Goon Show Script

Foiled By President Fred

Series 6, Episode 7

First broadcast on November 1st, 1955. Script by Spike Milligan. Produced by Peter Eton. Transcribed by Kurt Adkins, corrections by Peter Olausson. Additional corrections and edits by thegoonshow.net



Greenslade:
This is the BBC Light Programme. And candidly, I'm fed up with it.

Secombe:
Have a care there, Wallace, otherwise I'll be forced to speak to John Snagge.

Greenslade:
My dear fellow, everybody has to be forced to speak to John Snagge.

Secombe:
Come, curb those biting cynicisms and permit me to present the highly esteemed Goon Show.

Grams:
[Old dance music record]

Milligan:
Stop! Ohohooo -- Stop that sinful American music! Secombe? Take off those carbon-paper plus fours and listen to the story entitled - 'In Honour Bound'.

Orchestra:
[Traditional English hero theme]

Seagoon:
My name is Neddie Seagoon. I was a gas meter inspector. It all began the day of the annual general board meeting of the South Balham Gas Board.

FX:
[Murmurs - gavel]

Henry Crun:
Gentlemen - I have here the books for the - mnk - financial year just ended - and by the look of them, gas is here to stay. I am glad, glad, to say... To say that the South Balham Gas Colossus has made a gross profit of no less than three pounds twelve shillings and ninepence. Which proves, which proves that the...

Old Gas Board member:
Well said.

Henry Crun:
Ahh, now then...

Old Seagoon:
Have you seen my teeth?

Henry Crun:
You left them on your saxophone.

Old Seagoon:
Oh yes.

Henry Crun:
Now then, I'll read the vital balance sheets. Credits, credits - sales of rare gases, eighteen pounds. Expenses - one bag of coke, eight and eightpence; electric fire for office heating, two pounds, eleven and fourpence; replacing light bulbs in Gas Board's premises, thirteen shillings and tenpence; saxophone lessons for Chairman's wife, three pounds, eight shillings and ninepence.

Minnie Bannister:
Do we have to pay for saxophone lessons, buddy?

Henry Crun:
Oh - yes, yes, yes - you never know when it might come in useful...

Minnie Bannister:
It's sinful.

Old Seagoon:
What about our lads in Mafeking?

Henry Crun:
...mnk - mnk - next we have the - oh! - ah! - oh! I've overlooked an entry here - an outstanding debt of four pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence!

Grams:
[Crying and Whailing]

Henry Crun:
Don't worry! Don't worry! I shall set this right at once. [Calls] Ned Seagoon?

FX:
[Door opens]

Seagoon:
Gas meter inspector Seagoon reporting for duty, sir!

Henry Crun:
Seagoon, go to this address and serve them a seven-day final notice.

Seagoon:
Yes sir. What's this? President Fred, Casa Rosa, Avenida Varest? That's South America!

Henry Crun:
Ohhoho - is it? Then you'd better borrow the Gas Board's bicycle.

Seagoon:
But sir, it's overseas.

Henry Crun (angry):
What is our bicycle doing overseas?

Seagoon:
No, no. I mean Argentina is overseas. How can I get there on a bicycle?

Henry Crun:
Well, you must have it waterproofed that's all.

Seagoon:
Oh, thank you, sir...

Henry Crun:
You can't get the wood you know.

Seagoon:
...I hadn't thought of that. Well, goodbye, sir.

Cast:
Goodbye - Ta ta.

Seagoon:
Needle nardle no!

Cast:
Goodbye - Ta ta etc.

Greenslade:
Dear listeners, you doubtless are wondering how it is that the South Balham Gas Board supplies gas to Argentina. It was thanks to the enterprise of a British Major who, in 1939, shipped a cylinder of gas there.

Seagoon:
Yes, on arrival in Argentina it was this man I contacted.

Orchestra:
[Bloodnok theme]

Grams:
[Record of flamenco guitar]

Bloodnok:
Ah! Oh! The heat! The heat! Gladys?

Ray Ellington:
Si, señor?

