7th SERIES No 18

BROADCAST: 31 Jan 1957 [1]


Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens.


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC.

FLOWERDEW: Oh, you tittle-tale you!

SECOMBE: You’ll get a punch up the conk if you don’t belt up mate.
GREENSLADE: Mister Seagoon, please. Such vulgarity ill becomes you.
SPRIGGS: Nonsense – it suits him down to the ground.
SPRIGGS: And let’s face it, he nearly is down to the ground.

SECOMBE: You can’t baffle me with the posh chat Mister Spriggs. Now Mister Greenslade, if you’ll just stand in this bath of treacle and sit down slowly, you’ll come to a sticky end.
ORCHESTRA: Tatty chord in C
Hup! Part two…
ORCHESTRA: Tatty chord in C
GREENSLADE: The dreaded Goon Show.
ORCHESTRA: Tatty chord in C
GREENSLADE: This week…
SECOMBE: The Moon Show.
GRAMS: Ancient fox-trot played on phonograph
SPRIGGS: Yes folks, it is eighteen fifty-three – the year of months. (No giggling please!) Now then, if listeners in the Lincolnshire district will raise their blinds they will observe the moon casting its painted wooden beams upon a compost heap on which is found a ragged idiot recumbent upon a field of turnips. He speaks in spokes. Oh ho ho ho.
SEAGOON: Ah moon!

Ah, English type moon.

What beauty,

What rotundity,

What delicacy,

What purity,

                    What joy…
GRYTPYPE: What rubbish.

SEAGOON: What, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what?
GRYTPYPE: Only ten watts? You’re not very bright, are you?
ORCHESTRA: Tatty chord in C. Cymbal snap.  
SEAGOON: I don’t wish to know that! (Close) The voice came from a face sinister, standing up a tree.
GRYTPYPE: Seagoon held up a board which said….
SEAGOON: “What are you doing up that tree?”
GRYTPYPE: We are mountaineering on a rather tight budget. Neddie, allow me to introduce my friend here on the south col branch. He is – (and I quote from the Blue Book of the London telephone directory
[3]) Count Jim “Knees” …

FX: Single wood block


GRYTPYPE: …Moriarty, fruit bottler extraordinary to the House of Pronk and ex World Turkish Bath champion.

MORIARTY: Oww – ow, ow, ow! Listen Neddie, we heard your poetry and it’s an insult to people without knees to hear that type of stuff.  
SEAGOON: What, what, what, what, what, what?
MORIARTY: You can say that again – what, what, what, what, what? (chicken impression.)
SEAGOON: Listen Jim “broody” Moriarty, do you realize you’re addressing Neddie “Davis” Seagoon, celebrated ink writer and tramp poet for East Klun?
[4] If you can do better go ahead.
GRYTPYPE: Right lad. Moriarty, hand me my poet’s tin speaking trumpet.
MORIARTY: Right – I’ll plug it into my knee.
FX: Single wood block.
: Oooooh.
GRYTPYPE:           There once was a beautiful moon.

It was up in the sky, chum.

When he said, “What’s the time?”

They replied “What?”

And the horse departed,

leaving Spon. [5]

SEAGOON: It didn’t rhyme or scan.

GRYTPYPE: Do you think it was easy?

MORIARTY: You see Neddie, that’s known as poetic license.

SEAGOON: Where can I get a poetic license?

MORIARTY: Now, there’s just one left in the shop. Here – eight-pence, marked down from six foot three.

SEAGOON: What a reduction! I’ll just write you a cheque on the side of this horse.

GRYTPYPE: Right. Sign your name across the bottom.

FX: Pen scratching.
: Horse whinny.
SEAGOON: Whoops. Ha ha! There gentlemen.
MORIARTY: Wait a minute! How do we know this horse won’t bounce?
SEAGOON: I assure you, any reputable stable will cash it.
GRYTPYPE: Thank you Neddie, and here’s our receipt on this banjo.
ORCHESTRA: Chromatic banjo break.

