Goon Show Script

Six Charlies in Search of an Author

Series 7, Episode 13

First broadcast 26th December 1956. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens, produced by Pat Dixon. Transcribed by Josh Hayes, adjustments by thegoonshow.net



Wallace:
...The Goon Show.

Harry:
Hmm. It's hardly worth your while comin' here, is it Wal?

Wallace:
Ahh, my dear Seagoon,

[raspberry]

Wallace:
There's much more you know.

Omnes:
What? What? Is there? Eh?

Wallace:
Yes, you see, this week it's Jim Spriggs' immortal book, 'Six Charlies in Search of an Author'.

Grams:
typing noises

Spriggs:
Chapter One. Neddie meets Grytpype-Thynne.

Ned:
Good heavens! I'm supposed to meet Grytpype-Thynne in Chapter One! I'd better hurry!

Grams:
frantic banging on door, door opens

Grytpype-Thynne:
Oh, you must be the charlie I'm supposed to meet in Chapter One.

Ned:
Correct.

Grytpype-Thynne:
What a thrilling start.

Ned:
My name is Neddie Seagoon.

Grytpype-Thynne:
There's one in every family.

Ned:
What what what what what what what what bock bock cluck bugock (goes on doing chicken impression, then stops)

(a few seconds of silence)

Grytpype-Thynne:
Would you mind facing - would you mind facing west when you do that, it gets all over me. Now, to whom do I owe the pleasure of this nauseating visit?

Ned:
The author.

Grytpype-Thynne:
Of course, of course, you must excuse me, I'm only new in this book.

Ned:
I see. What part do you play?

Grytpype-Thynne:
I'm a bone specialist.

Ned:
What do you want?

Grytpype-Thynne:
Bones.

Ned:
(gulps) I haven't got any bones.

Grytpype-Thynne:
Nonsense, nonsense, you'd fall down without them. You'd fall DOWN without them.

Ned:
You'd fall down without THEM.

Grytpype-Thynne:
YOU'D fall down without them.

(falling about)

Peter:
Take yer choice.

(Ned breaks up)

Grytpype-Thynne:
I know for a fact that you have a large number of them tucked away somewhere.

Ned:
Have you been prying into my family album of X-rays?

Grytpype-Thynne:
Moriarty, tell him what you found.

Moriarty:
Ah, sapristi spon, I will! Mister Seagoon -- quiet please! We're getting nowhere fast tonight! So a Merry Christmas to you all! -- Sapristi spon, let me tell you Mister Seagoon, we have a very compromising X-ray photograph of two sets of bones! Yours - and a lady's!

Ned:
It's a lie! We're just good friends! Ahem - how much do you want for that X-ray?

Grytpype-Thynne:
Ten pounds, Neddie, to be paid in money before Chapter Ten!

Moriarty:
Yes! And don't try to slip past us, Neddie, because we have a armed man in the index!

Ned:
Curses! So they're going to catch me by the index! Oh dear readers, here am I, due to marry the beautiful millionairess, Gladys Minkwater in Chapter Eight!

Minnie:
Ooowwww!

Ned:
Before then I must get that compromising X-ray photograph back! Ten pounds they want, eh? (Chuckles) Taxi!

Grams:
taxi roaring up

Ned:
The nearest pawn shop. Put your foot down and keep your flag up.

Mate:
Right, mate.

Grams:
taxi up and explosion, rubble falling

Mate:
I got 'ere mate, that's three bob on the clock.

Ned:
Right. Here's a pound for your trouble.

Mate:
I ain't got no trouble, mate.

Ned:
You have now, mate, that pound's a forgery.

Mate:
Oooohhww, mate! Ohhww!

Grams:
door opens, shop bell tinkles

Henry:
Good morning, sir, welcome to Chapter Two.

Ned:
Thank you. Now, I should like to pawn myself.

Henry:
I'm sorry, we don't take antiques here.

Ned:
Have a care, old prune-faced fossil.

Henry:
Owwww

Ned:
I'm not an antique - look! Here's the date of my birth, stamped on the bottom!

Henry:
OoooOOOOoooh. This is a Welsh birthmark. Go up to the fourth floor, room three.

Ned:
Right!

Grams:
climbing many flights of steps, Ned puffs and groans

Ned:
Fourth floor.

Grams:
knocking on door, door opens

Henry:
What is it, sir?

Ned:
I'd like to pawn myself.

Henry:
Who sent you up here?

Ned:
You did!

Henry:
Then you've come to the right man. Get into this lift.

Grams:
lift door opens, winch starts up.

Minnie:
Going down. Page eighteen. Seventeen, page sixteen, yim bumble dee ooooh, fifteen, chapter one, Crun's pawnshop, Seagoon enters and pawns himself, oh, that's a very small part for me this week (goes off muttering).

Henry:
Get outside, Min, you naughty....

Ned:
We're back where we started. What'd you send me up to the fourth floor for?

Henry:
To get me.

Ned:
To get you? Wait a minute - how did you get up there before me?

Henry:
(cackling) I skipped a couple of pages! (cackles some more, then has an attack)

Ned:
I've got a good mind to tell the author.

Henry:
No, no, don't do that, he might have me killed off in a later chapter.

Ned:
Now look, Mister Crun, how much money will you give me on me?

Henry:
Well, first I must scrutinize you with an intense scrute. Just take your clothes off....