Bloodnok:
Turn off one of those women and put some more ice on the fire - will you!

FX:
[Knock on door]

Bloodnok:
I surrender! Who's there?

Seagoon:
Ned Seagoon, South Balham Gas Board.

Bloodnok:
Quick quick! Burn the books. Tear up those revolting postcards. Chase those women out of my room. Take, take all those 'For Sale' signs off the furniture and help me get the floor back under this carpet. Come in!

FX:
[Door opens]

Seagoon:
Good morning.

Bloodnok:
I'm sorry your journey's all been wasted. I posted the account books back to Balham this morning. Goodbye. Get out of here. Goodbye!

FX:
[Door slams, loud knocking]

Bloodnok:
You can't come in. I'm in the bath.

Seagoon (off):
What are you doing in the bath?

Bloodnok:
I'm - I'm watching television.

FX:
[Door opens]

Seagoon:
Now Look here, Major, enough of this tomfoolery.

Bloodnok:
Do you play the saxophone?

Seagoon:
Only during the mating season. Now look here. I'm here to deliver a final demand notice to a President Fred. Now how do I contact him?

Bloodnok:
Come to this window, lad...

FX:
[Window raised. Distant shots and sounds of warfare.]

Bloodnok:
That white house in the square is President Fred's headquarters.

Seagoon:
But how can I get through that hail of bullets?

Bloodnok:
Well, um... Be outside the back door at midnight. I shall send a man to guide you.

Seagoon:
Very well. But remember - if I'm not back within seven days, don't hesitate to cut off their gas supply.

Bloodnok:
Right.

Seagoon:
Farewell!

FX:
[Door slams]

FX:
[Phone dialling over...]

Bloodnok:
[Sings "The Man From Laramie..."]

Bloodnok:
Hello, Moriarty?

Moriarty:
Yes. Do you play the saxophone?

Bloodnok:
Only in the mating season. Listen, there's a charlie from Balham coming over to collect a gas bill from President Fred. It's only three pounds, twelve shillings and ninepence.

Moriarty:
Bloodnok, that money was paid to you last month.

Bloodnok:
Yes I know, I know, I know, but look, um, be a good feller and settle it up.

Moriarty:
Sapristi yakamakakas! How can we pay it? President Fred has vanished with all the money. I think you'd better come over here right at once.

Bloodnok:
Very well I will, pausing only for Max Geldray.

Max Geldray and Orchestra:
[Musical interlude: 'Have you ever been lonely']

FX:
[Gun shots and ricochets]

Seagoon:
That night at midnight I waited in a specially darkened doorway for the coming of the stranger who was to guide me on my perilous mission. I was so heavily disguised that not even my own mother would have recognised me.

Mother (Throat):
Evening, Neddie.

Seagoon:
Evening, mother. But wait! But wait! Who is this approaching, wearing an anthracite tie, lead waistcoat, with an electric guitar plugged into the train lines?

Eccles:
[Clears throat] Are you Neddie Seagoon?

Seagoon:
I am.

Eccles:
Good good. You been waiting long?

Seagoon:
Yes.

Eccles:
Who for?

Seagoon:
You, you idiot.

Eccles:
Ooh, fine!

Seagoon:
Now, how do I get through the firing line to President Fred's headquarters?

Eccles:
How do you get there? You go straight up that road there.

Seagoon:
But they're shooting down it.

Eccles:
Oh, don't go that way. You take this road here. They're not shooting up that one.

Seagoon:
That road doesn't lead to it.

Eccles:
No, don't take that one.

[Pause]

Eccles (sings):
I talk to the trees...

Seagoon:
Any other ideas?

Eccles:
Yeah. Do you play the saxophone?

Seagoon:
No.

Eccles:
Well, I'd better be getting along now. [Sings] "I talk to..."

Seagoon:
Don't go. Look! I've got an idea. The sewers! That's how we'll get there. Quick! Down this manhole.

FX:
[Manhole cover. Two splashes. Wading.]

Seagoon:
Now - I'm going to roll up my trousers.