SEAGOON: Thank you and thonk you. Now to test my new poetic license. Where’s my leather speaking trumpet? Hem hem..

“Ah, moon!

You are like a melody-type tune.

You are so clever you can rhyme with Goon.

Oh – what a boon is the moon in June to boon.

I’ll think of another rhyme soon.

And in this land of liberty

I’ll make my living at poetry.”
GRYTPYPE: …you’ll starve. You know, I’m afraid lad your verse still lacks Browning’s merry note.
SEAGOON: Did he leave one?
GRYTPYPE: For the milkman he did, yes.
MORIARTY: Listen Neddie, you’re very fond of the moon aren’t you?
SEAGOON: Yes. If only it were mine.
GRYTPYPE: Neddie, it can be. Step up into the tree into my office.
FX: Door opens and closes.
GRAMS: Office sounds. Distant typewriters.
[7] Good morning Mister Thynne.
GRYTPYPE: Morning. Now Neddie, pull up your trousers and sit down. Neddie, the moon has been in Moriarty’s family for many generations.
SEAGOON: You mean the moon is of French origin?
GRYTPYPE: So the blood tests show. Unfortunately, at the end of the last century – during the anti-Moriarty riots in Paris,
[8] the dear Count was forced to flee to England bringing the moon with him.
SEAGOON: How did he manage that?
MORIARTY: I brought it in the daytime disguised as the sun.
SEAGOON: (Bad French) Quell brilliant stratagem.
GRYTPYPE: (Bad French) Quell terrible pronunciation.
SEAGOON: What, what, what, what, what?
GRYTPYPE: I’m coming to that. You see lad, owing to the high cost of maintaining his ancestral bed-sitter, Count Moriarty is forced to put the moon on the open market.
SEAGOON: (Excited) It’s for sale?
GRYTPYPE: Only by public auction Neddie.
SEAGOON: Where-when-how-what-who?
GRYTPYPE: Yes – well, for reasons best known to Moriarty the auction will take place at dead of night in a tree at Christies.
MORIARTY: Yes – till then Neddie, au revoir.
GRYTPYPE: Which is French for Max Geldray.
SEAGOON: Right, round the back for the old brandy there.
FX: Running feet

MAX GELDRAY “Tenderly.” [9]

GREENSLADE: And now The Moon Show part two – An Auction.
ORCHESTRA: Tatty chord in C
: Rhubarb, rhubarb &c.
SPRIGGS: Gentlemen! Gentlemen, please. Gentlemen, please. If you will take up your positions in your respective trees we will commence the auction. Now then, first – one moon, the property of Count Moriarty. Now folks – what am I bid for one mooon? GRYTPYPE: (Sottovoce) Start the bidding Neddie.
SEAGOON: (Shouts) Seven and six!
MORIARTY: Seven and six? Neddie, you can outbid that.
SEAGOON: (Shouts) Ten shillings!
SPRIGGS: Ten shillings going once…
GRYTPYPE: Ten shillings Neddie? Don’t let it get away for that.
SEAGOON: You’re right. (Shouts) Twelve and eleven!
MORIARTY: It’s worth more Neddie.
SEAGOON: (Shouts) Twelve and twelve!  
SPRIGGS: Sold at twelve and twelve pence!

FX: Gavel on bench.
: Oh my finger! Now, the next item is this explodable bust of Nudgemi……
SEAGOON: It’s mine! The moon is mine!

(sings)The moon is mine tonight,

Its silvery beams come down through my window.

The moon is mine tonight,

Is mine! MINE!” [10]

GRYTPYPE: … you’ll starve.
GREENSLADE: Now the proud owner of the moon, Seagoon retired to his centrally heated compost heap in Lincolnshire and applied himself to his steaming art.
GRAMS: Nocturnal sounds – crickets, distant owl.
SEAGOON: Now, where’s my new roast beef speaking trumpet? No poetry speaker is complete without it.
(Through megaphone) Testing! Testing! One two three… Seems all right to me. Now – ahem ahem:

“Oh moon of my dreams.

