The Canal

By Spike Milligan

Broadcast 2nd November 1954     (series 5 episode 6)

Guest Starring Valentine Dyall

Greenslade: This is the BBC Home Service.
Flowerdew: This is madness, d'you hear me? Madness!
Secombe: The man is, of course, referring to the highly esteemed Goon Show.
Grams: 1922 Jack Payne record of one-step.
Secombe: Stop. Thank you, Geraldo. Mr. Greenslade, tell the eager multitudes of the goodies we have in store for them.
Greenslade: Ladies and Gintlepong. In keeping with the policy of our more 'popular' Sunday newspapers, we give you now a nice soggy mess of vice, drunkeness and worst of all - the shame of our cities!
Sellers: (Winston Churchill) Mixed fretwork classes.
Secombe: Thank you, Geraldo. To commence this night of debauchery, we present the world's mixed bathing champion of 1931 - the man in black - Mr. Valentine Dyall.
Fx: Vibrant giant gong.
Greenslade: Allow me to correct you, little pigmy man. I am no longer the man in black; I am now the man in grey!
Secombe: What brought about this change?
Greenslade: A very cheap dry cleaners.
Secombe: Very well. Mr. Dyall, the floor is yours but remember, the roof, is ours.
Valentine Dyall: Thank you, Barbara Kelly. Ladies and Gintlepong, this is the man in black speaking.
Valentine Dyall: A funny thing happened to me on my way to the theatre tonight - a steam roller ran over my head. So much for humour - and now pray allow me to tell the story of...
Milligan: (Scream)
Fx: Deep resonant splash.
Greenslade: 'The Canal', ha ha ha (goes off laughing into echo)
Orchestra: Quiet, sinister horror theme.
Seagoon: My name is Neddie Seagoon. I come from mixed parentage - one male, one female, and that's how it should be. My father was the famous amateur brain surgeon, Lord Valentine Seagoon.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Neddie was one of my adopted sons by one of my adopted wives. In 1899 I built for my family a huge mansion.
Eccles: It was only a luxury manor - but it was home to me.
Flowerdew: (nutty) There's a cow on the roof and I am a daisy - I must be careful of that cow...
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Ha ha. My-er-children. The manor was a grim, black, foreboding place. Hanging in the eaves were myriads of red-mouthed bats that nightly danced in the dank air that arose from the oily waters of... The Canal. (Mad laughter as before)
Eccles: Dat's my daddie who said dat.
Orchestra: Change of scene chord.
Fx: Horse-drawn hackney walking slowly.
Greenslade: The Canal, Chapter One. Ned Seagoon returns from college.
Fx: Horse-drawn hackney up and under:-
Reuben Croucher: Oooooh, my life, if it isn't 'arf parky up on this drivin' seat - ooh I should never have come out naked.
Seagoon: I say, driver - have I far to go now?
Reuben Croucher: Eh? Let's have a look - mm noo, I shouldn't think you got far to go.
Fx: Hackney stops.
Seagoon: I say. Why have we stopped?
Reuben Croucher: It's no good, mister - I can't see a thing in this fog.
Seagoon: Never mind, I'll make it on foot - I brought one with me. Now, what's the fare?
Reuben Croucher: See - it's Friday today, in'it?
Seagoon: 'Tis so.
Reuben Croucher: (to self) See, there's the rent - school fees - instalment on the bread knife - yers, that'll be thirty-two pounds ten, mister.
Seagoon: Villain of villains! The meter only says five shfflings.
Reuben Croucher: That meter ain't got a wife and ten kids ter keep.
Seagoon: There, five shillings, no more. On second thoughts, here'~ a penny tip. The spirit of charity is not dead.
Reuben Croucher: No, but it in't 'arf sick, mister.
Seagoon: You jester. Farewell. Now, see - ahh yes, this is the way (going off) past the old blasted oak and - LX. RESONANT SPLASH OF STILL DEEP WATERS.
