RECORDED: 20 Jan 1959


By Spike Milligan


GREENSLADE: This is the BBC Home Service

SECOMBE: Good! Now Wal, here is that same announcement by a midget.

GRAMS: Speeded up version of 'This is the BBC Home Service'

GREENSLADE: Who's he?!

SECOMBE: I'm a friend of Bert F'tang.

SELLERS: F'tang?

SECOMBE: F'ting!

SELLERS: Findacoo!


SELLERS: Foulzow!


MILLIGAN: A friend of Bert F'tang!

GRAMS: Extended improvisation – F'tangg, F'ting! F'tooee! F'ting, Tooee! speeded up. Continue under.

GREENSLADE: Dear sponned eleven, you are listening to the sound track of this week’s wonder ear-film, presenting – Captain Stingo, or...

HERN: Goon Law, or anything or Hern.[1]

ORCHESTRA: Western theme.

HERN: See, hear and smell hairless midget, Harry Seagoon as Double Captain Rupture, hard riding, hard shooting, hard up cowboy.

SECOMBE: (Upper class) Hello, you ‘orny critters!

HERN: This role calls for great audience imagination. See, feel and hit Spike Milligna as the dying actor.

FX: Pistol shot.


SECOMBE: Yes, for the first time on your radio screen, see the hand-operated, electric teeth of Peter 'Voices' Sellers, as Big Black Beauty, the mad wallpaper stallion.

GRAMS: Hooves galloping into distance, add donkey braying over. Speed the whole thing up.

SECOMBE: Listen to the strains of Tex MacLength, and his sons of the bicycle saddle.

GRAMS: Goons: (Pre-recorded singing)

‘Give me a home

Where the buffalo roam….’

All laid out by the sound of three tubular bells belting them on the head. All fade off groaning. “Oh dear…” etc (Speed the whole thing up slightly.)

GREENSLADE: This then is your entertainment for this evening.

GRAMS: Screams, cries, feet running away

SECOMBE: Come back, come back!

ORCHESTRA: Western theme.

CAST: (Cries of sailors aloft.)

GREENSLADE: It is 1867 and dead on time. The harbour of Boston is a hive of inactivity, as English immigrants bring their shattered bank accounts to the New World. Alongside is the good ship Venus. A pling, plang, toof, nobitty, nibbitty, noo, pleta, omnivorous plethora, pletty, plong, plong, tartity, to to tooee, fit plor, tong, tang, ting, putt putt.... I say, I can't read this rubbish! I…(Effort) Ooh!

GRAMS: Body into water.

LITTLE JIM: He's fallen in da water!

SEAGOON: Yes, sonny, it’s a tradition amongst drowning men. Now, come let’s step ashore onto America, the land of plenty.

BUM: Hey bud, you gotta nickel for a cup of coffee?

SEAGOON: You poor man. You must be starving. Here, take that.

GRAMS: Electronic bash in the face. Add woodblock and jelly splosh.

BUM: Oh, buddy.

SEAGOON: That'll teach him not to be poor in front of me again. Now, where’s my slave, Uncle Tom’s Cabin?

ELLINGTON: I’m here boss. Yous covered wagon is waiting for yous.

SECOMBE: Good for yous. Fill the horses up with three gallons of hay. Hahaha! What a gallant figure I must have made, in my tricorn hat, tricorn trousers, and an unexploited-ed first edition of the Union Jack.

GRYTPYPE: Did you say covered wagon?

SEAGOON: Yes, and here's a photo of me saying it.

GRYTPYPE: And here is a statue of the word ‘Thank You.’

SEAGOON: Good! I'll unveil it tomorrow.

GRYTPYPE: Fine, fine! Are you a millionaire?

SEAGOON: No, I'm seven and six short.

GRYTPYPE: Blast! Look sir, I too am heading west with this retired wooden fish crate.

MORIARTY: (Off mic.) OOww. Let me out of here, Grytpype. The fumes! Oh the pong, the pong, Grytpype! Let me out of here.

SEAGOON: I say, what are those yellow things, champing at the knothole?

GRYTPYPE: They are the teeth of a dear friend and confidante, the great French poet and lyric plumber, Count Jim 'Flies'…

GRAMS: Flies buzzing.

GRYTPYPE: …Moriarty.

SEAGOON: Why does he travel by fish crate?

