Goon Show Script

The Missing Battleship

Series 8, Episode 8

First broadcast 18th November 1957. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens. Transcribed by Kate Wilson.


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Goon Show Compendium 7

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Vol. 21: The Missing Battleship

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Greenslade:
This is the BBC light programme. We present the new, all-leather Goon Show.

Orch:
Dramatic piano/brass arrangement. . (Grieg, pianoconcerto)

Grams:
Splash.

Greenslade:
Yes…tonight our story begins…

Spike:
The man’s a fool, an absolute idiot, a ridiculous idiot. A load of cock-and-bull, absolute nonsense. A stupid nit, I can’t understand how he gets away with it…

Greenslade:
Tonight, our story begins on board Britain’s latest battleship, the nineteen-hundred-and-two HMS Boxer, where a broadcast of that favourite programme “Variety Awash” is now in progress.

Sellers:
And here, to open the show, is that wacky “King of Coons” your Kimpare and Compare, Hailey Seaton.

Grams:
Variety time type music with rapturous applause.

Seagoon:
(Music Hall Comedian) Thank you, thank you, thank you. Ha-ha, hello shipmates. Well, well wellwellwellll. It’s nice to be on board ship with all the lads in blue, again.

Omnes:
cat calls etc.

Seagoon:
Thank you. But seriously though. I was in the Navy myself, you know. As a matter of fact, I was standing at the sharp end one day, leaning over the railings, when the Captain came up and said, “You can’t be sick here!” and I said “Can’t I? Just watch!”

Grams:
Laughs

Seagoon:
Please! Hahaha, Now, now, now! But seriously though. As a matter of fact, I can’t seem to (~~~~). As a matter of fact, let’s get on with our first act. So here to sing for you is Miss Millie Tooley. And here she is, Miss Millie Tooley. To sing for you Miss Millie Tooley!

Grams:
Applause – High pitched female voice singing accompanied on piano.(Die Fledermaus, Johann Strauss) (under)

Sellers:
Hello listeners, Brinnel Jolson here. It’s a really wonderful sight to see this simple country girl (Heavy edit) bringing the sailor’s memories of home. Tears…tears streaming down her innocent little face, and trickling onto her black, fishnet stockings.

Grams:
Song ends on very high note – huge applause.

Seagoon:
Thank you, thank you music lovers. Millie Tooley, of course, was singing that lovely old ballad “In a Reformatory Garden” (laughs) hmhm. No, but seriously though. Aren’t women wonderful? Now take my wife…please. Hahahaha. Now there’s a woman…I think.

Grams:
Cheers, whistles etc

Seagoon:
Now. But talk about fat? When she walks down the street wearing slacks, it looks like two kids fighting under a blanket.

Grams:
Rapturous applause

Seagoon:
Thank you, hahaha. Ah, you’re spoiling me tonight, you’re spoiling me. Yes…She’s…please…please, haha, no, no, I, I can’t stand all this lark…now then…She’s a very funny woman, my wife, would you believe it, but last week I was talking to her in the kitchen…..(self fade)

Grytpype:
Men, Sabrina has fallen overboard.

Grams:
Many running boots – away – Splashes

Grytpype:
Well, that’s got rid of them, Moriarty. Right, full steam ahead for the open sea!

Grams:
Ship’s telegraph

Moriarty:
Right-ho, right.

Seagoon:
No no no. But seriously lads. I always take my wife with me everywhere. I’d rather take her than kiss her goodbye! Hahaha ha…ha…………ha. Aye, you’ll have to see them faster than that. I said ‘I’d rather take her than kiss her goodbye!’…What’s the matter with the audience tonight? I paralysed them at Bolton with that one. Where…where’s me glasses?

Spike:
(off) You were using them to see with (?)

Seagoon:
Gulp…They’ve all gone. ‘Ere, where’s me audience?

Grytpype:
Control your powers, Neddie.

Seagoon:
Well.

Grytpype:
You see, they heard that Sabrina had fallen overboard.