Seagoon: (off) Help!
Reuben Croucher: Where are you, mister?
Seagoon: (off) In the canal.
Reuben Croucher: Here, catch.
Fx: Splash.
Reuben Croucher: You forgot yer bag, ha ha ha -
Orchestra: Mocking theme. fade into:-
Fx: Three knocks on heavy wooden door.
Bloodnok: Coming - coming...
Fx: Door opens.
Bloodnok: Oh Neddie, it's you - in quick, before the Arabs open fire. Aeiough.
Seagoon: Uncle Bloodnok? I thought you were in the desert.
Bloodnok: I am.
Seagoon: I'm sorry I'm in such a mess - I fell in the canal and I'm covered in muck, mud, grease, rubbish, tar, oil and sludge.
Bloodnok: You know, it suits you. But how did you get past those turbanned devils of brown, the Arabs?
Seagoon: Arabs? What are Arabs doing in Lancashire?
Bloodnok: I can only put it down to the fog. If only Lord Kitchener would bring reinforcements. Aeiough
Seagoon: (aside) Mmm. Uncle Bloodnok seems to'have changed.
Bloodnok: Didn't you see them hiding behind the sand dunes?
Seagoon: Sand dunes? Where?
Bloodnok: Outside - I never allow them in the house. Now I must report to H.Q. Goodbye. Charge!
Fx: Horse gallops away. coconut shells.
Seagoon: Oh. What's happened here since I've been away at college?
Seagoon: Anybody about? Mother? Mother? Mother, I'm home.
Fx: Door opens.
Seagoon: Oh, Mother, I'm so glad to see you. Dear old mummy (Big kiss)
Gravely Headstone: Pardon me, sir, but I'm the butler.
Seagoon: Oh, I'm sorry. You shouldn't wear a kilt
Gravely Headstone: I have reasons for dat.
Seagoon: I too have knobbly knees.
Fx: Door opens. Gong.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Neddie!
Seagoon: Father! You - you are Father, aren't you?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Do I have to undress?
Seagoon: No, it's just that you've changed so much. (Aside) And, dear listener, changed he had - he looked tired, weary - his eyes, his eyes were sunk back in his head, they were were bloodshot, watery and red-rimmed - what had caused this.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Neddie, we've bought a television set. But what are you doing back from school?
Seagoon: My schooling is completed.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Nonsense, you've only been there forty-three years.
Seagoon: Nevertheless, I came out top boy in the entire kindergarten.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Really? Then it's politics for you.
Flowerdew: (approach) I'm a daisy - a beautiful daisy - please, brown cow, do not eat me - nor my friend the pansy - where are you, Ivor?
Seagoon: Good heavens - wasn't that Uncle Rupert?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Yes. He's better now.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Neddie, now that you're home, promise me one thing.
Seagoon: Very well, Father, I promise!
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Thank you. See that you keep it for your mother's sake.
Seagoon: Ying tong iddle I po.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Good. Promise me one more thing. Never -never - go near... the canal.
Seagoon: Why not?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: (flaming) Just never go near the canal, that's all. Now you must be tired, you need rest. Eccles?
Fx: Door opens.
Eccles: Yer 'did my daddie call me?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Eccles, get your things out of Neddie's room.
Eccles: Okay daddy
Fx: Door opens.
Eccles: Come on now, shoo, shoo.
Fx: Goats bleating in a herd - chickens - cows - ducks - horses galloping out - cats.
Eccles: All out. Well goodnight Neddie, sleep well. Mind how you tread!
Fx: Door shuts.
Seagoon: That night I lay in bed with a clothes peg on my nose. What had happened to everybody? 'Don't go near the canal', he had said (yawn sleep talking) Don't go near the canal... zzzz.
Fx: Door opens.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Right, he's asleep, heh heh heh. Hand me the mallet, Doctor.
Dr Eidelburger: Here.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Right -huhhh.
Fx: Wallop on bonce.
