Sid the Sexist
|Sid the Sexist|
|First appearance||Issue 9 in October 1982|
Sid the Sexist (real name Sidney Aloysius Smutt) is a character from the British satirical comic Viz, first appearing in issue 9 in October 1982. The strip was created and mostly drawn by Simon Donald until he left the magazine in 2003, when Paul Palmer took over as artist.
According to Donald, "Sid is a man who is unable to communicate with women. He is desperate to impress them, but is totally lacking in social skills. He thinks he must use foul and offensive chat-up lines on women to impress his friends, but can't see why they don't impress the girls. He tries to soften the blow of his outrageous behaviour with nice, friendly Geordie words. Sid thinks that a few "hinnys" and "pets" thrown liberally into his disgusting conversation will win the hearts of women. He usually ends up in hospital having painful procedures to remove things women have shoved where the sun doesn't shine."
Sid and his mates Baz, Bob and Joe, who are all Geordies, spend much of their time hanging around at the pub, with Sid bragging to them continually about his apparent sexual prowess. Sid "spectacularly fail[s] in the pursuit to which he has single-mindedly committed himself: having sex." He is a coarse and unsophisticated 30-year-old who still lives with his mother, a fact which often poses as a stumbling block to any potential liaison, and is unable or unwilling to use any kind of decorum when approaching women, instead using outrageously crude lines that never succeed in achieving anything beyond rejection or a violent response from the woman in question. In one of his most famous examples from an early issue of Viz, Sid approaches a woman with; "How, pet, my name's Sid. D'ya fancy a fuck?" When answered with a definite "No!", he replies "Well, would you mind lying down while I have one?"
The recurrent format of Sid's adventures is that he believes he has found a new approach to women that will secure him a sexual conquest at long last ('This time... this time! It HAS to be this time!!'). His attempts at trying out these questionable methods invariably end up with his being humiliated, often painfully. He is physically very unfit, has a prominent beer belly, drinks heavily, always has a cigarette in his mouth and is cowardly despite his macho pretensions, always coming off the worse in a fight. He is also in denial: despite the misfortunes that befall him he continues to display a blind faith in his crude attitude towards women and, when rejected, often tries to pass the blame for his failures on to the woman in question or somebody else. His exploits have also unintentionally led to several homosexual encounters.
Sid seems under-educated and knows little of the world outside Newcastle. It is even claimed at one point that he is unable to read. It is not clear what his job is, if indeed he has one at all, although he has been seen doing occasional odd jobs as part of his various schemes to pick up women. In another strip he attempts to pick up a woman by telling her that he works as 'an assistant to a well-established provider of goods to the younger end of the market'; despite being exposed as an elf in Santa's grotto in a local department store by his derisive mates, he still attempts to keep up the pretence that his job brings him success with women - "Y'see lasses fancy summat [something] a bit special". Although Sid's three companions do sometimes succeed with women, they are much like him in their yobbish, misogynistic, homophobic and racist outlook, never marry or expand their stagnant social circle.
- Bob is a short man with a wide, flat head, a crooked nose and a crew-cut whose outfit of choice is jeans and a hooded sweater. Bob thinks most highly of Sid, is often in awe of him and his alleged power over women, is normally the first to encourage Sid in the his disastrous attempts at womanising and usually believes all but the most feeble of Sid's excuses for his failures.
- Joe is the tough guy of the group due to his strength, large size and limited intelligence but is a rather peaceful person, often the one who tries to break up the fights and disputes that break out between Sid, Bob and Baz.
- Baz is the most successful of Sid's friends, often seen wearing a suit or jacket with parted hair and a moustache. Baz is much more openly sceptical about Sid's abilities with women than Bob and Joe, once referring to Sid as being "all talk and no tackle". He is the only one of Sid's friends who comes close to seeing through his hollow bragging and is not afraid to suggest to Sid's face that he is still a virgin, often resulting in the two falling out or fighting. Baz appears to resemble Adolf Hitler with his hair and moustache.
