1st BROADCAST: 31 Jan 1956


Script by Spike Milligan[1]



GREENSLADE: This is the BBC Home Service.

ECCLES: Fine, fine.

GREENSLADE: Ahem. Mister Stott! Mood music, please.

ORCHESTRA: Horror introduction.

HEADSTONE: The jolly Goons present a play entitled...[2]

GRAMS: Distant, long drawn-out scream.

GRAVELY HEADSTONE: three parts. Part one is entitled...

GRAMS: (Fast) Wallop on back of head. Pop of large pop gun. Set of false teeth hitting inside of bucket. (Pre-recorded scream) AAAAAAAAAARGHHH!

SEAGOON: I'll never forget that terrible sound, listeners. Perhaps you’d better hear it again.[3]

GRAMS: (Replay) Wallop on back of head. Pop of large pop gun. Set of false teeth hitting inside of bucket. (Pre-recorded scream) AAAAAAAAAARGHHH!

SEAGOON: It started back in 1889...

GRAMS: Driving rain. Horse and cart trundling along road. Continue under.

SEAGOON: It was the worst storm they’d ever known in the Dolomites.[4] I, Lord Seagoon – daredevil fretwork champion, was lost with my servants on the side of a precipitous mountain in a horse-drawn motor car.

GRAMS: Horse rears and neighs. Carriage stops. Rain swells and continues under.

SEAGOON: (Calls) Why have we stopped, O'Brien?

ELLINGTON: I think the horse must be tired, sir.


ELLINGTON: He's got his pyjamas on, begorrah.[5]

WILLIUM: I think we're lost, mate.[6]

SEAGOON: Tut, tut! – what a nuisance. Well, there's naught for it mate – we'll spend the night here. I'll sleep in the ditch and you sleep standing up holding an umbrella over me.

WILLIUM: I'm goin' ter vote Labour next time, mate.[7]

SEAGOON: Silence you political hot-head!

ELLINGTON: Lord Seagoon, me no like to spend the night on this pitch black road.

SEAGOON: Don't worry – you won't be noticed. Now, as we're staying the night here, unroll my brass bedstead and erect my marble wash stand. (Calls) Abdul?

ABDUL:[8] (approaching) What do you want, sahib? – ‘ooray.

SEAGOON: Before I retire, prepare a light sixteen-course banquet.

ABDUL: I go and connect the gas stove up to the horse – ‘ooray.

SEAGOON: Mind you get the right end this time. Willium? Lay out my evening dress.

WILLIUM: Cor struth! – you wearing evening dress in this rain and mud, mate?

SEAGOON: Yes. Remember all of you – we're British. Together – hip hip…

CAST: (miserable) Hooray!

SEAGOON: Good. Next, hoist a small Union Jack and unveil a bust of Queen Victoria. Now I'll just make a rough ‘Englishman lost-on-the-mountainside’ menu. Brown Windsor soup; meat; two veg; cabinet pudding (boiled) and jam.[9] (Laughs) Ha ha ha! Fair makes your mouth water.

GRAMS: Lone bell rings in the distance.

WILLIUM: Listen mate.

GRAMS: Bell.

WILLIUM: There it is again mate.

GRAMS: Bell. Vary the speed.

WILLIUM: And again mate. ‘Less I'm mistaken, it's going to go…

GRAMS: Bell. Vary the speed.

WILLIUM: … again mate.

SEAGOON:[10] I wonder what it is mate.

WILLIUM: It's a bell ringing mate.

SEAGOON: There you go – jumping to conclusions! We'll soon find out. O'Brien, strike one of my monogrammed matches.

FX: Match striking. Flares.

SEAGOON: Look! A castle a mere twenty miles away. After it, before it gets away!

ABDUL: (Self fade) Wait for me sahib!

GRAMS: Ten pairs of boots running at speed.

         (Pre-recorded) SEAGOON: Come along fellas!

         (Gradually speed up and fade into the distance.)

SEAGOON: Brace yourself Jack!

CAST: (Various shouts and cries.)

ORCHESTRA: Horror link.

GRAMS: Boots running – fade in as if approaching, then wind the speed down.