Seagoon: Zzzz-ooo.
Greenslade: (in quick) The Canal, Chapter Two.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Together - one two threeeee...
Fx: Splash - bubbles of body sinking.
Greenslade: (in quick) The Canal, Chapter Three.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Hello? Lloyds? About that life insurance against my son Neddie, well... it appears to have matured... you'll bring the money round? Right. Thank you.
Fx: Receiver down.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Ha ha ha.
Milligan: (Off) (Long agonised scream)
Lord Valentine Seagoon: (calls) No - not tonight, dear! Forty thousand pounds, just for throwing Neddie in the canal, ha ha...
Fx: Door opens.
Seagoon: (gasping) Father, I...
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Neddie, you've been playing in the canal. I told you to stay away! Eccles?
Eccles: (off) Yes, Daddie?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: He's back.
Eccles: O.K.
Fx: Door opens.
Eccles: All of yer out!
Fx: Goats - chickens -cows - ducks - horses cats.
Eccles: Here's yer clothes peg.
Flowerdew: I'm a daisy, father's a plum, that's why we stoned him. I hear music and there's only Max Geldray there.

Max Geldray and Orchestra - Musical Interlude

Orchestra: Short dramatic theme.
Greenslade: The Canal, Chapter Four.
Seagoon: These three days I've been kept locked in my room. I pass the time cutting the grass under my bed, and feeding the monkeys. At night I can hear digging in the cellar. A thought has just struck me... what has become of mother? Dear mother, she was like one of the family.
Fx: Door opens.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: In here, gentlemen.
Yakamoto: Dr Eidelburger: Zank you. Yerserkah.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Neddie, I've brought two freshly-released physicians to see you, Dr. Yakamoto - and Dr. Justin Eidelburger.
Seagoon: But there's nothing wrong with me.
Dr Eidelburger: Zat's why we're here, haa haa haa - za German joke. Dr. Yakamoto? Treatment!
Yakamoto: At once, honourable sir. Would the honourable Neddie Seagoon put both bonourable feet into this delicate thirty-ton iron container?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Do as the little oriental says, Neddie.
Seagoon: Very well, Father.
Dr Eidelburger: Good. Now, we pour in ze concrete mixture, zo!
Fx: Concrete going in.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: (talking over it) You see, Neddie, the doctors say - when the concrete blocks set on your feet, you won't be able to run away and play near the canal, haha...
Orchestra: Harp arpeggio (minor) with bass clarinet (play little tune).
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Hello? Lloyds? I want to add to that last policy on my son Neddie. Yes,yes, I want one that covers him in the event of his ever putting concrete blocks on his feet and throwing himself in the canal. Yes, I know it's not likely to happen but just in case.
Greenslade: The Canal, Chapter Five.
Fx: Splash.
Seagoon: (off) Helppppppppp.
Fx: Bubbles
Greenslade: The Canal, Chapter Six. The Lock-Keeper's Lodge.
Henry Crun: Zzzzzoh dee de de de - mnk (mouth noises) - . . mnk - yes.. . zzzz
Seagoon: (off) Help!
Henry Crun: Mnk - yes - help, yes - mnk grmp de de de - zzzzz.
Seagoon: (off) Help!
Minnie Bannister: Henery? Henry, buddy? Henry, man?
Henry Crun: What what what what - what?
Minnie Bannister: Henry?
Henry Crun: What is it, Minnie?
Minnie Bannister: There's a gentleman in the canal, Henry.
Henry Crun: Oh. Thank you, Minnie. Goodnight, Min.
Minnie Bannister: Goodnight, Henry
Seagoon: Helppppp!
Minnie Bannister: Henry? That gentleman is shouting, Henry.
Henry Crun: Oh de de - do you think he wants to pass through the lock?
Minnie Bannister: I can't tell, Henry - but I think be must be in a submarine.
Henry Crun: Why?
Minnie Bannister: He keeps going under the water.
