Transcribed by Kate Wilson, May 2003


The Moon Show

TLO 21793

First broadcast 31/01/57

Series 7 – Episode 18

You try transcribing a Goon Show tape in an open plan office without anyone noticing.

(First line missing… tape starts with audience laughing)

Greenslade: Mr Seagoon, please. Such vulgarity ill becomes you.

Spriggs: Nonsense, it suits him down to the ground.

Harry: What?!

Spriggs: And let’s face it; he nearly is down to the ground.

Harry: You can’t baffle me with the posh chat, Mr Spriggs. Now Mr Greenslade, if you’ll just stand in this bath of treacle and sit down slowly, you’ll come to a sticky end.

Orch: Tatty Ta ra

Harry: Hup. Part two

Orch: Same tatty Ta ra

Greenslade: (Sombre) The dreaded Goon Show.

Orch: Same tatty Ta ra

Greenslade: This week..

Harry: The Moon Show.

Spike: (off mic) Everybody dance.

GRAMS: Old style dance music

Spriggs: Yes folks, it is 1853, a year of months. (Harry giggles off mic) No giggling please. Now then, if listeners in the Lincolnshire district will raise their blinds, they will observe the moon casting its painted wooden beams upon a compost heap on which is found a ragged idiot, recumbent upon a field of turnips. He speaks in spokes. Oh ho ho ho.

Ned: Ah moon. Ah English type moon. What beauty, what rotundity, what delicacy, what purity, what joy.

Grytpype: What rubbish.

Ned: (rising inflection) What, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what?

Grytpype: Only ten watts? You’re not very bright, are you?

Orch: Same tatty Ta ra.

Harry: (music hall comedian) I don’t wish to know that.

Spike: (music hall comedian) I say, look here.

Ned: The voice came from a face sinister, standing up a tree.

Moriarty: Oww.

Grytpype: Seagoon held up a board which said….

Ned: “What are you doing up that tree?”

Grytpype: We are mountaineering on a rather tight budget. Neddie, allow me to introduce my friend here, on the south col branch. He is (and I quote from the Blue Book of the London telephone directory) Count Jim “knees” (FX: single wood block Moriaty: Owww) Moriaty. Fruit bottler extraordinary to the House of Pronk, and ex World Turkish Bath champion.

Moriarty: Oww ow, ow. Little Neddie, we heard your poetry, and it’s an insult to people without knees, to hear that type of stuff.

Ned: What, what, what, what, what?

Moriaty: You can say that again. What, what, what, what, what? (turns into chicken clucking noises)

Ned: Listen, Jim “broody” Moriarty. Do you realise, you are addressing Neddie “Davis” Seagoon, celebrated ink writer and tramp poet for East Crun? If you can do better, go ahead.

Grytpype: Right lad. Moriarty, hand me my poet’s tin speaking trumpet.

Moriarty: Right. I’ll plug it into my knee

FX: Single wood block

Moriaty: Oooooh.

Grytpype: (distorted through speaking trumpet) There once was a beautiful moon. It was up in the sky, chum. When he said, “What’s the time?” They replied “What?” And the horse departed, leaving Spon.

Ned: It didn’t rhyme, or scan.

Grytpype: Do you think it was easy?

Moriarty: You see Neddie, that’s known as poetic licence.

Ned: Where can I get a poetic licence?

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

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

Grytpype: Right. Sign your name across the bottom.

FX: Pen scratching

GRAMS: Horse whinny

Ned: Whoops. Ha ha. There, gentlemen.

Moriarty: Wait a minute, how do we know this horse won’t bounce?

Ned: I assure you, any reputable stable will cash it.

Grytpype: Thank you Neddie, and here’s our receipt on this banjo.

Orch: (Sellers?) Bad banjo playing – no tune.

Ned: Thank you and thonk you. Now to test my new poetic licence. Where’s my leather speaking trumpet? Hem hem.. (declaiming) Ah, moon. You are like a melody-type tune. You are so clever, you can rhyme with Goon. Oh what a boon is the moon in June to boon (?). I’ll think of another rhyme soon. And in this land of liberty, I’ll make my living at poetry.

Grytpype: You’ll starve. You know, I’m afraid lad your verse still lacks Browning’s merry note.

Ned: Did he leave one?

Grytpype: For the milkman he did, yes.

Moriarty: Listen Neddie, you’re very fond of the moon, aren’t you?

Ned: Yes. If only it were mine.

Grytpype: Neddie, it can be. Step up into the tree into my office.

FX: Door opens

GRAMS: Typewriter under next

Secretary (Spike?): Morning Mr Thynne.

Grytpype: Morning. Now Neddie, pull up your trousers and sit down. Neddie, the moon has been in Moriarty’s family for many generations.

Moriarty: (off mic) Owwww.

Ned: You mean the moon is of French origin?

Grytpype: So the blood tests show. Unfortunately, at the end of the last century, during the anti-Moriarty riots in Paris, the dear Count was forced to flee to England, bringing the moon with him.

Ned: How did he manage that?

Moriarty: I brought it in the daytime, disguised as the sun.

Ned: (bad French accent) Quell brilliant stratagem.

Grytpype: (bad French accent) Quell terrible pronunciation.

Ned: What, what, what, what, what?

Grytpype: I’m coming to that. You see lad, owing to the high cost of maintaining his ancestral bed-sitter, Count Moriarty is forced to put the moon on the open market.

Ned: It’s for sale?

Grytpype: Only by public auction, Neddie.

Ned: Where, when, how, what, who?

Grytpype: Yes, well, for reasons best known to Moriarty, the auction will take place at dead of night in a tree at Christies.

Moriarty: Yes, until then, Neddie, au revoir.

Grytpype: Which is French for Max Geldray.

Harry: Right, round the back for the old brandy, there.

FX: Running feet

Max – does his thing but I don’t recognise the tune

Greenslade: And now The Moon Show part two. An auction.

Orch: Same tatty Ta ra

OMNES: Rhubarb, rhubarb.

Spriggs: Gentlemen, gentlemen, please. Gentlemen please. If you will take up your positions in your respective trees, we will commence the auction. Now then, first, one moon; the property of Count Moriarty. Now folks, what am I bid for one mooooon?

Grytpype: (Sotto) Start the bidding Neddie.

Ned: Seven and six!

Moriarty: Seven and six? Neddie, you can outbid that.

Ned: Ten shillings!

Spriggs: Ten shillings going once…

Grytpype: Ten shillings Neddie? Don’t let it get away for that.

Ned: You’re right. Twelve and eleven!

Moriarty: It’s worth more Neddie.

Ned: Twelve and twelve!

(Note to our younger readers, there were only twelve pence in a shilling, twelve and twelve was thirteen shillings)

Spriggs: Sold at twelve and twelve pence!

FX: Gavel

Spriggs: Oh, my finger. Now, the next item is this explodable bust of…. (goes off muttering)

Ned: It’s mine! The moon is mine! (sings) The moon is mine tonight; its silvery beams come down through my wi-i-i-indow. The moon is mine tonight, is mine! Hoooraaayyyyyyyy!

Grytpype: You’ll starve.

Greenslade: Now the proud owner of the moon, Seagoon retired to his centrally heated compost heap in Lincolnshire, and applied himself to his steaming art.

GRAMS: Grasshoppers chirping, owls hooting

Ned: Now, where’s my new roast beef speaking trumpet? Hem hem. No poetry speaker is complete without it. (distorted through speaking trumpet) Testing, testing, one two three. Seems all right to me. Now, hem hem, (declaims) Oh moon of my dreams. How brightly it gleams. (sotto) What comes next? I know. (loud) Ying-tong-iddle-i-po.

Bloodnok: Bravo, bravo lad. Aren’t you Neddie “under milk pudding” Seagoon?

Ned: Major Bloodnok! What are you doing here?

Bloodnok: I’ve turned tramp composer, lad.

Ned: Well, give us a tune on an instrument.

Bloodnok: Well, it only plays if you place a coin in it, you see, and I seem to have left my pockets in my other suit. You haven’t got a….?