SEAGOON: Well, here we are men. This is the place.

ELLINGTON: Thank heaven!  My feet have been killing me.

SEAGOON: You're not the only one they've been killing. Right  Abdul, hoist a French Union Jack. Now, let's see how we get into this castle. Ah, a door! O'Brien, lay out my ‘knocking-on-door’ suit. Now lift me up and I'll knock.

ELLINGTON: (Effort) Ugh! Me vote labour next time, begorrah.

SEAGOON: Silence O'Brien. Lift! (Effort) Ugh!’[11]

GRAMS: Three heavy thumps on solid door. Long series of bars, bolts and locks being removed. Lots of echo with gaps between each thud as if someone old and infirm is struggling to open the door.

CRUN: Mnk… aaaaaarhm… aarhm… Who left this door unlocked?

SEAGOON: There – standing in the doorway, was a bag of dust in a night shirt.[12] Speak to him, O'Brien.

ELLINGTON: Ah, good evening, sir.

CRUN: No coal tonight, coalman.


GRAMS: Whirring sound. On each turn Crun cries out; ARGH!

SEAGOON: O'Brien, stop swinging him round your head!

FX: Body thumps to floor.

CRUN: Aowiee! What’s the big idea, buddy? [13]

SEAGOON: Old wrinkled retainer, now listen – my retinue and I require kippo for the night. I'm willing to pay.

MILLIGAN: (Distant. Long drawn-out scream.) AAAAAAAAAAAEEOOOUGH!

CRUN: Min, I think he wants to go out.

SEAGOON: (Gulps) Who wants to go out?

CRUN: We don't know what it is, but when it wants to go it screams.

BANNISTER: (Approaching) Ohh ei oooh! Who are these men, Crun?

CRUN: They're men, Min. They're staying the night.

BANNISTER: Oh! What room are we going to put them in, Crun?

CRUN: What about the power room? (Extended) Oh, they've gone! (Calls) Where are you sirs?

SEAGOON: (Distant) Upstairs in bed.

CRUN: (Calls) Goodnight!

DR LONGDONGLE: (Suddenly close) Good evening, Crun. We have fresh visitors, then? [14]

CRUN: (Dread) Ohh, er arghh! Dr. Longdongle!

ORCHESTRA: Sudden chord. Hold under.

CRUN: You're home early tonight, sir.

DR LONGDONGLE: Yes, Crun. It watched her dance again tonight. Oh, how she danced! (Self fade) She danced like spots before the eyes... &c (Continue behind)

CRUN: (Close) He's talking about Señorita la Tigernuttas. Every night he goes to the Café Filthmuck to watch her dance.

DR LONGDONGLE: Yes, Crun. Three years ago she said, “Dr. Londongle, the day you can give me fifty pairs of castanets I'll marry you.” Well – I've got forty-eight pairs!

BANNISTER: Oooooo! – naughty man. Then Doctor Longdongler, you only want two more pairs ehi, buddy?

DR LONGDONGLE: Yes – buddy, just two. I nearly got them tonight – I just failed. CRUN! – take my skull-clouting mallet and teeth-catching bucket.

MILLIGAN: (Distant. Long drawn-out scream.) AAAAAAAAAAAAEEOOOUGH!

DR LONGDONGLE: (Suddenly sentimental) How sweet – the children are awake. It's little green wretch – he needs changing. Let’s see, now what did I change him for last time? (Manic laughter) Ha-ha ha-haaa! Bannister – a moment of quiet meditation. Play me a gramophone record.

GRAMS: Surface hiss; playing arm dropped onto record; then someone screaming while being chased by a crazed maniac; approach at high speed; insane laughter behind; then wallop on nut; pop; clang of teeth in bucket; maniacal laughter; sobbing victim.

DR LONGDONGLE: Ah Crun, they don't write tunes like that any more.

CRUN: Well, Max Geldray gets pretty near it you know.

DR LONGDONGLE: Needle nardle noo! (Self fade) More brown power![15]

MAX GELDRAY - "St. Louis Blues" [16]


ORCHESTRA: Dramatic horror-link.

HEADSTONE: We present part three – Midnight in the Castle.