Henry Crun: Really? What will they think of next, eh?
Seagoon: Helppp!
Minnie Bannister: He said help, Henry.
Henry Crun: Help? That's the distress call, isn't it?
Minnie Bannister: Oh yes, yes - he must be drowning Henry.
Henry Crun: Oh dear.
Henry Crun: Minnie, quick -my regulation-length lock-keeper's bathing drawers.
Fx: Dialling.
Henry Crun: Hurry, Minnie, every day is precious.
Minnie Bannister: Hello, Ajax Laundry? Could you speed delivery of Mr. Crun's bathing drawers?
Seagoon: Helppppp!
Minnie Bannister: They can't deliver till next Tuesday.
Henry Crun: Mnn no, it's a bit risky.
Fx: Door.
Henry Crun: (calls) Pardon me, sir, but can you keep afloat till next Tuesday?
Seagoon: What's today?
Henry Crun: Friday.
Seagoon: No! Help, I'm going down. (Bubbles)
Henry Crun: We're coming, sir -hurry, Min.
Minnie Bannister: Coming, buddie.
Henry Crun: Have you turned the gas off, Minnie?
Minnie Bannister: Yes, I have.
Seagoon: Help! Helpppp!
Minnie Bannister: I wonder, who he is.
Henry Crun: (calls) What is your name, sir?
Seagoon: (amid bubbles) Neddie Seagoon.
Henry Crun: We're very pleased to meet you... my name is Crun, Henry Crun. And this is Miss Bann....
Seagoon: Helpp, bbbb, I'm going down.
Henry Crun: Don't do that, sir, or you'll drown. The, this fog - can't see a thing.
Minnie Bannister: Where are you, sir?
Seagoon: In the canal.
Minnie Bannister: He's in the canal.
Henry Crun: Hello, Mr. Seagoon... follow these instructions and you'll be safe. Hand me the Life-Saving Manual Minnie.
Minnie Bannister: There you are.
Henry Crun: Ready?
Minnie Bannister: Yes.
Henry Crun: Hurry up then.
Seagoon: Yes, hurry up.
Henry Crun: Mr Seagoon, Take three dozen eggs and break into a bowl
Seagoon: Yes.
Henry Crun: Mix in eight ounces of castor sugar,
Seagoon: I haven't got a gas stove.
Minnie Bannister: Here, catch.
Fx: Splash.
Seagoon: Thank you.
Henry Crun: Add four pounds of millet flour and bring the mixture to - Minnie? This isn't the Swimming Manual.
Minnie Bannister: Oh - (calls) we've got the wrong book, Mr Seagoon.
Seagoon: What'll I do with all this mixture?
Minnie Bannister: We'd better go in, Henry, it's a shame to waste all that food.
Henry Crun: Coming, hupppp!
Fx: Combined Splash. Splutterings, shouts, etc.
Orchestra: Short linking chords.
Fx: Knock on door. Door opens.
Gravely Headstone: Yes, sir?
Bluebottle: Oh be he, good evening to you. Is this the manor of the place where liveses the Valentine Dyall man, is dis the place where it is, is it, den?
Gravely Headstone: Yes.
Bluebottle: He he he. I am from the Lloyds of London, the well known insurance company - I am their junior representative. Feels in pocket, produces smart calling card
Gravely Headstone: Oh, come in, sir.
Bluebottle: Enter the new Bluebottle. The new Bluebottle wearing city gentlemen-type striped trousers and Anthony Eden homberg. (Really Dad's trilby painted black.)
Gravely Headstone: Have you wiped your feet, sir?
Bluebottle: Yes.
Gravely Headstone: Then where'd that mud come from?
Bluebottle: Off my shoes - ha ha he he - I made a little jokules - pauses for audience applause - as usual not a sausinge. Was going to use rude word, but changes mind.
Gravely Headstone: What's your business here?
Bluebottle: I have come to pay the insurance on the recently drowned and deaded Neddie Seagoon.
