The Goon Show:

The Affair of the Lone Banana

First broadcast on October 26, 1954. Script by Spike Milligan. Produced by Peter Eton. Announced by Wallace

Greenslade. Orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Transcribed by anon, corrections by Paul Webster and Peter Olausson.

 

Greenslade:

This is the BBC Home Service.

Orchestra:

[Very long symphonic finish á la íWilliam Tellí - speeding up - ends in an explosion]

Seagoon:

Yes, why not? Mr. Greenslade!

Greenslade:

Yes, Master?

Seagoon:

Tell the masses what's the play.

Greenslade:

Ladies and gentlemen...

Seagoon:

Thank you. Yes, it's ladies and gentlemen in... 'The Affair of the Lone Banana'!

Orchestra:

[Deep sinister chords held under]

Sellers:

The Affair of the Lone Banana - not a pretty story, I fear; still, the BBC will buy this cheap trash. However... The central character in this story is young Fred Nurke. His father, Lord Marks, made a fortune from the great Marks Laundry business... But then you've all heard of Laundry Marks haven't you... Ha ha ha. Oh dear oh dear. But let's start the story from the beginning.

Orchestra:

[Greensleeves-type music]

Greenslade:

The scene is the country home of the Marks country home, Matzos Lodge. A mystery has been committed. young Fred Nurke has vanished. Interrogating the residents is a man, tall, dark, handsome, swashbuckling, handsome, intelligent...

Eccles:

This ain't me, folks - I come in later. Ha ha!

Greenslade:

No no - it's Inspector Neddie Seagoon, late of the eighteenth century and part inventor of the steam-driven explodable hairless toupée.

Seagoon:

...Now then my man, your name is - er?

Headstone:

Headstone, Gravely Headstone. My maiden name, you understand.

Seagoon:

I understand. [Aside] Don't put that down, Sergeant.

Throat:

Right, sir.

Seagoon:

Headstone, you are a footman.

Headstone:

Two foot six to be precise.

Seagoon:

How lovely to be tall. Headstone, you say Fred Nurke disappeared whilst having a boot of tea with his mother, Lady Marks.

Headstone:

True - you might say he disappeared from under her very nose.

Seagoon:

What was he doing there?

Headstone:

It was raining, I believe.

Seagoon:

[Self] Mmm, Lady Marks. [Normal] Where is her ladyship at the moment?

Headstone:

Me lady hasn't got a ship at the moment.

Seagoon:

I don't wish to know that. Greenslade? Send in Lady Marks or that idiot gardener - he might know something.

Greenslade:

Right sir. [Calls] This way you!

FX:

[Great heavy approaching footsteps]

Seagoon:

Ah, Lady Marks, sit down.

Lady Marks:

Thank you.

Eccles:

I bet you all thought it was going to be me. Ha ha! Ha hum.

Seagoon:

Lady Marks, your late husband owned a banana plantation, yes?

Lady Marks:

In South America.

Seagoon:

That's abroad, isn't it?

Lady Marks:

It all depends on where you're standing.

Seagoon:

Let's put it this way. Is it on the tube?

Lady Marks:

Oh you dear old fashioned thing you!

Seagoon:

Please, madam, don't be so evasive. If South America is on the tube - we have ways and means of finding out!

Lady Marks:

Dear midget, of course it's not on the tube.

Seagoon:

Now you're talking.

Lady Marks:

So are you, isn't it fun?

Seagoon:

Lady Marks - this is a tricky case - I don't think I -

Lady Marks:

Inspector, you must find my son - you must - I don't care how much money you spend - in fact, I'll chip in a few bob myself.

Seagoon:

The offer is tempting. Very well, I accept. Just leave everything to me - your purse, jewels, cheque book [fading] ginger glass eye, war bonds, trombone...

Grams:

[Harry Lime theme]

Barton:

At the British Passport office in Whitechapel, Seagoon discovered that Fred Nurke had left for Guatemala on a banana boat - disguised as a banana.

Seagoon:

That's true - I waited for the ship to return but he wasn't on board - he must have got off - at the other side!

Omnes:

[Loud applause... Cries of 'Bravo' etc...]