Ned: Here’s a shilling.

Bloodnok: Oh ta. Yes, fine. Away we go. One, two, three.

FX: Cash register

Bloodnok: And the next dance, please.

Ned: What a beautiful tune that was.

Bloodnok: Yes, it’s number one on the stock exchange, you know? I wrote it myself. (quotes) It was spring, and the moon above Paris..

Ned: Stop, Bloodnok! Moon over Paris..? Moon above Paris! Obviously Moriarty didn’t bring the moon over from France in the first place! This one over England must be a forgery!

Bloodnok: What?! Well, there’s only one way to prove it lad; we must consult the Royal College of Astronomers. And to give us time to get there, Tom Danger and his orchestra will play in the pavilion.

GRAMS: Instrumental version of “If you knew Suzie” gradually speeding up

Spike: (Genteel man) (????)

Harry: (Genteel man) Quite nice, isn’t it?

Spike: (Genteel man) Yes, it is

Greenslade: As Seagoon hurries to the Royal Collage of Astronomy, waiting in there are two erudite astronomers who are, even at this moment, astronoming.

Bluebottle: ‘Ere, professor Eccles?

Eccles: Please, professor ‘Bottle, my good man.

Bluebottle: Yes?

Eccles: Let me get on with my mathematicalling.

Bluebottle: OK den.

Eccles: Away wid you.

Bluebottle: Alright den.

Eccles: Let me see now……computations.

FX: pen scratching very slowly under

Eccles: (talking to himself) Higher mat’matics…..Lower mat’matics. “X” is defined as de unknown quantity…….X2…… (to ’Bottle) Do you t’ink Arsenal will beat de Spurs dis week?

Bluebottle: I should t’ink.. I should t’ink it’s most unlikely.

Eccles: Why?

Bluebottle: Dey’re playing Blackpool. Hey, professor Eccles, have you seen de moon anywhere?

Eccles: You must remember where you put t’ings, my good man. Have you looked up de giant telescope?

Bluebottle: Oh, I’ll try dat. Yes, I will try dat!

FX: ratchet turning

Bluebottle: Oh, you was right. De moon is inside de telescope! Look through dere.

Eccles: Ohhh, yer…….ooooooohh, yer, de moon’s at de other end, and a bit of de sky! Let’s put de cap on de end, quick!

Bluebottle: Oh goody, goody! We’ve got it trapp-ed!

FX: door opens – slow footsteps under

Min and Henry: (mouth noises - on for ten seconds)

FX: door slams

Eccles: Dat got rid of him. He’s gone.

FX: door opens

Henry: Who’s gone?

Eccles: You have.

Henry: You naughty boys. Where have you done with me?

Min: What have you done with Henry?

Henry: What….what are you doing with the great, all-British, leather telescope?

Eccles: We’ve trapped the moon inside it, professor.

Henry: Oh. Let me see with the looking-type gaze. Oh Min! They’re right! They’ve captured the moon!

Min: Ohhhhhh

Henry: We must put it in the ‘fridge before it goes off.

Min: Goes off, Henry?

Henry: Yes. Didn’t you know; the moon is made of green cheese?

Min: Poo! Oh, we can have it for supper Henry.

Bluebottle: Oh, dat’s a good idea, auntie Min.

Min: Young ‘Bottle! What are you doing out of bed, without your pyjama trousers on?

Bluebottle: You see, what it was, we was playing from the latest film “Zarak”, and Little Jim had my pyjama trousers over his nut, (Min: Oooh) He’d got one arm down the leg’ole, wavin’ it about, like a trunk. He was an elephant, you see.

Min: Go on, Buddy.

Bluebottle: Well, suddenly I sneezed, and the seat of my trousers fell out, knocking Little Jim into the bath. (Min: Oh dear, dear) Little Jim, Little Jim, Little Jim! Tell dem what happened Little Jim.

Little Jim: I fell in de wa-ter.

Henry: Min, Min. Get these adapted children up to bed.

Min: Shut up you naughty….

FX: Knocks on door. Door opens

Ned: Good evening!

Henry: Ah, come in out of the dry, and wet yourself by this tap.

