Goon Show Script

The Dreaded Piano Clubber

Vintage Goons Series, Episode 12


This episode is available on...
Goon Show Compendium 9

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Vol. 24: The Case of the Missing Heir

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GREENSLADE: In an endeavour to prove that radio is not blind we present, after a successful season at Rowton House, another programme in the series, which by careful planning, meticulous writing and superb presentation has managed to avoid winning the Radio Award. Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan in...

SECOMBE: The Goon Show!

GRAMS: Out-of-tune piano, with orchestra.

PRINGE: Good evening. My name is Dudley Pringe, contemporary armchair detective. Tonight from my case book I'd like to tell you the story...

FX: Cigarette lighter being lit.

PRINGE: ...gone out... of a crime that shook England. Here to tell you more is a man who remembers it all.

SECOMBE: (upper class twit) Thank you, Dudley. I'm not the man who remembers it all, so I'll step down.

GREENSLADE: Thank you, thank you. Every now and again, there occurs a crime that makes us sit up. For some time now the Goons have had access to Scotland Yard's secret files - thanks to an arrangement with the police known as Dropsy or in the Americas as Graft.

SELLERS: (American accent) From these confidential files comes a story of a crime that no Sunday newspaper would dare to print. The story of - The Dreaded Piano Clubber.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic musical link

GRAMS: Big Ben chimes. Fog horn. Footsteps of bobby.

SEAGOON: It was such a winter's night as this when I, Lance Constable Ned Seagoon of Long Division, London River Police, was patroling the rivier.

FX: Splash as body jumps in water. Wading through water.

SEAGOON: I'll be glad when we get a launch, Sergeant.

SERGEANT: Yes. It is a bit chilly, I admit, swimming, I... Still, we must guard our great river the Thames.

SEAGOON: Yes. We'd better walk up the Embankment and get dry before we go in again.

JIM SPRIGGS: (sings): Splendid ideay, Jim, splendid idea.

FX: Fast piano chords.

SERGEANT: Oooh. What was that type noise?

SEAGOON: It sounded like a piano. Make a note!

SERGEANT: I'm afraid it's already made them.

JIM SPRIGGS: No ad-libbing, please.

FX: Piano falling on a man. Shattering noise and groans.

SEAGOON: Quick. It came from over there.

GRAMS: Footsteps, fading away under...

SERGEANT: Quick after over there.

GRAMS: Footsteps appoaching again.

SEAGOON: Look, a body in the gutter.

SERGEANT: Oooh, ooh, Jim.

SEAGOON: Quick, Sergeant, take down these notes in description.

SERGEANT: Right.

SEAGOON: Description: five feet two.

SERGEANT: Five foot two.

SEAGOON: Short, tubby.

SERGEANT: Short, tubby.

SEAGOON: Wearing blue trousers and jacket, good looking.

SERGEANT: Right.

SEAGOON: That takes care of me. Now, the body. Wearing city suit, bowler hat and bowler trousers. Carrying ear trumpet, side whiskers, bald. Sex (laughs) - male.

SERGEANT: Search his pockets, Jim.

SEAGOON: Right.

FX: Jingling coins.

SEAGOON: Five pounds in half crowns.

SERGEANT: Oh, oh, thank you, sir!

SEAGOON: Not a word to the Inspector or he'll want some.

SERGEANT: The crook! (singing) the croo-hook!

SEAGOON: Here's a birth certificate in his hip pocket.

FX: Paper rustling.

SEAGOON: Gad, according to this, his hip pocket is a hundred and thirty years old. So this might not be murder after all, this man might have died from natural causes.

SERGEANT: Ooh, I don't think he died from either, Jim.

SEAGOON: Why not?

SERGEANT: He's getting up, Jim.

HENRY CRUN: Aah aaaah aaaaah. (etc.)

SEAGOON: Have you got all that down?

SERGEANT: Every word, Jim.

SEAGOON: Splendid!

HENRY CRUN: Oooh, ooh.