Fx: Whoosh.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Did you say insurance?
Bluebottle: Yes, yes, I have...
Lord Valentine Seagoon: There, just sit down and warm yourself by the candle. Ellington! Entertain the gentleman.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Here. Drink this.
Bluebottle: Oh a cocktail,good health. (Gulp)
Fx: Mammoth long rumbling explosion. Falling to floor. Teeth - odds and ends
Bluebottle: You rotten swine! You have nearly deaded me - look, my kneecaps have dropped four inches. Who made that cocktail?
Gravely Headstone: Molotoff.
Bluebottle: Look what you done to my city gentleman-type suit - all the egg stains have been blowed off.
Gravely Headstone: Is that bad?
Bluebottle: Yes, they were holding the suit together.
Ray Ellington: Certainly. Here's the dance of the seven... er... kilts.

Ray Ellington "Sometimes I'm Happy"

Bluebottle: Thank you, I accept your apology. Now, Lord Valentine, the solemn business of paying out the insurance money - moves left, opens official brief case. (Not too wide, as I have my dirty laundry in one compartment)
Lord Valentine Seagoon: It's forty thousand pounds, Isn't it?
Bluebottle: Yes - but it is all in pennies.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Forty thousand pounds in pennies? Eccles!
Eccles: Yer, Daddie?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Your hat, lad.
Eccles: Okay den.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Just hold it there,now Mr. Bluebottle.
Bluebottle: Right, now to....
Milligan: (Long agonised wailing heart-rending scream)
Lord Valentine Seagoon: (answering) It's in the cabinet by the bed, dear. Carry on. Carry on.
Bluebottle: He he he, what, what was that dreaded scream, sir, he heh?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Oh, that was my eldest thing. Ha ha - now, just count out the money.
Bluebottle: Yes - one, tuppence, thruppence, fourpence, fivepence -
Fx: Clink of coins behind.
Greenslade: Chapters Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten and Eleven.
Bluebottle: (very tired) Four million eight hundred and thirty-two pennies
Fx: Clink.
Bluebottle: Ah he - roll on, beddy byes - four million eight bundred and thirty-three pennies - four milli...
Fx: Great sack of pennies dropped onto floor. They roll and scatter.
Eccles: Oh, sorry.
Bluebottle: Ohh! Oh! You dropped them... one penny, tuppence, thrupence...
Fx: Door opens.
Seagoon: Fatherrrr.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: [flaming] Neddie... You!
Seagoon: Yes.
Eccles: Come on, all out, Shoo! Shoo!
Fx: Cattle, etc. (as before).
Bluebottle: Pardon me. Did you say this was Neddie?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Er, yes. (Happy) Why, Neddie, you're safe, dear boy. Thank heaven, we thought you were drowned, didn't we, Mr. Bluebottle?
Bluebottle: He he he be, yes - well, you will not need this deaded money for him drowning. Thinks - this will save Lloyds a lot of money and who knows, a managerial job for Bluebottle. Thinks again - thanks to brains, the new wonder head-filler. Well, I must be going, goodnight everybody, Exits left.
Fx: Whoosh - door shuts.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Curses.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Miss Throat?
Throat: Sir?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: That man...
Throat: Yes?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Stop him.
Throat: Right.
Fx: Whoosh. Door slams.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: (rage) Now, little Neddie - you've been playing in the canal again. It's got to stop.
Seagoon:. I agree, Father.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Silence when you talk. to me! Now, go upstairs to your room and come down at once! I want to talk to you.
Seagoon: But - I can't move daddy, these concrete blocks on my feet...
Lord Valentine Seagoon: We'll soon have them off. Eccles?
Eccles: (off) Yup, Did my Daddy call me?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Put these sticks of dynamite into his concrete blocks.
Eccles: O.K., my Daddie knows what he's doing.
Fx: Fuse starts to burn.
Eccles: Dere! I light the fuse, in ten seconds there's gonna be a dirty big...