Ned: Thank you. Professor, I want proof that there is only one genuine moon.

Henry: Ah, there is only one. We’ve got it trapped in this telescope here.

Ned: Let me see. Ah ha ha ha ho. That’s the forged one. The real moon is over Paris.

Henry: What!? This means war with Napoleon! Take the scabbard off my safety pin and fetch my leather horse, quickly!

Min: Ah, all right Henry. Cut him down in his prime.

Henry: (mouth noises)

Ned: I must go to France and get back my rightful moon. Farewell! Ellington; keep them amused while I’m away!

Ray: Man, the excuses he makes to get to that brandy.

Ray Ellington Quartet – “Is this the Way?” Min joins in scat at end.

Ray: (shakes tambourine) Gentlemen, be seated, and the ladies, keep standing.

Greenslade: Meantime, in the “Hotel de Luxe, de Super Ritz” in Paris.

GRAMS: French accordion music

Grytpype: Waiter! garkon!

Moriarty: What is it manure?

Grytpype: Moriarty? I’m tired of driving this lift, do you hear?

Moriarty: I told you that twelve shillings that we got off Seagoon wouldn’t go far.

Ned: (walking on mic) (very bad French) Pardonnezz moyz, mon-swars. Voolezz voooz tell me where is le sal de bain?

Grytpype: Neddie!

Ned: Grytpype!

Moriarty: Moriarty!

Grytpype: Shut up you heavily oiled French wreck.

Moriarty: Owwww.

Ned: Gentlemen!

Moriarty: Gentlemen? What does he mean?

Grytpype: It’s just a word, Moriarty.

Moriarty: Owwww.

Ned: Here is a root (?) for your arrest.

Moriarty: Arrest?! Owwww. Run for it! Run for it! Owwwww.

FX: Horse galloping away

Ned: That’s the very horse I wrote my cheque on! After them on this pit orchestra!

GRAMS: Orchestra playing “If you knew Suzie” speeding up

Greenslade: Across the length, lingth and longth of Europe, Seagoon pursued the charlatan moon vendors.

Ned: Finally, I traced them to Venice.

GRAMS: Huge splash

Little Jim: He’s fallen in the wa-ter.

GRAMS: Splashing under

Ned: (shouts) Help! Reading from left to right, H. E. L. P. Help!!

Gondolier: (Sellers) (thick Italian accent) Senor, dis way! Let me pull you from de water.

Ned: Thank you. You saved my life.

Gondolier: Well, we all make mistakes, you know.

Ned: I know. I saw your wife. Now, where are they?

Gondolier: Hiding behind a clothes-horse, in Rumania.

Ned: (shouts) Alright you two! Come out from behind that clothes-horse, in Rumania!

Moriarty: Curse, he’s seen us in Rumania. The game’s up, Grytpype.

Grytpype: Never Moriarty! Get behind the wheel of these running shoes.

FX: car driving under

Moriarty: Right. Hold tight and off we go to the racecourse.

FX: car drives off

Ned: Curses. They have the perfect formula for escape. Don’t worry listeners. As the criminals in the stream-lined LCC plimsoll sped over the Pont de Rialto, I leapt into an English airing cupboard, and gave chase.

Orch: Three dramatic chords

FX: Two sets of feet running under

GRAMS: Grytpype: Quicker Moriarty.

GRAMS: Moriarty: I’m going as quick as I can.

GRAMS: Grytpype: Get more power out of those jam tins.

GRAMS: Moriarty: But they’re old, a 1929 model………..

FX: one set of feet running under

GRAMS: Ned: You sold me the wrong moon. It’s a forgery, Grytpype. I know where you are!…..

FX: feet running away

Greenslade: While the chase is in progress, I should like to take this opportunity of thanking you all for your letters to me. (Ned: shouting at Grytpype in background throughout Greenslade speech) Many correspondents have asked why I have not made more significant and prolonged appearances in my role of “Wallace Greenslade, Demon Talker”. I can assure you that I have approached Mr Seagoon with regard to taking over his part in the show. He said…. Well, um, I’ve got it written down here…er (reads) “You stick to announcing, or you’ll get a punch up your big, steaming conk.” Which, er, which, you’ll all agree, is not the wittiest of lines. I will, therefore, return you to the great Seagoon versus Moriarty/Grytpype-Thynne chase, this time with piano accompaniment.

