Goon Show Script

The Giant Bombardon

Vintage Goons Series, Episode 4

RECORDED 17 Nov 1957. Transcribed by Yukka Tukka Indians.


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GREENSLADE:
The BBC presents Vintage Goons, another in the series of programmes first broadcast to British listeners in 1954.

CAST:
(Approaching rapidly from a distance) Nyxhryhryhrh yrhxheyrhryrhxyrhynm!

SECOMBE:
The Goon Show folks. Yes folks!

MILLIGAN:
Yes folks!

SECOMBE:
Yes folks!

GRAMS:
(Recording) ROYAL FANFARE

GREENSLADE:
Thank you, Victor Silvester. And now for an encore Mr. Webster Smoggule will sing that lovely Mongolian saxophone solo for cor anglais and cor blimey, 'I Lost my teeth in a Monastery Garden' by Hurlston.

PIANO INTRODUCTION:
G7 to C

SPRIGGS:
(Megaphone) Thank you friends, thank you.

SECOMBE:
(Off) Get on with it, you grit (?)!

SPRIGGS:
(Megaphone) Modern-type record, folks. Hello, modern-type record, folks, modern-type. Keep that bamboo needle in place, folks.

Oh let me like a soldier fall ...ah hum, pardon me,

Oh let me like a soldier fall

Upon the field of the battle...

FX:
Pistol shot.

SPRIGGS:
Ooww!

GREENSLADE:
We would like to announce that this was Smoggule's farewell appearance. But now to this week's great feature, a story of a mighty cannon designed to win the Crimean War. Here then is the saga of -

SELLERS:
'The Giant Bombardon', or...

ORCHESTRA:
DRAMATIC CHORDS.

SELLERS:
'The Giant Bombardon', or...

ORCHESTRA:
FURTHER DRAMATIC CHORDS

SELLERS:
The story of this great bombardon commences in the year 1853, the year of the Crimean War. The year that gave Anna Neagle her big chance.

SEAGOON:
It is midnight in the winter H.Q. of Major Bloodnok V.C., British Army, Balaclava. The enemy are only a stone's throw away.

GRAMS:
Pane of glass smashing.

BLOODNOK:
Curse them! They've thrown another stone. Lord Cardigan, plug that hole up.

CARDIGAN:
(Valentine Dyall) This is the third winter in four months in this devilish place. Three fiscal years fighting those ruskies. They must be in the red. It looks bad.

BLOODNOK:
Yes, it might even lead to war. Pass me the Marlon, lad. Pass me the brandy will you.

GRAMS:
Horses hooves approaching rapidly.

BLOODNOK:
Hark! I hear horses hooves.

CARDIGAN:
It's somebody galloping down the road.

BLOODNOK:
Who is it?

CARDIGAN:
It's a man with coconut shells strapped to his feet.

BLOODNOK:
Economical devil. Let me see. Why, he looks like a messenger from the front - and he looks like one from the back as well.

FX:
Knocking on door.

BLOODNOK:
Let him in by letting him in.

FX:
Door opens.

GRAMS:
Howling wind.

FX:
Door closes.

SEAGOON:
Oh! Bad news. Ohohohohhhh!

BLOODNOK:
Who are you?

SEAGOON:
Lieutenant Seagoon of the third Athlete's Foot.

BLOODNOK:
I am Bloodnok of the second Royal Knees. Seagoon? Wait a minute... Seagoon! I didn't recognise you.

CARDIGAN:
You know him Sir?

BLOODNOK:
No. That's why I didn't recognise him.

SEAGOON:
Oh groan, groan, groan, groan. Ahhhgggh! Groan, oh groan.

BLOODNOK:
He's wounded, with groans. Quick, the brandy!

CARDIGAN:
Here...

GRAMS:
Liquid pouring from bottle.

CARDIGAN:
Now, steady now. Drink this.

GRAMS:
Stops.

BLOODNOK:
(Swallowing.) Thank you. I never could stand the sight of blood you know.

SEAGOON:
I'm alright sir. It's only a flesh wound.

BLOODNOK:
Oh, it looked like a bullet wound to me.

SEAGOON:
The Russians sir...

BLOODNOK:
What!