Seagoon:

Thank you, thank you - no, don't make it sound rehearsed. My next task was to book a ticket to South America. This I did at a shipping office in Leadenhall Street.

FX:

[Shop bell]

Henry:

Mnk - mnk grnk... Who is it? Eh eh? Who is it? Who is it?

Seagoon:

Good morning.

Henry:

Thank you.

Seagoon:

I want to book to South America.

Henry:

That's abroad, sir, isn't it?

Seagoon:

Yes. [Cocky] It isn't on the tube you know!

Henry:

Isn't that wonderful - whatever will they think of next... Do sit down, sir.

Seagoon:

Err - there aren't any chairs.

Henry:

You can stand up if you wish.

Seagoon:

Thank you.

Henry:

No extra charge, itís all on the house, there... Let us get some details and documents - we must have the documents, you know. I'll just take a few particulars. Now, let's get the details and the documents - we must have documents, you know.

Seagoon:

Of course.

Henry:

...Must have the documents. Ymnbnkhmn, now, what's all this about? Oh yes, yes. Your name?

Seagoon:

Neddie Pugh Seagoon.

Henry:

N E D D I E... Neddie - what was next?

Seagoon:

Neddie Pugh Seagoon.

Henry:

Pugh, P H E W.

Seagoon:

No no no, it's pronounced Phew but it's spelt PUGH.

Henry:

PUGH, PUGH yes, P U G H - there - Neddie Pugh, Seagoon wasn't it?

Seagoon:

Yes... Seagoon S E A G O O N.

Henry:

Could you spell it?

Seagoon:

Certainly - S E A G O O N.

Henry:

Seagoon... S E A er - mnkk - mnkk [Goes to sleep]

Seagoon:

G O O N - Seagoon.

Henry:

O O N - ahhh yes, good, yes, yes, good, good - there, the full name. Now - address?

Seagoon:

No fixed abode.

Henry:

No... F I X E D fixed... A B... A B...

Seagoon:

A B O D E.

Henry:

O D E... There we are - No fixed abode - What number?

Seagoon:

29A!

Henry:

29A... Twenty nine... A... District?

Seagoon:

London, SW 2.

Henry:

L O N D O N - South West E S T... Two, wasn't it?

Seagoon:

Yes, two.

Henry:

T W... No good, I'd better get a pencil and paper and write all this down. Minnie..! Minnie!? Min, Min, Min, Min, Minieeeeee!

Minnie:

Yes coming, hen hen hen, What is it, Henry? Yakkabathin... What is it, Henry?

Henry:

A pencil, please.

Minnie:

There you are buddy buddy.

Henry:

Minnie, this gentleman... [laughs]

Minnie:

What is it Henry? What is it?

Henry:

This gentleman is going to South America.

Minnie:

Ohh - goodbye.

Henry:

That's where young Fred Nurke went to...

Seagoon:

Fred Nurke? That's Fred Nurke's name!

Henry:

Oh! Yes, he went in such a rush he left this behind.

Seagoon:

Let me see - a banana - a lone banana! So, now my task was easier - I knew that the man I was looking for was one banana short!

Orchestra:

[Loud applause, shouts of 'Bravo'etc.]

Greenslade:

As a tribute to Seagoon's brilliant deductive powers, Max Geldray will now play a loaded sackbut from the kneeling position.

Max Geldray & Orchestra:

[Musical interlude]

Greenslade:

The Affair of the Lone Banana, Chapter Two. With the banana secreted on his person, Neddie Seagoon arrived at the Port of Guatemala where he was accorded the typical Latin welcome to an Englishman.

Moriarty:

Hands up, you pig swine. [Spits]

Seagoon:

Have a care, Latin devil - I am an Englishman. Remember, this rolled umbrella has more uses than one.

Moriarty:

Oooo!

Seagoon:

Sorry. - Now, what's all this about?

Moriarty:

It is the revolution señor - everywhere there is an armed rising.

Seagoon:

Are you in it?

Moriarty:

Right in it - you see, señor, the united anti-socialist neo-democratic pro-fascist communist party is fighting to overthrow the unilateral democratic united partisan bellicose pacifist cobelligerant tory labour liberal party!

