Goon Show Script

The Canal

Series 5, Episode 6

First broadcast on November 2, 1954. Script by Spike Milligan. Produced by Peter Eton. Announced by Wallace Greenslade. Starring Valentine Dyall. The orchestra was conducted by Wally Stott. Transcribed by Kurt Adkins, corrections by Peter Olausson. Additional corrections and editing by thegoonshow.net


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Greenslade:
This is the BBC.

Flowerdew:
This is madness, d'you hear me? Madness! Madness!

Secombe:
The man is, of course, referring to the highly esteemed Goon Show. To commence this night of debauchery, we present the world's mixed bathing champion of 1931 - Mr. Valentine Dyall.

FX:
[Vibrant giant gong]

Valentine Dyall:
Ladies and Gentlepong. A funny thing happened to me on my way to the theatre tonight - a steam roller ran over my head. So much for humour. And now pray allow me to tell the story of...

Milligan:
[Screams]

FX:
[Deep resonant splash]

Greenslade:
'The Canal', ha ha ha [goes off laughing into echo]

Orchestra:
[Sinister horror theme]

Seagoon:
My name is Neddie Seagoon. My father was the famous amateur brain surgeon, Lord Valentine Dyall.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Neddie was one of my adopted sons by one of my adopted wives. In 1899 I built for my family a huge mansion.

Eccles:
It was only a luxury manor - but it was home to me.

Flowerdew (nutty):
There's a cow on the roof and I am a daisy - I must be careful of that cow [Jabbers insanely]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Eeh, heh, heh, heh, heh. My - er - children. The manor was a grim, black, foreboding place. Hanging in the eaves were myriads of red-mouthed bats that nightly danced in the dank air that arose from the oily waters of... The Canal. [Mad laughter as before]

Eccles:
Dat's my daddie who said dat.

Orchestra:
[Change of scene chord]

FX:
[Horse-drawn hackney walking slowly]

Greenslade:
The Canal, chapter one. Ned Seagoon returns from college.

FX:
[Horse-drawn hackney up and under:]

Reuben Croucher:
Oooooh, my life, if it isn't 'arf parky up on this drivin' seat - ooh I should never have come out naked.

Seagoon:
I say, driver - have I far to go now?

Reuben Croucher:
Eh? Let's have a look - [Breaths in through teeth, Tuts] - No, I shouldn't think you got far to go.

FX:
[Hackney stops]

Seagoon:
I say. Why have we stopped?

Reuben Croucher:
It's no good, mister - I can't see a thing in this fog.

Seagoon:
Never mind, I'll make it on foot.

Seagoon:
Farewell! [Laughs to self] Now, ahh yes, this is the way [going off] past the old blasted oak and down...

FX
[Resonant splash of still deep waters]

Seagoon (off):
Heeelp!

Reuben Croucher:
Where, wh-where , where are you, mister?

Seagoon (off):
In the canal!

Reuben Croucher:
Here, catch. Hup.

FX:
[Splash]

Reuben Croucher:
You forgot yer bag! Ha ha ha -

Orchestra:
[Mocking theme, fades into:]

FX:
[Three knocks on heavy wooden door]

Seagoon:
Anybody about? Mother? Mother? Mother, I'm home.

FX:
[Door opens]

Seagoon:
Oh, mother, I'm so glad to see you. Dear old mummy [Big kisses] Oh mother, [More big kisses] there...

Ellington:
Pardon me, sir, but I'm the butler.

FX:
[Door opens, gong]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Neddie!

Seagoon:
Father! You - you are Father, aren't you?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Do I have to undress?

Seagoon:
No, it's just that you've changed so much. [Aside] And, dear listener, changed he had - he looked tired and weary - his eyes, his eyes were sunk back in his head, they were were bloodshot, watery and red-rimmed - what had caused this?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Neddie, we've bought a television set. But what are you doing back from school?