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Yes, yes - Neddie, wait outside in the garden will you?
Seagoon: Yes, Father.
Fx: Door opens and closes.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: [Sings] "Come in to the garden Maude"
Fx: Dialling.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Hello, Lloyds? Yes, a new life policy, please - I want to insure Neddie in the event of his ever putting concrete blocks on his feet, blowing himself up with dynamite and landing in the canal. Yes, I know it's not likely to happen, but just in case...
Fx: Explosion whistle goes up.
Greenslade: Chapter Twelve.
Fx: Whistle descends. Splash.
Seagoon: Helppp!
Greenslade: The Canal, Chapter Thirteen.
Fx: Pennies being dropped onto a pile.
Bluebottle: There, that's the lot, Lord Dyall.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Yes - forty thousand pounds. Poor Neddie.
Bluebottle: Yes - yes, it was funny him falling in the canal again so soon after when I left, it is a good job you ran after me, wasn't it?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Well, goodnight, Mr. Bluebottle, thank you for...
Fx: Door opens. Pronounced creak.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: You!
Fx: Door opens.
Seagoon: Yes me!
Eccles: Shoo, all out out.
Fx: Cattle, etc. (as before).
Seagoon: Father!
Bluebottle: Oh, it is little Neddie - oh well, well, well. Could I have all the money back again, please?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: No! Hands up! All of you!
Bluebottle: Oh, he's got a gun.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Eccles!
Eccles: Yes, Daddie?
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Take these two men and chain them up in the dungeon! Ha ha ha.
Eccles: Ha ha ha
Orchestra: Descending chords.
Fx: Heavy chains. Manacles.
Eccles: Oh di dump one dere, one round dere, not too tight are dey?
Seagoon: Eccles, do you realise what Daddie's trying to do?
Eccles: Yer, he's tryin' to keep you away from der canal because daddy loves you and he don't want you to get drowned.
Seagoon: No, he wants to kill us all, and that includes you.
Eccles: Ooooooooh.
Bluebottle: He hee I am frighted, I don't want to be deaded yet. I haven't had my half day off this week.
Bluebottle: If you get deaded they give you the sack at Lloyds - they don't like deaded men working for dem.
Seagoon: Shhh. Now, Eccles, undo these chains and help us capture Father before he kills us all.
Eccles: 0kay okay.
Seagoon: Right, now this is the plan, we...
Fx: Dungeon door slams.
Bluebottle: Oh, look, someone has closed the dungeon door from the outside, we are trapp-ed!
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Ha ha ha ha ha (goes off on echo).
Seagoon: Curse, he's locked us in. Never mind, we'll batter the door down. Where's something with a blunt head?
Eccles: Here y'are.
Bluebottle: Put me down, Eccles. Put me down; I shall charge the door and and smash it down.
Seagoon: Good man.
Bluebottle: Stand back, here I go. To matchwood I'll splinter the door - charge!
Fx: Long approaching footsteps (galloping) geting louder
Fx: Nearer and fade into the distance.
Bluebottle: (miles off) You rotten swine - who opened the door?
Eccles: Ha hum
Seagoon: Good work. Now listen, both of you, we've got to think quick quickly.
Eccles: Dat leaves me out!
Seagoon: We three are going to throw Father into the canal!
Greenslade: Chapter Fourteen.
Fx: Splash. Splash. Splash.
Eccles: Help!
Bluebottle: Help!
Seagoon: You devil, Lord Dyall.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Ha ha ha ha - you didn't think you could...
Fx: Splash.
Lord Valentine Seagoon: Helpppp - who did that?
Greenslade: Last chapter.
Henry Crun: Hello, Lloyds - about the life insurance I took out on the four gentlemen...
Orchestra: Signature Tune: Up and down for:-
Greenslade: That was The Goon Show - a 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 produced by Peter Eton.
Orchestra: 'Crazy Rhythm' outro...

Transcription and HTML by Kurt Adkins: