Goon Show Script

The Telephone

Series 7, Episode 11

First broadcast 13th December 1956. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens, produced by Pat Dixon. Transcribed by Tony Wills. Minor adjustments by thegoonshow.net


This episode is available on...
Goon Show Compendium 5

[CD Box Set from Amazon]



GREENSLADE:
This is the BBC

SEAGOON:
I say Greenslade, that's a bit near the knuckle

SEAGOON:
Awwwwwww (under Greenslade's next line)

GREENSLADE:
Never mind Mr Seagoon, Never mind. Comfort yourself with a leading part in this daring sex drama ...

MILLIGAN:
Awwww

GREENSLADE:
entitled ... "The Telephone"

MILLIGAN:
Sinful!

ORCHESTRA:
Bright brass band type link ending with cymbal crash

SELLERS:
Act one, scene one. The North London GPO telephone manager's office.

FX:
Phone rings

MILLIGAN:
What's that Jim?

NASAL (Nasal voice):
Telephone call

MILLIGAN:
Awwwl. So they've installed it at last Jim. Call a meeting of all the people we keep especially for meetings. And make it three o'clock.

NASAL:
Right. I'll put the hands forward.

FX:
Clockwork mechanism starting up, ratchetting noise. Bell strikes three times.

OMNES:
[Hubbub of voices] Oh I, Thank you thank you, Rhubarb rhubarb, GPO telephone type rhubarb ...

MILLIGAN:
Silence!

OMNES:
Custard, rhubarb

MILLIGAN:
Silence. Silence members of the rhubarb society. Gentlemen, this first meeting of the telephone managers, will be presided over, in his new underpants, by mister Jasper Bus at 6 4 10.

Jasper:
(Secombe):
Thank you, thank you, settle down

MILLIGAN:
Who's next Jim?

CAMP:
There's somebody in my district who wants a phone.

OMNES:
Good heavens, Alarm, alarm, Rhubarb, Terrible, Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, Ying tong iddle I po ...

WELSH (Milligan):
Have you got the name of this sensual, pleasure loving devil?

CAMP:
Henry Albert Sebastopol Queen Victoria Crun!

MILLIGAN:
Disgusting!

CAMP:
I've held him off for eight years but my supplies of our printed refusal cards is running so low. The things they use them for, I tell you, I ...

GREENSLADE:
Ahhh, may I inter..., ahh, just a moment please, may I interrupt here gentlemen?

MILLIGAN:
You have, you have interrupted.

GREENSLADE:
I happen to know that Mr Crun is the inventor of the black telephone.

MILLIGAN:
The black ...?

NORTH:
Rubbish! Argy bargy. What about Edison Bell?

GREENSLADE:
Edison Bell, sir, invented the brown telephone.

MILLIGAN:
Gentlemen, if we know what's good for us, we'll give this chap, Crun, a telephone immediately.

ORCHESTRA:
same tune as before

SEAGOON:
Hello listeners, the job of installing Cruns phone fell to me, Ned Seagoon!

(pause)

ORCHESTRA:
same tune as before

SEAGOON:
Yes, thank you, ha ha. As you've guessed by that tune, I was the senior outdoor line layer, Uxbridge area.

GREENSLADE:
That is quite true. Seagoon had just finished a brilliant military career by climbing over the wall in Aldershot. He arrived at Mr Cruns house.

FX:
Knock, knock, knock. Door opened.

GRYTPYPE:
Oh, good morning postman. Three pints please.

SEAGOON:
No, no no, you don't understand. I've come to install a black telephone.

GRYTPYPE:
Four pints and a small brown.

SEAGOON:
I'm sorry, I've only got a large black.

MORIARTY:
Owwwww. A large black, sapristi bombet, what type talking are you doing there?

SEAGOON:
I'm from the GPO.

MORIARTY:
We have nothing to hide.

GRYTPYPE:
And we have nothing to show either. But do come in Gipo. You'll umm ...

MILLIGAN:
(off) GPO please.

GRYTPYPE:
You'll pardon the mess, we can't help it really we're bachelors you know.

SEAGOON:
I see. Why don't you get married?

