The Mystery Of The Marie Celeste (Solved)

First broadcast on November 16, 1954

Script by Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes
Produced by Peter Eton
Announced by Wallace Greenslade
Orchestra conducted by Wally Stott


Wallace:

This is the BBC Home Service. Oooh!

GRAMS:

GIANT SPLASH

Harry:

Let that be a lesson to him (laughs to himself). He was about to refer to the highly esteemed - Goon Show!

ORCHESTRA:

PATHETIC CHORD

Harry:

Listeners, what does that short, brief chord indicate? It indicated that Mr. Wally Stott has forgotten the music again (laughs to himself). Therefore, (struggling) hmmmm

GRAMS:

GIANT SPLASH

Harry:

He'll be company for Mr. Greenslade. Now then, Mister reserve announcer

Peter:

(Jewish businessman) What is it, nut?

Harry:

Ah, Mr. Snagge. Tell the British Empire and East Acton what we have decided is good for them. Let the joy bells ring!

Peter:

Muzeltoff. Ladies and gentlemen, we have been and got a lot of geezers and schpeelers, and oh -

GRAMS:

GIANT SPLASH

Harry:

(clears his throat) Ladies and gentlemen, on my own responsibility I present, the Mystery of the Marie Celeste - Solved!

ORCHESTRA:

SEA FARING THEME

Peter:

(American) Unsolved on the nautical annuals of sea mysteries is that of the brigantine Marie Celeste. But more of that later. Let us trace the thread of a rather unique experiment

Spike:

One spring afternoon in December Ned Seagoon, a handsome young bunger buster, decided to dine out

Neddy:

Yes. As I sat in my usual place I opened the Financial Times, and carefully noted the number of chips I had left. I turned to the gossip page and helped myself to some fish. It was then a small notice caught my eye. It said -

Grytpype:

Author of sea-stories will pay five thousand pounds to any person furnishing conclusive proof as to the fate of those who manned the Marie Celeste

Neddy:

I read no further

Grytpype:

But you don't know my address

Neddy:

I read on

Grytpype:

Apply Captain Grytpype-Thynne, First mate, the buildings, Hackney

GRAMS:

WHOOSH FOLLOWED BY -

FX:

KNOCKING ON DOOR

Grytpype:

Come in

FX:

DOOR OPENS

Neddy:

Captain Grytpype-Thynne?

Grytpype:

Yes, matey?

Neddy:

So this was the author of a thousand sea sagas. He was a tall vile man dressed in the uniform of a sea-going sailor. Under his left arm he carried a neatly rolled anchor, while with his right he scanned the horizon with a pair of powerful kippers.

Grytpype:

Ahoy!

Neddy:

Ahoy!

Grytpype:

Ahoy! Pull up a bollard

Neddy:

Pardon?

Grytpype:

That thing there is a bollard

Neddy:

Oh-ho-ho. Oh, is that what you tie ships to?

Grytpype:

Well said. Now, matey, what can I do for you?

Neddy:

I just read your offer in the paper about the Marie Celeste

Grytpype:

Little Matelot! That was inserted in 1910, 44 years ago!

Neddy:

My paperman has a big round

Grytpype:

Your paperman has a big round what?

Neddy:

Ahoy!

Grytpype:

Ahoy! Pull up a bollard. Little Bosun, what do you know about the Marie Celeste?

Neddy:

Your offering 5,000 reward for the mystery of it

Grytpype:

Hmm. Do you come here often?

Neddy:

No

Grytpype:

Good. Powder-Monkey, let me tell you about the Marie Celeste. Ahoy!

Neddy:

Ahoy!

Grytpype:

Ahoy! At 3 O'clock on the afternoon of December the fifth 1872 'twixt the Azores and 'twixt the coast of Portugal the Marie Celeste was sighted

Neddy:

Ahoy!

Grytpype:

Ahoy! On board her there was no sign of life, and yet -

Neddy:

Your offering 5,000 reward?

Grytpype:

Have you ever been ship-wrecked?

Neddy:

No

Grytpype:

I'll arrange for it

Neddy:

Ahoy!

Grytpype:

Ahoy! Aboard the Marie Celeste all was ship-shape and Bristol fashion. Food freshly laid, no signs of a strudgle, and yet not a soul aboard her. Any questions?

Neddy:

Yes. What's a bollard?

Grytpype:

Ahoy!