How brightly it gleams.”

What comes next? I know…


BLOODNOK: Bravo! Bravo lad! Aren’t you Neddie “Under-Milk-Pudding” Seagoon? [11]
SEAGOON: Major Bloodnok! What are you doing here?
BLOODNOK: I’ve turned tramp composer lad.
SEAGOON: Well, give us a tune on an instrument.
BLOODNOK: Well, it only plays if you place a coin in it you see, and I er… I seem to have left my pockets in my other suit. You haven’t got – erm…?
SEAGOON: Here’s a shilling.
BLOODNOK: Oh ta. Yes, fine. Away we go – one, two, three…
FX: Cash register opens, money in drawer.
BLOODNOK: …and the next dance please!
SEAGOON: What a beautiful tune that was.
BLOODNOK: Yes, it’s number one on the stock exchange you know. I wrote it myself.    “It was spring, and the moon above Paris…”
SEAGOON: Stop Bloodnok! (Thinks) Moon over Paris..? Moon above Paris! Obviously Moriarty didn’t bring the moon over from France in the first place. This one over England must be a forgery!
BLOODNOK: What?! Well, there’s only one way to prove it lad – we must consult the Royal College of Astronomers. And to give us time to get there Tom Danger and his Orchestra will play in the pavilion.
GRAMS: Pit orchestra version of “If you knew Suzie” speeded up.

MRS MOP:[12]

MRS BUCKET: High class isn’t it?

MRS MOP: Yes it is.

GRAMS: Swell and fade.
GREENSLADE: As Seagoon hurries to the Royal College of Astronomy, awaiting in there are two erudite astronomers who are even at this moment – astronoming.
BLUEBOTTLE: Here – professor Eccles?
ECCLES: Please professor Bottle, my good man…
ECCLES: …let me get on with my mathematical work.
ECCLES: Away with you.
BLUEBOTTLE: (going off mic) Alright den.
ECCLES: Let me see now – computations...
FX: Abacus beads on wire.
ECCLES: Higher mat’matics…

FX: Abacus beads on wire.

ECCLES: Lower mat’matics. “X”…

FX: Abacus beads.

ECCLES:  …(two straight lines) – is the unknown quantity. “X”…

FX: Abacus beads again.

ECCLES:  …two… (Calls out) Do you think Arsenal will beat the Spurs this week?
BLUEBOTTLE: I should think it’s most unlikely.
BLUEBOTTLE: They’re playing Blackpool. Here, professor Eccles – have you seen the moon anywhere?
ECCLES: You must remember where you put things my good man. Have you looked up the giant telescope? [13]
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh – I’ll try dat. Yes, I will try dat!
FX: Focus adjusting.
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh – you was right, the moon is inside the telescope! Look through there.
ECCLES: Oh, it’s – awohawohawooh – yeah! The moon’s up the other end, and a bit of the sky. Let’s put the cap on the end, quick!
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh goody, goody! We’ve got it trapp-èd!
FX: Door opens – slow footsteps under
BANNISTER & CRUN: Ahh. Mmk…mmk. Ahhhrgh…argh. Mmk. (Extended)
FX: Door closes.
ECCLES: Dat got rid of him. He’s gone!
FX: Door opens.
CRUN: Who’s gone?
ECCLES: You have.
CRUN: You naughty boys – what have you done with me?
BANNISTER: What have you done with Henry?
CRUN: What are you doing with the great, all-British, leather telescope?
ECCLES: Well, we trapped the moon inside it professor – for England.
CRUN: Oh. Let me see with the looking-type gaze. Oh Min – they’re right! They captured the moon. We must put it in the fridge before it goes off.
BANNISTER: Goes off, Henry?
CRUN: Yes. Didn’t you know the moon is made of green cheese?
BANNISTER: Pooh! Now we can have it for supper Henry.
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh, dat’s a good idea auntie Min.[14]
BANNISTER: Young Bottle! What are you doing out of bed without your pyjama trousers on?
BLUEBOTTLE: You see – what it was, we was playing from the latest film ‘Zarak’[15] and Little Jim had my pyjama trousers over his nut. He’d got one arm down the leg-hole, waving it about like a trunk – he was an elephant you see.
BANNISTER: Go on, Buddy.
BLUEBOTTLE: Well suddenly I sneezed, and the seat of my trousers fell out knocking Little Jim into the bath.