Seagoon:
My schooling is completed.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Oh nonsense, you've only been there forty-three years.

Seagoon:
Nevertheless, I came out top boy in the entire kindergarten.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Really? Then it's politics for you. Neddie, now that you're home, promise me one thing.

Seagoon:
Very well, Father, I promise!

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Thank you. See that you keep it for your mother's sake.

Seagoon:
Ying tong iddle I po!

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Good. Promise me one more thing. Never - never - go near... The canal.

Seagoon:
Why not?

Lord Valentine Dyall (fast, flaming):
Just never go near the canal, that's all! Now, you must be tired, you need rest. Eccles?

FX:
[Door opens]

Eccles:
Yer? Did my daddie call me?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Eccles, get your things out of Neddie's room.

Eccles:
Okay daddy.

FX:
[Door opens]

Eccles:
Come on now, shoo, shoo...

FX:
[Cattle mooing]

Eccles:
All out. Well, goodnight Neddie, sleep well.

FX:
[Door shuts]

Seagoon:
That night I lay in bed with a clothes peg on my nose. What had happened to everybody? 'Don't go near the canal', he had said [yawn sleep talking] Don't go... near the canal... [snores]

FX:
[Door opens]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Right, he's asleep, heh heh heh heh... Hand me the mallet, Doctor.

Dr Eidelburger:
Here.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Right - huhhh.

FX:
[Wallop on bonce]

Seagoon:
Zzzz - ooo!

Greenslade:
The Canal, chapter two.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Together - one two threeeee...

FX:
[Splash - bubbles of body sinking]

Greenslade:
The Canal, chapter three.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Eh hello? Lloyds? About that life insurance... Yes, on my son Neddie, well... It appears to have matured... You'll bring the money round? Right. Thank you.

FX:
[Receiver down]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

Milligan (off):
[Long agonised scream]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
[Calls] No - not tonight, dear! [normal] Forty thousand pounds, just for throwing little Neddie in the canal, ha ha...

FX:
[Door opens]

Seagoon (gasping):
Father, I...

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Neddie! You've been playing in the canal! I told you to stay away! Eccles?

Eccles (off):
Yes, yeh?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
He's back.

Eccles:
OK.

FX:
[Door opens]

Eccles:
Come on, all out! Get out, shoo...

FX:
[Cattle mooing]

Eccles:
Well, here's yer clothes peg.

Flowerdew:
I'm a daisy, father's a plum, that's why we stoned him. I hear music and there's only Max Geldray there.

Max Geldray and Orchestra:
[Musical interlude]

Orchestra:
[Short dramatic theme]

Greenslade:
The Canal, chapter four.

Seagoon:
These three days I've been kept locked in my room. I pass the time cutting the grass under my bed, and feeding the monkeys. At night, at night I can hear digging in the cellar. A thought has just struck me... What has become of mother? Dear mother, she was like one of the family.

FX:
[Door opens]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
In here, gentlemen.

Dr Eidelburger:
Oh Zank you, zank you.

Yakamoto:
Yerserkah, yerserkah.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Neddie, I've brought two freshly-released physicians to see you, Dr. Yakamoto and Dr. Justin Eidelburger.

Seagoon:
But there's nothing wrong with me.

Dr Eidelburger:
Zat is why we are here, haa haa haa - it'z a German joke you know, he he. Dr. Yakamoto? The treatment.

Yakamoto:
Ah ya. At once, honouwable sir. Would the honouwable Neddie Seagoon please put honouwable feet into this delicate thirty-ton iron container?

Dr Eidelburger:
Good. Now zen, we pour in ze concrete mixture, zo!

FX:
[Concrete going in]

Lord Valentine Dyall (talking over FX):
You see, Neddie, the doctors say - when the concrete blocks set on your feet, you won't be able to run away and play near the canal, ha ha...