Neddy:

Thank you

Grytpype:

Yes, yes, yes. The crew disappeared without trace. Now, if you can furnish a satisfactory explanation to what happened to them 5,000

Neddy:

Right. I'm your man

Grytpype:

You silly twisted boy, you

Neddy:

Give me a month and I'll have the answer by hook or by crook

ORCHESTRA:

SEA FARING THEME

Peter:

(American) And now -

Wallace:

On the first stage of investigations Ned Seagoon hurried round to the office of a large shipping magnet

FX:

KNOCKS ON DOOR

Neddy:

Come in

FX:

KNOCKS ON DOOR

Neddy:

Come in!

Major:

It's you who's knocking!

Neddy:

Oh, then I'll come in

FX:

DOOR OPENS

Neddy:

My name is Ned Seagoon

Major:

I find no joy

Neddy:

Are you Leading Admiral Dennis Bloodnok, Chief for the International Shipping Line?

Major:

I have that privilege

Neddy:

I never knew there were shipping offices on the serpentine!

Major:

Oh yes yes yes. I do all my business from here. What's the time?

Neddy:

Quarter to five

Major:

Good Heavens!

FX:

WOODEN PANEL BEING SLID OPEN, WHISTLE

Major:

Come in Number 49!

FX:

WOODEN PANEL BEING SHUT

Major:

Well now, what can I do for you?

Neddy:

Admiral Bloodnok, I wish to know -

Major:

Just a moment!

FX:

WOODEN PANEL BEING SLID OPEN, WHISTLE

Major:

I won't tell you again, 49!

FX:

WOODEN PANEL BEING SHUT

Major:

Some people think I run these pleasure boats for pleasure! Now lad, pull up a bollard

Neddy:

Admiral, I was told that you had associations with the ill-fated Marie Celeste

Major:

All lies, do you hear me? Lies! I was in Bangalore at the time. I deny every word, she's lying I tell you! Lying! And so is Alice Girth and Mary Thula, and all those other women I molested! They're all after my piggy-bank, do you hear me? Oh!

Neddy:

Admiral, please. Marie Celeste was found abandoned at sea

Major:

Oh, poor girl! How she must have suffered!

Neddy:

The Marie Celeste is a ship!

Major:

Of course! Wait a minute! Of course! The Marie Celeste! I'd almost forgotten!

Neddy:

Right, now, can you tell me anything about her?

Major:

Of course, I have the record here

Neddy:

Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po

Major:

Good! Now I'd like to tell you all about the Marie Celeste, but unfortunately lad, I'm sworn to secrecy, absolutely mum. Yes, it would take a lot to make me talk

Neddy:

5,000?

Major:

That's a lot! The entire documents are at your service

Neddy:

Thank you. For nights I poured over vital documents. Then, when all seemed lost, Admiral Bloodnok suddenly remembered a vital map reference

Major:

Latitude 38 20 North, Longitude 17 15 West. Off you go lad!

Neddy:

Right, taxi. And now -

ORCHESTRA:

SEA FARING THEME

Major:

I waited for Seagoon's return. And then, at dawn

FX:

DOOR OPENS

Neddy:

(panting) Admiral, I've just returned from Latitude 38 20 North, Longitude 17 15 West

Major:

Your soaking wet!

Neddy:

You didn't tell me it was at sea!

Major:

Then it's true, the Marie Celeste was found at sea. Look lad, here

Neddy:

Yes yes yes yes yes

Major:

Dear laddy -

Neddy:

Yes yes

Major:

Here's the name of a ship yard, the very one that built her. Now, um, why don't you go along and see if they can give you any information

Neddy:

Ay ay!

FX:

DOOR SHUTS

Major:

Ay ay

FX:

PHONE BEING DIALLED

Major:

(singing) Hearing your gladness, my life's desire. Hearing your - Hello? Hello? Bloodnok here. listen Mr. Crun, what we've planned for has happened. Yes, Ned Seagoon's the name. Yes I've sent him to you and he's offering 5 - (coughs) - 4,000 reward for any information. All right. Good-bye Mr. Crun.

FX:

PHONE PUT DOWN ON HOOK

Major:

Sea man Geldray? Bring 49 in and play us a horn-mouth on your pipe-organ in the Key of Sea Shanty

MUSIC:

MAX GELDRAY AND ORCHESTRA

Wallace:

The Marie Celeste Mystery Solved, part Two. And now -

ORCHESTRA:

SEA FARING THEME PLAYED A BIT FASTER

Spike:

While Max Geldray was playing that old English bollard how many listeners noticed that Ned Seagoon had gone to a certain ship-rights in Deptford Creek? Hm? You must watch these points

GRAMS:

SHIP BUILDING MACHINES

Henry:

(singing) Put him in the barrel until he's sober, put him in the barrel until he's sober, Minnie?