CAST: (Under – snoring sounds.)

FX: Last few strokes of midnight.

WILLIUM: You asleep mate?

SEAGOON: Of course we are. You don't think we make this noise when we're awake, do you? O'Brien, lay out my ‘waking-up’ suit.

WILLIUM: (Fear) Ooh! Oh! There's somethin' under the bed mate.

SEAGOON: Thank heaven for that.

WILLIUM: It's been moving about mate.

SEAGOON: I don't believe it mate.

WILLIUM: Shhhhh. Listen.

ECCLES: (Distant - sings) How would you like to be

under the bed wid me… [17]

SEAGOON: Come out! – you singer of music.

ECCLES: (Approaching) Hello.

SEAGOON: Before me stood a ragged idiot dressed in a grass skirt, water wings and a perforated bronze trilby.[18]

FX: Door opens.

DR LONGDONGLE: Ahh, there you are! – naughty little Eccles.

ECCLES: Hello Doctor Lingledongler.

DR LONGDONGLE: Naughty lad, getting out of bed after I'd tucked you in and battered you unconscious for the night.

ECCLES: Hello.

DR LONGDONGLE: Gentlemen, I’m the caretaker. My apologies. You won't be disturbed further. (Suddenly enchanted) Ahhhhh…

SEAGOON: What are you staring at me for?

DR LONGDONGLE: What lovely teeth you have. False?

SEAGOON: No, perfectly true – they are lovely teeth. Why?

DR LONGDONGLE: Nothing. Goodnight!

FX: Door closes.

SEAGOON: Jolly fellow. What's the time?[19] Gad - one o'clock. (Self fade) Goodnight all.

CAST: (Variously) Goodnight! (Snoring, heavy breathing, mouth noises. Fade out.)

(Short silence.)

CAST: (Gentle snoring.)

FX: Distant church bell.

DR LONGDONGLE: (Furtive) They're fast asleep. Hand me the skull mallet.


DR LONGDONGLE: Hold the teeth bucket in front of his cake-hole, now – (effort) huh...

GRAMS: (Fast) Wallop. Pop of pop gun. False teeth shoot out and land in bucket.

WILLIUM: (Screams) Aaaawaawaaaiiioouwgh… mate.

SEAGOON: That was the sound I told you of earlier, dear listeners. Hurriedly I struck a match and lit a light bulb. There on the floor was Willium.

WILLIUM: Ohh, me choppers have gone mate. Someone hit me on the back of my nut and out flew my false teeth mate. Oooh…

SEAGOON: O'Brien, lay out my ‘looking-for-teeth’ suit. Wait! – I've suddenly realised something. Except for Doctor Longdongle, no one else in this castle has teeth. I'm going to have a word with him. O'Brien, lay out my ‘having-a-word-with-him’ suit.

FX: Door opens

SEAGOON: Wait here.

FX: Door shuts.

GRAMS: Footsteps hurrying along long echoing corridor.

SEAGOON: (Shouts as he goes into the distance) Doctor Longdongle! Doctor Loctor Donglonge – Ingle-dongle-dongler-ongler… (Shouting in the distant) I want to speak to you! Doctor Longdongle! Longdongler! Doctor Longdongle!

BLUEBOTTLE: Will you stop all that shouting! I'm trying to have a kip.  

SEAGOON: Come here, little nurk.

BLUEBOTTLE: Let go my ear 'ole, you! Let go or I'll call little Jim.

SEAGOON: Call him then!

BLUEBOTTLE: Jimmm! Little Jim! Little Jim! Where are you Little Jim? Little Jim! [20]

SEAGOON: Why doesn't he answer?

BLUEBOTTLE: He's in Africa.

SEAGOON: Where's Doctor Londongle?

BLUEBOTTLE: I don't know Mister Dongler.

SEAGOON: Speak! – rapscallion.

BLUEBOTTLE: Stop! – you’re pulling my ear 'ole. ‘Ere, now look what you done, you pulled it off. Give it to me – I only borrowed it for the day.

SEAGOON: Come on hairless little nurk – who are you?

BLUEBOTTLE: I am a pure hearted-type English scout on the camping-type holiday.