GRYTPYPE:
I would but Moriarty doesn't love me.

SEAGOON:
(clears throat) Um, ah, are you Mr Crun?

GRYTPYPE:
No I'm Grytpype Thynne, criminal by appointment to the royal household cavalry.

MORIARTY:
Owwwww.

SEAGOON:
Really? Why are you living in a hole in the ground?

GRYTPYPE:
Something to do with the shortage of money you know.

SEAGOON:
Ohh. Mr Cruns moved then?

GRYTPYPE:
Yes, to seventeen-A Africa.

SEAGOON:
Seventeen-A Africa.

GRYTPYPE:
Imm.

SEAGOON:
Can I get there down the Finchley Road?

GRYTPYPE:
Eventually, yes.

SEAGOON:
I had better write that down. E V E N, C H E W, chew, A L Y, eventually.

MORIARTY:
No, wait, wait, wait

SEAGOON:
Right, goodbye.

MORIARTY:
No, not yet, come back little boiling bubble. ... Listen to me, before you go to seventeen-A Africa.

SEAGOON:
Yes?

MORIARTY:
Would you take this suspicious looking brown paper parcel, wrapped in string and tied with newspaper?

SEAGOON:
Certainly, certainly. Ok Willium, seventeen-A Africa and step on it!

FX:
Multiple booted footsteps speeding up to a run.

GREENSLADE:
Eight months later.

GRAMS:
Stomping, clapping chanting African sounding song.

ECCLES:
(coming in on song) A dum da dee

FX:
Boots at jogging pace (fast march)

WILLIUM:
Oh 'ere, mate, you sure we're still in the Finchley Road?

SEAGOON:
(panting) Of course. Now let us see, we've used forty-eight thousand miles of cable. Willium, you'd better nip back to Acton for another telegraph pole.

WILLIUM:
Oh, mate, I'm fed up going back, I ... port comes only from Prortingal you know. It's dark when I gets home at night and as soon as I gets back I has to turn 'round and cycle back here in the morning.

SEAGOON:
Yes, yes, I see. It does seem a long way out here. Perhaps we should ask our way. Pardon me?

GELDRAY:
Sorry boy, I'm a stranger 'round here. Plugeee.

WILLIUM:
Call Max Geldray, blimey, I'm off ...

MUSICAL INTERVAL:
Max Geldray Plays "Ain't Misbehavin'"

FX:
Tom-toms beating. Scratching of nib on parchment

SELLERS:
As Neddie staggered blindly through Africa, at the extreme end of the Finchley road, he little knew he was within a telephone calls throw of the British Telecom supply depot, Ulumgarla.

ORCHESTRA:
Bloodnok theme.

FX:
Raspberry underneath:

BLOODNOK:
Owwww, arghh, owwwww, ohhhhh. Well I can't sit here all day ...

INDIAN:
Sahib, sahib, sahib, sahib, a palladium type comic type gentleman has just collapsed in a heap outside.

BLOODNOK:
I know, I just tripped over that heap myself only this morning. Now lift up his wig and lets have a look at him.

SEAGOON:
Argghhh, owwwwl.

BLOODNOK:
Steady lad. Fan him with a thermometer and put a copy of the Lancet under his head.

SEAGOON:
Arg oooh, oooh, argh

INDIAN:
Ah, goodness gracious, he is, he is seriously unconscious Major.

BLOODNOK:
No wonder, I'll just lift that heavy wallet off him.

FX:
Rustle of bank notes being counted under:

SEAGOON:
Awww

BLOODNOK:
(counting rapidly) One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, thirty-three, thirty-five, thirty-eight, thirty-nine. No wonder, there were forty pounds pressing on his chest. Now we'll restore the circulation in his arms with the toad ointment.

SEAGOON:
Awww (coming round noises)

BLOODNOK:
Just put this pen in his hand and run it lightly over this cheque, there.

SEAGOON:
Ahhhh! Ohh! Where am I?

BLOODNOK:
In the red.

SEAGOON:
Thank heavens! A British bank manager.

BLOODNOK:
He, he's delirious, hold him down while I force this brandy between my lips.

FX:
Bubbles

BLOODNOK:
(gasp of catching breath) Yes you look much better now lad.

SEAGOON:
So do you ...

BLOODNOK:
Now, if you'll pardon me I'll just stand in this hole facing north.

SEAGOON:
Why?

BLOODNOK:
It's all the rage you know.

SEAGOON:
Gad, It must be hell in there!

BLOODNOK:
Further down it is.

BLOODNOK:
Now lad, what brings you from the steaming hell of Finchley?

SEAGOON:
I'm looking for the inventor of the telephone.

BLOODNOK:
Ah, that's Crun, Henry Crun. So you're looking for that cool, high stepping fool are you? Him and his sensual Caucasian knee dancing. That's how he tempted poor Minnie away from me. Ohh, Min!

SEAGOON:
Oh, come now Major Dennis please.

BLOODNOK:
What? Ohh.

SEAGOON:
Dry your tears on this marble statue of a handkerchief.

BLOODNOK:
Thank you. ... Poor Min. Abducted in the prime of her twilight, oh it's a long story, I remember it all started on the road to Mandaley.

SEAGOON:
I see.

BLOODNOK:
(sings) Where the flying fishes play and ya owwwll

SEAGOON:
Yes, yes.. yes, yes, .. yes .. Yes, yes, yes, yes, but ... but that's your pigeon.

BLOODNOK:
So it is, how did it get out? Take this pigeon away and bring me a clothes brush.

SEAGOON:
Major, a simple question - where is seventeen-A Africa?

BLOODNOK:
Seventeen-A? You're on the wrong side of the continent.

SEAGOON:
Ohh.

BLOODNOK:
Odd numbers are right over on the other side.

SEAGOON:
Well could you let me have two hunters and a safari to escort me?

BLOODNOK:
For a consideration.

FX:
Cash register. Coin in till.

BLOODNOK:
Thank you. You'll find them encamped in a hole in the ground at core-what-a-gonger.

SEAGOON:
Right. Right, goodbye Major.

ORCHESTRA:
link.

GREENSLADE:
Sitting open all night camp fire awaiting the arrival of Seagoon, sit two all night sun tanned veterans of the safari.

GRAMS:
Crackle of fire, hyenas, other night animals

BLUEBOTTLE:
Time for beddy-byes Eccles.

ECCLES:
Ok, I'll slip on my pyjamas.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Why? Are they greasy?

ECCLES:
Ah, ha ha ha ho ho, hu hu ha ha ho, ohhh, you made a funny joke then.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Yes. Shall I tell you another one Eccles?

ECCLES:
Yeah, I'd like that - fine, fine ... fine

BLUEBOTTLE:
Yeah, I like telling stories, 'course ...

ECCLES&BLUEBOTTLE:
Telling stories is fine.

BLUEBOTTLE:
I say Eccles?

ECCLES:
Yah, bottle?

BLUEBOTTLE:
This story is only for big boys.

ECCLES:
Oh, I'll put my hat on then. ... Ok.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Yes. You won't tell my mum, will you Eccles?

ECCLES:
(softly) Oh, no, no, it's just between me and you.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Yea

ECCLES:
Ok, now then, go on 'bottle, go on.

BLUEBOTTLE:
I, I ...

ECCLES:
Come on.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Why did the chicken cross the road?

ECCLES:
Ah, ho ho hu ho. Oh, you naughty boy, ho ho, ah, hu ho, you naughty fella, oh, it's a good job for you I'm a man of the world, oww, oh dear

BLUEBOTTLE:
No, no no, Eccles.

ECCLES:
Eh?

BLUEBOTTLE:
That was not the end. It finishes up - "To get to the other side"

ECCLES:
Oh ah, wait a ... no, no, no, dat, dat's not as funny as the first one. Oh dear, oh dear, that was, that was funny 'bottle, that was funny, funny, "Why did the chicken cross the ..."

BLUEBOTTLE:
No, no, you do not appreciate my modern style back of match box type joking. I do not wish to discourse further.

ECCLES:
Oooh

BLUEBOTTLE:
I have got other matters to think of.

ECCLES:
'bottle, steady now.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Arreeeye, there's something in my bed.