Sellers: very bad piano playing under same running as before -

FX: Two sets of feet running under

GRAMS: Grytpype: Quicker Moriarty.

GRAMS: Moriarty: I’m going as quick as I can.

GRAMS: Grytpype: Get more power out of those jam tins.

GRAMS: Moriarty: But they’re old, a 1929 model………..

FX: one set of feet running under

GRAMS: Ned: You sold me the wrong moon. It’s a forgery, Grytpype. I know where you are!…..

FX: feet running away

GRAMS: Moriarty: I’m going as fast as I can!

GRAMS: Grytpype: Who were those ladies I saw you with last night?

GRAMS: Moriarty: Those were no ladies, those were bearded men.

GRAMS: Ned: I don’t wish to know that, you pair of idiots.

GRAMS: NED, Moriarty and Grytpype continue shouting, running feet, piano etc under

Ned: I say, this is jolly exciting, isn’t it?

Grytpype: Yes, yes it is, isn’t it Neddie?

GRAMS, FX and piano stop

FX: one set of running feet towards mic

Moriarty: (panting) Ahhh Owww. It’s no good Grytpype. These feet I’m using are exhausted.

Grytpype: My knees are overheated too. We shall have to catch a train to Tangier.

GRAMS: train whistle. Sounds of railway station

Moriarty: What luck Grytpype, here’s a sound effect of a booking office. I’ll get the tickets. Two cheap day returns to Tangiers.

FX: guard’s whistle

Grytpype: We must hurry Moriarty.

Moriarty: Even quicker!

GRAMS: two whooshes

Ned: (panting) Where are those men booked to?

Grytpype: They’re going to Tangiers.

Ned: Are they?

Moriarty: Yes.

Ned: I’ll book the carriage right behind them, and try to overtake them. (shouts) Porter!

Willium: Yes mate, yes?

Ned: Carry me to the train.

Willium: You look strong enough to carry yourself, sir.

Ned: Very well, help me up onto my shoulders. Hup.

Willium: Right… huuu

FX: two metal objects falling to ground

Ned: (high pitched) Whoops!

Willium: You’ve dropped your knees, mate.

FX: guard’s whistle

Ned: Can’t wait now! Post it to me in a plain wrapper marked “Knees. Urgent!”

GRAMS: one pair of running feet. Train pulling away- speeded up. Train under

Grytpype: Close that thing will you, Moriarty?

FX: window closing, FX of train stops

Moriarty: Oww. I specially asked for this seat, Grytpype, with our backs to the engine.

Grytpype: I wondered why we were sitting on the cowcatcher.

FX: train door opening

Ned: Hands up! Drop everything!

FX: lots of metal objects being dropped

Ned: Just as I thought, scrap metal merchants.

Grytpype: A lifetime of work, gone.

Ned: Now gentlemen, that moon you sold me was forged. I have it here, inside this telescope.

Grytpype: Well now, look here, we are willing to sell you the real moon, but of course it will work out much dearer. Let me see now, eight million tons at one-and-nine a ton, that will be, what…..? fourteen pounds Neddie.

Ned: Done!

FX: cash register

Ned: Now, my moon please.

Grytpype: Let me show you, Neddie. I… look, I’ll just hold this jam jar up to the sky, now, there, what do you see in it?

Ned: (incredulous) The moon! The moon, it…. it’s in the jam jar!

Grytpype: Correct Neddie! Goodbye.

Moriaty: Au reseviory.

Ned: Hooray! The moon is mine!

Orch: Same tatty Ta ra

Greenslade: And that is how Mr Seagoon brought the genuine moon back to England. And a pretty dull ending it was, too.

Orch: Sig tune

Greenslade: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded program featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan, with the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens. Announcer, Wallace Greenslade. The program produced by Pat Dixon.