SEAGOON: Camping? Why are you camping indoors?

BLUEBOTTLE: It's too parky outside. I’m the new type indoor scout. (Close) I say, have you got any pictures of Sabrina?

SEAGOON: You dirty little devil! I'll tell your Scout Master.

BLUEBOTTLE: He's the one who told us to collect them.

SEAGOON: The naughty man.[21] You’d better come with me – I might need you for protection. I'll use you as a club.

BLUEBOTTLE: No! No! – I'm no good at protection. I'm a rotten coward I am. Look, here's my junior coward's badge.[22]

MORIARTY: (Distant - screaming) Oooyoo yooeiyooo! Yeiooooo aaaw yeiooror brown power ooohyeooi…

BLUEBOTTLE: It's David Whitfield.

SEAGOON: (Dry) Gad, he's improved.

MORIARTY: (Distant - screaming) Aaaw yeiooror brown power…

SEAGOON: Gid! Gad! Gude! That voice is coming from under this floor. I'll just put on my ‘floor-lifting’ suit. Now lift! (Effort) Ugh…&c (extended)

BLUEBOTTLE: Don't stand there making a noise – give me a hand, you big fat steaming nit you.

SEAGOON: Ahem. Lift!

BOTH: (Effort) Uuuuurgh…tenor’s friend…

FX: Heavy block slid across floor and dropped.

MORIARTY: (Toothless) Ohh – saved! Saved! Teeth – give us our teeth!

OMNES: (Toothless - variously) Teeth! Teeth! Give us our teeth! &c

SEAGOON: Is this the Goonist movement? Dear listeners, from out of an underground dungeon came a crowd of toothless ragged men in brown paper nightshirts.

GRYTPYPE: (Gummy) Let me explain, short-type man. Forty-eight of us have been kept prisoner down there after having our false teeth taken.[23]

MORIARTY: (Gummy) But we must have our teeth taken… (chomps)

SEAGOON: Leave it to me. First, let's drop this flagstone back in place.

FX: Flagstone falling.

BLUEBOTTLE: (Screams) Aaaayyyyaayy! Look! – my foot. Look what you’ve done to it. It's shaped like a starting handle.

SEAGOON: Excellent. O'Brien? Lay out my ‘leader-of-toothless-men’ suit. Right, gentlemen follow me – we march to find the missing teeth. One, two…

FX: Marching box. (Under)

CAST: (sings) On thru the hail,

like a pack of hungry wolves on the trail,

we are after you dead or alive,

we are out to get you, dead or alive…[24] (Self fade)

ELLINGTON: Folks – while I still got my choppers, here's my song, begorrah.

BANNISTER: Swing it buddy.


RAY ELLINGTON - "Who's Got The Money"[25]


GREENSLADE: We return you now to part three; “The Castle of Missing Teeth.”

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic chords.

FX: Single pair of castanets playing Spanish rhythm. Fade behind.

DR LONGDONGLE: (Evil) Ha ha ha ha ha ha! – type laughing. Look, aren't they beautiful, mother dear.

THROAT: Oh lovely, lovely.

DR LONGDONGLE: Another pair of castanets for Señorita La Tigernutta. That's forty-nine pairs I've got. One more pair and she's promised to be mine. (So much for the tatty plot.)

FX: Knock on door.

DR LONGDONGLE: Quick, mother – hide! Under the carpet.

THROAT: Right.

DR LONGDONGLE: (Calls) Come in.

FX: Door opens.

BLOODNOK: Ah, good evening. Erm, any possibility of contacting the police from here?

DR LONGDONGLE: I'm afraid not.

BLOODNOK: Thank heavens! Safe at last.

DR LONGDONGLE: What brings you here at this late hour?

BLOODNOK: I'm lost dear fellow, lost – completely lost. Me and the regiment were marching along you know, when suddenly quite by accident, me and the regimental funds… took the wrong turning.

DR LONGDONGLE: How rotten for the regiment. Don't they want you back?

BLOODNOK: Oh yes indeed, yes. Everywhere you'll see my notices; 'Wanted – Major Bloodnok'.