SEAGOON: Easy, old man.

HENRY CRUN: Where am I?

SEAGOON: England, sir.

HENRY CRUN: England?

ALL: (sing) "There'll always be an England, as long as England..."

SEAGOON: Thank you, yes, yes, thank you very much, yes.

HENRY CRUN: Thank you.

SEAGOON: Now..

HENRY CRUN: I didn't have the rest of the words.

SERGEANT: Anybody?

SEAGOON: Now, what happened, sir?

HENRY CRUN: I fainted.

SEAGOON: Fainted - when?

HENRY CRUN: Just after a man stuck me down with a piano.

SEAGOON: Struck - with a piano?

HENRY CRUN: Yes.

SEAGOON: What fiendish ingenuity. Did you get the number of the instrument?

HENRY CRUN: No, he had his lights out. But I can describe the man.

SEAGOON: Good, take this down.

SERGEANT: Right, sir.

HENRY CRUN: He was wearing trousers.

SEAGOON: Got them down?

SERGEANT: No ~~~.

HENRY CRUN: A shirt, a tie, a jacket, a hat, socks, and one pair of shoes, one...

SEAGOON: Splendid. With that description, if he ever enters a nudist colony he's a gonner.

SERGEANT: You were a gonner in the last war weren't you Jim? Anything else about the piano clubber ~~~?

HENRY CRUN: Yes, he was carrying a piano, and this recording of Max Geldray.

SEAGOON: I see.

SERGEANT: ~~~.

MAX GELDRAY AND ORCHESTRA - "I can't give you anything but love".

GRAMS: Loud piano chords with orchestra.

GREENSLADE: That was the second time the dreaded piano clubber struck. In the months to come he struck twenty-eight times. Each time he struck his victim with a piano. Each time he crept up on his victim from behind and each time his victim was Henry Crun. Public opinion demanded a public enquiry.

FX: Crowd - mumbles.

JUDGE: Order, please, order. Now the enquiry will now be conducted, regarding the activities of an unknown assailent, the dreaded piano clubber. First witness.

BLUEBOTTLE: My name is Captain Bluebottle.

GRAMS: Applause, cheering

BLUEBOTTLE: STOP!

GRAMS: Applause stops immediately.

BLUEBOTTLE: Thank you, friends of Bluebottle. Now for an encore. (Sings nonsense)

JUDGE: Silence, silence. Stop that singing, and I'll stop playing this guitar.

BLUEBOTTLE: I didn't hear you...

JUDGE: Now, do you mind. Now give your evidence.

BLUEBOTTLE: OK. On the night of the attack I was walking down Bongers Lane, when suddenly I stopped.

JUDGE: Why?

BLUEBOTTLE: Hmm?

JUDGE: Why, I said.

BLUEBOTTLE: I don't know. I must have been tired. My little tootsies were steaming after certain rock and roll dances, you see.

JUDGE: Hmm, and when you stopped, you saw then the victim, the victim, Mr Crun, was lying in the gutter, yes?

BLUEBOTTLE: Yes he was, and escaping over a wall was a man carrying a wooden-type piano.

JUDGE: But mister Bluebottle didn't you request the man with the piano to stop?

BLUEBOTTLE: No 'cause he wasn't playing it.

JUDGE: Right. Sit down. Next please.

BLUEBOTTLE: Sit down, next please.

FIRST CLERK: Next witness William Slick, from USA.

SECOND CLERK: Call William Slick.

THIRD CLERK: Call William Slick.

FX: Foutsteps approach.

JUDGE: Raise your right leg and say after me: I swear...

WILLIUM: I swear.

JUDGE: I also drink an...

WILLIUM: You lousy, rotten, stin...

JUDGE: I also drink and smoke...

WILLIUM: I also drink and smoke.

JUDGE: Take the stand.

WILLIUM: Oow.

JUDGE: Now, you've come a long way to give evidence.

WILLIUM: All the way from New Orleans. The fare cost me eyery penny I had, mate.

JUDGE: New Orleans is two hundred and thirty four thousand five hundred and sixty miles away, and we appreciate you making this long journey. Now on the night of the crime, where were you?

WILLIUM: I was in New Orleans, two hundred and thirty four thousand five hundred sixty seven miles away.

JUDGE: Next witness.

FIRST CLERK (THROAT): Call Minnie Bannister.

SECOND CLERK (Henry Crun-like voice): Call Minnie Bannister.

THIRD CLERK: Call Minnie Bannister.

FOURTH CLERK (Whispering): Call Minnie Bannister.

MINNIE BANNISTER: Poow. My, my name is Minnie Bannister, spinriste... spinnister.

JUDGE: Madam, what is you association with Mr. Crun?

MINNIE BANNISTER: Ow..., man, man and woman.

JUDGE: Are you related?

MINNIE BANNISTER: Yes, I'm his auntie, you know, and he's my nephew.

JUDGE: Oh, it sounds feasible.

MINNIE BANNISTER: Oh, oh it is.

JUDGE: It is? Now, now, what are your occupations?

MINNIE BANNISTER: Oh, well. Henry collects foreign stamps, and I knock my knees together.

JUDGE: Gad what a ~~~

MINNIE BANNISTER: Nicky nocky nocky nocky noo, I go.

JUDGE: Quite enough. Miss Bannister, after Mr. Crun was first struck by this piano, did you notice any change in him when he arrived home?

MINNIE BANNISTER: Yes, his hat was down over his eyes.

JUDGE: Well, I take it that this was caused by the force of the piano landing on his head?

MINNIE BANNISTER: Oow yes. And an upsurge in pain. Lumps.

JUDGE: Lumps.

MINNIE BANNISTER: Lumps, LUMPS!

JUDGE: Morning.

MINNIE BANNISTER: Morning.

JUDGE: Morning.

MINNIE BANNISTER: Morning, and ~~~

JUDGE: And after the mornings...

THROAT: Gutteral sound.

JUDGE: Oh, I'm sorry... and after that, did he put anything inside his hat to absorb the shock?

MINNIE BANNISTER: Yes.... me!

HENRY CRUN: I object, I object.

JUDGE: To what do you object Mr. Crun?

MINNIE BANNISTER: Lumps!

HENRY CRUN: I object to being struck on the head by a piano.

JUDGE: Objection sustained.

MINNIE BANNISTER: Lumps, lumps.

?: Raspberry.

MINNIE BANNISTER: Kindly leave the court.

? (Bloodnok-like voice): I'm sorry madam.

JUDGE: I have said objection sustained, that's quite enough. And now that I find no reason to continue this enquiry, as the information obtained is of a sketchy nature. We will therefore wait until further attacks have taken place.

HENRY CRUN: I object to further attacks, I object to them!

JUDGE: Mr. Crun, you want us to find the assailant?

HENRY CRUN: Yes, and the piano clubber.

JUDGE: Then you must let the attacks continue. If we don't find him, he might attack you again.

HENRY CRUN: ~~~ sir, but next time, I shall vote Communist, I tell you.

GRAMS: Load piano music with orchestra as another piano falls on him.

SEAGOON: The attacks continued at the rate of one per week and the weeks occurred at the rate of five per month. But the piano clubber always managed to escape us. Then he struck Crun in a new and terrible manner.

HENRY CRUN: With the loud pedal down, ooh!

SEAGOON: Struck by a piano with the loud pedal down. England was horrified. The BBC gave out warnings.

GRAMS: (Greenslade recorded): The police are appealing to the public to help track down the dreaded piano clubber. If you are hit by a piano, please don't hush it up. Tell a policeman. Make sure you are never on the streets alone. It is known that he never makes his attacks inside a building. So if, like myself, you work indoors, you are...

GRAMS: Piano falling down and breaking to pieces.

SEAGOON: The dreaded piano clubber had struck inside the BBC. Struck down an innocent announcer. Causing John Snagge to do double duties. Special precautions were taken. To soothe the nation, records were played.