Seagoon:

Whose side are you on?

Moriarty:

There are no sides - we are all in this together. Now señor, if you don't mind - we must search you.

Seagoon:

What for?

Moriarty:

Bananas. You see señor, we guatemalians are trying to overthrow the foreign-dominated banana plantations in this country. Any foreigner found with a banana on him will be shot by a firing squad and asked to leave the country.

Seagoon (aside):

Curses - I must think quick. Little does he know I suspect him of foul play.

Moriarty (aside):

Little does he know I've never played with a fowl in my life.

Seagoon (aside):

Little does he know that he has misconstrued the meaning of the word foul. The word foul in my sentence was spelt F O U L not F O W L as he thought I had spelt it.

Moriarty (aside):

Little does he know that I overheard his correction of my grammatical error and I am now about to rectify it - aloud. [Ahem] So, you suspect me of foul play spelt F O U L and not F O W L.

Seagoon:

Yes - and you might as well know I'm here to find young Fred Nurke.

Moriarty:

Sapristi nackos - that capitalistic pig! Heís here, but youíll -

Seagoon:

Don't move, Signor Gonzales Mess, née Moriarty - hands up.

Moriarty:

Seagoon, put that banana down!

Seagoon

And leave myself defenceless?

Moriarty:

Sapristi Bompet!

Seagoon

One step nearer and I fire!

Moriarty:

Ha ha, you fool - you can't fire a banana! It's -

FX:

[Two shots]

Moriarty:

You swine - it was loaded!

Seagoon

Of course! You don't think I'd threaten you with an unloaded banana, do you? Now come on, tell me - where is Fred Nurke?

Moriarty:

By my life I will never tell - go on and torture me - smash my skull in - break my bones - put lighted matches into my fingers - tear the flesh from my body, slice lumps off my head...

FX:

[Thud of body falling on ground]

Moriarty:

Pancho?

Sellers:

Signor?

Moriarty:

The smelling salts - he's fainted.

Orchestra:

[Spanish theme, like death theme from íCarmení; softly on trombone with tymps]

Sellers:

When the Englishman awoke he found himself in a tall dark room with sideboards - it was a prison cell.

Seagoon

True, true. The only other occupant was another occupant - apart from that, he was the only other person. He was chained to the wall by a chain which was attached to the wall. He appeared to he a man of breeding and intellect.

Eccles:

Hello dere.

Seagoon

I was wrong. But wait, wait - could he be Fred Nurke?

Eccles:

How's yer old dad, eh?

Seagoon

Do you recognise this banana?

Eccles:

Nope - I don't think I've ever met him before.

Seagoon

Then - then are you one banana short?

Eccles:

Nope, nope - nope, I ain't one short.

Seagoon:

Curse - then you're not Fred Nurke.

Eccles:

Ohh - ain't I?

Seagoon:

No.

Eccles:

Yer mean I'm somebody else?

Seagoon:

Yes.

Eccles:

Ooo - who am I?

Seagoon:

What's your name?

Eccles:

Eccles.

Seagoon:

That's who you are!

Eccles:

Oooooooo.

Seagoon:

There, there, now my dear lad - don't take it so hard. Now, how can I get out of this place?

Eccles:

Ah, well, there's dat door over dere.

Seagoon:

Right, I'm away! By dawn I'll be safe! Now's the time for action! Nothing will stop me now - Farewellllll!

FX:

[Door opens and closes. Terrific fusillade of shots, bombs, etc. Door opens and closes.]

Seagoon (panting):

It's raining! - Tell me, is there any other way out of here?

Eccles:

Would you care for something to eat?

Seagoon:

Ahh, how about that window up there?

Eccles:

Oh, you can't eat that.

Seagoon:

Now, if we could get up to that window...

Eccles:

OK, Iíve give you a hand.

Eccles:

Well, get dis iron chain off my neck and I'll help.

Seagoon:

Right - just put your neck on this block - I'll soon have it off.

FX:

[Iron hammer on anvil. Three hefty wracks. Chains fall to the floor.]

Seagoon:

There - that's broken it - you're free! How do you feel?

Eccles:

Don't know - ain't ever had a broken neck before.