BANNISTER: Oh dear, dear!

BLUEBOTTLE: Little Jim, Little Jim, Little Jim! Tell them what happened Little Jim.
LITTLE JIM: I fell in de wa-ter.
CRUN: Min, Min – get these adopted children off to bed.
BANNISTER: (Going off) Shut up you naughty little…[16]
FX: Knocks on door. Door opens.
SEAGOON: Good evening!
CRUN: Ah! Come in out of the dry and wet yourself by this tap.
SEAGOON: Thank you. Professor, I want proof that there is only one genuine moon.
CRUN: Ah, there is only one. We’ve got it trapped in this telescope here.
SEAGOON: Let me see. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ho – that’s the forged one. The real moon is over Paris.
CRUN: What? Mnk mnk – this means war with Napoleon. Take the scabbard off my safety pin and fetch my leather horse, quickly!
BANNISTER: All right Henry. Strike him down in his prime.
SEAGOON: I must go to France and get back my rightful moon. Farewell! Ellington – keep them amused while I’m away.
ELLINGTON: Man, the excuses he makes to get to that brandy.

RAY ELLINGTON “Is This the Way?”

ELLINGTON: (Tambourine roll with snap at end.) Gentlemen, be seated! (And the ladies keep standing.)
GREENSLADE: Meantime, in the “Hotel de Luxe de Super Ritz” in Paris
GRAMS: French accordion music.
GRYTPYPE: Waiter! Garkon!
MORIARTY: What is it manure?
GRYTPYPE: Moriarty – I’m tired of driving this lift, do you hear?
MORIARTY: I told you that twelve shillings we got off Seagoon wouldn’t go far.[17]
SEAGOON: (Approaching – in bad French.) Pardonnezz moyz, mon-sewer. Voolezz voooz tell me où is le sal de bain?
SEAGOON: Grytpype!
MORIARTY: Moriarty!
GRYTPYPE: Shut up you heavily oiled French wreck.
SEAGOON: Gentlemen…

MORIARTY: Gentlemen? What does he mean?
GRYTPYPE: It’s just a word Moriarty.
SEAGOON: Here is a rope for your arrest.
MORIARTY: Arrest?! Run for it!
GRAMS: Horse galloping away at speed.
SEAGOON: That’s the very horse I wrote my cheque on. After them on this pit orchestra!
GRAMS: Pit orchestra playing “If you knew Suzie” – gradually speeding up.
GREENSLADE: Across the length, lingth and longth of Europe Seagoon pursued the charlatan moon vendors.
SEAGOON: Finally I traced them to Venice.
GRAMS: Huge splash.
LITTLE JIM: He’s fallen in the wa-ter. [18]
GRAMS: Splashing under
SEAGOON: (shouts) Help! Reading from left to right H. E. L. P. Help!!
GONDOLIER:[19] Signor, this way! Let me pull you from the water.
SEAGOON: Thank you. You saved my life.
GONDOLIER: Well – we all make mistakes you know.
SEAGOON: I know. I saw your wife. Now, where are they?
GONDOLIER: Hiding behind a clothes-horse in Rumania.
SEAGOON: (shouts) Alright you two! Come out from behind that clothes-horse in Rumania.
MORIARTY: Curse – he’s seen us in Rumania. The game’s up Grytpype.
GRYTPYPE: Never Moriarty! Get behind the wheel of these running shoes.
MORIARTY: Right. Hold tight and off we go to the racecourse.
GRAMS: Racing car speeding off.
SEAGOON: Curses. They had the perfect formula for escape. Don’t worry listeners – as the criminals in the stream-lined LCC plimsolls sped over the Pont de Rialto, I leapt into an English airing cupboard and gave chase.
ORCHESTRA: Three dramatic chords.
RECORDING: GRAMS: Two pair of plimsolls running. Continue under.