GRYTPYPE: It’s something to do with the devaluation of the Frank, I'm not sure.[2] However, apart from which he is inventing something.

ORCHESTRA: First few phrases of Rudy Wiedoeft’s “Sax-o-phun”.[3]

GRYTPYPE: Listen, he's working on it, my dear sir. E'en now, he treads the keys of his Adolf saxophone.[4] Could we hire, perchance a room on your covered wagon, so that the Count may continue undisturbed by disturb?

SEAGOON: Well, there's no bath.

GRYTPYPE: No bath? Just what the Count likes at the end of a long day.

SEAGOON: Right. Now, where's the rent?

GRYTPYPE: In my trousers.

SEAGOON: He bent down, and sure enough, he had a rent in his trousers!!

ORCHESTRA: Tatty chord in C.

SEAGOON: California[5] figs, here we come! Get up there.

GRAMS: Whip crack. Coach and horses on gravel.

ORCHESTRA: Western theme. Segue into Max Geldray playing “Oh Suzanna” then into musical number.


MAX GELDRAY – “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square[6]


GREENSLADE: That night the wagon train rested in the plain of the plat plong tip tock klong thun plat nick nack paddy whack give-a-dog-a-goon. Splish Splish… (Rage)  I do! I refuse to read on... (Self-fade into distance.)

GRAMS: Distant coyote howling.

SEAGOON: I say... will all those prairie dogs never stop howling?

GRYTPYPE: They're always howling. No trees on the prairie.

SEAGOON: Listeners who recognise that joke please keep their traps shut. Well, I'm going to bed. Goodnight.

GRAMS: Stretching springs.

SEAGOON: Aaah! Eighteen stone three. Gad I'm a heavy sleeper.

MORIARTY: (Muffled) Let me out, buddy.

GRYTPYPE: Shhhhhh. Quiet in that crate.

MORIARTY: (Muffled) Is it night or day?

GRYTPYPE: Fool! That sort of thing is only for the rich.

MORIARTY: (Muffled) Let me out, oh buddy.

GRYTPYPE: I'll let you out when you've made enough saxophones to sell to the Indians.

MORIARTY: (Muffled) I've made forog-serf-neef-nooksie saxophones.

FX: Chains rattling. Wooden door opening.

GRYTPYPE: Have you? Well, come out. Now, which of all these fish-bones is you?

MORIARTY: I'm the one with hairs on.

GRYTPYPE: My goodness, the sea trip has done you a power of good. You'll soon be strong enough to lie down, Count.

GRAMS: Indians whooping.

SEAGOON: What's that? The Indians are attacking us on the wide-screen. Quick!

GRAMS: Rifle fire. War whoops. Thundering hooves.

ECCLES: (Fade in singing.) Born on a mountain top in Tennessee… (Raves) [7]

SEAGOON: What luck – it’s Davy Eccles and his goon-shin cat!

ECCLES: Uraluckum eraluckumuluckaluckumurlum doishinook ow…&c

SEAGOON: You do it and you clean it up mate.[8] Now listen. We need help. Those smelly old Indians are overpowering us.

ECCLES: Hold your nose then buddy! Hold your nose!

SEAGOON: (Very good, yes.) Get through to Fort F'tang and fetch help.


SEAGOON: Here's the fare.

ECCLES: Ta! Giddup!

GRAMS: Bus pulls away rapidly.

SEAGOON: Fortunately for us folks, a bare ten miles away the US 6th cavalry were in the area. And a bare ten miles in America is equal to three fully-clothed miles in France! (Laughs) Ha Ha Ha!

GRAMS: Cavalry regiment at the gallop.


GRAMS: Cavalry stops dead.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: There's discipline for ya. (Spits) Ppt!

FX: Hard mallet on old shell casing.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Lieutenant Hern-Hern?

GRAMS: Footsteps running closer.


COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Where's your horse?

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: You only called me sir.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Well, that’s a good answer son. You must be mighty proud of it.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: It belonged to my father Hern.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: It’s a well-worn Hern, yeah. Here's a dollar Hern.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: A dollar Hern? What for Hern?

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Its pay as you hearn. (Spits) Ppt!

FX: Hard mallet on old shell casing.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Sergeant F'doo? Where's the chuck wagon Hern?

