BROADCAST: 28 Mar 1957

By: Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens

Greenslade: This is the BBC. We interrupt the Goon Show for the following announcement.

Sellers: (funereal) Ladies and Gentlemen, the Goon Show.

Greenslade: Thank you. And now, the Goon Show. During this programme it is advisable to have within easy reach an inner tube, a picture of a liquorish factory and a spare pair of trousers. Ah ha ha ha ha! Better safe than sorry, eh?

Seagoon: Ah ha ha ha ha ha! Very funny Mister Greensleeves! Just hold this missing boa constrictor while I announce the Goon Show.

ORCHESTRA: Thin chord on trumpet and snare drum.

Seagoon: What, what what what what what what what what what what?! What’s happened to the band? Where’s Wally Stott’s lot then Wal?

Greenslade: That’s our new economy cut orchestra; fourteen men playing one instrument.

Seagoon: Please Mister Greenslade, I get the laughs in this show – I wear the funny body. Now, just make the old posh announcement there…

OMNES: Various encouraging cries “Good luck there Wal!” etc

Greenslade: Do you mind! Quiet please, thank you. Right now then, just hold this boa constrictor…

Bloodnok: (off) Ohhhhhhh!

Greenslade: …now: ladies and gentlemen, the Goon Show part one.


OMNES: Distant crowd noises and shouts continue under

Sellers: (BBC announcer ‘on location’) And here, on this glorious eighth of march, I can see the minister of transport mounting the dais wearing his chain of tether as he prepares to inaugurate Birmingham’s new inner ring road scheme by blowing up a brick wall which was specially built for the occasion.

Seagoon: Hello folks! Hello folks!! I was there that day trying to raffle a boa constrictor. Tickets! Tickets! Tickets for a boa constrictor! (Going off)

Cyril: Do you mind getting that large worm out the way? I’m trying to hear the minister talking.

GRAMS: (Recording of Milligan delivering incomprehensible opening speech. Too much reverb, sounds like it’s coming from various speakers.)

OMNES: Desultory cries of ‘Here, here’.

Sellers: …and with the crowd lashed into a frenzy by the power of his words, the Minister presses the plunger.

GRAMS: Explosion. Bits and pieces falling. Sounds of fire alarms.

Seagoon: As the wall disintegrated two men in pyjamas appeared from the debris.

Moriarty: What….what….what…what happened?

Grytpype: Moriarty…

Moriarty: Ehi ehi ehh hi owwww.... (extended)

Grytpype: Moriarty, don’t you dare do that again!

Moriarty: I didn’t do anything! Look…

Grytpype: Yes you did, you went Owwwww!

Moriarty: I did, I know! But look….Listen to me you fool!

Grytpype: What?

Moriarty: We’re ruined.

Grytpype: Yes I know. We’re homeless, destitute and penniless.

Moriarty: Not a penny!

Seagoon: Good morning gentlemen.

Moriarty: What’s he mean ‘gentlemen’?

Seagoon: Care to buy a raffle ticket for a boa constrictor?

Grytpype: I’m sorry. Our boa constrictor has already got one.

Moriarty: Yes. In any case, little gentleman, we haven’t any money. We’ve been rendered homeless, homeless, by an explosion called bang.

Seagoon: What, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what! What! Home? That was a wall.

Grytpype: I know. We always live in walls. It’s cheaper.

Seagoon: I’m sorry gentlemen, but you realise that that wall was the last obstacle in the way of our new road through Birmingham for which I have the contract.

Grytpype: I hate to frighten you but I happen to know that there is another obstacle right in the path of your new road.

Seagoon: Ah ha ha! Name it!

Grytpype: It’s already got a name, Neddy. It’s called – hello folks – and I quote from this careful plan of a robbery, the Birmingham Town Hall.

Seagoon: What! (Hello folks!) Very well, we’ll have to explode that too.

Grytpype: No, no, no, Neddy! No!

Moriarty: No, Neddy, no, no!

Grytpype: Don’t do such a thing. You’re making the dear Count steam! Only one part of the Town Hall lies in the path of your road – the city treasure’s safe.

Seagoon: But he’d never agree to me blowing his safe up!

Grytpype: But he already has, Neddy my dear laddy! And as long as you do it secretly at dead of night, without his knowledge, he is perfectly agreeable.

Seagoon: Splendid. Ha ha! Just hold this boa constrictor and I’ll meet you there at midnight on the stroke of two.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.

Greenslade: At midnight, Seagoon had rendezvous with an explosion expert.

Seagoon: Psst! Pssst!

Eccles: Mr Seagoon! I didn’t recognize you.

Seagoon: I didn’t recognize you either. Come to think of it, we’ve never met before.