GRYTPYPE: Quicker Moriarty.
MORIARTY: I’m going as quick as I can.  
GRYTPYPE: Get more power out of those jam tins.
MORIARTY: But they’re old ones – a 1929 model.

GRAMS: Fade in single pair of plimsolls running along. Swell and fade behind.
SEAGOON: You sold me the wrong moon. It’s a forgery Grytpype. I know where you are!

                    CAST: Continue chase underneath.

GREENSLADE: While the chase is in progress, I should like to take this opportunity of thanking you all for your letters to me. Many correspondents have asked why I have not made more significant and prolonged appearances in my role of “Wallace Greenslade, Demon Talker”. I can assure you that I have approached Mister Seagoon with regard to taking over his part in the show. He said…. well er… I’ve got it written down here… (reads) “You stick to announcing or you will get a punch up your big, steaming conk.” Which – as you’ll all agree, is not the wittiest of lines. I will therefore return you to the great Seagoon versus Moriarty – Grytpype Thynne chase, this time with piano accompaniment.
PIANO: Sellers improvises under following recording.
RECORDING: GRAMS: Two pair of plimsolls running. Continue under.

GRYTPYPE: Quicker Moriarty.
MORIARTY: I’m going as quick as I can.  
GRYTPYPE: Get more power out of those jam tins.
MORIARTY: But they’re old ones – a 1929 model.

GRAMS: Fade in single pair of plimsolls running along. Swell and fade behind.
SEAGOON: You sold me the wrong moon. It’s a forgery Grytpype. I know where you are!

                    MORIARTY:[20] I’m not ___ ___

                    GRYTPYPE: Hurry up Moriarty!
MORIARTY: I’m not yet!
GRYTPYPE: Who were those ladies I saw you with last night?
MORIARTY: Those were no ladies, those were bearded men.

GRAMS: Fade in single pair of plimsolls running along. Swell and fade.

SEAGOON: I don’t wish to know that – you pair of idiots.

GRAMS: Running feet and shouting continue under.

SEAGOON: (Panting) I say – this is jolly exciting isn’t it?
GRYTPYPE: (Panting) Yes. Yes it is, isn’t it Neddie?
GRAMS: Fade out chase. Fade in single pair of feet running along and coming to a stop.
MORIARTY: (Panting heavily) It’s no good Grytpype – these feet I’m using are exhausted.
GRYTPYPE: My knees are overheated too. We shall have to catch a train to Tangier. [21]
GRAMS: Train whistle. Sounds of railway station tannoy.
MORIARTY: What luck Grytpype – here’s a sound effect of a booking office. I’ll get the tickets. (Slightly off mic) Two cheap day returns to Tangiers.
FX: Guard’s whistle.
GRYTPYPE: We must hurry Moriarty.
MORIARTY: Even quicker than that!
GRAMS: One small size whoosh. One extra large size whoosh.
SEAGOON: (panting) Where are those men booked to?
GRYTPYPE: They’re going to Tangiers.
SEAGOON: Are they?
SEAGOON: I’ll book the carriage right behind them and try to overtake them. (Calls) Porter!
WILLIUM: Yes mate – yes?
SEAGOON: Carry me to the train.
WILLIUM: You look strong enough to carry yourself sir.
SEAGOON: Very well – help me up onto my shoulders.
WILLIUM: Right… hup…

SEAGOON: (Straining.)
FX: Two metal bars fall to ground.
SEAGOON: Whoops!
WILLIUM: You’ve dropped your knees mate.
FX: Guard’s whistle
SEAGOON: I can’t wait now! Post it to me in a plain wrapper marked “Knees – urgent!”
GRAMS: Pair of running feet. Engine whistle. Train pulling away – speed it up to infinity. Fade in under underneath sound of carriages on tracks.
GRYTPYPE: Close that thing will you Moriarty?
FX: Window closing.