Eccles:
Why?

Seagoon:
I've got nice legs. Wait!

Eccles:
You naughty, you naughty naughty man!

Seagoon:
[ad-libs] The man from Llanelli. Wait! What's that ahead?

Eccles:
It's a head!

Seagoon:
Yes, but whose it is?

Bluebottle:
It is mine, my capting! [audience applause] Thank you for the sausages.

Seagoon:
Who are you, little cardboard-clad frogman?

Bluebottle:
I will give you a musical clue. Close your eyes first. Have you got them closed? Right. Moves left, picks up flannel zither. [Sings 'Harry Lime Theme' very badly] Plinka-plunka-plink-aplink... etc.

Eccles:
I know. The Man from Laramie!

Bluebottle:
You rotten swine, you! I'm not the Laramie-type man. I'm the Hairy Lime-type man. Goes into second chorus. [Sing as before]

Seagoon:
Save that lovely voice little widget!

Bluebottle:
What?

Seagoon:
Save your zither.

Bluebottle:
Ooh.

Seagoon:
Tonight is not the Harry Lime game. Tonight...

Bluebottle:
Isn't it?

Seagoon:
No, no - tonight is the South American President Fred game!

Bluebottle:
Oh! Do not go den. Wait for me! Quickly throws away silly old zither, makes brown paper lariat, reverses Mum's old drawers to make cowboy trousers and picks up hair and fibre banjo. 'Ole! 'ole! Wait a minute, I've not said that right it's... Olé, olé. It's spelt 'ole. I'm ready for the new game. Ride, vaquero, ride!

Seagoon:
Well done, little thrice-adolescent hybrid. Lead me to President Fred's headquarters and this quarter of liquorice all-sorts is yours.

Bluebottle:
Oooh! Liquorish! Oh I like this, it's good. Thinks - I must be careful how many of those I eat. Right, capitain, quick, jump onto this cardboard bootbox. Hurriedly wraps up capitain in brown paper parcel labelled "Explosives" and stuffs same through headquarters letter box. Jumps on to passing dustcart and exits left to buy bowler before the price goes up. Thinks - there wasn't a very big part for Bluebottle this week was der?

Greenslade:
By the magic of liquorish the scene now changes to the Suspicious Parcels Testing Chamber in President Fred's headquarters.

Moriarty:
Grytpype, this mysterious parcel has just arrived by mysterious parcel post, mysteriously.

Grytpype:
Right, Moriarty. Steam the stamp off and cash it.

Moriarty:
Right. Sapristi yakakaka-kuu! I don't like the expression on this parcel's label! I wonder what's in it!

FX:
[Phone rings. Receiver up.]

Grytpype:
Just a moment. Hello?

Seagoon (phone):
I'll tell you what's in the parcel. It's me, gas meter Inspector Neddie Seagoon, South Balham Gas Board. You have seven days to pay a gas bill of three pounds, twelve and nine.

Grytpype:
Oh! Do you play the saxophone?

Seagoon:
Only occasionally. Now remember, you have seven days to pay. You can post your cheque to me, care of this parcel.

FX:
[Phone down]

Grytpype:
Moriarty.

Moriarty:
Yes?

Grytpype:
Open this parcel.

FX:
[Sounds of struggling and tearing paper under:]

Moriarty:
Right, together. You're the strongest, you take the brown paper. I'll take the string.

Seagoon:
Oh! Thank heavens you arrived...

Grytpype:
Sapristi nerks!

Seagoon:
...the string was getting rather tight.

Seagoon:
Now then - what about this gas bill, eh? President Fred owes the South Balham Gas Board three pounds, twelve shillings and ninepence.

Grytpype:
Look I tell you what. Go down to the basement, read the meter and just make sure.

Seagoon:
Right. Come, Eccles.

FX:
[Door shuts.]

Grytpype:
That'll gives us a breathing space, Moriarty.

Moriarty:
Good Good Good.

Grytpype:
I say, how empty the room is without him.

FX:
[Background shooting]

Moriarty:
Sapristi, the counter-revolutionaries with tanks are attacking.

Grytpype:
We've got to evacuate.

Moriarty:
Why?

Grytpype:
The rent's much too high here. Pack the floor. We're leaving.

Moriarty:
I'll bring the ceiling.

FX:
[Door shuts. Door broken down. Shots.]

Cast:
[Shouts]

Gen. Aston Villa (Sellers - South American):
So, the cowardly swines have run away. They are frightened of 'Heneral Aston Villa. Run up my personal flag. Shh, there is someone coming up the stairs.

FX:
[Footsteps. Door opens]

Seagoon:
Right, gentlemen, I've checked the meter, and the bill is exactly four pounds.

Gen. Aston Villa:
What are you talking about, you miserable English creep?

Seagoon:
Come, come, Mr. Grytpype, you can't fool the South Balham Gas Board with those childish disguises and silly changes of voice, he he he. Four pounds, please.

Gen. Aston Villa:
There is, I think, some mistake, señor. We have just taken possession here this very minute. We only just lit the gas.

Seagoon:
Good heavens, I'm, Oh, I'm dreadfully sorry. In that case you couldn't have used more than a therm or two could you! I'll go down and read the meter again. Excuse me.

FX:
[Door closes]

Gen. Aston Villa:
Now, when he comes up, pay the bill, and then kill him.

FX:
[Burst of firing]

Obregon:
Quiick! The President Fredists are attacking!

Gen. Aston Villa:
Everybody retreat!

FX:
[General stampede out and door closes]

FX:
[Door opens]

Grytpype:
Well done Moriarty, well done. What a beautiful counter-attack. We couldn't have continued to hold their headquarters anyway. Three pounds, ten shillings a week, it's quite impossible!

FX:
[Door opens]

Seagoon:
Well, gentlemen, I've read the meter. And you were quite right. You've only put on one more therm, so that's one and six please.

Grytpype:
Right. Here's a photograph of two shillings.

Seagoon:
Thank you. And here's a photograph of sixpence - change.

Grytpype:
Thank you.

Seagoon:
Wait! Wait, it's you back again! You've cheated me. You're the people who owe the three pounds, twelve shillings and ninepence!

Grytpype:
Oh no. That's President Fred's responsibility. Go and see him. Room 509.

Seagoon:
I will, I will, I will, I will. But wait! But wait. Who is this approaching, riding a kilted monkey and carrying a mackintosh saxophone? Why? It's Ray Ellington!

Ray Ellington Quartet:
[Musical Interlude: 'Birth of the Blues']

Greenslade:
Here for idiots is a resumé. The revolution so far.

FX:
[Shooting]

Greenslade:
Thank you. Chapter Two.

FX:
[Knocking on the door]

Bloodnok:
Cor blimey-o! El knocko on the door-o. Come in-o.

FX:
[Door opens]

Seagoon:
Good morning, President Fred. I've come to collect... Wait a minute. You don't look like President Fred.

Bloodnok:
What a coincidence, neither do you.

Seagoon:
But I'm not supposed to be him.

Bloodnok:
That's your excuse is it? By the way, do you play the saxophone?

Seagoon:
No.

Bloodnok:
I'll give you a lesson.

Orchestra:
[Saxophone melody]

Seagoon:
Stop that, stop! I'm convinced you're not President Fred.

Bloodnok:
Thank you.

Seagoon:
You're Major Bloodnok.

Bloodnok:
Nonsense.

Seagoon:
But if you're President Fred, there's a gas bill here which now stands at four pounds!

Bloodnok:
Oh! Right, I'll pay you. Here's a photograph of a four pound note.

Seagoon:
Oh, thank you very much. Now I can report back to Major Bloodnok, 'Mission completed. Gas bill paid in full'.

FX:
[Door slams]

Bloodnok:
Good, he's gone.

[Pause]

FX:
[Door opens]

Moriarty:
Ah! Bloodnok! You got rid of him, then. Splendid. And we for our part - we've got rid of President Fred.