Minnie:

hums jazzy tune

Henry:

Minnie? Stop that mad, crazy, modern rhythm type singing

Minnie:

Why should I stop my modern, mad, crazy, rhythm type singing buddy?

Henry:

Because we are sea-faring folk. If you must sing, sing a Chantey

Minnie:

Ooooooh! Henry, a chantey! hums jazzy tune

Henry:

Minnie!?

Minnie:

Yes?

Henry:

I shall come down there in a minute

Minnie:

hums jazzy tune

Henry:

Shut up! (singing) Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves, Britain never never never shall be slayed

Minnie:

hums jazzy tune

Henry:

(singing) 30 men on a dead man's chest, yo ho hum and a bottle of rum!

Neddy:

Ahoy there!

Henry:

Ahoy!

Neddy:

Ahoy! My name is Ned Seagoon

Henry:

Oh, Minnie, it's him, Ned Seagoon

Minnie:

starts humming jazz

Henry:

tries to overpower Minnie's singing with "Rule Britannia"

Neddy:

Thank you Anne Zigla and Webster Booth. Is this the shipyard of Crun, Bannister and Crun?

Henry:

Yes

Minnie:

Yes

Henry:

And yes

Neddy:

Then this firm built the Marie Celeste

Henry:

Yes I did

Neddy:

You did? Oh come now, the Marie Celeste was built over a hundred years ago

Henry:

Oh, then it must be my day off. Ahoy!

Neddy:

Ahoy! Mr. Crun

Henry:

Ahoy!

Neddy:

I want you to build and man a second Marie Celeste

Henry:

Mnnnnnnnk

Neddy:

Don't you see? The idea is to re-sail the ill-fated voyage and reconstruct the mystery

Henry:

Build another Marie Celeste?

Neddy:

Yes, I want you to build a replica

Henry:

Oh I'm sorry, I'm a ship-builder, I'm no good at replicas

Minnie:

Ying-Tong-Iddle-I-Po

Henry and Neddy:

Good!

Neddy:

Now, how long to build it?

Henry:

Oh well there's a lot of work, you know

Minnie:

Yes

Henry:

A lot of it, isn't there Min?

Minnie:

There is, yes

Henry:

The whole plans will have to be modernised

Minnie:

The modern style, buddy

Henry:

Yes, got to have the crazy plans you know. Then there's the wood, very difficult to get the wood, you know

Minnie:

Yes

Henry:

And the rope, oh the rope

Neddy:

Yes, yes, yes. Now give me a rough date

Henry:

Deck-timbers, oh that's....canvas to go aloft -

Neddy:

When will the boat be finished?

Henry:

Mmmmmm, after dinner

Neddy:

You'll have the whole ship completed after dinner?

Henry:

Yes

Neddy:

What's the delay?

Henry:

The wood, you can't get the wood you know

Neddy:

All right, I'll just have to be patient. After dinner then. Ahoy!

Henry:

Ahoy!

Neddy:

goes off singing

ORCHESTRA:

SEA FARING THEME PLAYED A BIT FASTER

Peter:

(American) And now -

Wallace:

No sooner had Ned Seagoon left the shipyard, then Mr. Crun hurriedly spoke to a sea-faring man

Henry:

Commodore! Commodore! It's happened at last!

Eccles:

Oooh! Well, well. So it's happened at last, hey? Well, well, well, well, Oooooh! So it's happened at last! Well! It happened at last, hey? Well! It happened you say? It happened

Henry:

Yes, yes

Eccles:

Ooooh! It happened at last, hey? Ooooh! What's happened?

Henry:

Admiral Bloodnok sent him to us and he's here

Eccles:

Ooooh! Here? You mean he? He is really here? It's him?

Henry:

Yes. He's here

Eccles and Henry:

laugh together

Eccles:

Who's here?

Henry:

Him, Ned Seagoon. You know, the plan we all worked on, the Marie Celeste plan

Eccles:

Oh that one!

Henry:

Yes, and there's a reward for four - coughs - 3,000

Eccles:

Oh! Well I'll go and get the original crew

Henry:

Yes it's simple, all we have to do is (fades out)

ORCHESTRA:

MYSTIC HARP TUNE

Everyone:

crowd noises

Eccles:

Listen, fellows, okay? It's happened fellows, it's happened. And he's offering a reward of two - coughs - 1,000

Peter:

(Cornish sailor) Did you hear that Secombe Yackamoker? he offering a reward of one - coughs- 500

Harry:

What's he say?