SERGEANT: (Idiocy) 'S-fish, ‘s-fish, ‘s-furshed, ‘s-firn sir. I mean, hai… hai…

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Well, if you say so. (Spits) Ppt!

GRAMS: Jelly splosh.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: I'm sorry, Sarge. Here, catch this lifebelt!

GRAMS: Something heavy dropped into water.

SERGEANT: Thank you!

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: We better get going, Colonel. They say that the Knobbly Knee Indians are in the vicinity.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Let's hope we don't get the wind of ‘em.

GRAMS: (Pre-recording) CAST: (Singing) “I’ll be calling you, Oo - Oo.

                                        GREENSLADE: And I’ll answer too, Oo – Oo…” [9]

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Its three lone Indians.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Call 'em over, we could do with a loan Hern, yeah!

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Great Jumping Fanakapants! It’s the Knobbly Knee Tribe in full war-paint and wallpaper.

CHIEF ELLINGA: Ugggg! How! Biugg! Tioof nuff vim, oooh bugg.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: I reckon there must be an easier way to make a living ya know! How Hern!

CHIEF ELLINGA: Me chief Investor in Wall Street. Chief Sitting Bull and Bear, this is my squaw.

GREENSLADE: How do you do?


COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Yes, I thought that too.

CHIEF ELLINGA: And this nit here is my son, great warrior Fred Smith, OBE.

SECOMBE: Hello boy. I had eggs for tea.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Hey, he looks mighty tall in the saddle

CHIEF ELLINGA: That's because he's on a horse, mate!

CAST: (Corny fanfare.) TA-RA!

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Chief, we want to do business. We're willing to knock all your teeth out for nothing and give you genuine false ones in exchange for old buffalo hide.

CHIEF ELLINGA: Mmmmm. Ugg. All my braves have buffalo hides.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Where's yours?

CHIEF ELLINGA: Where's my what, mate?

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Where's your buffalo hide?

CHIEF ELLINGA: He's hiding behind that tree mate.

CAST: (Corny fanfare.) TA-RA!

SECOMBE: Sounds like Monkhouse and Goodwin got here first!

CHIEF ELLINGA: Look! Wait a minute! Me no like what white man offer. You go, or my braves go on four-lane warpath. And I'll give you biff and conk! BIFF!

GELDRAY: That's my dad, boys.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Watch out Sitting Bull, or I'll get you as sure as my name's Custer. (Spits) Ppt!

FX: Hard mallet on old shell casing.

GRAMS: Horse gallops up.

ECCLES: (Approaching) Oooh, here, here, here, here! Oh, here, here!

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Holy Smoke! It’s something going “here-here-here-here!”

ECCLES: It was me going “here-here-here-here!”

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Steady there son. Steady. You and me get a hold of your coconut shells.

ECCLES: I've been through hell to get here.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: There must be a cooler route, son, I reckon!

ECCLES: The wagon-train with your wife on board is being attacked by the Indians!

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: My wife! Is she safe?


COLONEL SLOCOMBE: I never did like them Indians.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Did any follow ya?

ECCLES: Yeah, they're shooting' at me all the time, but I just stuck my tongue out at them.




ECCLES: In the tongue..

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Well, for no reason at all – FORWARD!

GRAMS: Troop of cavalry gallop off: recording over of chorus singing “The Rangers Song” from Rio Rita. All at speed. Wind up speed and fade. [10]

ELLINGTON: Ah! White man gone and leave no tip. Come, we go on warpath! Take partners for next war dance.

GRAMS: Frenzied Indian war whoops.

ORCHESTRA: (Fade in.) Tenor saxophone playing gentle rendition of Victor Silvester’s “You’re Dancing on my Heart” as if at a tea dance, native war drums behind. [11]

GREENSLADE: That night the tribes of the Sioux confederacy were assembled for war. A white man and his fish crate were the centre of attraction.

GRYTPYPE: (Announces) Red men, I come as a fellow equity member with all dues paid. In this fish crate are what Red men need.

BRAVE: Red woman?

GRYTPYPE: Later Chief, later! But plenty of it, later. First I knock on box, so…

FX: Knocks on wood.

ORCHESTRA: Alto saxophone solo “Sous les toits de Paris” – with donkey vibrato and slippery intonation.

OMNES: (Sounds of amazement and wonder.)

GRYTPYPE: Yes – we bring you saxophones!