SEAGOON:
...the Russians, they've attacked heavily and after a five day battle against superhuman odds I fear the third Dismounted Foot and Mouth Fusiliers retreated.

CARDIGAN:
Retreated! A British regiment retreated? How much?

SEAGOON:
(Overcome) A...a quarter of an inch.

CARDIGAN:
Retreated a whole quarter of an inch?

SEAGOON:
Yes.

CARDIGAN:
But what made them panic like this?!

SEAGOON:
They lost their Colonel sir. He's... he's dead.

BLOODNOK:
Colonel Splun dead?!

SEAGOON:
Dead.

BLOODNOK:
Oh! How did that happen?

SEAGOON:
He was killed.

BLOODNOK:
Killed? Do you think that's what caused his death?

SEAGOON:
I'm not a doctor sir.

BLOODNOK:
What a coincidence.

CARDIGAN:
How did he die?

ORCHESTRA:
BRING IN MUTED TRUMPET AT SUNSET EFFECT.

SEAGOON:
Well sir, the battle started at dawn ten days ago. The ruskies attacked Colonel Splun's troops but they held grimly.

CARDIGAN:
Stout fellow!

SEAGOON:
Then the Cossacks charged Colonel Splun's troops but he drove them back at nightfall.

CARDIGAN:
Stout fellow!

SEAGOON:
Well he's very thin really. Then the Russian artillery bombarded his troops for two days but they budged not an inch. So it went on for ten days. (My life, ten days it went on for!) Colonel Splun's lads held firm and finally scattered the attackers with cold steel. It was then I learned that Colonel Splun was dead.

CARDIGAN:
What a hero.

SEAGOON:
(Crying) Yes.

CARDIGAN:
Tell us lad, how did he die?

SEAGOON:
He ... he was hiding in the NAAFI when a tea urn fell on his nut.

BLOODNOK:
A soldier's death. I hope he died with his boots on.

SEAGOON:
Why?

BLOODNOK:
He had holes in his socks.

SEAGOON:
I don't wish to know that.

BLOODNOK:
Things look bad though, you know. Those ruskies, they seem to have endless supplies of arms, and legs. Only this morning they bought three hundred new cannons.

SEAGOON:
Are you sure?

BLOODNOK:
Sure? Here's the receipt.

CARDIGAN:
You're right. This war will last as long as ruskies are safe behind the walls of Sebastopol.

BLOODNOK:
What we need is a giant artillery mortar that will breach the walls.

CARDIGAN:
Lieutenant Seagoon, here's ten shillings and a pair of tartan socks. Take the next boat back to England and commission the building of a giant leather mortar - a bombardon!

SEAGOON:
Packing my three trunks of Jane Mansfield postcards, I did as I was told. Three weeks at sea saw us nearing England. The last night aboard we had a concert on deck.

SPRIGGS:
(With piano accompaniment) Oh let me like a soldier fall
Upon the field of the battle.
I'll gird on my song.
And fight for my country.

FX:
Pistol shot.

SPRIGGS:
Owwww!

GRAMS:
Hearty cheering.

SERGEANT:
And next Ladies and Gentlemen, we have Private Max Geldray. And here he is in 'The Secrets of a French Washing Machine'. Thank you.

MAX GELDRAY "Crazy Rhythm"

GREENSLADE:
I suppose the BBC knows what it's doing. In London Lieutenant Seagoon was given voice in a House of Commons special session.

GRAMS:
Political rhubarbs.

SEAGOON:
And further more there is discontent among the troops.

GRAMS:
Political rhubarbs.

DISRAELI:
Ah, Lieutenant Seagoon. You say there is discontent among the troops?

SEAGOON:
Yes, there is discontent among the troops.

DISRAELI:
Why do you say there is discontent among the troops?

SEAGOON:
Because there is discontent among the troops.

DISRAELI:
I see. You say there is discontent among the troops because there is discontent among the troops?

SEAGOON:
Yes. I said there is discontent among the troops because there is discontent among the troops.

DISRAELI:
Yes, well it all sounds reasonable to me. Thank you.

SEAGOON:
Thank you. Now gentlemen, the most pressing need in the Crimea is the heavy artillery mortar for siege purposes. You see, the Russian held city of Sebastopol has walls twenty feet thick.