GREENSLADE: Here is the Ray Ellington Quartet.

RAY ELLINGTON QUARTET - " "

GRAMS: Piano falling down and breaking to pieces.

?: Oooohaaah! I've been sponned.

SEAGOON: Yes, the dreaded piano clubber had struck again. Under pressure, parliament was assembled to pass new laws.

ALL: Crowd noises..

FIRST MP: Yes, yes gentlemen, would you... (incomprehensive babbling)... this matter...the problem is under the circumstances, what are you saying ~~~

SECOND MP: (incomprehensive babbling)

FIRST MP: I haven't finished ~~~, please

SECOND MP: Oh, I...

FIRST MP: ~~~ the problem ~~~ is the piano has become a lethal weapon. I say, I say...I think it's

SECOND MP: Definitely, Mr Curf (?) Yes, yes. The piano should be catagorised as a lethal weapon. Anybody caught hiding a piano on their person should be taken into custody.

THIRD MP: Is the honorable member suggesting that people arriving in this country should be searched for hidden piano's ~~~?

SECOND MP: I am sir. I, I...~~~

FOURTH MP: Wait a minute. I think it's all a load of rubbish the whole thing. l How in heavens' name can a man with a piano on himself ~~~. Look any man dreadful piano clubber must be blind. I tell you, a full sized piano...

..

.

.(Lots of voices here, I lost track...)

.

Is it no possible to see a man coming towards you...?

FX: Piano falling down.

SEAGOON: ~~~I say, I say, old man. Help me lift this piano off the Prime Minister.

ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link

SEAGOON: Yes, even in parliament, the dreaded piano clubber had struck. Then suddenly in December without warning, the violent attacks violently ceased.

CONSTABLE: He was obviously having the instrument retuned.

?: The police immediately swooped on every piano tuner in London.

SEAGOON: Ah, here's another piano tuner in London, Mr. Crun.

HENRY CRUN: Yes, I wonder if we shall have any luck this time.

SEAGOON: Yes.

FX: Shop bell, door opens.

SEAGOON: Aaah, nobody about in the shop. Is there anybody in!?

HENRY CRUN: Yes, me!

SEAGOON: Who are you!?

HENRY CRUN: Mr Crun, I came in with you!

SEAGOON: Splendid! See Crun, there's only you and me.

HENRY CRUN: Good, good, good. In any case, whoever works in this dreadful, filthy piano shop must be right off his head.

SEAGOON: Yes, I wonder who he is?

ECCLES: Dadam doi dadahoidom. Heeel-lo 'an good evening.

SEAGOON: Good evening.

ECCLES: I would like.... You wanna buy a piano?

SEAGOON: I'm... looking for a criminal.

ECCLES: Oh, that's one make I haven't got.

SEAGOON: Don't be silly, I wouldn't buy a piano in this rubble. (?)

ECCLES: Rubble? My shop a rubble? Ohohohoho, Oh no, no no, no, my man, this is a very elegant shop, this is. Famous men come here, my man, famous men. Do you know who comes here?

SEAGOON: No?

ECCLES: Monsieur Splonson de Groyne.

SEAGOON: Is, is, is he famous?

ECCLES: No, but he comes here!

HENRY CRUN: Seagoon, frighten him. Tell him who you are.

SEAGOON: Yes~~~ I'm Seagoon from Scotland Yard.

ECCLES: Ooooh, I'm Eccles from Coney Head, yeah. Have a leather potato? I made it myself.

SEAGOON: Please, please.

ECCLES: I've got potatoes all over me.

SEAGOON: Yes.

ECCLES: Look, pud, pud, pud, pud, potato

SEAGOON: Ooow, spud.

ECCLES: Ow.

SEAGOON: Look here. You don't understand. I'm looking for a person who has been committing crimes against the British public, by using a piano with force.

ECCLES: Oooo, Liberace! (da-dums) That's what it sounded like to me.

SEAGOON: I must warn you that this is a case of ipso facto corincarborundum filius.