GRYTPYPE & MORIARTY: (Singing) “From out of the sky,

my brother and I…” [12]

CHIEF SECOMBE: Ug! Me like. Me try play.

ORCHESTRA: Alto saxophone solo as before - “Indian Love Call.” [13] Improvises wildly all over the place.

MORIARTY: You play lovely, Chief.

GRYTPYPE: Yes, he plays lovely, doesn't he. Could easily pass for music – I’d pass it.

CHIEF SECOMBE: Good! Tonight, me and braves attack white men with saxophones. Mooohaaaaa! Minnehaha hahahaha! [14]

GRAMS: Multiple saxophones and Indian war whoops over.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Gentlemen, somebody’s supplying the Indians with saxophones. (Spits) Ppt!

SEAGOON: I think I know who it is.

FX: Hard mallet on old shell casing.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Bring that thing closer, will ya! You were saying Hern?

SEAGOON: I know who they are – Moriarty and Thynne.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Where's they hiding?

SEAGOON: America.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Sergeant, make a note of that address will ya?

ECCLES: How the hell do you spell it?

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Don't bother how to spell it, just write it down.

ECCLES: Okay...

FX: Scratchy nib on paper.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Now read it back to me

ECCLES: (Idiocy) Aambalalarlackum.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: That sounds like the place to me. Alright men, search America and look under the beds!

GRAMS: Men’s chorus singing “The Ranger’s Song” repeated. Galloping hooves behind. Speed the whole thing up and fade.

MORIARTY: Grytpype, they've got wind of us! We've got to get away, I tell you!

FX: Slapstick.

MORIARTY: Oogha oogha oogha!

GRYTPYPE: Don't panic, Count. Get into this woman's disguise kit, while Ray Ellington releases his power of song on an unsuspecting world.


RAY ELLINGTON - 'You'd better know it'


GREENSLADE: Meantime, in Dodge City, television centre of the old west, a quack hawks his wares, and wares his hawks – whichever way is the better, I wouldn't know.

ORCHESTRA: Bloodnok theme.

GRAMS: Bubbling cauldron under. Indian war whoops. Shells whizzing overhead. Enormous explosion.

BLOODNOK: Ohhhh! Ohh, that's done me a power of good, folks! And there's more where that came from. Citizens of Dodge City – Bloodnok's the name! Dr Denis Bloodnok, late of Harley St, Twickenham. Now then, I've cured the aristocrats of the plin, and the farmers. Let me read this testimonial, sir. “Dear Sir, Since taking your course of thunder-pills, I feel like a new man. Signed, Mrs Ivy Chandler.” Now then, who will be the first to try it I say? Who will be the first? [15]

MONES & GRAMS: Crowd noises. Massed rhubarbs.

SINGHEZ THINGZ: (Approaching) Try it! I’ll try it! I’ll try some of that.

BLOODNOK: You'll try some? A Hindu Raja! Give him a big hand!

GRAMS: Thunderous applause and cheering. Stops suddenly.

SINGHEZ THINGZ: Thank you sir, but I'm only a coolie.

BLOODNOK: Coolie? Give him a small hand will you!

OMNES: Sparse applause.

BLOODNOK: Now then, mystic son of the east, sip this small sulphur and liquorice bomb.

SINGHEZ: (Lips smacking.)

BLOODNOK: Look! Oooh, before my eyes, before my military eyes, the colour is coming back to his pallid loincloth!

GRAMS: Train noises, whistles blowing, heavy traffic, sirens, explosions, people yelling, and running feet, all mixed up.

SINGHEZ THINGZ: Good… good… Oh good heavens! Good Heavens! Where are my trousers and loin cloth gone?

BLOODNOK: How do you feel, Prince of the East?

SINGHEZ THINGZ: I don't feel well, Ivy. I feel very, very ill.

BLOODNOK: Ill? You ungrateful swine!

VOICE: (From the back of the crowd.) You're a quack, mister! You're a quack!

BLOODNOK: Steady, Yankee doodles, or I'll have the red-coats on you! I'm a personal friend of Billy Butlin you know!

OMNES & GRAMS: Angry crowd. Pistol shots. Running boots.

BLOODNOK: Careful there! Ooo! Careful there! Oooha!

GRAMS: Fade in honkey-tonk piano and pub brawl. (“The Wreck of the Ol’ 97.”)

GRYTPYPE: I say, barman – drinks, for my lady.