GRAMS:
Political rhubarbs.

DISRAELI:
Ah, Lieutenant Seagoon, you say the walls of Sebastopol are twenty feet thick?

SEAGOON:
Yes.

DISRAELI:
Why did you say that?

SEAGOON:
Because the walls of Sebastopol are twenty feet thick.

DISRAELI:
You say the walls are twenty feet thick because they are twenty feet thick?

SEAGOON:
Yes, I said they are twenty feet thick because they are twenty feet thick!

DISRAELI:
Well, you appear confident. Thank you.

SEAGOON:
Good luck! To continue; I would like to say...

DISRAELI:
Ah, Lieutenant? A passing thought - have you ever measured the walls of Sebastopol?

SEAGOON:
(In a fury) Mnnnnnngh... (Suddenly calm.) No.

DISRAELI:
Then it is possible that the walls are not twenty feet thick?

SEAGOON:
It is possible, yes.

DISRAELI:
They might be only ten feet six inches thick?

SEAGOON:
It is possible the walls of Sebastopol are only ten feet six inches thick.

DISRAELI:
You say that it is possible that the walls of Sebastopol are only ten feet six inches thick.

SEAGOON:
Yes!

DISRAELI:
Why do you say that?

SEAGOON:
Because you said it!

DISRAELI:
I said it?

SEAGOON:
Yes.

DISRAELI:
Lieutenant, are you blaming me for the walls of Sebastopol being only ten feet six inches thick?

(Argument &c)

SEAGOON:
I'm not blaming you at all. You're a raving idiot man.

DISRAELI:
Then who are you blaming for the walls of Sebastopol being only ten feet six inches thick?

SEAGOON:
I'm not blaming anybody for the walls of Sebastopol being only ten feet six inches thick.

DISRAELI:
But somebody must be responsible for the walls being ten feet six inches thick!

SEAGOON:
Nobody's responsible for the walls of Sebastopol being only ten feet six inches thick.

(Argument &c)

GRAMS:
Bring in sound of political infighting.

LORD PHULES:
(He'll have to go!) Gentlemen please, please. After all, Lieutenant Seagoon did not say the walls were only ten foot six inches. He said they were twenty feet thick.

DISRAELI:
Twenty feet?! Then what's happened to the other nine feet six inches?

SEAGOON:
Nothing's happened to the other nine feet six inches.

DISRAELI:
Thank heavens they're safe! Lieutenant Seagoon, I apologise.

SEAGOON:
I accept your apology. Now then, I was going to say ...

DISRAELI:
Er, Lieutenant Seagoon?

SEAGOON:
My life!

DISRAELI:
You say you accept my apology?

SEAGOON:
YES!

DISRAELI:
Why did you say that?

SEAGOON:
(Raving) Haahhahahahahahahaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

GRAMS:
Massive pub brawl, breaking glass, mix in series of explosions, messerschmidts dive bombing, train pulling out of station, whistles, car horns.

SEAGOON:
At midnight the debate finished, and I decided to spend the night at my aunt and uncle's, a dear old couple who, being holders of government gilt edged securities, lived in a tree in Hyde Park.

FX:
Sound of crockery, running water, plates being scraped. Continue under.

GRAMS:
Occasional trumpeting of elephant over.

CRUN:
(Singing) I've got rhythm in my soul
Nukka tukka tikkie.
I've got rhythm in my soul.
Tuckle tuckle tuckle.
I've got fish in my socks,
And shoes in my nose.

GRAMS:
Extra loud elephantine trumpet.

CRUN:
Oh! You'll have your herbs in a minute.

GRAMS:
More trumpeting.

BANNISTER:
(Off) Henry!

CRUN:
What, modern Min?

BANNISTER:
What are you doing there, Henry?

CRUN:
I'm singing hot rhythm songs Min.

BANNISTER:
Oooooh! Naughty Henry.

CRUN:
I'm rocking round the clock Min.

BANNISTER:
Ooo! You'll never get away with that. What's all that other type noise down there?

CRUN:
I'm washing the dinner plates Min.

