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Fester Bestertester

Eyes: Black
Hair: Black
Race: Human

Known relatives: A son and a daughter, no names

Story: Fester Bestertester is the smarter one of Fester and Karbunkle and usually the one to be hit by any object falling from the sky.

Continuity: Fester and Karbunkle
Publisher(s): Signet Books
EC Publications
First app.: Don Martin Steps Out! (1962)
Creator(s): Don Martin
Country of origin: USA USA

Background notes: Fester and Karbunkle was a typical team in the sense of big/small, fat/slim, smart/dumb etc. that goes way back to the beginning of visual storytelling in movies, cartoons and comics, including couples like Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and Fy & Bi (Long & Short). The Fester and Karbunkle stories were comic versions of the slapstick violence seen in cartoons like Tom & Jerry and Roadrunner, where anything went. Usually Fester would be the one to be pummeled into odd shapes and get hit by any conceivable object falling from the sky while Karbunkle usually didn't get a scratch.

Fester and Karbunkle first appeared in the comic Don Martin Steps Out! from 1962. A year later in May 1963, the two reappeared in the comic Don Martin Bounces Back! The books were a part of the Mad Pocketbooks, and some of the few original publications in a series, which were mostly reprints from Mad Magazine. There are no available records on the two occurring in other stories, but it is possible they occurred in Mad Magazine later.

Today Fester and Karbunkle is mostly known for the National Gorilla Suit Day. The sketch occurred in Don Martin Bounces Back! and is basically Fester complaining that "Everybody knows it's just a ploy by the gorilla suit companies to sell their products," with the result that gorillas in all sorts of disguises comes in to beat him onto all sorts of odd shapes (a couple of abominable snowmen also appears to add to the weirdness). Obviously the violence is backed up by Don Martin's very descriptive onomatopoeia like krakle, tear, pound, shred adding to the hilarity. The day is set to January 31 (no date is mentioned in the sketch), and supposedly people all over the World dresses up in gorilla suits that day.

Names around the World:
DenmarkFester Bestertester
UK/USAFester Bestertester