MORIARTY: Yes, I'll have a glass of fish and chips.

GRYTPYPE: And see you put a good head on it.

BARMAN: Well, we don't keep any drink called Fish and Chips.

GRYTPYPE: What!? Come, Moriarty, we shall take our trade and malnutrition elsewhere.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Hold everything!

GRYTPYPE: Right Moriarty, you hold the Piano. I'll feel the table.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: I'm Lootenant Hern-Hern of the United States cavalry. Reasonable charges to regular customers. (Delighted to meet you too sir.)[16] Now we’re looking for two men who have been selling contraband saxophones to the red Indians, thereby causing unemployment amongst white musicians.


FX: Body falls to floor.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Pardon me, ma'am – your er… your wig’s fallen off.

GRYTPYPE: Wig? How dare you sir! The unfortunate woman just happens to have gone bald suddenly. It’s obviously a case of the new lightning French alopecia from the song of the same name.

MORIARTY: That’s right – (sings)  Alopecia,

lightning alopecia,


je te plumerai.

GRYTPYPE: (Sings)                   First you get it on your nut.

MORIARTY:                                         First you get it on your nut!

FX: Heavy woodblock.

MORIARTY:                                         On my nut!

GRYTPYPE:                               On his nut!

MORIARTY:                                         On my nut!

CAST &OMNES: (Singing)          Oooooooh!


lightning alopecia,


je te plumerai!

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Hold it! Stop that alopecia! One moment you two, I seem to recognise your face sir. Take off that false nose!


LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Ahah. Now them false ears.

GRYTPYPE: I protest!

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Now that false suit. And that false chest. (Squirms) Hahaha. Just as i thought – I don't know who you are. Who are ya?

GRYTPYPE: Lord Nelson.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: He had one arm missing.

GRYTPYPE: I have. I used to have three.

ECCLES: (Approaching) Hello, fellas! (Raves) Ularlumbglerlumbgroyi. Care to have a hand of cards?

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Poker, pontoon or rummy?

ECCLES: Yeah… and cards?

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Well alright fellas – I pass.


ECCLES: Mmm, it’s up to me now folks. (It’s up to me now folks.) I'm callin' ya fellas!

BLUEBOTTLE: Ohh, he's callin' us all fellas. I shall recipromecate. I shall call him a fella. Helloo fella!

ECCLES: 'Ere, what's that under there? Bottle! I didn't see you under that big black hat with that cotton moustache.

BLUEBOTTLE: It’s the Call of the West partner! Chews plug of Hopalong Cassidy cardboard- string tobacco, liquorice-type. Spit, spit, spitty! (Cries) Ooohhoi. It’s gone right down the front of my shirt.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Who are you, stranger? Speak up.

BLUEBOTTLE: I am Marshal Matt Dillon of 23 Flub Avenue, East Finchley, North 12.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: I never seen you in Dodge City before. How did you get here?

BLUEBOTTLE: I came on the forty-nine bus from the High Street.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: There ain't no buses run out here.

BLUEBOTTLE: No, it only took me as far as the Odeon. I had to walk all the rest of the way myself.

ECCLES: What about the game?

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Ok then, you're calling Mad Dan. What kind of hand you got?

ECCLES: Four fingers and a thumb.

BLUEBOTTLE: I beat you, Mad Dan – I got four fingers, two thumbs, and a toe!

ECCLES: A toe? There ain't no such hand.

BLUEBOTTLE: Do you think I’m a cheat?

ECCLES: No, I think you're deformed.

BLUEBOTTLE: No man can call Bluebottle deformed, unless he's a specialist. Eccles, I'm runnin' you in.

ECCLES: I've been run in. I've done 10,000 miles.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Come on Mad Dan. Are you going quietly or do we have to use ear-plugs?

ECCLES: Aohhohoi, what's the charge?

BLUEBOTTLE: The murder of Julius Caesar.

ECCLES: I wasn't alive when he was murdered.

BLUEBOTTLE: No, I know dat! That is why we had to wait 'til you was born before we could arrest you.

ECCLES: Down with Caesar!


ECCLES: You won't take me dead or alive.

BLUEBOTTLE: And how are we going to take you den?

ECCLES: Sort of in between.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: He's there now. Let's get 'im!