FX:
Scraping of crockery. (Continues under)

BANNISTER:
But we haven't had dinner yet, Henry.

CRUN:
Ah, but I'm washing them now so that we won't have to wash them after.

GRAMS:
Extra loud burst of elephantine trumpeting.

BANNISTER:
Ooooooh! Was that you Henry?

CRUN:
No. That was the elephant Min.

BANNISTER:
What's the elephant doing in the kitchen?

CRUN:
Helping, Min.

BANNISTER:
Is he drying up?

CRUN:
No. He feels quite moist Min. He's cooking the din Min.

FX:
Rapid footsteps on staircase. Door opens.

BANNISTER:
(On mic) Oh, I told you not to let him cook the dinner. You know that's the gorilla's job. Shoo! Get out of it you naughty elephant. Shoo!

GRAMS:
Enraged trumpet.

CRUN:
You know that elephant was helping me build my giant bombardon in the cellar.

BANNISTER:
I don't know what we want a giant bombardon for.

FX:
Crash of crockery.

CRUN:
Well, if you sleep in the barrel of it Min

BANNISTER:
It's your turn in the barrel, Henry.

CRUN:
Sleeping in the barrel, Min, it gets rid of rheumatism of the knees you know. My uncle slept in a cannon once.

BANNISTER:
What did it get rid of?

CRUN:
It got rid of my uncle Min.

FX:
Rapid crockery scraping.

BANNISTER:
Ooooh! There's a plun on my plin!

CRUN:
You realise we're lucky modern Min. No-one else in this street has got a bombardon.

FX:
Door knocking

BANNISTER:
Owww!

CRUN:
I'll answer it Min. I know the way to the door.

FX:
Door latch.

CRUN:
Ahhhhhggghhhahhoooiiiee!

SEAGOON:
Hello Uncle Crun.

CRUN:
Ooooh! It's shiny, short and dreadful Neddie. Min!

BANNISTER:
Ah, back from the China wars.

CRUN:
Come in. Let me take that wet wig off.

SEAGOON:
Thank you. Ah, home and beauty.

BANNISTER:
Come on in darling. Come on and relax. Put your feet up.

FX:
Body crashes to floor. Crockery falls etc.

CRUN:
You shouldn't have done that from the standing position.

SEAGOON:
You old joker you.

BANNISTER & CRUN:
(Rhythm laughter.)

CRUN:
You know Min, I met Lieutenant Seagoon by accident.

SEAGOON:
He ran over me in a steam roller.

CAST:
(Laugh &c)

SEAGOON:
Yes. Happy days! Happy, happy days. By the way, what's that thing in the cellar?

CRUN:
What? Didn't you know I'm building a giant leather bombardon?

SEAGOON:
Dear listeners, what luck! The very thing I've come to England for.

CRUN:
You see Min. I told you it would come in handy.

SEAGOON:
Ooooh! Er, I haven't introduced you to Colonel Ray Ellington here.

ELLINGTON:
Ah, how do you do?

RAY ELLINGTON "Cuban Carnival"

GRAMS:
Construction noises

GREENSLADE:
Under government contract genius Henry Crun set about completing his bombardon. Finally the day of completion arrived.

CRUN:
Ah, Seagoon. Just put this office on will you?

FX:
Door opens and closes.

SEAGOON:
Thank you. It's a bit tight under the arm pits.

CRUN:
Now, I have here a miniature of the bombardon. It's loaded, and to show you its angle of projection I'm going to fire a shot at the target on that door.

SEAGOON:
Splenders.

CRUN:
Ah, splenders, just light the fuse would you.

GRAMS:
Hiss of burning cordite

FX:
Door opens.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Good morning.

GRAMS:
Terrible explosion.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Ohohohhhaweee! You rotten swines you. I'm shotted! My Captain you have shotted me. Ohheeeee! Falls to ground. Clutches heart area in agony. Loses knees.

BANNISTER:
Don't be silly, little 'bottle. It was only a rubber bullet.

BLUEBOTTLE:
It's still agony though.

BANNISTER:
Why?

BLUEBOTTLE:
It went down my throat.

BANNISTER:
Oh dear. You've swallowed a bullet? Quick, I'll pick you up.