ECCLES:
The Phantom's struck again!

BLUEBOTTLE:
It's a crocodile!

ECCLES:
Oh, a crocodile, that's lucky.

BLUEBOTTLE:
(incredulous) A crocodile lucky?

ECCLES:
Of course he's lucky, he's got a bed to sleep in.

GRAMS:
Crickets in background getting louder under:

BLUEBOTTLE:
Eeehehheh. I'll just switch off the candle. "Switch!". Good night Eccles.

ECCLES:
Good night 'bottle.

FX:
Lip smacking noises

GRAMS:
Crickets very loud, quiet purring/snoring

ECCLES:
(yawn)(chuckles) "Why did the chicken cross the road!", Ah, dear, dear, ah dear, that's real stag party stuff 'bottle', you're a man of the world 'bottle.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Yes.

ECCLES:
(gurgles to himself) 'bottle, don't laugh, don't laugh, I'm in danger.

BLUEBOTTLE:
What?

ECCLES:
Give me the gun quick.

BLUEBOTTLE:
(alarmed) Why?!

ECCLES:
Somethin's moving on the end of my foot.

FX:
shot.

ECCLES:
That got rid of it!

BLUEBOTTLE:
What was it?

ECCLES:
My toe!

FX:
Rattling of door?

SEAGOON:
Excuse me.

ECCLES&BLUEBOTTLE:
(yelling in confusion)

SEAGOON:
Silence!

ECCLES:
Shut up, shut up.

SEAGOON:
Shut up Eccles.

ECCLES:
Shut up! Shut up Eccles!

(pause)

SEAGOON:
Silen gablunden, stop all this hern, hern, hoon, hoon. Who do you think you are?

ECCLES:
Napoleon.

SEAGOON:
You're Napoleon?

ECCLES:
No, but that's who I think I am.

SEAGOON:
If you're Napoleon, I'm the Duke of Wellington.

ECCLES:
Want a fight?

SEAGOON:
Listen, little glass of water. I'm Neddie Seagoon, I believe you're the two guides to take me to seventeen-A Africa.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Yes, we have got all your stores ready for the journey, check!

ECCLES:
check!

BLUEBOTTLE:
One knitted human bath chair, one long playing record of a naked woman ...

SEAGOON:
With clothes on, of course.

BLUEBOTTLE:
No! Her clothes are on the other side!

ECCLES&BLUEBOTTLE:
(laugh together)

ECCLES:
Let's turn the record over.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Aheee.

SEAGOON:
Then I trust you'll only play that record in the dark. Mr Ellington a demonstration on your quonge.

ECCLES:
ahhh, he's going to quonge.

ECCLES:
What's a quonge?

MUSICAL INTERVAL:
Ray Ellington sings - "Singin' the Blues"

ORCHESTRA:
link music

GRAMS:
frogs

FX:
hacking at bush noises

(Sellers):
With the sun directly overhead and the ground directly underfoot, telephone engineer Seagoon, pushed forward to install the telephone before the rains came and the Jones' went.

SEAGOON:
We'll need a telegraph pole here. Bloodnok, hand me those two bananas from my binocular case.

BLUEBOTTLE:
Here.

SEAGOON:
Thank you. I say, that's funny, I can see a French sign "Caution Le-Sahara desert ahead..."

SEAGOON:
"Le warning - No telephone engineers". I say, we can't stand for that! Put up a British sign immediately.

FX:
Rhythmic hammering.

SEAGOON:
There! "No hawkers, no circulars"

FX:
Knock on door, door opened.

SEAGOON:
I say, can't you read, no hawkers, no circulars.

ELLINGA:
Me not a hawker.

SEAGOON:
Then you must be a circular. ha, ha. Get that! If you're not a hawker, you must be a circular! You must be .. ha he ... hahum. (pause) English joke.

ELLINGA:
African silence.

SEAGOON:
Didn't they tell you, back in England I'm on the TV every week.

ELLINGA:
I know, that's why a come to Africa. Listen little corny comic, Mr Crun sent me to find out whether you've go a parcel for Moriarty cor-blimey.

SEAGOON:
Oh, yes I'd forgotten all about that.