BLOODNOK: I should say… I say sir… Look here, why are you staring at me like that?

DR LONGDONGLE: (Ingratiatingly) Your teeth… Are they false?

BLOODNOK: Mmm? Oh yes, yes, and what's more they're of great sentimental value. You see… (tearful) they belonged to my great-grandmother.

DR LONGDONGLE: It must be wonderful to have a family heirloom.

BLOODNOK: Yes. (Uncomfortable) Mmmmm, ach-mmmm. Do you mind if I take my kilt off? – it's rather hot in here. (Terror) Ooooahooah!


BLOODNOK: That lump in the carpet… It moved!

DR LONGDONGLE: Yes, it's the only carpet in the world with a moving lump.

BLOODNOK: It must be quite valuable then.

DR LONGDONGLE: It has a great sentimental value. You see… (tearful) that lump belongs to my mother.

BLOODNOK: What a lovely heirloom to leave behind – a large moving lump. People aren't as thoughtful these days, you know.

DR LONGDONGLE: This bucket you see is also an heirloom. Just bend over it to look at the bottom.

BLOODNOK: I can't see anything to...

FX: Wallop. Pop. Clang in metal bucket.

BLOODNOK: (gums) Ohh, me choppers!

DR LONGDONGLE: (Gloating) Got 'em! Ha ha ha ha ha.

FX: Door opens.

SEAGOON: Not so fast, Dr. Longdongler!

OMNES: (Variously) Teeth! We want teeth!

SEAGOON: Where are you hiding these men's teeth?

DR LONGDONGLE: SILENCE! Don't move, any of you – or I'll shoot.

SEAGOON: Fool! Put down that tin of potted shrimps.

DR LONGDONGLE: And starve to death? Never!

SEAGOON: Longdongler, I'm willing to bargain with you.

DR LONGDONGLE: What's your offer?

SEAGOON: These outsize ladies' bloomers at three and eleven three.

DR LONGDONGLE: Fool! The ones I'm wearing only cost two and nine three.

SEAGOON: Curse! – I've failed. Very well, another offer. Give these man back their choppers and we'll see you get a fair trial, shot dead, strangled and set free.


SEAGOON: Why not?

DR LONGDONGLE: You might be lying, and it sounds risky.

SEAGOON: Then – ying tong iddle I po![26]

DR LONGDONGLE: Never – never, ying tong iddle i po! No, gentlemen – I'll not be forestalled now. (Gloats) Ha Ha! I'm too near my goal.

FX: Football whistle.

BLUEBOTTLE: Off side! He's too near his own goal.

SEAGOON: Shut up!


ECCLES: Shut up, Eccles!

SEAGOON: Shut up, Eccles!

BLUEBOTTLE: Shut up, Eccles!

CAST: (Extended) Shut up, etc....

MORIARTY: Help! Help! Who's turned out the light!? Who's turned the light out!?

DR LONGDONGLE: (Distant) It was me. (Gloating) Ha ha!

SEAGOON: Economical devil. Trying to save electricity, ehi? O'Brien!

ELLINGTON: Yeah? – begorrah mate.

SEAGOON: (Close) Put on this invisible beard, creep up on the light switch and while he can't see you, switch it on.[27]

ELLINGTON: Okay – begorrah! (Distant) Okay!

SEAGOON: Huzzah! Right men, open your eyes – the light's on.

BLOODNOK: Ohhh! And Doctor Longdongler – he's gone!

SEAGOON: Don't worry. He won't get far in those cheap woollen bloomers – there's frost about. In any case, the moment he steps outside this castle the wolves are bound to get him.


SEAGOON: (dry) They're looking for a new goal-keeper.[28] Men, to catch this Doctor Longdongler won't be easy. He's very clever.

MORIARTY: You mean?...

SEAGOON: We're going to need brains.

ECCLES: (pause) Well, I'll go and make the tea.

GRAMS: Distant horse and carriage on cobbled surface.

BLOODNOK: Ohh, great scorched thund bringe! Look there, down there! Longdongler's escaping.


BLOODNOK: There! Stick your head out of the window.

GRAMS: Breaking glass.

BLOODNOK: Bandage?