ECCLES: Ohohoooo. What do all dem woords mean den?

SEAGOON: I don't know, but they make me sound intelligent. In any case, they fooled you.

ECCLES: Oh, yeah well, you needn't have used such long words, small words fool me just the same.

SEAGOON: You, you, you use this as a piano shop?

ECCLES: This is a piano shop. Dum dum dum dum... ooh.

SEAGOON: Thank you. Now explain that notice in your window. The one that says: "For sale. African helefants, 'ouse trained.

ECCLES: You just got two there, didn't you?

SEAGOON Yes!

ECCLES: There is another Hafrican helefant out for you. Oh, I don't stock anything like that, I never have.

SEAGOON: But listen, supposing people saw that notice, came in here and asked for a helefant. What happens then?

ECCLES: Ow , I just say I'm sorry sir, I haven't got one.

SEAGOON: But that's mad!

ECCLES: I know, but civility costs nothing, I say.

SEAGOON: I give way to your superior ignorance.

ECCLES: Good luck!

SEAGOON: Do you mind if we inspect your pianos?

ECCLES: Go ahead, it shouldn't take long.

SEAGOON: Why not?

ECCLES I haven't got any. Ha, ha! Ow, wait, wait Oh yes sir, I've got this one here.

HENRY CRUN: Aha, that's the piano, that's the one. That's the very one that struck me down.

SEAGOON: Are you positive?

HENRY CRUN: Yes, the dent in the back fits me perfectly.

SEAGOON: Then we've got him! I'll have a constant watch kept on the shop. As soon as he calls to collect it, it's curtains!

ECCLES: I don't sell any curtains.

SEAGOON: Shut up, Eccles!

ECCLES: Shut up!

GRAMS: Loud piano chords accompanied by orchestra.

GREENSLADE: So they waited. One day, two, three, a week, two weeks, a fortnight, a month, two months, a year, two years, three, ten twenty, thirty, forty years, forty-five years!

? (Sellers): We began to get a nasty feeling that he might not be coming back...

SEAGOON: Then one midnight as we watched, a night-shirted figure in curlers ran out of the piano shop shouting...

ECCLES: Heeelp, auwauho (garbled shouting continues under:)

SEAGOON: Steady, steady, take it easy, take it easy, Mad Dan, settle down boy. Now what's happened?

ECCLES: The piano clubber's piano, it's gone. It was stolen while I was asleep.

SEAGOON: Are you sure?

ECCLES: Of course I'm sure, I was sleeping on it.

SEAGOON: What key were you sleeping in?

ECCLES: I was sleeping in A flat.

SEAGOON: Capitalist!

ECCLES: I've got the money.

SEAGOON: However, the piano clubber can't be far awy, the show only lasts another few minutes. Lalkala!

LALKAKA: Jimbombillaboo, we are here, we are waiting. What is it? (?)

SEAGOON: This is no time for witty ~~~ Lalkala, where are you?

LALKAKA: Here, sir, here.

SEAGOON: Silence when you answer me.

LALKAKA: Silence for you especially.

SEAGOON: Mr. Lalkaka?

LALKAKA: What?

SEAGOON: I want you to head the dreaded piano clubber off. You got your whistle?

LALKAKA: Jimbomballaboo.

SEAGOON: Right. If he hits you with a piano, give out a loud blast and blow your whistle.

LALKAKA: Supposing I am getting killed, though?

SEAGOON: Then give three blasts, and lay in the direction of down. Is that clear?

LALKAKA: Now he tells me... allright, allright

SEAGOON: Splendid! Do your duty. Wait! Listen!

GRAMS: Fast piano chord. (Clubber's signature tune)

HENRY CRUN (?): Ahow.

SEAGOON: D'you hear that? The piano clubber's signature tune. It came from down that street.

FX: Footsteps running away, under...