ELLINGA:
So had the listeners, and that is why I mention it.

SEAGOON:
Good. Now listen chief Ellinga, you show me where bwana Crun lives.

ELLINGA:
Right, you follow me.

ORCHESTRA:
Dramatic link.

GREENSLADE:
Meantime, in a little love nest at seventeen-A Africa.

ORCHESTRA:
Jazzy upbeat saxophone solo

FX:
foot beating in time with music

CRUN:
Min, Min, ... Min, Min, Min ...

BANNISTER:
What is it?

CRUN:
Min, stop playing that saxophone in Africa and put it back in the fridge, you know they go off in this weather.

FX:
explosion.

CRUN:
You see there goes one now. Now Min, tonight you must wear your tiara, and long raffia drawers.

BANNISTER:
What for Henry?

CRUN:
It's Henry's guest night Min, and I shall entertain you with my sensual caucasian knee dancing.

BANNISTER:
Arrrah, I'm fed up with your caucasian knee dance - rolling your trousers up and klacking those knobbly knees together. Kickety knack, knacky, clip, clack clock ...

CRUN:
You mean my knees are loosing their magic?

BANNISTER:
Yes, I want to go back to Dennis Bloodnok, the bounder of ropers light horse.

CRUN:
Don't you fear mixed up creature, Min.

BANNISTER:
(singing) Yip dit dit da, ya ar ardol, nee nar nin ...

CRUN:
Stop that sinful wobbling you

BANNISTER:
Sorry Henry

ORCHESTRA:
Piano intro chords

BANNISTER:
The first careless rapture is always ~~~

Min & Henry:
(sing) Someday I'll find you, moonlight behind you, turn to the dream I am dreaming. Yes, I can hear you, your smile as it smiles (*1) ... Oooh!

GREENSLADE:
During this tender duet, approaching this scene is chief Ellinga, followed on foot by Eccles, Bluebottle and the head linesman from Finchley telephone exchange. These little snippets of information do help, don't they? Well I won't hold up your fun any longer, if anybody wants me I shall be in the residents lounge.

FX:
Raspberry

ORCHESTRA:
ta-da, cymbal crash.

BLOODNOK:
Here we are, seventeen-A Africa, the end of the Finchley road.

SEAGOON:
Right, Eccles break the door down by inserting the key in the lock.

ECCLES:
Abala.... right, there

FX:
Rattle door, open

BLOODNOK:
Alright you high stepping cool fool you, now where's that fair Minnie Banister?

BANNISTER:
I haven't got the fare.

BLOODNOK:
Then, we shall have to waltz.

BANNISTER:
Ta-da.

BLOODNOK:
Minnie, I'm taking you away from the squalor that you live in.

BANNISTER:
Ahhh.

BLOODNOK:
To the squalor that I live in.

ORCHESTRA:
intro piano notes.

BLOODNOK&BANNISTER:
(sing) Someday I'll find you, moonlight behind you ...

FX:
wallop

BLOODNOK&BANNISTER:
Ahhhowww

BANNISTER:
I've been got, I've been got.

SEAGOON:
Well that's one character less for Sellers to play.

CRUN:
Yes, have you got the parcel from Moriarty?

SEAGOON:
Yes, I have Henry, but first where would you like your telephone?

CRUN:
In my study please.

SEAGOON:
Where's that.

CRUN:
Inside my house in North Finchley.

GRAMS:
Rapid running of boots.

SEAGOON:
Arrrrrrrgggggghhhh arrghhhhhh arggggh.

GREENSLADE:
I say, that was a bit of bad luck for Mr Seagoon wasn't it? And now of course, I know you're all wondering what was in that brown paper parcel. Well goodnight.

ORCHESTRA:
End tune.

GREENSLADE:
That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded programme featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan with the Ray Ellington Quartet, Max Geldray and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens. Announcer Wallace Greenslade, program produced by Pat Dixon.

ORCHESTRA:
Playout.


Notes:
1) Full lyrics (Noel Coward) ... "Some day I'll find you. Moonlight behind you. True to the dream I am dreaming. As I draw near you you'll smile a little smile; For a little while we shall stand hand in hand."