Seagoon:
What? Whatwhatwhat? Sabrina fallen overboard? Poor little innocent photographer’s model. I must get a lifebelt….I must get a lifebelt…now…I’ll just join these two together, and…

Grytpype:
No, no, no, no, no, Neddie, no, no. With the crew gone, we need you on board as ballast.

Seagoon:
What? Whatwhatwhat? Where’s my speaking trumpet? I have it in my hand. (through speaking trumpet) Hello. Hello folks… Calling folks. The speaker was a tall man, wearing the full dress uniform of a Naval confidence trickster.

Grytpype:
Ahoy! And now, ship-matty, the legs you see protruding from that swill bucket, belong to none other than Count Jim “Bilge” …

Moriarty:
Oww.

Grytpype:
… Moriarty. Voted…voted “Miss Galley Slops, of 1951” and part owner of the suit he is now wearing.

Moriarty:
Owwwww

Grytpype:
And again, Moriarty.

Moriarty:
Owwwww

Grytpype:
There. Two for the price of one.

Seagoon:
Wait. Why are we heading out to sea?

Grytpype:
Neddie, light yourself a hammock, and let me explain. We are offering you the life of a modern-type Buccaneer. Come lad, join us. You can live a life of luxury!

Seagoon:
Right! I’ll join you.

Grytpype:
Splendid. Now to swear you in. Drink this bucket of slops and say after me “I am a Charlie.”

Seagoon:
Gulp gulp (smacks lips) I’m a Charlie.

Greenslade:
Meanwhile, HMS Boxer headed southwards to sunlit seas….

Bluebottle:
(in background) Trill for budgies.

Greenslade…Where nought but the plaintive cry of the seagull, and the soft lapping of the opalescent cobalt waters disturbed the hot, endless silence, ‘neath the still, burning orb of the tropic sun.

Sellers:
(Elder Statesman) Have you quite done?

Greenslade:
Aye-aye, Sir.

Sellers:
(Elder Statesman) Then, left turn…Queeg hhaarrll.

Grams:
One set of boots, marching – splash

Little Jim:
He’s fallen in de water.

Grytpype:
And the best place for him, little Jim.

Moriarty:
Starboard five, ahoy!

Grams:
Ship’s telegraph

Moriarty:
Mid ships!

Grams:
Ship’s telegraph

Moriarty:
Maternity ward, ahoy! Starboard kipper on the cranbahalll (gibberish) Mcowww. Owwww

Grytpype:
Shut up, you nautical French steamer!

Moriarty:
Owwwww!!

Grytpype:
Ahoy, little marker buoy.

Moriarty:
(Off) Boy??

Seagoon:
There are strange noises coming from the stoke hole!

Grytpype:
What!? Must be Trill for Budgies! Lift the manhole, and let me listen.

FX:
Manhole cover being dropped – Crunching

Eccles:
(sings) Somebody loves me…I live in a dream (?) oh hohoho. Melody divine. (sings) I love da moon…and da moon loves me…Ohhh

Flowerdew:
Oh, Eccles, mind what you are doing with that long handled shovel. You never know where it’s been.

Seagoon:
Come here at once. Hup.

Grytpype:
(Sellers can’t find voice for a moment) So, so, I mean, so. So…stokers eh?

Eccles:
Stokers aye. Aye, stokers.

Grytpype:
Didn’t you hear me shout that Sabrina was overboard?

Eccles:
Who cares about him?

Moriarty:
Grytpype, what are you going to do with them?

Grytpype:
Simple, you fool, we’ll just maroon them somewhere, including Neddie.

Seagoon:
You can’t do that, you need me! I, I, I’ll keep you entertained, with jokes and merry songs! I…look, I’ll show you…Well, hello there. No, but seriously though. My..thank you – my speaking trumpet – (through speaking trumpet)Well, hello there. No, but seriously though, my wife’s got a face like a million dollars, all green and crinkly. Hahaha. All green and crinkly, hahaha, (sings) Oh, the moon belongs to everyone, the best things in life are free. Horray…hahahha.

Grytpype:
Moriarty, lower the desert island.

Moriarty:
Right, over the bulwarks.

FX:
desert island being lowered – splash

Grytpype:
Right you three, over you go. Hup.

Eccles:
arrgghhhhh (self fade)

Seagoon:
You can’t do this to me (self fade)

FX:
Bodies hitting ground

Grytpype:
Goodbye

Grams:
Ship’s hooter

Eccles:
Neddie, you need your boots resoling.

Seagoon:
How do you know?

Eccles:
You’re standing on my face. Do you wish to know about that?

Seagoon:
I don’t wish to know about that. I wonder where we are. I’ll just play this map on the gramophone.

Grams:
“Desert Island Disks” theme tune

Seagoon:
Good heavens, we’re on a desert island!

Ellinga:
White man! Take off that record!

Seagoon:
What?! And expose my turntable?!

Ellinga:
Yim bam dana goollas undum bluulan gunta looba.

Seagoon:
Let me handle this (clears throat). You listen me. Me brave English Welshman. You…you no frighten me! Me give you clean, British punch up the conk! That told him.

Eccles:
‘Ere, that’s a nice spear stickin’ out de back of your head.

Seagoon:
Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?? (chicken clucking)

Ellinga:
Ah-ha! You there!

Flowerdew:
Ohhhh!

Ellinga:
You nice-um young fella. You come along me!

Seagoon:
(off) You talking to me?

Ellinga:
And you; little, round pudding…

Seagoon:
Whatwhatwhat? You can’t do this to me, do you hear? I’m free, white and twenty-one stone. Where are you taking us?

Ellinga:
Me going to put you all inside!

Seagoon:
Inside where?

Ellinga:
ME!

Seagoon:
Gulp. CANNIBALS!! Run for your lives!!

Grams:
running boots – away

Greenslade:
The intrepid trio ran on and on, through the steaming jungle. ‘Til, finally, they heard a strange noise, emanating from a clearing.

Orch:
Single saxophone – Bloodnok Theme

Bloodnok:
Oh. ho ho ho.

Orch:
Saxophone – single note

Bloodnok:
Oh. Jigger me crudlers.

Seagoon:
the speaker was a military gentleman, clad in a grass skirt.

Bloodnok:
That’s the last time I stand near a lawnmower. Ohhhh, that gardener. Oh, what a snake-in-the-grass he is.

Seagoon:
Pardon me sir, could you tell us the name of this island?

Bloodnok:
Yes, I can. It’s the Isle of Alassie, so called after our national anthem. (sings) I love a lassie, a bonny Chinese lassie…

Seagoon:
Splendid, I knew her mother!

Bloodnok:
Nonsense, we were just good friends, I tell you…

Seagoon:
Wait a minute! Haven’t I seen your photograph in the papers? Something about…

Bloodnok:
It’s a lie!! It’s a lie, I tell you! I never went near the regimental safe! Anyway, I was going to put the money back...I…Could I help it if the horse lost? It was two other fellows named Smith, I tell you.

Seagoon:
Bloodnok!! Bloodnok! That’s it, you’re Major Bloodnok!

Bloodnok:
Well…er…I…er...I was.

Seagoon:
What do you mean, you were?

Bloodnok:
Well, I had to change my name, you know, it…it got dirty.

Seagoon:
Really? What did you change it to?

Bloodnok:
The Famous Eccles.

Eccles:
Ohhhh. Dat’s my name…oh arh oh ‘ere…If you’re de Famous Ecc…If you’re de Famous Eccles, den who am I? I said “den who am I?” (sings) who am I, who am I?

Seagoon:
Just a minute, now. Let me see, now. Wait a minute. He’s Eccles, that’s Flowerdew, I’m Seagoon…you must be Major Bloodnok.

Eccles:
Oh, if I’m Major Bloodnok, I’d better start practising. (clears throat) oh hohohoho…Dat’s better. Ho ho…(raspberry) oh! I can’t sit ‘ere all day.

FX:
knock on door – door opens

Eccles:
Yeah?

Willium:
Oh, good mornin’ er, five pound money order for Major Bloodnok.

Eccles:
Oh, dat’s for me. Thank you, my good man.