Peter:

(Chinese) Honourable man is offering reward of five - coughs - 250

Harry:

Is he? 250 ey? (Laughs to himself) I'll tell cabin-boy Bluebottle

ORCHESTRA:

MYSTIC HARP TUNE

Bluebottle:

Hee-hee-hee. I have just been told-ed there's a reward of seventeen and nine-pence and an extra Bob a week if we live.

Spike:

Listeners, have you noticed a slight drop in the reward? You must watch these little points!

ORCHESTRA:

SEA FARING THEME PLAYED A BIT FASTER

Peter:

(American) And now -

Wallace:

Ned Seagoon hurried back to the author who was offering 4,000 reward -

Neddy:

5,000!

Wallace:

I've got to live as well. Anyway, Ned Seagoon informed Captain Grytpype-Thynne of the progress he had made and that he, Ned Seagoon, was preparing to re-sail the ill-fated voyage again

Neddy:

Correct, we sail today

Wallace:

Now here is a gale warning

Neddy:

we sail tomorrow. We should reach the exact spot in five days

Major:

In the mean-time, Ray Ellington, pull up a bollard! Ahoy!

Ray:

Ahoy!

MUSIC:

RAY ELLINGTON AND HIS QUARTET SING "ABC (WITH RHYTHM AND EASE)"

ORCHESTRA:

SEA FARING THEME PLAYED A BIT FASTER

Peter:

(American) And now -

Wallace:

The Mystery of the Marie Celeste Solved, part three. Exactly as in 1872 the Brigantine Marie Celeste the second slid gracefully out of harbour

GRAMS:

SEAGULLS CONTINUE OVER SPEECH

Wallace:

Over the boom, and in to the open sea

GRAMS:

SHIP SLIDING IN TO WATER

Neddy:

Ah, we're on our way, Captain

Major:

Yes, yes. Put your hand out Seagoon, we turn left here

Neddy:

Some time later I took a last glance at land. It gave one a strange feeling to see the beach head lighthouse pass our stern - we were at anchor! But soon we were on the open sea

ORCHESTRA:

SEA FARING THEME PLAYED A BIT FASTER

Neddy:

After five days at sea I was having dinner in the crow's nest when suddenly -

Eccles:

Ahoy! You up there, Mr, Seagoon

Neddy:

(in the distance) Yes?

Eccles:

Admiral Bloodnok's compliments. He wants you in his cabin right away

Neddy:

Right away?

Eccles:

Yeah, but first I want to tell you something

Neddy:

Coming! Ahhhhhh (getting nearer)

FX:

LARGE HEAVY OBJECT HITTING WOODEN FLOOR

Neddy:

Oh dear! that's a nasty fall, that is!

Eccles:

Are you okay?

Neddy:

I think so. Ohh, arr. Now, what did you want to tell me?

Eccles:

I've taken the ladder away (laughs to himself) Your still my friend? Still my friend?

Neddy:

I don't know about that, Eccles

Henry:

Mr. Seagoon we're nearly there. Then we can re-enact the mystery for you

Neddy:

Wait a minute! Do you know what happened to the original crew of the Marie Celeste?

Henry:

goes off singing to himself

Neddy:

Mr. Crun! Mr. Crun! Oh, I'll go and ask the Admiral, perhaps he'll explain. Er, excuse me

Peter:

(Chinese) Yes, most honourable Neddy Sleagoon

Neddy:

Where is Admiral Bloodnok's cabin?

Peter:

That door there, marked "Ladies only"

Neddy:

Thank you

Peter:

Chip chap chop chip

Neddy:

Chop chip. I strolled towards the cabin, determined to get to the bottom of the mystery

FX:

QUAINT "DING DONG" ON DOORBELL, DOOR OPENED

Peter:

(Seductive woman) Yes?

Neddy:

Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I though this was the Admiral's cabin

Peter:

Just one moment

FX:

DOOR SHUTS

Major:

(clears his throat, other side of door) Come in!

FX:

DOOR OPENS

Neddy:

Admiral Bloodnok, you said you wanted to see me

Major:

Oh yes, yes, yes, yes. Young Neddy, yes. You haven't met my sister have you?

Neddy:

You told me you were an only child

Major:

In that case meet my mother

Neddy:

How do you do?

Major:

I'll see you later mother dear

Peter:

(Woman) Oh Dennis, all right then (laughs to herself)

Neddy:

But Admiral, you look twenty years older than she does

Major:

Ah yes, lad, but then I've had a lot of worry, you know. Now, Ned, to business, what about the money?

