using the same effect with 'Boilt Spastard' for Spoilt Bastard); ironically, Terry did not actually appear in the issue.

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