Bloodnok:
You mean to say...?

Moriarty:
Yes, yes, yes. He gave us all his moolah to smuggle him out of the country.

Bloodnok:
Well done. Well done lad. Now to divide his fifty million.

Moriarty:
Sapristi nyuckos. Yes. I have it here in this red sack.

Bloodnok:
Good. We'll split evenly. I'll take the money and you take the sack.

Moriarty:
No. Why should I get the lion's share?

Bloodnok:
Well, well...

Moriarty:
You have the sack and I'll take the money.

Bloodnok:
Listen, Moriarty. Let us settle this thing amicably.

FX:
[Pistol shot]

Moriarty:
Oh, Sapristi Yongtong! Dead!

FX:
[Thud]

Bloodnok:
Good heavens! That pistol was loaded. Poor, poor Moriarty. I wonder if he played the saxophone. Taxi!

FX:
[Taxi speeds off]

FX:
[Door opens]

Grytpype:
Has he gone Moriarty?

Moriarty:
Ha ha, yes, yes. He swallowed the bait, hook, line and sinker. I gave him a pistol with a blank cartridge and he took the red sack full of the forged banknotes.

Grytpype:
Splendid. Splendid. I've got the genuine money here in this blue sack. Now, you go to the airport, Moriarty, and arrange buy two air tickets.

Moriarty:
At once.

FX:
[Whoosh. Door shuts.]

Grytpype:
Fifty million, eh? [Sings softly] Christmas in Capri, millions of moulah...

FX:
[Door opens]

Eccles:
[Singing] "I talk to the trees. But they all put me...". Hallo!

Grytpype:
Hello.

Eccles:
Ooohh. I see you got that old red sack full of them forged notes ready for old Bloodnok, then? Ha ho, ha ha hum. Say, that was a good idea of yours having me pack the two sacks eh, eh?. That was fine, fine. Here, where's the blue sack with the real stuff?

Grytpype:
This is the blue one.

Eccles:
Oh! That fella was right then.

Grytpype:
What fellow?

Eccles:
That oculist fellow who said I was colour-blind.

Grytpype:
You mean Bloodnok's the real money?

Eccles:
Yeah.

FX:
[Whoosh!]

Eccles:
[sings] "I talks to the trees, that's why they put me away...I got a melody devine..."

FX:
[Door opens]

Bluebottle:
Has Mr. Grytpype gone, Eccles?

Eccles:
Oh! Yeah! Yeah!

Bluebottle:
And has he left us the blue sack with all the real money?

Eccles:
Yeah!

Bluebottle & Eccles:
[Laughing and tee-heeing]

Bluebottle:
I like this game, don't you Eccles?

Eccles:
The money game...

Bluebottle:
Yes...

Eccles:
...The big money game

Bluebottle:
...The money game

Bluebottle & Eccles:
[sings] Christmas in Capri, plenty of mooolah...

Orchestra:
[Mexican/spanish musical link]

FX:
[Door opens]

Bloodnok (breathlessly):
Juan! Juan! Pack everything! I've millions of moulah. I must leave before Neddie gets back.

Juan:
You'd better take that President Fred makeup off!

Bloodnok:
What? Oh yes, there!

FX:
[Door bursts open]

Seagoon:
Major Bloodnok, my mission's completed. Here's a photograph of a four pound note.

Bloodnok:
What? Wait! Wait! Wait! This note in the phototograph... It's a forgery!

Seagoon:
Oh no. Gad, I've been tricked! Bloodnok, I'll go right back!

FX:
[Door slams]

Bloodnok:
[Sings] Christmas in Capri - let me count the moolah...

FX:
[Door opens]

Moriarty:
Ohh yaohh! Hands up!

Bloodnok:
What! Great thundering widgets of Kludge! Put down that double-action hydraulic-recoil eighteen-inch Howitzer!

Moriarty:
No! It belonged to my mother!

Bloodnok:
What do you want?

Moriarty:
Give me the sack of money.