GRAMS: Stop.
MORIARTY: Oww. I specially asked for this seat Grytpype, with our backs to the engine.
GRYTPYPE: I wondered why we were sitting on the cowcatcher.
FX: Train door opening.
SEAGOON: Hands up! Drop everything.
FX: Series of metal objects being dropped. (Extended)
SEAGOON: Just as I thought – scrap metal merchants.
GRYTPYPE: A lifetime of work, gone!
SEAGOON: Now gentlemen, that moon you sold me was forged. I have it here inside this telescope.
GRYTPYPE: Well now – look here, we are willing to sell you the real moon, but of course it will work out much dearer. Let me see now, eight million tons at one-and-nine a ton – that will be, what er… fourteen pounds Neddie.
FX: Cash register – money in till.
SEAGOON: Now – my moon please.
GRYTPYPE: Let me show you Neddie. I – look, I’ll just hold this jam jar up to the sky. Get it in the right position. That’s it. Now – there… what do you see in it?
SEAGOON: (incredulous) The moon! The moon! It’s in the jam jar!
GRYTPYPE: Correct Neddie. Goodbye!
MORIARTY: Au reseviory.
SEAGOON: Hooray! The moon is mine!
ORCHESTRA: Tatty chord in C. Cymbal snap.
GREENSLADE: And that is how Mister Seagoon brought the genuine moon back to England, and a pretty dull ending it was too.
ORCHESTRA: Closing theme.
GREENSLADE: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded program featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan, with the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and the Orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens, announcer Wallace Greenslade, the programme produced by Pat Dixon.







[1] There is no 20th century English poet more enthralling than Dylan Thomas. The phraseology and passion of ‘Fern Hill’ and ‘Do Not go Gentle into that Good Night’ – or the lyrical tangles of ‘Under Milkwood’ are addictive and soothing, redolent of the pre-war era of English thought, poetry and society which gave way in the 50’s to a post-modern, multi-hued poetic re-creation known as ‘New Poetry.” It is a study in itself to understand postwar poetry and its relationship to postwar Britain, but what is sure is that Milligan was deeply affected by its progress. He was (as usual) both an opponent and a proponent – (he was in everything he did both ‘for’ and ‘against’ –  he was an advocate of equality but referred to blacks as ‘niggers’. He was infuriatingly impatient with nonchalance and simplemindedness yet he invented Eccles. He loved Irish humour and history but hated the nation for its backwardness.)

In this episode he pillories the modern British poets of his age . He had heard Dylan Thomas’s radio play ‘Under Milkwood’ performed in 1954 (with Richard Burton playing the Narrator,) and seems to have been struck at once by both its absurdist characterization and inherent lyricism – a description which fits the Goon Show in many ways. Poetry puzzled him throughout his life, even though he wrote a great deal of it. His friendship with Robert Graves (1895-1985, British poet, translator and novelist) greatly influenced his poetic concept, but at the time of this Goon Show avant-garde literature (plays, novels and poetry) was something very new and very controversial. Beckett’s “Waiting For Godot” (1953) had caused a sensation at the beginning of the decade, and new writers such as Ted Hughes, Silvia Plath and Geoffrey Hill were challenging the pre-war poets like Auden, Larkin and Kingsley Amis in inventing an avant-garde literary expression. Their writings would eventually be amalgamated in A. Alvarez’s famous publication of 1962, ‘New Poetry’.