Seagoon:

Come, let's to the task!

Eccles:

OK.

FX:

[Chairs being stacked one on top of the other; this keeps going on in the background]

Greenslade:

Ladies and gentlemen, the sound you are hearing is that of Seagoon and Eccles balancing chairs one atop the other. This operation might last some time as they will need to stack at least fifty to a hundred chairs if they are to reach up to the high window. No doubt, after about five minutes this sound will become very boring - BBC policy therefore decrees that in the interim we entertain you with songs from that well known tenor and market gardener - Mr. Cyril Cringinknutt.

Cringinknutt:

Thank'yew Ricky Fulton. My first number tonight I will sing for money - and it is that lovely melody from my latest record which I have just recorded. It is called 'Three Goons in a Fountain'- my melody please, Cyril -

Piano:

[Arpeggio]

Cringinknutt (croon):

Three Goons in a fountain - which one will the fountain drown - I have got a shop full of Schmutters - I got -

Greenslade:

Thank you... Ladies and gentlemen - Seagoon and Eccles have reached the high window so we won't need Cyril Cringinknutt any more, so we'll say-

FX:

[All the chairs collapse in a terrific crash. Start stacking them up again.]

Cringinknutt:

Three Goons in a fountain, which one will the fountain -

FX:

[Door bursts open.]

Milligan:

Silence - everyone silence - everyone back to their own beds. Now then, prisoner Seagoon, there is an English diplomat to see you here. This way, sir.

Orchestra:

[Bloodnok theme]

Bloodnok:

Aeiough! Arangahahhh. Kitna Budgy Hai! And other naughty noises. Now - which one of you two is Eccles and Seagoon?

Seagoon:

I'm Seagoon except for Eccles.

Eccles:

And I'm Eccles except for Seagoon.

Bloodnok:

So, you're both Eccles and Seagoon except for each other!

Seagoon and Eccles:

Yes.

Bloodnok:

I knew I'd get it out of you. I'm the British chargé d'Affaires - Major Bloodnok, late of Zsa Zsa Gabor's Third Regular Husbands. I've managed to secure your release. I completely overcame the prison guards.

Seagoon:

What with?

Bloodnok:

Money - aeiough - now, everybody onto this ten-seater horse. Ready, giddyup there!

FX:

[Galloping hooves start and stop at once]

Bloodnok:

Woah! Here we are. The Embassy.

FX:

[Knock on door, door opens]

Ellington:

Oh, it's you, sir - am I glad you came back! Them rebels have been trying to chop down the banana trees in the garden.

Bloodnok (shouts):

Dogs! Stand back. You latin devils begone, or by the great artificial paste earrings of Lady Barnett I'll come out there and cut you down - now get out, you latin devils!

Ellington:

They all went about three hours ago.

Bloodnok:

Never mind. That didn't stop me.

Seagoon:

Gad, Bloodnok, I admire your guts.

Bloodnok:

Why, are they showing?

Seagoon:

Bloodnok, I seek Fred Nurke.

Bloodnok:

Just one moment now - He's here to save the British banana industry. In fact, he went out alone, by himself, to dynamite the rebel H.Q.

Seagoon:

Then all we can do is wait.

Bloodnok:

Yes - Ellington? Play that naughty mad banjo man.

Ellington:

Here goes -

Ray Ellington and Quartet:

[Musical interlude: "Rainbow Tie"]

Grams:

[Harry Lime theme]

Sellers:

The Affair of the Lone Banana, Chapter Three. In the grounds of the British Embassy, our heroes are dug in around the lone banana tree - the last symbol of waning British prestige in South America. They all anxiously await the return of Fred Nurke. Around them, the jungle night is alive with revels - and nocturnal sounds - rain in places, fog patches on the coast. Arsenal 2 - Chinese Wanderers 500.

FX:

[Brazilian jungle at night; crickes, amazon owls, chikikis and other night animals]

Seagoon:

Gad, Bloodnok - this waiting is killing me.

Bloodnok:

Shhhhh - not so loud, you fool - remember, even people have ears.

Seagoon:

Sorry, Major, but my nerves are strung up to breaking point.