SEAGOON: No thanks.[29] O'Brien, lay out my leaving-the-castle-suit. Men – after him!  (Counts down) One, two…

FX: Marching box behind.[30]

CAST: (singing at top speed) On thru the hail,

like a pack of hungry wolves on the trail,

   (Self fade)  we are after you, dead or alive…[31]

ORCHESTRA: Suspenseful chords.

GREENSLADE: With a small stove, Lord Seagoon set off in hot pursuit in his horse-drawn motor car. The trail of missing teeth led them to the village of (Tarzan jungle-call with chest thumping) OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo, and there, next to a news-vendor's shop in which this week's copy of the Radio Times is now on sale – they stopped.

GRAMS: Horse and cart approaching on cobbled surface.

CAST: (Approaching) Ooh. Ooie-oo!

SEAGOON: All out now, men. It looks like he's in this Café Filthmuck.

GRYTPYPE: (Gummy) Yes. I think there's something funny going on inside.


GRYTPYPE: I can hear somebody laughing.

SEAGOON: Stop this crazy-type toothless humour and follow me in, men.

FX: Door opens.

GRAMS: Sound of a beer garden. Distant zither combo.

SEAGOON: Now, we don't want to look suspicious so put your coats over your heads and crawl nonchalantly across the floor on your backs, and keep your Union Jacks down. Follow me. (Effort) Ughh!  (Laughs) Ha ha! This is fooling them, ehi? (Effort) Ughhh.

FLOWERDEW: (Off) I say, you lot on the floor – hurry up! – we're waiting to dance. Oh it makes you spit doesn't it.

SEAGOON: I'm sorry, Madame. We are looking for escaped miniature convicts.

ORCHESTRA: Roll on drum and cymbal snap.

DR LONGDONGLE: (Distant – like MC.) Mein lieber Damen und Herren…

SEAGOON: Look! – it's Longdongler.

DR LONGDONGLE: …presenting the cabaret – that queen of reeking Spanish dancers, Señorita Gladys la Tigernutta, my fiancée, with her fifty steaming castanet dancers.

GRAMS: Flamenco guitar.

FX: Castanets. Continue under.

SEAGOON: Keep calm, men. Let's see what happens.

GRYTPYPE: (Gummy) Look, the black's coming off the castanets.

SEAGOON: Yes, they're white underneath. Could they be what the listeners have known all along?

MORIARTY: It's our teeth!

CAST: (Variously) Teeth! Those castanets are our teeth! (Self fade) Give us our teeth back!

FX: Snapping of dentures.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.

SEAGOON: And that, folks, is how we found Longdongler's missing teeth horde. He disappeared from human 'ken, and I often wonder if he ever continued his teeth activities.

GREENSLADE: (Toothless) You have been listening to The Goon Show.

ORCHESTRA: End theme.

GREENSLADE: That was The Goon Show – a BBC recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan and Valentine Dyall with the Ray Ellington Quartet and Max Geldray. The orchestra was conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan; announcer, Wallace Greenslade; the programme was produced by Peter Eton.





[1] The renowned British actor Valentine Dyall (1908-1985) played a major part in many of Spikes enterprises. As this show went to air, Milligan (with Sykes) was writing the scripts for “The Idiot Weekly Price 2d.,” a late night series for ITV which commenced a six week run in February. The cast included Dyall, Peter Sellers, Max Geldray, June Whitfield, Graham Stark and Patti Lewis, and was advertised as a ‘sort-of visual Goon Show.’ Dyall went on to appear in Milligan and Antrobus’ play, “The Bedsitting Room” (1963) as well as ‘Son of Oblomov,’ (1964) apart from featuring  in many major motion pictures and a wide variety of  radio and television programmes, but he always remained at the ready to help out Milligan whenever he needed him.