Orchestra:
[Harp arpeggio (minor) with bass clarinet (play little tune)]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Hello? Lloyds? I want to add that last policy on my son Neddie. Yes, yes, I want one that covers him in the event of his ever putting concrete blocks on his feet and throwing himself in the canal. Yes, I know it's not likely to happen but, ha, ha, but just in case.

Greenslade:
The Canal, chapter five.

FX:
[Splash]

Seagoon (off):
Heeeeelp!

Greenslade:
The Canal, chapter six. The Lock-Keeper's Lodge.

Henry Crun:
Mnk, mnk, mnk, mnk.

Seagoon (off):
Heeeeelp!

Henry Crun:
Yes - help, help, yes - Oh dear dear dear [snores]

Seagoon (off):
Heee - ooo - eelp!

Minnie Bannister:
Henry? Henry? Hen - Yakkakoo... Henry, Henry?

Henry Crun:
What what what what - what?

Minnie Bannister:
Hen-Henry?

Henry Crun:
What is it, Min?

Minnie Bannister:
There's a gentleman in the canal, Henry.

Henry Crun:
Oh! Thank you, Minnie. Good- good night, good night, Min.

Minnie Bannister:
Goodnight, Henry

Seagoon:
Heeeeeeeeelp!

Minnie Bannister:
Henry? He said help, Henry.

Henry Crun:
Help? That's the distress call, isn't it?

Minnie Bannister:
Oh yes - he must be drowning, Henry.

Henry Crun:
Oh dear.

Seagoon:
Help, I'm going down. [Bubbles]

Henry Crun:
We're coming, sir - hurry, Minnie.

Minnie Bannister:
Coming, buddy, coming.

Henry Crun:
Have you turned the gas off, Minnie?

Minnie Bannister:
Yes, yes, I've turned the gas, yes...

Seagoon:
Help! Helpppp!

Minnie Bannister:
I wonder, who he is.

Henry Crun (calls):
Yes, what - what - what is your name, sir?

Minnie Bannister (calls):
What is your name buddy?

Seagoon (amid bubbles):
Neddie Seagoon.

Henry Crun:
Oh, we're very pleased to meet you... My name is Crun, Henry Crun. And this is Miss Bannister. She's one....

Seagoon:
Helpp, bbbb, I'm going down.

Henry Crun:
Don't do that, sir, or you'll drown yourself. Oh dear, dear, this fog - I can't see a thing in the fog, you know.

Minnie Bannister:
Where are you, sir?

Seagoon:
In the canal!

Minnie Bannister:
He's in the canal.

Henry Crun:
Oh. Mr. Seagoon, follow these instructions and you'll be safe. Hand me the Life-Saving Manual Minnie.

Minnie Bannister:
There you are.

Henry Crun:
Ready?

Minnie Bannister:
Yes.

Henry Crun:
Hurry up then.

Seagoon:
Yes, hurry up!

Henry Crun:
Mr Seagoon, take three dozen eggs and break into a bowl.

Seagoon:
Yes.

Henry Crun:
Mix in eight ounces of castor sugar. Add four pounds of millet flour and bring the mixture to - Minnie? This isn't the Swimming Manual.

Minnie Bannister (calls):
We've got the wrong book, Mr. Seagoon.

Seagoon:
What'll I do with all this mixture?

Minnie Bannister:
We'd better go in, Henry, it's a shame to waste all that food. Coming, hupppp!

FX:
[two splashes]

Orchestra:
[Short linking chords]

FX:
[Knock on door, door opens]

Ellington:
Er, yes, sir?

Bluebottle:
Oh, ehh-hee, good evening to you. Is this the manor of the place where lives the Valentine Dyall man, is dis the place where it is, is it, den?

Gravely Headstone:
Yes, yes it is.

Bluebottle:
He he he. I am from the Lloyds of London, the well known insurance company - I am their junior representative. Feels in pocket, produces smart calling card.

Ellington:
Oh, come in, sir.