[2] Milligan says (off mic) “Everybody dance!”


[3] ‘The Blue Book Magazine’ or ‘The Blue Book’ (1905-1975) was a popular American monthly, publishing short stories and cartoons.


[4] This was a real person. He was W.H. Davies, (1871-1940) an itinerant poet born in Newport, South Wales, who wandered through Great Britain and the United States living a bohemian and precarious existence until the vicissitudes of life caused him to start publishing his poetry as a means of earning a living. His poem ‘Leisure’ is one of the great poems of the English language. The modern pop group ‘Supertramp’ takes its name from his autobiography.


[5] The strange disjointed feeling of this poetry is a well observed parody of the ‘new poetry’ appearing at that time. Ted Hughes writes – (in ‘Full Moon and Little Frieda”)

Cows are going home in the lane there, looping the hedges with their warm

wreaths of breath –

a dark river of blood, many boulders,

balancing unspilled milk.

“Moon!” you cry suddenly, “Moon! Moon!”

The moon has stepped back like an artist gazing at a work

that points at him amazed.


[6] Robert Browning, (1812-1889) poet and playwright. Like Milligan he suffered from a random education, (though a vastly superior one.) Unlike Milligan however, he suffered from a self inflation of ego and was one of the only English poets of his day whose appreciation society was established prior to his death. His marriage to the poet Elizabeth Barrett was immensely stimulating for both writers.


[7] Milligan.


[8] This is a direct reference to the French novelist and critic Émile Zola, (1840-1902) who fled to England in 1899 to avoid imprisonment for publically accusing the French Government, Military, Church and State of anti-Semitism as a response to the conviction of Captain Dreyfus for espionage in 1895. The trial of Dreyfus had polarised France, creating scandal upon scandal in the upper echelons of the French Military establishment and had caused numerous riots on the streets of Paris by the supporters of either side.


[9] A jazz standard written in 1946 by Lawrence and Gross. Rosemary Clooney sung the number as the theme to her TV variety show from 1956 – 1957.

[10] This is parody on the song ‘The World is Mine Tonight’ by George Posford and Eric Maschwitz from their musical ‘Balalaika,’ (1936) It was also the theme tune of the British singing star Lee Lawrence.


[11] Dylan Thomas’ play for voices ‘Under Milk Wood’ had premiered on the BBC in 1954.

[12] Milligan plays the first lady; Secombe the second. The first line is unclear. It could be that they are satirising a well known comic duo of the time.

[13] British Astronomy was burgeoning at this time. The Jodrell Bank facility was expanding its capacity with the construction of the Lovell Telescope (1957) – the worlds 3rd largest radio telescope, which would play a crucial part in the tracking of Sputnik 1, and in lunar exploration.


[14] Another occasion when Bluebottle considers Min his ‘auntie.’


[15] ‘Zarak,’ (1956) a Columbia film starring Victor Mature, Michael Wilding and Anita Ekberg. The film was set in southern India.


[16] I rather wonder if we missed a GRAMS here, containing the sound of a trumpeting elephant? Min is often tangling with elephants. One helps her in the kitchen in ‘The Giant Bombardon’ while she owns a herd of them in ‘The Thing on the Mountain.’


[17] Moriarty and Grytpype often ended up in Paris living on embezzled funds. See ‘Scradje!’ (26/6th) & ‘The Silver Doubloons.’ (5/10th)

[18] By now this line is getting genuine laughs - the second show in which it was used. Milligan initiated the catch phrase in ‘The Rent Collectors’, omitted it in ‘The Shifting Sands of Waziristan and then continued it from this show.


[19] Sellers, in a thick Italian accent.


[20] Incomprehensible.


[21] From the 1940’s until 1956 (three months prior to this show being aired) Tangiers was an International Zone. It was a mecca for international espionage agencies, gamblers, crooks and speculators. It was also a haven for expatriate writers like Bowles, Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and Jean Genet.