Bloodnok:
Here! Give me that money order!

Eccles:
It’s mine, I’m Major Bloodnok.

Bloodnok:
Nonsense! You give it to me, you thieving coward!

Eccles:
I’m not a thieving coward!

Bloodnok:
Then that proves it, you’re not Major Bloodnok!

Seagoon:
Major! Shh, I can hear something in the jungle, there.

Bloodnok:
It’s those cannibals again, they always attack when it gets dark.

Seagoon:
I’d better strike a match.

Bloodnok:
Don’t do that, you fool! They’ll see it! Here, use my lighter.

Grams:
Man-eating Tiger

Bloodnok:
Do you hear that? That’s a cannibal, doing an impression of a tiger.

Ellinga:
(off) Um ban nooka loogs an Congo.

Bloodnok:
There’s worse to come, lad. Now they all get together and do an impression of the Ray Ellington Qintool!

Seagoon:
Men! Lower aim and fix earplugs!

#######################

Ray & Band “Up Above my Head”

#######################

Greenslade:
And while Mr Ellington quickly changes back into his full drape loin-cloth for the part of the cannibal chief, let us re-set the scene. The Stolen Battleship part two. Maddened by the rhythm-type melodies, the cannibals surge into a frenzied attack.

Grams:
Attacking cannibals, whoops etc

Seagoon:
Right men, fire!

Grams:
Pistol shots, machine guns

Bloodnok:
Keep firing.

Grams:
Machine guns (under)

Seagoon:
Gad! These magazines are red hot!

Bloodnok:
I know, I’ve been reading some of them.

Seagoon:
Wait, hold your fire! Someone’s coming!

Spike:
Ohh, man’s a fool, absolute idiot. Never afford a Sputnik with him in office, never. (self fade) Never. Fades off into the distance…

Seagoon:
Well, he seems to have scared away the cannibals.

Bloodnok:
Splendid, now, where was I? Oh yes, yes. Give me that money order. Give me that money order I tell you.

Eccles:
No, dat’s mine.

Bloodnok:
Wait a minute, it’s mine, I tell you!

Eccles:
(gibberish)

Seagoon:
Major, Major, please, enough of this carefully rehearsed ad-libbing. Please. Who cares about money?

Bloodnok:
Who cares about money?? You must be mad.

Seagoon:
I want to get back to England.

Bloodnok:
Then you are mad!

Seagoon:
Bloodnok. If you just switch on the radio, everything will be explooned and explinned.

FX:
Radio being tuned in.

Eccles:
Pardon.

Greenslade:
(distorted – on the radio) And here is the news. This morning, five thousand dog lovers demonstrated outside Aldershot Barracks as a result of reports that soldiers had been smoking dog-ends.

Seagoon:
Never mind about dogs, or dog-ends. What about the reward?

Greenslade:
(distorted – on the radio) I’m coming to that, you steaming nit.

Seagoon:
Well, get on with it.

Greenslade:
(distorted – on the radio) The government is offering a thousand pounds reward for information leading to the recovery of the stolen battleship, HMS Boxer.

Seagoon:
Now do you see, Major? That reward is ours if only we can get back to England!

Bloodnok:
But how? There aren’t any boats here.

Seagoon:
Let’s all concentrate.

Bloodnok:
Yes.

Eccles:
(caught unawares) Oh, yes. Um. Yeah. Let’s all…concentrate. Hahahowwww. A thought just crossed my mind.

Bloodnok:
It didn’t take it long.

Seagoon:
It didn’t have far to go.

Eccles:
Anybody want to add to dat?

Seagoon:
Wait! Wait…I’ve just had an idea! Eccles…You three carry it out while I…while I explain to the listeners. Where’s my speaking trumpet? Quickly, my speaking trumpet! On the chair there, thank you, well done gentlemen. Hello folks! Calling folks, and a little desperate hurry there. Folks! In order to make a sail, the others are now removing their shirts, trousers, vests, underpants and lapis lazuli…lapis lazuli…lapis lazuli belly binders. I do hope the kiddies are in bed. Hahahaha. They are now running the sail up a tall palm tree, and…why aren’t we moving?