Bluebottle:
Enter the new Bluebottle. The new Bluebottle wearing city gentlemen-type striped trousers and Anthony Eden homberg. Really Dad's trilby painted black.

Ellington:
Erm, have you wiped your feet, sir?

Bluebottle:
Yes.

Ellington:
Then where'd that mud come from?

Bluebottle:
Off my shoes - eeh-hee-hee - I made a little jokules - pauses for audience applause, as usual not a sausinge. Was going to use rude word, but changes mind.

Ellington:
Now, what's your business here?

Bluebottle:
I have come to pay the insurance on the recently drowned and deaded Neddie Seagoon.

FX:
[Whoosh, door shuts]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Did you say insurance?

Bluebottle:
Yes, yes, I have...

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Splendid, there, just sit down and warm yourself by the candle. Ellington! Entertain the gentleman.

Ray Ellington:
Certainly. Here's the dance of the...erm...seven kilts.

Ray Ellington and His Quartet:
[Musical interlude: 'Sometimes I'm Happy']

Bluebottle:
Thank you, I accept your apology. Now, Lord Dyall, the solemn business of paying out the insurance money - moves left, opens official briefcase. Not too wide, as I still got my dirty laundry in one compartment.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
It's forty thousand pounds, isn't it?

Bluebottle:
Yes, yes - but it is all in pennies.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Forty thousand pounds in pennies? Eccles!

Eccles:
Yer, Daddie?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Your hat, lad.

Eccles:
Okay den.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Now, just hold it there. And now, Mr. Bluebottle.

Bluebottle:
Right, now to get...

Milligan:
[Long agonised wailing heart-rending scream]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
[Calls] It's in the cabinet by the bed, dear. [Normal] Carry on. Carry on.

Bluebottle:
He he he, what, what was that dreaded scream, sir, he heh?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Oh, that was my eldest thing. Now, just count out the money.

Bluebottle:
Yes - one, tuppence, thruppence, fourpence, fivepence -

Greenslade:
Chapters seven, eight, nine, ten and eleven.

Bluebottle (very tired):
Four million eight hundred and thirty-two pennies.

FX:
[Clink]

Bluebottle:
Ehh hee - roll on, beddy byes - four million eight hundred and thirty-three pennies - four million eight...

FX:
[Thump, hundreds of pennies dropped onto floor]

Eccles:
Ohhhh!

Bluebottle:
Ohheeiih! You dropped them... One penny, tuppence, thruppence, fourpence...

FX:
[Door opens]

Seagoon:
Father!

Lord Valentine Dyall (flaming):
Neddie... You!

Seagoon:
Yes!

Bluebottle:
Pardon me. Did you say this was Neddie?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Er, yes. [Happy] Why, Neddie, you're safe, dear boy. Thank heaven, we thought you were drowned, didn't we, Mr. Bluebottle?

Bluebottle:
He he he he, yes - well, you will not need this deaded money for him drowning. Thinks - this will save Lloyds a lot of money and who knows, a managerial job for Bluebottle. Thinks again - thanks to brains, the new wonder head-filler. Well, I must be going, goodnight everybody, Exits left.

FX:
[Whoosh - door shuts]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Curses! Now, little Neddie - you've been playing in the canal again. It's got to stop!

Seagoon:
I agree, Father.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Silence when you talk to me! Now, go upstairs to your room and come down at once! I want to talk to you.

Seagoon:
But - I can't move daddy, these concrete blocks on my feet...

Lord Valentine Dyall:
We'll soon have them off. Eccles?

Eccles (off):
Did my daddy call me?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Put these sticks of dynamite into his concrete blocks.

Eccles:
OK, my daddy knows what he's doing.

FX:
[Fuse starts to burn]

Eccles:
Dere! I light the fuse, now in ten seconds time there's gonna be a dirty big...

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Yes, yes - Neddie, wait outside in the garden will you?