BLUEBOTTLE: Go for your guns, Mad Dan. I'm warning you! See the panther-like movements of my mittened hands, as they curl towards the cardboard and string triggers of my shredded wheat cut-out pistols.

FX: Door opens.

BLUEBOTTLE’S MUM: There you are, you dirty little tramp!


BLUEBOTTLE’S MUM: I'll give you oh Mum. Your father's been looking everywhere for his trilby hat! Where's all the shopping I sent you for? [17]

FX: Clips around lug'ole. Use different sized woodblocks played quickly.

BLUEBOTTLE: (Leaving.) Oh mum, you spoiled my game! Bye bye, Eccles!

ECCLES: Goodbye!

GRYTPYPE: And so perish all enemies of the queen.

MORIARTY: And there's more where that came from.

LIEUTENANT HERN-HERN: Now I recognise that voice by the shape of them words!

GRYTPYPE: Run for it, Moriarty! They know us!

GRAMS: Double whoosh.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic chord.

GREENSLADE: This then was the situation: Bloodnok pursued by the mob; Grytpype pursued by the 9th cavalry; and Bluebottle pursued by his mother. With that in mind will listeners please take in their slack, and listen to the occupants of Fort Ftang, preparing for the Indian assault.

FX: Bits and pieces clanking.

BANNISTER: Rub it well in, Hen. Rub it well in!

CRUN: They won't quell old Hen Crun by surprise. Min, stand against that wall for a certain test.

BANNISTER: Oh. (Going off.) Ok cocky.

FX: Shotgun blast. Selection of bits and pieces falling to floor.

BANNISTER: Ooooh! Oooowiee!

CRUN: Did that hurt, Min?


CRUN: Good, then this is the gun for the redskins. But just in case I'll get a gun ready for the blue-skins and the green-skins.

BANNISTER: I hope they attack soon because the dinner's getting burnt.

CRUN: They'll never attack a burnt dinner Min, I tell you!

OLD UNCLE OSCAR: (Geriatric.) Ah hum… &c (raves.)

CRUN: Uncle Oscar! What are you doing out of your grave?

BANNISTER: He must be feeling better Henry.

OLD UNCLE OSCAR: I… er… (Raves)

CRUN: Oh Uncle – at your age! You've been at the hormones again.

OLD UNCLE OSCAR: Arghha rhaarmmyi nammahgh d’phagararh… (Raves)

FX: Teeth shaken round inside a saucepan..

CRUN: There go his teeth, Min! That means more dinner for us.

GRAMS: Indian war whoops

BANNISTER: What's that?

CRUN: Do you hear that Min? It’s the war-whoops of the Nukka Tukka Indians!

BANNISTER: Are they the ones that commit atrocities?

CRUN: Yes, Min.

BANNISTER: I'll go upstairs and get ready!

CRUN: Stop it Min, do you hear! You know that's for me, I tell you!

OLD UNCLE OSCAR: Aaarrrrhaa arhnaghaa arrrr!

CRUN: He remembers, Min. He's remembered in leather. Now Uncle, get inside that coffin and defend it with your life. Min, get into your best red flannel draws and defend them to the end. I shall just announce the next part of the program. Ladies and Gentlemen, I have pleasure in announcing a knock at the door.

FX: Doorbell rings.

CRUN: Blast, there's been a change in the program. (Calls) Who is it?

FX: Door opens.

GRAMS: Massed saxophones with Indian war whoops over.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: And so folks, with rivers of blood being shed – arson, rape, murder everywhere, we say goodnight from Happy-drome

FX: Gunshot.

COLONEL SLOCOMBE: Arghh! They got me folks. Another unhappy ending especially for me. (Spits)

FX: Hard mallet on old shell casing.


ORCHESTRA: Double quick version of “I Want to Be Happy.” Segue into playout.

ORCHESTRA: Playout featuring the Ray Ellington Quartet.



[1] As far as can be ascertained, this is a word Milligan invented – possibly abetted by the rest of the cast. It seems to be a play on the drawling American accent that Englishmen of Spike’s era heard regularly in the movie theatres. An alternate source could be a compression of the word “American” – losing the first four syllable and pronouncing the final syllable with an acute mid-western accent and adding an aspirate, hence: kɝn becomes hɝn.

[2] The French franc was devalued twice during 1958; in June immediately on de Gaulle’s assumption of power and then again a month after this broadcast following the creation of the Fifth Republic. The audience laughter is an indication that the event was current.