With his ghoul-like voice and sepulchral pronunciation, Dyall had successfully introduced a long running BBC Radio Horror series “Appointment With Fear” from 1943 till 1955, and in 1949 was awarded a series of his own, “The Man In Black,” which had a very similar format. It was therefore natural for Spike to conjure up a script which featured the death-like forbidding tones of this great actor just before the transmission of his new series. Dyall altogether made eight appearance in the Goon Show; “The Canal” (6/5th); this show; “Robin Hood” (SP/1956); “Drums Along the Mersey” (2/7th); “The Spectre of Tintagel” (5/7th); “The Giant Bombardon” (4/V); “Who Is Pink Oboe?” (11/9th) and lastly “The Silver Doubloons,” (5/10th.) One of Dyall’s last appearances before his death in the mid ‘80’s was opposite Rowan Atkinson in series one of “Blackadder.” His theatrical longevity spanned the period from music hall and nascent radio broadcasting until the digital age, a considerable achievement.


[2] As an example of the multiple minor differences between the published script (PS) and the performance, the following long drawn out scream is missing from the PS.



[3] This line and the following grams are missing from the PS.


[4] A mountain range in north-east Italy.


[5] Irish English, meaning; “By God!”


[6] PS has ‘Lord mate’.


[7] Described as “one of the dullest post war elections” the UK General Election of May 1955 had resulted in an increased majority for the Conservative Party under the new young Prime Minister Anthony Eden, with Labour under Clement Atlee losing ground. Atlee consequently lost the leadership of the Labour party to Hugh Gaitskell.


[8] Milligan, with an Indian accent.


[9] The menu according to the PS. is: ‘Brown Windsor soup, meat, two veg., pots., boiled rice and jam.’


[10] PS has; ‘What an extraordinary perception. &c’


[11] According to the PS. there is an exchange here:

SEAGOON: Somebody's coming.

ELLINGTON: Man, I don't like this place. I'm frightened, begorrah.

SEAGOON: Silly fellow, there's nothing to be frightened of.

MILLIGAN: (Echo) (Scream)

ELLINGTON: What you say?

SEAGOON: (miles off) I said there's nothing to be frightened of.

ELLINGTON: Then what you doing up that tree?

SEAGOON: It makes me look taller. Apart from that I'm just unfurling a fresh Union Jacks


[12] The second time Milligan describes Crun as a ‘bag of dust’. The other time is in “Shangri La – Again” (8/6th).


[13] The PS. contains this exchange:


SEAGOON: Allow me to explain.

CRUN: Explain? Eleven o'clock at night - you drag me out of bed -

SEAGOON: We couldn't have - we've been down here all the time.

CRUN: Ohhh - mnkmnnarrgg - begone or I'll strike you with this weighted piano.

SEAGOON: Not so fast, old doubled-up dada.

CRUN: (rage) I'm not a dada.

SEAGOON: (dry) Well, if you're not, it's too late now.

CRUN: (vapours) Ahhmnk, stop those sinful Sunday paper jokes.


[14] Played by Valentine Dyall. (See note #1)


[15] Milligan’s love of  the word ‘brown’ is one of the hidden delights of the Goon Show.


SECOMBE: Ah, yes Wal – the modern cream BBC! I remember the old days when it was brown.

CAST: (variously) Brown! Brown! Brown!

GREENSLADE: Yes, the old brown BBC! Happy days.

SELLERS: (commercial) Brown is better. It doesn't show the dirt.

(“The Silver Doubloons” – 5/10th)


ORCHESTRA: Single gong.

SELLERS: The Great Brown, all the way from mysterious Upper Dicker! No question is too difficult.

(“Robin’s Post” 4/10th)


[16] W.C. Handy, ( 1873-1958) musician, bandleader and composer, tells of meeting the wife of a friend of his on a pavement of St. Louis. During their conversation she complained of her husband’s absence, consoling herself by saying “My man’s got a heart like a rock cast in de sea.” It became one of the lines of Handy’s next compositions, the blue’s number ‘St. Louis Blues’ written in 1914, first recorded in 1915, and thereafter recorded by nearly every worthwhile jazz performer. The piece has been called ‘the jazzman’s Hamlet.”


[17] Eccles is singing the first lines of the 1931 popular song “Under the Bridges of Paris” (Scotto/Rodor – English lyrics by Cochran) made famous in 1955 by recordings by both Eartha Kitt and Dean Martin.


[18] The printed script has the subsequent following exchange;


ECCLES: I'm on my honeymoon.