Eccles: Oh! Well that explains it I suppose.

Seagoon: Now then. Have you got the dynamite?

Eccles: Yes, I got the….

GRAMS: Loud explosion

Eccles: Oh. Well, I’ll go and get some more.

Seagoon: You shattered fool! Don’t worry, I’ve got some. Now, I’ll go inside and you wait out here.

Eccles: Ok then. Off you go then. (Calling off) Mind the big door…oh...and there’s a step down near the wash-room. Be careful of that. (Louder) Oh-a, and mind the hat stand in the middle of the last chamber. (Very loudly) Don’t you worry, I’ll keep my eyes open for you, don’t worry!

Seagoon: (Close to mic) Yes. Well I’ll go in now.

Eccles: Ohhh! I didn’t see you standing there. Oooo! Can you see in the dark, Mister Seagoon?

Seagoon: I can see in the dark very well, my dear fellow. In the RAF they used to call me ‘Cats-eyes-Seagoon.’ You know why?

Eccles: No. Why?

Seagoon: Because I was the same size as a cat. Aha ha ha ha ha! ‘Cat-sized Seagoon!’ Aha ha ha ha ha! Ahem.

GRAMS: Fanfare on awful music hall piano.

Seagoon: Eccles! Put that piano down. We want no killing on this job. And don’t forget, (hello folks), I’m going in there and you sing to cover the noise of the explosion.

Eccles: OK. Ahem. (Improvises badly in C major. Ends with, ‘I’ve got my legs to keep me warm.)

Willium: ‘Ello, ‘ello! What’s-a going on ‘ere? I er, appremend you for singeing in a doorway without a licence.

Eccles: Just a miniute my good constabiule. I got a licence.

Willium: You got a licence have you?

Eccles: Yeah.

Willium: Here, wait a minute. Let me see. (extended) Wait, I’ll just get my glasses. Here my good man. This is a doge licence!

Eccles: I know. It’s cheaper than a singing licence.

Willium: Well, you can’t sing with this licence. You only allowed to bark or ‘owl.

Eccles: O.K. then constabiule. I won’t break the law. I’ll imitate a dog then. (barks)

GRAMS: Truck approaching at speed. Pulls up with squeal of brakes. Running boots. Eccles abruptly stops.

FX: door closes

GRAMS: truck driving away at speed

GRAMS: phone rings

FX: phone picks up

Seagoon: Hello?

Official: (Sellers) Hello. Mister Seagoon?

Seagoon: Yes.

Official: Battersea dog’s home here. There’s a man here who claims he’s your dog.

Seagoon: Right.

FX: phone down

Seagoon: Curse! I’ve lit the fuse. What to do?

Grytpype: Neddie. You claim your friend and we shall wait for the explosion and remove that naughty-type safe.

Seagoon: Splendid!

Grytpype: But first, here’s your missing boa-constrictor, (hello folks!) which is about to do an impression of Max Geldray.


Greenslade: The goon show, part two.

GRAMS: explosion

Grytpype: There she goes Moriarty, the Birmingham treasurer’s safe.

Moriarty: Ha ha. Good, good. Now folks, let’s count Birmingham’s massive wealth.

FX: two coins dropping

Moriarty: Four-pence!

Grytpype: Half each! Oh, at last we’re in the money, Moriarty!

Moriarty: I never knew Birmingham was so rich!

Grytpype: Hello folks!

Seagoon: Hello folks! Gentlemen, I’m sorry I missed the explosion.

Grytpype: Neddie, (hello folks!) we have a confession to make to you. That bang-type explosion was in the nature of a safe-cracking.

Seagoon: You mean I’ve committed a criminal-type robbery?

Grytpype: Yey type (hello folks!) yes Neddie.

Moriarty: Oui type yes, yah!

Seagoon: This means the end of an extinguished career. All my life, (hello folks) - all my life I’ve worked and slaved to build the ring road in Birmingham. This was to make my fortune.

Moriarty: Ohh, little steaming welsh ball, you HAVE made your fortune. (Where’s that prop?) Little hairy Neddie, listen Neddie, see this gramophone record?

Seagoon: Yes.

Moriarty: This gramophone record is the rarest in the world of gramophones. It’s worth a fortune, ah ha ha ha ha ha, a fortune, ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, a fortune.

Grytpype: It’s a rare recording of Greig’s A minor piano concerto played by Chopin.

Seagoon: What makes it so valuable?

Grytpype: LEGS Chopin! Don’t you realise, Neddie, it’s played on a legs piano!

Moriarty: Yes, and Neddie for this record you can name your own price! Neddie, ah ha haw haw oh oh auch….

Grytpype: (aside) Don’t steam so much Moriarty. (Aloud) But for the time being you must lay low.