Eccles:
Hmm, dere ain’t any wind.

Seagoon:
What?! We must have some wind!

Bloodnok:
I’ve got a small packet of curry powder…

Seagoon:
Now, Major. Major, I’ve got it!

Bloodnok:
Then you won’t need the curry powder.

Seagoon:
Take your saxophone…

Bloodnok:
By the right…

Seagoon:
Now, stand behind the sail and…and, blow.

Orch:
Saxophone – Bloodnok theme – continues vamping

Bloodnok:
Ohhhh.

Greenslade:
And so, the Isle of Alassie sailed away, homeward bound. But, hat same night, a muffled battleship sailed silently up the Thames to the Pool of London; carefully aimed its guns, and as dawn broke…

Grytpype:
(through loudhailer) Hands up, England! Your money or your life!

FX:
many coins hitting floor.

Grytpype:
Right Moriarty! Grab the moolah and the BBC megaphone, and full speed astern.

FX:
Ship’s telegraph

Orch:
dramatic link

Spriggs:
Ohhhhh. All in all, gentlemen, they got away with England’s entire cash assets, of seven pound, eleven and sixpence, folks.

Secombe:
(almost dead) Good heavens. Were there any witnesses?

Spriggs:
Oh, yes sir. Constable Willium Mate. (sings) Willium Mate. Willium Mate.

Willium:
Yes. Well, sir, ‘bout, er, spon o’clock I was receding along the beat, in the direction of where I come from, trying all the shop doors, to see if any of them had been left unlocked in which case, I could nip inside and whip a few odds and ends.

Secombe:
(almost dead) Yes, yes constable.

Spriggs:
Yes…springs. Yes constable, but this battleship, what did it look like? Jeem.

Willium:
I dunno sir (sings) I dunno sirrr.

Spriggs:
(sings) Are you taking the Mickey out of me? Jeeem?

Willium:
It was wearing a black rhythm mask.

Secombe:
(almost dead) Anything else?

Willium:
No sir.

Secombe:
(almost dead) (sings) Anything else?

Willium:
(sings) No sir.

Secombe:
(almost dead) Ahhhh, gentlemen. A nude battleship!

Eccles:
Ooooooooh

Willium:
Yes, and it was flying the ‘Jolly Roger’.

Spriggs:
What? Who’s flag is that? (sings) Who’s flag it that?

Grytpype/Bloodnok:
(?) Captain Kidd’s!

Spriggs:
Gentlemen, England must declare war on Captain Kidd!

Grytpype/Bloodnok:
(?) But he’s dead.

Spriggs:
Then we’ve won!

Omnes:
Cheers - applause

Greenslade:
That night, as the Isle of Alassie sailed steadily northwards, two sturdy lookouts stood on watch.

Grams:
waves - creaking - boat noises.

Bluebottle:
Euh hehehe. Eccles?…

Eccles:
Huh? What, what, what, what?

Bluebottle:
Eccles?…

Eccles:
Yeah?

Bluebottle:
Have you ever…um…hehehehe. Don’t do dat, Eccles; it’s not nice.

Eccles:
Dat’s what you think! Ohha haha hooo

Bluebottle:
Hehehehehe

Eccles and Bluebottle:
Oh ha hahahahha hehehehehehe.

Eccles:
(sings) ho ha hohoho, ha hahahahaha. How did it go again? Dat was a good joke.

Bluebottle:
It wasn’t a joke…it’s called..hehe…what is ‘grass skirt’ Eccles. I say, have you ever worn a grass skirt afore?

Eccles:
No, but I once had a green top hat with a Union Jack sticking out the top. I’ve lived!

Bluebottle:
Ohh, but didn’t people laugh at you when you was went out?

Eccles:
Oh, I never went out. I just used to sit in my room, with a hammer, practicing Beethoven’s Fifth on my head.

Bluebottle:
You must have been mad!

Eccles:
I wasn’t locked up in that place for nothin’. I…I was a private patient.