SEAGOON: Well, where's your wife?

ECCLES: Didn't bring her.

SEAGOON: Why not?

ECCLES: Well, why should I share all the fun wid her?

SEAGOON: Get out of my room.

ECCLES: Get out of my room.

SEAGOON: Get out.

ECCLES: Get out.


This could have been original. Spike’s later additions to his scripts are often ironic, poking fun at the material or referring to the script in an almost editorial manner whereas most of the additional material in the P.S. seems totally in keeping with the original material.


[19] The printed script has “What’s the time by my OBE?” This is curious as there is a small edit on the original tape here. It seems the final three words were originally spoken by Secombe, then later excised.

The New Years Honours had been the cause of a small media controversy that year. ‘The People’ newspaper had released the list on January 1st, unmindful of the embargo that all newspapers traditionally adhered to, whereby they held off publication of the list until the London Gazette had published it. ‘The People’ pooh-pooed the criticism, calling the awards “the dullest list ever got together.” Spike seems to be implying that the Honours List appeared as regularly as clockwork and was nothing more than a time-keeper of the yearly rhythm of life.


[20] This seems to be the first mention of Little Jim. It was not until the next series that he was to speak his famous line “He’s fallen in the water!” (‘The Rent Collectors’ 16/7th)

[21] The printed script includes this gag next;

            SEAGOON: The naughty man - well, he won't get my collection.

BLUEBOTTLE: Can I go now? My little brownie is waiting for me.


[22] The printed script contains these two lines next.

MORIARTY: (off) Oooooooo

SEAGOON: Give me that junior coward's badge. I've just qualified.


[23] The printed script contains these two extra lines:

               MORIARTY: Yes. Ohhhhhh - no teeth - we haven't eaten meat for years.

SEAGOON: Vegetarians eh? I too only eat grass-eating animals.


[24] Song of the Mounties” from ‘Rose Marie’ by Friml & Hammerstein II. The 1924 musical, one of the longest running musicals on Broadway before the war, had been filmed for the third time by MGM in 1954, on this occasion starring Ann Blyth and Howard Keel.


[25] By Sherman Edwards and Ben Raleigh. Recorded by The Ray Ellington Quartet in 1955 and released by Columbia D.B. 3744, flip side is ‘Hold Him Tight’.

[26] The catch-phrase “Ying tong iddle-eye poh” seems to have first been used in “The Canal” (6/5th) by Valentine Dyall himself. I think Milligan was trying for a nonsense phrase that had some resonance, and in this he was successful. The audience is at first bewildered, but Milligan persevered with the line, making it the symptom of the dreaded disease lurgi, in “Lurgi Strikes Britain” (7/5th) then using it constantly throughout the 5th series, 3 times in the 6th series, 6 times in the 7th series and occasionally thereafter. It is one of the few Goon phrases to have genuinely entered the English lexicon.


[27] Secombe mistakenly reads: “…and while you can’t see you…”


[28] The “Wolves” he refers to are in fact the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club. The goalkeeper of the squad at that time was the 21 year old Noel Dwyer. It is likely Spike was referring to one of his recent fumbles, though it is hard to pinpoint accurately which game he means. Wolverhampton Wanderers were lying 9th in the competition as this show went to air.


[29] The following two lines appear in the printed script:

            BLOODNOK: But you're bleeding awful.

SEAGOON: Give me the bandage. O'Brien?


[30] A ‘marching box’ was a box filled with gravel used by the men of the FX department. Generally it was shaken rhythmically to make the sound of marching footsteps.


[31] The Mounties marching song from ‘Rose Marie’ (1924) written by Friml & Stothart with lyrics by Harbach & Hammerstein.  It had been filmed in 1936 by MGM (with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddie) and refilmed in 1954 (with Ann Blyth and Howard Keel). A fascination with the Canadian Mounties was part and parcel of Milligan’s creative shelf of childhood heroes. They appear very few times in the Goon Shows; two occasions are in “The Vanishing Room” (V/6th) – Bluebottle: Strikes heroic McClusky of the Mounties pose,” while there is an oblique reference to them in “The Burning Embassy” (8/3rd.)