FX:

[One string fiddle - doingggg snap (quick)]

Seagoon:

There goes one now! It's - itís this darkness! You can't see a thing!

Bloodnok:

I know I know - for three hours now I've been straining my eyes, and I've only managed one page of the Awful Disclosures of Mariah Monk. Four rupees, in plain wrapper.

FX:

[Lone cricket chirping]

Bloodnok:

Listen - what's making that noise?

Seagoon:

A cricket.

Bloodnok:

How can they see to bat in this light?

Eccles:

Major, a man's just climbed over the garden wall.

Bloodnok:

A boundary! [Aloud] Well played, sir!

Seagoon:

Bloodnok, you fool - that's no cricketer - he's possibly a rebel assassin.

Bloodnok:

Then one of us must volunteer to go out and get him.

Seagoon:

Yes - one of us must volunteer.

Eccles:

Yer yer, one of us must volunteer!

Omnes:

England for ever!

Orchestra:

[Fanfare militaire]

Greenslade:

The Affair of the Lone Banana Tree, Chapter Four.

Bloodnok:

One of us must volunteer.

Seagoon:

Yes, one of us Must.

Eccles:

Yup, one of us must volunteer.

Bloodnok:

Well, who's it going to be? Seagoon?

Seagoon:

I'm terribly sorry - but I have a wife and sixty-three children.

Bloodnok:

I too have a wife and children. That only leaves dear old -

FX:

[Panicky rattling of telephone]

Eccles:

Hello, hello, operator? Get me the marriage bureau. Hello?

Bloodnok:

Eccles, you you you coward you. You you coward you naughty coward. Seagoon? You're youngest, you go.

Seagoon:

Me? You wouldn't send an old man out there?

Bloodnok:

You? You're not an old man.

Seagoon:

Give me five minutes to make up and you'll never know the difference.

Bloodnok:

Flatten me cronkler with spinach mallets. So, both of you have turned cowards, eh. That only leaves me. Two cowards, and me. You know what this means?

Seagoon:

Three cowards.

Bloodnok:

...In a fountain... Let's face it - we've all turned yellow.

Ellington:

You speak for yourselves.

Bloodnok:

Ohh, I'm so sorry, Ellington, no offence. I know you Irishmen are very brave, I...

FX:

[Phone rings]

Bloodnok:

Aeiough! Don't answer that phone unless it's for me.

Seagoon:

Right. Are you ringing for Major Bloodnok?

Moriarty:

[Distorted] Yes.

Seagoon:

It's for you.

Bloodnok:

Ohhh.

FX:

[Receiver off hook]

Bloodnok:

Hello? What? Never - never, d'yer hear me? Never.

FX:

[Receiver slammed down]

Bloodnok:

It was the rebel leader - Gonzales Mess, née Moriarty, he says unless we cut down our banana tree and hand it over to them - we shall all die tonight.

Eccles:

Tonight? Why, that's tonight!

Bloodnok:

Yes, so it is. Fancy him thinking that I'd chop down the banana to save my lousy skin - ha! ha!

FX:

[Hurried chopping down of tree]

Seagoon:

Bloodnok! Throw that saw away!

Bloodnok:

I'm sorry, I picked it up in a moment of weakness.

Seagoon:

Disgraceful! Sawing down the British banana tree!

Eccles:

Yer, itís disgraceful thatís what it is.

FX:

[Hurried sawing of tree]

Seagoon:

Eccles! Stop that! Where did you get that saw?

Eccles:

From the sea - it's a sea-saw. Ha ha!

Seagoon:

Silence! We've got to pull ourselves together - this banana tree is the last one in South America under British control!

Bloodnok:

Yes, you're right! We must defend it, with your lives.

Seagoon:

Hear my lads, remember - somewhere out there, Fred Nurke is working to destroy the rebel H.Q. - now, throw that saw over the wall.

Both:

O.K. [Grunt]

Seagoon:

Good - now I'm about to go ahead and -

FX:

[Clang and thud as chopper clouts man on nut]

Bluebottle:

[Off] Ohhhhh - my nut - ohh - I have been hitted on my bonce - ohh, I have been hitted Iíve been nutted - I was kipping on the grass and suddenly - thud! Eiih! Clutches lump on crust.