Bluebottle:
Ah, well…

Eccles:
Ah, well.

Bluebottle:
Dat’s life, I suppose, my good man.

Eccles:
Yeah…‘Ere, Bottle?

Bluebottle:
What?

Eccles:
What are we supposed to be lookin’ for?

Bluebottle:
Land, of course! When we see land, we give like what is a warning.

Eccles:
oh ghghgh.

Bluebottle:
Ho ho. Really, my good man. Did you know that it is as easy as A.B.C?

Eccles:
A.B.C is easy?!

Bluebottle:
Of course it is, my good man!

Eccles:
(gibberish)

Bluebottle:
You went to school, didn’t you?

Eccles:
Yeah, but the door was locked.

Bluebottle:
Why was dat?

Eccles:
I think they saw me comin’ Hohohohoho. (sings) Somebody loves me ~~~~~

Bluebottle:
Eccles!!

Eccles:
What, what?

Bluebottle:
Remember the cannibals; we must be quiet.

Eccles:
Ohh, den I’d better take my shoes off. (grunts). Now my socks. One…two…three…

Bluebottle:
What about your feet?

Eccles:
Nah, I think I’ll leave them on.

Bluebottle:
Yeah, it is a bit chilly tonight, isn’t it?

Eccles:
You ought to… ‘Ere Bottle!

Bluebottle:
What?

Eccles:
Look in front of us! Lights!

Bluebottle:
Oh, it’s land. Quick, shout the warning!

Eccles:
OK..(shouts) What do!… (normal) What do I shout?

Bluebottle:
Wait a minute; I’ve got it here in my Finchley Sea Scout’s Diary.

FX:
pages turning

Bluebottle:
(reads) Here, now. ‘How to give artificial drowning…’ ‘How to rescue Girl Guides from Boy Scouts…’Ah, here it is. ‘Land ahoy!’


Eccles:
OK. (clears throat) LAND AH……

Grams:
crashing into land – explosion

Greenslade:
(distorted - on radio) And here is a police message…Early this morning, there was a collision between an unknown desert island, and the Isle of Man. Any person who can give information, please (self fade)

Sellers:
(MP) Gentlemen. There is still no sign of the battleship HMS Boxer, despite a search by our entire fleet, consisting of six armoured rowing boats, and one paddle-driven destroyer.

FX:
door opening

Seagoon:
I wish to claim the reward for information about the stolen battleship! I…

Grytpype:
Stop!…All right constable, there’s your man.

Willium:
Oh, right sir. (clears throat) Are you the owner of island number ‘DXB double six eight’?

Seagoon:
Well…I, I, I, I….

Willium:
Then I must charge you with drivin’ a piece of land, without due care and attention.

Seagoon:
Now…I…I can explain it all…you see…

Grytpype:
And now gentlemen. Your present ships are far too small, and slow, to get to the HMS Boxer.

Omnes:
Hear, hear.

Grytpype:
However, my friend here…

Moriarty:
Owwwwww.

Grytpype:
…happens to have a battleship outside, of exactly the same size and speed as the stolen one. (aside) Did you remember to paint in the new name, Moriarty?

Moriarty:
In brown paint, yes.

Grytpype:
Its name is the HMS…Wrestler.

Seagoon:
It’s the HMS Boxer, I tell you!

Spriggs:
How can it be the HMS Boxer, you fool? When it’s the HMS Wrestler?

Seagoon:
But these men are the men who took it from……

Spriggs:
Silence! Silence Jeem! Gentlemen, it’s the deal.

Grytpype:
Ten thousand pound, please.

FX:
cash register

Grytpype:
I thank you.

Spriggs:
On, members. Now, with the aid of this new battleship, we shall easily be able to find the HMS Boxer. (sings) Full steam ahead.

FX:
Ship’s telegraph – ship’s hooter

Spriggs:
I'm off.

Omnes:
cheering crowds

Greenslade:
And, as far as anyone knows, they’re still looking…It’s all in the mind, you know?…Goodnight.

Orch:
Playout – ‘Ding-Dong, the Witch is Dead’

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