- The lads realise that they could stand to lose some weight and go to the recreation centre to swim. Sid stuffs socks in his bathing suit to give the impression he has large genitals in order to impress the female lifeguard but reveals that he cannot swim and so cannot enter the deep end with his friends but has to go splash around the area reserved for the "bairns". After being caught urinating in the pool ("Missus! That man's havvin' a wee!"), Sid is warned by the female lifeguard. True to form, Sid tells his friends that he's "well in". Challenged by his friends to impress her he jumps into the deep end of the pool "dive bomber" style, panics and forces the lifeguard to save him, causing the socks to spill out of his bathing suit.
- The lads go out for Sid's cousin's stag night in Blackpool. Everyone gets progressively more drunk and at the end of the evening Sid storms off to find a woman while his cousin is handcuffed, naked and protesting, to a street lamp. The next day Baz reads a newspaper with the headline "Youth Dies of Exposure in Blackpool". Sid, meanwhile, wakes up with a hangover and sees a head of curly blonde hair in the bed next to him. Thinking he has finally "pulled", he asks his "date" if she fancies another ride and is terrified when the owner of the blonde hair is a rather large man, who calls him "Sidney, my love" and tells him to "roll over".
- The lads are puzzled by Sid's refusal to drink his usual bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale, instead ordering orange squash. Sid finally reveals his reason for abstaining: he has driven his recently purchased car to the pub. His friends insist on him giving them a ride but Sid promptly crashes into a police car. The officer is a policewoman, which prompts Sid to state that he's got the matter handled, whereby he proceeds to relate a rather crude joke about how female officers part their hair. The last panel features another police officer telling Sid "your mates reckon they're gonna kill you", so "for his own safety" he is placed in a cell with a violent sexual offender who has pictures of naked men taped to his cell wall.
- Going horse riding in the belief that women become aroused by being rubbed by their saddle, an upper-class looking woman does indeed offer Sid a roll in the hay. Unfortunately for Sid his resulting cry of excitement shocks a nearby horse which then kicks him in the crotch, sending him to hospital.
- Sid buys a self-help book purporting to teach success with women and brags to his friends that he will reveal the amazing secrets it contains, 'only when me cock's fallen off!' Sid's one attempt at using the method in the book and a vile-smelling pheromone spray supplied with it results only in a very rude and embarrassing rejection. Later that night, Bob, Baz and Joe have all found girls but poor Sid wanders home alone, miserable and still smelling foul.
- Sid makes a £1,000 bet with his friend Baz that he can seduce a woman within a week. He attempts hypnosis on a nun, who kicks him in his genitals, buys another pheromone spray (Pig Piss) which only attracts a blind woman's guide dog and makes a desperate approach to Millie Tant, who repays him with yet another vicious kick. The final frame has Sid begging his mother for £1,000 to pay his debt.
- Going to Barcelona, for Joe's brother's stag night, Sid, the best man, demands to go to a sex show and pays all the entrance fees. At the show, a beautiful woman wants a volunteer for a 'strip' - Sid instantly jumps on the stage. The woman blindfolds him, asks him to bend over and a man dressed in a gorilla suit takes him from behind.
- Sid and his friends travel to Bangkok after hearing that prostitutes there will sell themselves for as little as a pound. Sid is robbed at gun point by one of these ladies after being tied to the bedpost. The final scene shows Sid trying to earn his flight home by working as a homosexual prostitute.
- During a drinking session with Baz, Bob and Joe, Sid hears about the myth that you get a prostitute sent up to your hotel room if you call reception and ask for "an extra pillow". He dismisses the idea as ridiculous in front of his friends but, sure enough, books himself into a cheap Travelodge hotel later on and calls reception, asking for an "extra pillow". The hotel reception sends a maid up to his room with an actual extra pillow. Sid mistakes the maid for a prostitute and takes his clothes off in front of her, resulting in him being hospitalised after a serious beating. Later in hospital, after telling his mates some less-than-convincing lies about the origins of his injuries, Sid is asked by the doctor if he would like "an extra pillow" to make him feel better. Sid takes the offer literally and accepts, only for the doctor to return with a prostitute.