SEAGOON:
Yes, but don't point him at anybody.

BLUEBOTTLE:
I have a rubber bullet within! I die. I'm killéd do you hear. You have deaded me!

SEAGOON:
I'll fix it. Pass me that mallet. Thank you. Now Bluebottle, take your hat off.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Right-oh!

SEAGOON:
Now.

GRAMS:
Pop. Whoosh. Splat.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Ooh! Oo! You've banged it up! My Captain has savéd me. Hurray!

GRAMS:
Truck reversing in low gear.

SEAGOON:
Ah, here's the lorry with the iron for the cannon balls.

WILLIUM:
Ah, pardon me mate. Where do you want all this scrap iron on the 'any-old-iron any-old-iron' on the 'ere lorry mate, dumping?

SEAGOON:
Throw the lot in this deep smelting pit.

WILLIUM:
Well give me an 'and then.

SEAGOON:
Right. I'll make the straining noises.

WILLIUM & SEAGOON:
(Strains supreme, including that old favourite 'Watch out for the tenors friend there'.)

GRAMS:
Sudden burst of steam. Enormous crash of falling load.

SEAGOON:
Gad. That was heavy.

WILLIUM:
It ought to be. That was the lorry.

SEAGOON:
You fool. Why didn't you tell me that was a lorry?

WILLIUM:
Well, I didn't have me glasses on. My mate borrowed them.

SEAGOON:
Well you'd better get them back off him hadn't you!

WILLIUM:
I can't. He was in the lorry. (Sings) In the lo-rrrrry!

SEAGOON:
Of course. (Sings) I suppose he had to steer. To stee-eeeeer!

SPRIGGS:
Pardon me Jim. Are you taking the mickey out of me Ji-iiiim? Oh Jim, the barrels of gunpowder have arri-iiiived!

SEAGOON:
Where are they?

SPRIGGS:
They were a bit damp so Eccles is drying the gunpowder out by the fire.

SEAGOON:
That's the last thing he should do.

SPRIGGS:
It will be.

GRAMS:
Rolling series of Vesuvian explosions. Pause. Boots running, coming from distance.

ECCLES:
'Ere! That gunpowder exploded.

SEAGOON:
Eccles! Still alive?

ECCLES:
Yeah.

SEAGOON:
It must be a miracle. Go back and try again.

ECCLES:
Oh, no. Not again. I can't go round having fun all the time you know. Where's my legs gone?

SEAGOON:
The trouble is, where to get another vast quantity of gunpowder. I'd pay anything for it.

GRAMS:
Whoosh

GRYTPYPE:
We were in Siberia queueing for Sputniks and we happened to hear your chance remarks, sir.

SEAGOON:
I haven't had the pleasure.

GRYTPYPE:
Allow me to er....etcetera, etcetera. I'm Grytpype Thynne and this is the hairy Count Jim....

MORIARTY:
Xch awwwooww!

GRYTPYPE:
...'explosions' Moriarty.

SEAGOON:
Explosions? You deal in gunpowder then.

GRYTPYPE:
I far more deadly explosive.

SEAGOON:
What?

GRYTPYPE:
Liquorish powder.

SEAGOON:
This is new to me. I demand a demonstration.

GRYTPYPE:
Moriarty!

GRAMS:
Explosion, strength 9

MORIARTY:
Aww!

SEAGOON:
Proof enough.

GRYTPYPE:
Yes. Just sign this contract and certificate of slavery, would you?

SEAGOON:
I'll sign with my banjo.

GRAMS:
(Recording) Chromatic banjo lick, speeded up.

GRYTPYPE:
And I'll blot it with this piano.

GRAMS:
(Recording) Speedy octaves in G.

SEAGOON:
Hup! Have the liquorish powder delivered on board the HMS Venus.

ORCHESTRA:
DRAMATIC CHORDS.

GREENSLADE:
Crun, true to his word, had the giant bombardon completed well behind schedule.

FX:
Rapid hammering on planks.

SEAGOON:
In separate brown paper parcels it was stored in the hold of the HMS Venus.

GRYTPYPE:
(Aside) Likewise the powerful crates of liquorish powder, post free. Little does he know that one crate contains Count Jim Moriarty who will spy for the Russians.