Seagoon:
Yes, Father.

FX:
[Door opens and closes]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
[Sings 'Come in to the garden Maude']

FX:
[Dialling]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Hello, Lloyds? Yes, a new life policy, please - I want to insure Neddie in the event of his ever putting concrete blocks on his feet, blowing himself up with dynamite and landing in the canal. Yes, I know it's not likely to happen, but just in case...

FX:
[Explosion, whistle goes up]

Greenslade:
Chapter twelve.

FX:
[Whistle descends, splash]

Seagoon:
Heeeeelp!

Greenslade:
The Canal, chapter thirteen.

FX:
[Pennies being dropped onto a pile]

Bluebottle:
There, that's the lot, Lord Dyall.

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Yes - forty thousand pounds. Poor Neddie.

Bluebottle:
Yes - yes, it was funny him falling in the canal again so soon after - when I left, it is a good job you ran after me, isn't it?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Well, goodnight, Mr. Bluebottle, thank you for...

FX:
[Door opens, pronounced creak]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
You!

FX:
[Door opens]

Seagoon:
Yes me!

Eccles:
Shoo, all out out.

FX:
[Cattle, etc. (as before)]

Seagoon:
Father!

Bluebottle:
Oh, it is little Neddie - oh well, well. Could I have all the money back again, please?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
No! Hands up! All of you!

Bluebottle:
Oh, he's got a gun!

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Eccles!

Eccles:
Yes, daddie?

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Take these two men and chain them up in the dungeon! Ha ha ha!

Eccles:
Ha ha ha!

Orchestra:
[Descending chords]

FX:
[Heavy chains, manacles]

Eccles:
...Oh di dump one over dere, one over dere, one round dat leg, one round dis leg, one der... They're not too tight are dey?

Seagoon:
Eccles, do you realise what daddie's trying to do?

Eccles:
Yer, he's tryin' to keep you away from der canal because daddy loves you and he don't want you to get drowned.

Seagoon:
No, no, he wants to kill us all, and that includes - you!

Eccles:
Ooooooooh.

Bluebottle:
Ehh hee! I am frighted, I don't want to be deaded yet. I haven't had my half day off this week!

Seagoon:
Shh! Quite Bluebottle. Now, Eccles, undo these chains and help us capture father before he kills us all.

Eccles:
Okay okay.

Seagoon:
Right, now this is the plan, we got...

FX:
[Dungeon door slams]

Bluebottle:
Someone has closed the dungeon door from the outside, we are trapp-ed!

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Ha ha ha ha ha! [goes off on echo]

Seagoon:
Curse, he's locked us in. Never mind, we'll batter the door down. Where's something with a blunt head?

Eccles:
Here y'are.

Bluebottle:
Put me down, Eccles! Put me down; I shall charge the door and smash it down.

Seagoon:
Good man.

Bluebottle:
Stand back, here I go. To matchwood I will splinter the door - charge!

FX:
[Long approaching footsteps (speeding up) getting louder]

FX:
[Nearer and fade into the distance]

Bluebottle (miles off):
You rotten swine - who opened the door?

Eccles:
Ha hum.

Seagoon:
Good work! Now listen, both of you, we've got to think quickly.

Eccles:
Dat leaves me out!

Seagoon:
We three are going to throw father into the canal!

Greenslade:
Chapter fourteen.

FX:
[Splash]

Eccles:
Help!

FX:
[Splash]

Bluebottle:
Help!

FX:
[Splash]

Seagoon:
You devil, Lord Dyall!

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Ha ha ha ha - you didn't think you could - Oh eeih oh...

FX:
[Splash]

Lord Valentine Dyall:
Heeeelp - who did that?

Greenslade:
Last chapter.

Henry Crun:
Hello, Lloyds - about the life insurance I took out on the four gentlemen...

Orchestra:
[End theme]

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

Orchestra:
['Crazy Rhythm' outro]