- Joe points out that Sid, if he had a new wardrobe and hairstyle, bears an uncanny resemblance to a pop star and girls flock to him after being made to look like the artist in question. So he goes along with this deception to pull women and invites them back to his house for a "rock'n'rurl orgy", only for it to be announced that the pop star in question has come out in the press as gay. The girls are disgusted, only for Sid's homophobia to be exposed when he's chased by gay men who fancy him (or rather, the pop star he's mistaken for).
- Sid is introduced to the friend of one of his mates' girlfriends, an attractive dark-haired woman who offers sexual innuendos ("a brandy would make me randy") and flirts constantly with Sid, who is totally off his game and flustered. At the end of the evening, Sid has taken the lady back to his place, where she has proceeded to strip off and awaits him in bed completely nude. Sid strips (thinking "This is it!"), and admonishes his date to keep quiet (as he's afraid her now-blatant sexual banter will awaken his mother). Unfortunately for Sid, that's exactly what happens, as his mum walks in carrying a tray with snacks, stating she heard him "bring in a friend" who "mustn't stay long, mind."
- While in the pub with his mates, Baz mentions to Sid how all librarians are 'dorty' and sex-mad, using the rather flimsy reasoning that they're surrounded by erotica and dictionaries full of 'naughty words' all day. Later on, an excited Sid goes to the library and after some harmless innuendo from the female librarian ("I've got to go and deal with a gentleman who's been stood with a hard one in his hands for ages") he exposes himself on the counter, and is later charged in court with indecent exposure.
- Sid and the lads once went down to London to go to some strip clubs in Soho, only to hire a taxi operated by fellow Viz character Cockney Wanker, who takes them on a detour via Brighton and cons them out of all their money. Left with only £10 the lads decide to at least have a drink before going home, and get lured into a clip joint by a man promising a free sex show. The owner attempts to charge them £1,400 for four pints of lager. Bob, Baz and Joe agree to go to a cash point and get the money, while leaving Sid as "security," but hop back on the train to Newcastle at the first available chance. The last panel of the story sees Sid badly bruised, in his underwear and attempting to hitch-hike on the M1.
Sid also starred in a spinoff five episodes animated cartoon in 1992 (also called Sid the Sexist) which was broadcast on Channel 4. Sid was voiced by Northeastern actor Sammy Johnson. The video was released in 1992 by Polygram Video, and the DVD was released in 2004.
In the autobiography of Simon Donald's brother, the former Viz Editor Chris Donald, reference is made to attempts by actor Jimmy Nail to bring the character to life in a live action sitcom. However the idea went no further than a lunch meeting at Nail's home where it become clear that the plan was a non-starter and was unlikely to find a willing TV station to broadcast the show if it were written in the same style as the comic.
- Donald (2004), 377
- "Chris Donald - Comic rebel with a cause". bbc.co.uk, June 2005. Retrieved 15 March 2014
- Donald, Simon. " In his autobiography 'Him off the Viz' Simon recalls that the inspiration for Sid was a friend of his (Graham Lines) who wanted to ask out another friend in their social circle (Sandra Peachey, known as 'Sandy'). Graham asked The Donald brothers for dating advise - despite their lack of romantic experience and his being several years older. Bolstered by their chat and several beers, he declared that he was going to get himself some 'totty' and the idea for Sid was born. Graham and Sandra did in fact date and also appeared in separate Viz photo strip stories (including 'Prisoner of Love', featured in the first hardback album 'The Big Hard One'). Yakkin' Geordie is mint, pet". The Guardian, 18 August 2006. Retrieved 15 March 2014
- Duffy, Jonathan (23 August 2004). "Let's get Vizical - 25 years at the comic coalface". BBC News Magazine. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 11 July 2014.
- Sabin, Roger. "Adult Comics". Routledg, 2002. ISBN 1-1345-5799-X
- Donald, Chris. "Rude Kids: The Unfeasible Story of Viz". HarperCollins, 2004. ISBN 0-0071-9096-4