SEAGOON:
Finished?

GRYTPYPE:
Yes thank you.

SEAGOON:
Captain MacSporran, are you ready to sail?

MacSPORRAN:
(Dyall) Aye aye sir. I'll just read a few hairy sea phrases. "Send up the airless (?) and bus Diana Dors!"

SEAGOON:
Then off you go Captain.

MacSPORRAN:
Right!

GRAMS:
Body falling heavily into water

SEAGOON:
We followed behind in the ship.

ORCHESTRA:
NAUTICAL THEME

OMNES:
Seamen's ejaculations.

GRAMS:
Creaking timbers and ropes. Ocean swell.

SEAGOON:
Three days out to the Crimea. How many knots are we making?

BLUEBOTTLE:
Twenty knots an hour.

SEAGOON:
We appear to be going slow for twenty knots.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Well, they're only granny-knots. Anyway I haven't got anymore string. Aeough!

GRAMS:
Body falling heavily into water.

LITTLE JIM:
He's fallen in the water!

SEAGOON:
Yes, little Jim. Naughty Uncle Harry did that. We don't want idiots on this ship.

GRAMS:
Body falling heavily into water.

SEAGOON:
(Distant) Naughty little Jim! Help! Somebody drop me a line.

GRYTPYPE:
Certainly. What's your address? Ha ha ha ha ha! No dear listeners, I'd better save him. He might have the last line in the show. Here. Catch this concrete life belt. Huh...

FX:
Single woodbloc

SEAGOON:
Ghuh!

MILLIGAN:
Dramatic chords. Freeze water.

ORCHESTRA:
DRAMATIC LINK.

GRAMS:
Distant wind howling.

GREENSLADE:
It was three months journey to the Crimea, but by December the forty-third Crun's giant leather bombardon was dug in and sighted on the walls of Russian held Sebastopol. Major Bloodnok had also been sighted by a certain Captain Fitzgerald.

BLOODNOK:
It's lies! So this is the bombardon, eh? What a terrible looking monster.

ECCLES:
No. I'm Eccles. That's the bombardon.

BLOODNOK:
You've spoilt everything.

ECCLES:
I've spoilt everything?

BLOODNOK:
Yes, you see I just loaded you.

SEAGOON:
Bloodnok sir! Telephone message from Commander Ryan, Infantry H.Q. We must fire at dawn. It's a matter of life and click.

BLOODNOK:
You mean life and death?

SEAGOON:
No, life and click. He hung up.

ORCHESTRA:
TATTY CHORD

BLOODNOK:
Stop those naughty 'audience-winning' jokes. Remember we fire at dawn tonight. Further chords please.

ORCHESTRA:
FURTHER DRAMATIC LINK.

GRAMS:
Distant rifle fire. Distant bugle. Vary speed at end.

SERGEANT MAJOR:
Reveille! Come on. Wakey, wakey! Out of bed. Hands off your socks! Come on there!

BLOODNOK:
Gad! It's snowing.

CARDIGAN:
No. It happens I have dandruff. Incidentally the giant leather bombardon's ready for action sir.

SEAGOON:
Right. Put a case of liquorish powder down the barrel.

CARDIGAN:
Three nonet! (sic!)

SEAGOON:
Right. Men, take up position.

OMNES:
Military rhubarbs.

SEAGOON:
Point it towards the large portion of Sebastopol wall. Ready? FIRE!

GRAMS:
Howitzer. Sound of shell whistling overhead.

GREENSLADE:
We now go over to Sebastopol wall to hear the arrival of the missile.

GRAMS:
Incoming shell. Explosion.

MORIARTY:
Awwawawawwwwow! Owww!

GRYTPYPE:
Curse.

MORIARTY:
Owww mate!

GRYTPYPE:
Moriarty, prepare for the payoff line then run.

MORIARTY:
Right. We've been fired!

ORCHESTRA:
TATTY CHORD

GREENSLADE:
Well, there it is. Makes you mad, doesn't it!

ORCHESTRA:
"I WANT TO BE HAPPY" PLAYOUT

GREENSLADE:
That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan with Valentine Dyall, the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan. Announcer, Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Roy Speer.