While our heroes are seaking out the piano clubber, I'd like to tell you the current BBC news. The Deputy Light Controller of Overseas

Programmes has become engaged to Ethel Croll, and this has caused quite a stir, as Ethel Croll is married to Fred Ponk, Outside Broadcast Engeneer. It promises to be quite an interesting battle of wits. I think that these snippets of news show that the Corporation is not without its thrills. We return now to the mondane Goon Show, who have now sighted the piano clubber...

ECCLES: Ohow, I'm glad he finished.

SEAGOON: Look, there he is - in that alley.

LALKAKA: I'll get him when he plays again.

FX: Fast piano chord (Clubber's signature tune), followed by two gunshots, piano chords slow to a halt, under...

LALKAKA: Got him! I got him in his Sinatra in g minor!

SEAGOON: After him! Follow the trail!

ECCLES: Wow.

ORCHESTRA: Musical link.

GREENSLADE: The trail led them to a lonely Armenian lapis lazuli villa (?) in Picadilly Circus.

ALL: Cries of "What a performance" and "Well done".

SEAGOON: He must be around here somewhere.

? (Bloodnok-like voice): I tell you, I don't like the look of it.

SEAGOON: Well, stop looking at it then.

FX: Whistling sound, followed by a "plop".

ECCLES: Ooauw! Somebody threw a stone on my head. And it hit me right on the head! Yeah.

FX: Paper rustling.

SEAGOON: Yes. It's got a piece of paper wrapped round it.

ECCLES: My head?

BLOODNOK: It's got writing on it.

SEAGOON: What's it say?

BLOODNOK: Sorry Eccles, I meant to hit Seagoon.

SEAGOON: Signed, the Dreaded Piano Clubber. And it came from that top window.

BLOODNOK: Hand me my telecoop. Gad, it's count "Pules" Moriarty. Come down, count, or we'll throw Eccles at you.

MORIARTY: Aah, no, not that! I'll come down with my hands up.

SEAGOON: Eccles, keep him covered.

ECCLES: Aha, I'll get a blanket.

BLOODNOK: Come on, Moriarty.

MORIARTY, Don't shoot me, don't, don't shoot me, I've got a headache.

SEAGOON: Explain to us and the listeners the reason you attacked Mr. Crun with a piano.

MORIARTY: Well, I, I was on a, I...

GRYTPYPE-THYNNE: Allow me to do the talking, Moriarty...

MORIARTY: Oow

GRYTPYPE-THYNNE: .. I' have the teeth.

MORIARTY: Correct.

SEAGOON: Exactly, exactly who are you?

GRYTPYPE-THYNNE: I'm exactly Grytpype-Thynne, his lawyer.

SEAGOON: How do you spell it?

GRYTPYPE-THYNNE: Lawyer, lawyer.

SEAGOON: I mean, how do you spell Grytpype-Thynne?

GRYTPYPE-THYNNE: S-M-I-T-H.

SEAGOON: Why do you spell it like that?

GRYTPYPE-THYNNE: I'm in disguise, you see. ~~~ Moriarty attacked Crun for a piece of string.

SEAGOON: You ~~~ inprisonment for a piece of string?

MORIARTY: I had to have it, my trousers were coming down.

SEAGOON: Lalkaka, take this man away and end the story.

LALKAKA: Allright, allright.

FX: Chains, car driving away at speed, chains.

SEAGOON: At last, the piano clubber under lock and key, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

GRAMS: Piano falling down.

SEAGOON: Let me out, let me out!

ORCHESTRA: End tune under...

GREENSLADE: Allright, thank you Wally, thank you Wally, yes, let's leave it there for just a moment

ORCHESTRA: Stops.

GREENSLADE: I've been asked by the BBC Commisioner to explain for the benefit of nervous listeners, that the piano clubber is just a ficticious character, so please don't go to bed thinking about him, as he is...

GRAMS: Piano falling down on him.

ECCLES: A good night, everyone. Ya da dam da dee doi

ORCHESTRA: End tune over...

GREENSLADE: 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 Scott. Script by Spike Milligan. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Charles Chilten.