Seagoon: Right. I’ll get my head down.

Grytpype: Not here, you fool! In the corner of some foreign field…

Moriarty: …that is forever Acton.

Seagoon: Right! Eccles! Saddle that boa-constrictor. Giddup there!

Eccles: Giddup!

GRAMS: horses hooves galloping into distance. chicken clucking. All speeded up gradually

Greenslade: Listeners may doubt the authenticity of this sound; a boa-constrictor galloping. If the truth be known, a horse covered with a snake skin was used to simulate the sound. As for the chicken noise, we can only apologise. And now we join Seagoon in his country hide-out.

GRAMS: distant bird noises. (Recording: SPRIGGS: singing rubbish to the tune of “Greensleeves”, with Flute accompaniment. He ends with the words ‘dear old Greenslade.’)

Seagoon: Thank you Mister D’Everleigh. Yes, it was a lovely old sixteenth century Tudor ditch. It had been modernized and had running water laid on.

GRAMS: splash

Bloodnok: Ooooohhhh! Owwwwwahggg! Owwwwwwhhh!

Seagoon: Major Bloodnok! How dare you drop on me from a great height!

Bloodnok: Neddie! We must be neighbours. You know, I live across the road. You see that pig-sty?

Seagoon: Yes.

Bloodnok: Well you see the big Manor house behind it?

Seagoon: Yes.

Bloodnok: Well I live in the pig-sty.

Seagoon: I haven’t seen you around since the case of the missing compost heap.

Bloodnok: Yes, well, you see I’m just hiding here ‘til it all blows over, you know.

Seagoon: It blows over me every night.

Bloodnok: I know, I know. You’d think they’d nail it down.

Seagoon: Well, make yourself at home Major. Here, lie down in this chair.

Bloodnok: No thank you. I’m quite comfortable kneeling on this wash-stand, thank you.

Seagoon: Bloodnok! I’m going to let you into a secret. Just listen to this record. It’s the only recording of a record in the world of Chopin in person on a record recording in the world of Chopin …

GRAMS: Recording: Hollow recording of bad dance hall jazz.

Bloodnok: You fool! You military fool! That’s not Chopin playing.

Seagoon: Are you sure?

Bloodnok: Of course I’m sure. Chopin’s dead. It can’t be him.

Seagoon: Just to make sure I’ll put the record on and ask him.

GRAMS: Continuation of bad dance hall recording.

Seagoon: Stop! I’m sorry to interrupt but I’ve been told you’re not Chopin.

GRAMS: Recording; Spriggs: ‘What! I tell you I am, Sir! I aaaaaaam. I am Chopin.”

Seagoon: Have you any proof?

GRAMS: Recording; Spriggs: ‘Yes, my birth certificate, certificaaaaaaaate, is on the other side.’

Bloodnok: Right! Well then put it on.

GRAMS: Recording; FX: Boinnnng. Milligan: ‘I name this child Fred Chopin.’ Big splash.

Little Jim: He’s fallen in the water.

Seagoon: Thank you little Jim!

Bloodnok: I tell you Seagoon, this record is a fake.

Seagoon: But the hole in the middle looks genuine.

Bloodnok: Look, any hatter knows that all you have to do is to take it to ye house of wax records for authentification.

Seagoon: Right! Hold this brown boa-constrictor.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link

Greenslade: Neddie proceeded to London hot-foot, a common complaint in the Seagoon family. He was bound for a certain little music shop.

FX: Door opening

Crun: Oh, good um…good morning, um...

Seagoon: Neddie Seagoon, hello-folks!

Crun: Good morning Neddie-Seagoon-Hello-Folks!

Seagoon: I believe you are a dealer in instruments and records.

Crun: Yes. What about an all rubber euphonium with fitted carpets?

Seagoon: An all rubber euphonium with fitted carpets!!

Crun: I’m sorry sir, they’re out of stock. You can’t get the wood you know. Now here is something it fit everybody’s pocket.

Seagoon: What is it?

Crun: (ancient cackling) A lining! Oh ho ho ho ho! (Further ancient cackling)

FX: Body falls to the floor.

Minnie: Oh dear! He’s fainted.

Seagoon: Yes, and at the exact moment in which you hit him with that hammer. Lift him in the direction of up while I bring him in the direction of round.

Minnie: Right. Ohhh Henry, Henry. Ohhhh Henry. Speak to me Henry. Speak to me about your will.

Seagoon: Steady, hold this bottle of Ray Ellington under his nose.

Minnie: Ohohhhhhhhiiiieeeee...


Greenslade: The Goon Show part three. Seagoon goes to Scotland Yard.

Inspector: GRAMS: bagpipes under. You say that you’re partly responsible for the Birmingham safe robbery.