Neddy:

When we arrive at the rendezvous tomorrow a naval vessel will be present with the author aboard

Major:

Author? I don't wish to know any authors!

Neddy:

He's the man with the money

Major:

Introduce me at once!

Neddy:

He will not furnish the money until he receives a satisfactory explanation as to what happened to the crew -

Major:

Thud me marling-spikes! I know what happened, this is the true story, on the way -

FX:

DOOR OPENED

Bluebottle:

Pardon me, my little hairy Cap-I-Tain. Enter Bluebottle in rough sea man's itchy jersey and with a patch over one eye and a dirty big stocking on my head. HolŽ! Not a sausage.

Neddy:

Curse, just as I was about to find the answer. What's going on here, little ragged pants?

Bluebottle:

We have sighted a British ship of war, HMS Gladys. Points with finger out to sea. Doot-doot-doot-doot-doot-doot. We are getting ready to act the mystery. Stands by cannon to fire salute

Neddy:

What is the mystery of the Marie Celeste?

Bluebottle:

Nay nay! There is a seventeen and nine-pence reward and until I get it not a word shall pass my lips. Ties himself to mast and waits for 15 lashings.

Neddy:

Here's your 17 Shillings and nine-pence. Now out with it!

Bluebottle:

Hee-hee-hee. Thank you. Takes out seventeen and nine-penny piece which is no bigger than a tanner. Puts it in rough sea man's purse. Prepares to tell mystery (clears throat). When we were - Hee! Sees Admiral out of corner of eye, good job that I have got square eyes.

GRAMS:

WHOOSH

Neddy:

I say, little knobbly actor! I say! Where's he gone?

Major:

Where's that naughty little powder-monkey gone? it's time to fire the salute. Eccles?

Eccles:

Okay. Give me the match. Stand back

GRAMS:

EXPLOSION OF CANNON BEING FIRED, SPLASH

Bluebottle:

You rotten swine you! I was hiding in the cannon! And now I'm drowning! Eaugh! Waves arms about as if in panic. Eaugh! Goes down for third time, then remembers 17 and nine-pence in purse. Climbs back on ship to spend same, exit left for NAAFI

Neddy:

Perhaps someone will tell me what's going on here

Major:

I'll tell you. We are the original crew of the Marie Celeste

Neddy:

Good Heavens, ghosts!

Eccles:

We ain't ghosts

Neddy:

But you can't be human

Eccles:

Well that's different

Major:

I'll tell you what happened. When we sailed the original Marie Celeste we made a raft

Neddy:

Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

Major:

Please, don't do that! Then we set the table, left everything as it was, then we quietly slipped over the side, and thud me gripkins that's really what happened. Isn't that right me-hearties?

Everyone:

Ay!

Neddy:

But why did you do it?

Major:

Because we knew that one day someone would offer a reward for the solution of the mystery, and by thunder it's happened. Hasn't it me- hearties?

Everyone:

Ay!

Neddy:

But why couldn't you have just told me, why come all this way?

Major:

They would never believe us, lad. How some people can doubt me, me the very soul of honesty. Isn't that right me-hearties? (Silence)

Wallace:

HMS Gladys on the port-bow, sir

Neddy:

Splendid. Ha-Ha. On board is Captain Grytpype-Thynne with the 5,000

Major:

Right, stand by to re-enact the mystery lads

Eccles:

Okay, okay

GRAMS:

OVER SPEECH WAVE SOUNDS (OR OARS)

Major:

(Shouting) Ahoy there HMS Gladys! Captain Grytpype-Thynne? Are you ready with the money? (Normal voice) That's funny! (Shouting) Ahoy there! HMS Gladys!

Eccles:

(Shouting) HMS Gladys? Ahooooooooy!

Neddy:

Stand back Eccles, let me try. I used to be in the choir. (High voice) Ahoy there Captain Grytpype-Thynne! (Gulp)

Wallace:

(On Wireless) Here is the news. Two days ago a crew under the command of Admiral Bloodnok in the Marie Celeste the second boarded a British ship HMS Gladys. On board all was ship-shape, but there was no sign of life. Mr. Neddy Seagoon is offering 5,000 for the solution to the mystery of HMS Gladys

GRAMS:

KNOCK ON DOOR

Neddy:

Come in!

GRAMS:

DOOR OPENS

Grytpype:

Ahoy there matey!

Neddy:

Ahoy!

Grytpype:

About the reward money for the solution of the HMS Gladys...

ORCHESTRA:

THEME TUNE

Wallace:

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

ORCHESTRA:

FINISH THEME TUNE