[3] Rudy Wiedoeft (1893-1940), US saxophone virtuoso. He did much to popularise the saxophone in the early part of the 20th century – particularly the ‘C melody sax’ (see “Robin Hood” (SP/7th,) developing new performing techniques for the instrument and writing very many popular numbers to showcase his extraordinary technique. His alcoholism and an attack by his wife using a knife regrettably shortened his life. The saxophonists of the Wally Stott Orchestra had a busy evening of it. This show required a large number of tenor and alto solos, many pre-recorded so that the GRAMS department could play round with the speed.

[4] This is a play on the name of the inventor of the saxophone, Adolfe Sax (1814-1894).


[5] Unknown word.


[6] One of the greatest wartime songs written by Maschwitz and Sherwin in 1939. There are no bluebirds in England. They are indigenous to the Americas.

[7] From the 1955 film “Davey Crocket, King of the Wild Frontier.” Starring Fess Parker


[8] Milligan responds to the audience, “They’re all with me tonight!”


[9] This is a quote from the popular 1923 musical “Rose Marie” (Harbach, Hammerstein, Friml and Stothart.) The show – the most successful musical of the 20’s, was filmed four times. In 1952 the yodelling cowboy Slim Whitman released a version which peaked at number two in the US country charts and did well also in the UK charts in 1955.


[10] Rio Rita” was a 1927 musical by Bolton, Thompson, McCarthy and Tierney which set out to emulate the success of Romberg’s smash hit “The Desert Song,” but using a subject matter  close to the hearts of most Americans – the wild west. The musical was filmed twice, once in 1929 starring Bebe Daniels and John Boles, and then again during the war (1942)  starring Abbott and Costello.

[11] One of the two or three most played GRAMS in the Goon Shows, the tune “You’re Dancing on my Heart” was the signature theme of the British bandleader and dancer Victor Marlborough Silvester (1900-1978.) After studying music at Trinity College, running a chain of dance academies, and forming his own dance orchestra, during the war he was a regular on BBC radio, broadcasting dance tunes specialising in cheery, upbeat melodies. His motto was “Victory through Harmony.” The show transferred to BBC television in 1948 and was renamed  BBC Dancing Club.” Spike uses the Colombia recording of Silvester’s orchestra - (FB2704), inserting it into the shows at moments of terrible pathos or unspeakably twee Britishness.


[12] This is a reference to the BBC radio show “Ray’s a Laugh” which ran from 1949- 1961 starring Ted Ray and the singing brothers Bob and Alf Pearson, one of the nation’s most popular music hall acts of the 30’s and 40’s. They typically introduced themselves on the show with the words “We bring you melodies from out of the sky, my brother and I…” The audience recognises the reference with great delight.


[13] The saxophonist seems to be copying Artie Shaw’s recording of “The Indian Love Call” recorded in 1938.


[14] This is an intentional exclamation. As Secombe laughs he suddenly mentions Minnehaha. She is a fictional Native American who appeared in the 1855 poem “The Song of Hiawatha” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Her story inspired a wealth of 19th century art, music and literature, as well as becoming a place name for natural features like bays, streams and waterfalls and  for sundry other objects like shipping,

[15] Whether or not Spike was aware it, he is painting the portrait of a real life medical quack. Francis Tumblety (1833-1903,)  the son or Irish immigrants to New York, began his notorious career selling pornography and working as a hospital cleaner. It was here that he developed a macabre taste for gynaecological operations and cures for sexual temptations. Claiming to be a great physician, he began peddling patent medicines such as “Dr. Morse’s Indian Root Pills” and gained a reputation for his eccentric, ostentatious clothes, which were frequently of a military nature. He reserved a special hatred for prostitutes, displaying their uteruses in jars in his study. Later in life, while living in London,  he became a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders.

[16] Secombe had overlooked Seller’s reply line, “Delighted to meet you sir,” which should have come after the word “cavalry.” Sellers gets a syllable or two out but is cut off . Secombe  backtracks slightly at the end of his line to cover what he missed.

[17] There is a general impression in all the series, that Bluebottle is often playing truant from his mother. It doesn’t stand up to research however. Bluebottle is found only on one other occasion with his mum’s shopping list and that is in “The Space Age” (6/8th). “Half a cake of small brown, tin of salmon, quarter black shag.”