Seagoon: Yes, but it was all a trap.

Inspector: GRAMS: bagpipes under. Oh dear, dear, dear, oh dear!

Seagoon: Yes, I’ve been a fool. (With feeling) Yes, I’ve been a fool. (Dramatic pause) I’ve been a fool. A real…fool.

Inspector: GRAMS: bagpipes under. If you think I’m going to contradict you, you’re wrong.

Seagoon: I tell you Inspector Bernstein, if we can find these two men I’ll prove my innocence.

Inspector: GRAMS: bagpipes under. Now then, would these two men recognize you if they saw you again?

Seagoon: GRAMS: bagpipes under. Well I think the….

Inspector: GRAMS: bagpipes under. Put them pipes doon!

FX: Telephone rings

Seagoon: Hello! What? Yes! Good! Right!

FX: Phone down

Seagoon: A bit of luck. They’ve found the safe!

Inspector: Harrrrghned nack the noorrrgh!

Seagoon: Harrrgh too!

Inspector: After it on this boa constrictor.

GRAMS: Train whistle; engine speeding off; all at terrific speed. Recording: (Milligan:) Cockerel crowing. Gunshot. Giant splash. Metal spring. Fred the oyster. Pane of glass breaking. Old gramophone recording of ‘The Shanghai Fox Trot’. Mix in corny military fanfare. Champagne cork-popping. Duck quack.

Greenslade: I’m afraid you’ll have to work that one out for yourselves. Meanwhile in a field in Kent, a boy scout stands guard over the safe.

Bluebottle: Halt! Who goes there?

Greenslade: Silly boy, silly boy! I’m only the announcer.

Bluebottle: Then what are you doing in a field in Kent?

Greenslade: I’m not really in a field in Kent…

Greenslade: (shadowed by Bluebottle) just so happens that I was merely announcing in the ….Shut up!

Bluebottle: Shut up!

Greenslade: (shadowed by Bluebottle) …announcing in the studio, the next… Will you shut up!

Bluebottle: Will you shut up, will you…

Greenslade: (shadowed by Bluebottle) …which happens to be a field...Will you…Oh, I’m fed up with this wiry idiot.

Bluebottle: Oh, do not be angry at ‘bonttle. I was only doing my best-type acting ‘cause Gladys Bowels is listening tonight.

Greenslade: May I ask, who is Gladys Bowls?

Bluebottle: She is my Mistress at school. (Very close to mic.) Hello Miss Bowels. This is me talking on the electric wireless. Ehhheehehehehehe!

Seagoon: Shut up.

Bluebottle: Shut up!

Seagoon: Shut up. Here, tie a knot in this string and swallow it. Gentlemen of the police - this is the safe. How do you suggest we open it?

Inspector Bernstein: Arrgh. Harrrun.

Jampton: Rubbish. Extended.

Seagoon: We tried that but it failed.

Jampton: Further rubbish.

Seagoon: I’ve got it! I’ve got it!! Eccles. Place this gelignite under the lock…

Eccles: O.K!

GRAMS: Burning fuse. Continue under.

Seagoon: Right! All run for it!

GRAMS: Boots running into distance. Lock being shaken. Squeaky door opening. Sawing of timber.

Moriarty: Oh, ho ho ho!

Grytpype: Close that safe door Moriarty. It’s draughty.

Moriarty: Wait a minute Grytpype! I thought I smelt something exploding.

Grytpype: Smelt something exploding?

Moriarty: Yes!

Grytpype: Nonsense. It’s too near the end of the show for an explo…

GRAMS: Massive explosion

Seagoon: Curse! The explosion has blown the door off the safe.

Moriarty: It’s also blown the safe off the door. Awwwww….

Seagoon: Look! Those were the two men.

Grytpype: Quick Moriarty, bury that fourpence.

Seagoon: Eccles, cover them with this missing boa constrictor.

Eccles: Ok you naughty man, hands up! This boa constrictor is loaded. Hand back Birmingham’s fourpence.

Grytpype: Very well, I give in. Your boa constrictor is much bigger than mine.

Eccles: Ooooohhh!

Grytpype: Still, here is your fourpence back.

GRAMS: Large splash

Seagoon: You…you threw it in the water!

Grytpype: Yes. We’ve gone into voluntary liquidation.

Seagoon: Don’t worry. Any bank will cash that water, especially the river bank. And with the money… (Get your hats and coats on lads, here it comes. We’re getting near it now.) …and with the money, Birmingham’s ring road goes through.

ORCHESTRA: Tatty chord in C

Greenslade: Ladies and gentlemen, if you weren’t satisfied with that ending you’ll be glad to know that neither were we.


Greenslade: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded programme 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.