Bloodnok:
Come, come, Moriarty. Old friends mustn't fall out.

Moriarty:
Very well, we'll settle this amicably.

Bloodnok:
How?

Moriarty:
Like this.

FX:
[Pistol shot]

Bloodnok:
Ah! Shot through me gaiters!

Moriarty:
Sapristi, ying-ting-iddle-I po. Got him.

FX:
[Door opens]

Grytpype:
Is he dead?

Moriarty:
Yes.

FX:
[Pistol shot]

Moriarty:
Ooooh! I'm shot in the kringe!

FX:
[Thud]

Grytpype:
Got him!

FX:
[Door opens]

Seagoon:
Grytpype!

Grytpype:
Hello, Neddie.

Seagoon:
What are these men lying on the floor for?

Grytpype:
We haven't got any carpets.

Seagoon:
Oh. Look! Eccles told me that Bloodnok ran off with a red sack full of banknotes, believing them to be real.

Grytpype:
And - weren't they?

Seagoon:
No. The real ones are with Eccles.

Grytpype:
Oh!

FX:
[Whoosh. Door shuts. (Pause.) Door opens.]

Eccles:
"I talk..." Oh. Hullo. Has he gone?

Seagoon:
Yes.

Eccles:
Fine, fine, fine. Fine, fine, fine. You know, I'm not really colour-blind at all. [guffaws] I only said that to fool Bluebottle. That blue sack you're holding is full of the real stuff.

Seagoon:
Blue? This is a red sack.

Eccles:
Ooooh! Then you got the wrong stuff. Bluebottle's got the real stuff.

Seagoon:
Oh! Then I must find him and collect the Gas Board's four pounds from President Fred's treasure. Farewell!

FX:
[Door shuts]

Eccles:
Fine. [sings] "I'm only a strolling vagabond..."

[Pause]

FX:
[Door opens]

Bluebottle:
Has he gone, Eccles?

Eccles:
Yeah! Ha ha...

Bluebottle:
Eehe, now we both have sacks.

Eccles:
Say that again.

Bluebottle:
The red one and the blue one. We have both sacks. This is a good game you know, that, what is. This is what is liking this game. Eccles, which sack has the real money?

Eccles:
The blue one.

Bluebottle:
Then we will split it fifty-fifty. You take that nice red one and I'll have this rotten stinking old blue one.

Eccles:
Fine, fine.

Bluebottle:
And you're quite sure you're not colour-blind, ain't you?

Eccles:
Oh no, I'm not colour blind.

Bluebottle:
Oh. Well, goodbye Enccles.

FX:
[Door shuts]

Eccles:
Goodbye, Redbottle.

Greenslade:
Three weeks later, at the head office of the South Balham Gas Board.

FX:
[Knock on door]

Manager (Milligan):
Come in.

FX:
[Door opens]

Orchestra:
[Violin 'Hearts and Flowers']

Manager:
Seagoon, put that blasted violin down and get up off your knees. Here, I'll hold that celluloid baby.

Orchestra:
[Music out]

Seagoon:
Please sir, please sir, I know I failed to collect that bill, but, but, couldn't I have my old job back?

Manager:
I'm sorry, it's gone. Allow me to introduce our new gas meter inspector, Balham area, President Fred.

Bloodnok:
I'm pleased to meet you, sir.

Seagoon:
Oh no!

Bloodnok:
Yes, oh yes...

Orchestra:
[Signature Tune]

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 Stott. Script by Spike Milligan. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Peter Eton.

Orchestra:
['Crazy Rhythm' outro]



Notes:

South Balham is a town in the Wandsworth Borough of South-West London.

Mafeking is a town in South Africa. The Siege of Mafeking was the most famous British action in the Second Boer War.

'The man from Laramie' is a western movie released in 1955 and starring James Stewart. The theme song was also released by Jimmy Young and reached number 1 for 4 weeks.

Harry Lime is a character played by Orson Welles in the film "The Third man", released in 1949.

'Celluloid baby' refers to a type of vintage baby doll that was made from celluloid.