Seagoon:

Come out from behind that wall or I'll throw this at you.

Eccles:

Put me down!

Bluebottle:

[Sad] Enter Bluebottle wearing crash helmet - pauses for audience applause - not a sausinge!

Grams:

[Applause]

Seagoon:

Who is this gallant little knight with unlaced LCC plimsolls?

Bluebottle:

Who am I? I'm the one wot copped that dirty big saw on the nut. Points to lump area.

Seagoon:

Tell me, little jam-stained hero; do you know this jungle well?

Bluebottle:

Yes - I do know the jungule - Tarzan Bluebottle, they call me. Lifts up sports shirt, shows well developed ribs and bones. Fills chest with air [breathes] - feels giddy so puts on cardboard loin cloth for support.

Seagoon:

Could you lead me to the rebel H.Q.?

Bluebottle:

[Intimate] I can show you the very spot.

Seagoon:

[Intimate] Where?

Bluebottle:

Where that dirty big saw hitted my nut! You rotten nut-hitting swine you! Does body racked with sobs pose - as done by Robert Newton after seeing income tax returns.

Seagoon:

Right. Eccles, you come with us. Bloodnok - you stay here. Bluebottle - lead on!

Bluebottle:

Forward! Forward! Pulls hat well down over eyes, but pulls it up as cannot see where I'm going. Come, follow me - I -

FX:

[Terrifying roar of savage lion]

Bluebottle:

Heu heu hu - what was that, my capitain?

Seagoon:

A man-eating tiger.

Bluebottle:

Tiger?

Seagoon:

Yes.

FX:

[Whoosh]

Bluebottle:

[Right off] I do not like this game - I'm going home - I just remembered it's my turn in the barrel - exits left to East Finchley on Council dust cart.

Seagoon:

Very well, I'll go ahead myself - they'll never recognise me - I'll disguise myself as a Mexican peon -

Greenslade:

The Affair of the Lone Banana Tree, Chapter Five.

Moriarty:

Señor, we found this idiot hiding in a dustbin disguised as a Mexican peon.

Grytpype:

Ahhhh - a midget, eh?

Seagoon:

Have a care.

Grytpype:

No thanks, I don't smoke - sit on a chair.

Seagoon:

I'll stand.

Grytpype:

Very well, stand on a chair then.

Seagoon:

So - you're the leader of the rebels?

Grytpype:

Yes - now, who are you?

Seagoon:

I won't talk! Never!

Grytpype:

[Calls off] The branding irons!

Seagoon:

I'm Neddie Seagoon.

Grytpype:

Oh? Where's Fred Nurke?

Seagoon:

I don't know.

Grytpype:

So that's where he is. Right, Moriarty? Well go at once to the Embassy - and bring back their banana tree.

Seagoon:

You won't succeed - it's guarded by Major Dennis Bloodnok.

Grytpype:

Bloodnok eh? Moriarty - bring money. Seagoon, we shall lock you in here - goodbye.

FX:

[Door locks - key]

Seagoon:

Poor fools - the moment they step out - Fred Nurke will get them - they go to their doom!

FX:

[Phone rings - receiver off hook]

Seagoon:

Hello?

Fred Nurke (distorted):

Is that the rebel H.Q.?

Seagoon:

Yes, but I'm in the middle -

Fred Nurke:

Right, you swines - this is Fred Nurke, and this is my banana night - in three seconds a time-bomb explodes in your room, ha ha!

FX:

[Click]

Seagoon:

Three seconds - I've got to get out of here at once!

FX:

[Footsteps running for door]

Greenslade:

Will Seagoon get out in time?

FX:

[Explosion]

Greenslade:

Oh, hard luck - still, he tried. But was his sacrifice worthwhile - did Bloodnok save the banana tree?

FX:

[Tree cracking]

Bloodnok:

Timber!!!

FX:

[Tree crashing]

Orchestra:

[End theme tune]

Greenslade:

That was The Goon Show, a recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Seagoon and Spike Milligan with the Ray Ellington Quartet and Max Geldray. The Orchestra was conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan. Announcer: Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Peter Eton.

Orchestra:

[íCrazy Rhythmí outro]