Ned:
Ow! Ooo! Yow! There!

Henry:
Now like under this magnifying glass.

Ned:
Ooh! It's cold, isn't it? There - how do I look?

Henry:
Ooohh...even bigger! Just stand on these scales, please.

Grams:
cables stretching, groaning under immense weight

Henry:
Eighteen stone.

Ned:
Shall I put the other leg on now?

Henry:
As deadweight alone I'll offer you ten pounds, you'll come in useful for filling in holes.

Ned:
Done!

Henry:
You certainly have been! (Cackles off) Did you hear that joke, did you?

Ned:
Ten years ago. Now, where's that money?

Henry:
There, ten pounds in crisp green farthings.

Ned:
Ta. Goodbye!

Henry:
No, wait, wait, you can't go 'til someone comes to redeem you.

Ned:
(gulps) What?

Henry:
Just step into this safe, and Geldray, play me the key.

Max Geldray:
Ploogee!

Musical Interlude:
Max Geldray

Spriggs:
(over typing) Six Charlies in search of an author folks. Chapter Three, in which I see fit to have the character Neddie Seagoon still inside Crun's fiendish pawnshop safe.

Ned:
Yes, dear readers, inside the safe all was dark. I took out a book of matches and began to read it. Page one: to ignite match, detach one and strike it against bottom.

Grams:
scrrrrritch

Ned:
Whoop! By the light of my burning trousers, I could see that --

Eccles:
Put that light out! Put that light out, my good man! Put -- hey! who put that light out? Who put that light out! Shut up Eccles! Shut up Eccles! Shut up that light out! (gabbles a bit) Haaalloo.

Ned:
The idiot stranger was a complete idiot stranger to me. He was tall and carried a cement sack with an outlet at the base. His legs were neat and carefully pressed. And on his head he wore a rubber dinghy with a hand-made cardboard peak.

Eccles:
Hallo, Neddie. Have you pawned yourself?

Ned:
Yes. I'm pledge number 32. Have you got a pledge number?

Eccles:
No. I only pawned my socks.

Ned:
Oh. Then why don't you go home?

Eccles:
I can't get my boots off.

Grams:
type writer

Spriggs:
(over typing) Chapter Four, in which Seagoon has a brilliant idea.

Ned:
(over banging on safe door) Mister Crun! Let me out! I have a brilliant idea!

Henry:
What is it?

Ned:
I want to redeem myself.

Henry:
Certainly. (door opens) Ten pounds please.

Grams:
till, coins

Ned:
Now, to buy back that compromising X-ray photograph. Where did I put that - ten pounds? It's gone! I've been robbed! Where is that photo, Mister Greenslade, I must know!

Wallace:
Well, I hate to peek at the end of the book, but in Chapter Seven, Grytpype-Thynne and Moriarty ship the compromising X-ray photograph in a plain wrapper, to an art connoisseur in Paris.

Orchestra:
Bloodnok theme, slows at the end

Bloodnok:
Thank you boys. That just game me time to smuggle her out of the room.

Grams:
rattling of door

Ned:
Major Bloodnok!

Bloodnok:
It's a lie! Ohh! Naughty postcards, I've never heard of them I tell you! How dare you come in here and offer me money for those postcards over there which are not here!

Ned:
Major, enough of this needle nardle noo!

Bloodnok:
Ooohhh!

Ned:
Major, please, for the compromising X-ray photo of myself and the lady, how much do you want?

Bloodnok:
Ten thousand francs.

Ned:
(gulps) AhhooooooOOOOooo!

Bloodnok:
He's fainted in the direction of down! Doris, darling?

Throat:
Yes, darling?

Bloodnok:
Help me lift him in the direction of up.

Ned:
ooOOOulp. I - I haven't got ten thousand francs.

Bloodnok:
Throw him in the direction of out.

Ned:
Wait! Wait! I have got ten pounds!

Bloodnok:
Put him in the direction of down again. Wait, don't turn over that page yet - I recognize that wallet. It's young Private Needle Seagoon, retired, my ex-batman and spon runner, Oooowww!

Wallace:
Dear listeners, for the benefit of those of you who don't know what a 'spon runner' is - neither do I. I just want to know that you are not alone: Wallace is one of you. And now, Chapter Seven, page seventy-two. Seagoon does not recognize Major Bloodnok.

Ned:
Major Bloodnok! I didn't recognize you in that false room.

Bloodnok:
Well I was only wearing it to keep the rain off. I wouldn't wear it out of doors, of course.

Ned:
Of course - let me help you off with it.

(both make groaning effort noises; grams: a couple of thuds)

Bloodnok:
Thank you. Good heavens, we're outside, and it's raining in the direction of down.

Ned:
You'd better put your room on in the direction of on.

Grams:
door opens

Bloodnok:
Ah, that's better, it's much warmer with this direction on. Now Neddie, pull up a chair and sit down.

Ned:
I'd rather stand if you don't mind.

Bloodnok:
Oh, well, pull up a floor then.

Ned:
Major, please, don't joke -- (both start laughing, raspberry blown)

Bloodnok:
Pardon me, sorry - I can't help it you know.

Ned:
Major, please don't. I must have that compromising X-ray photo.

Bloodnok:
[Can't see?] doing it, I'm afraid; it's in that safe and Grytpype has the key. And there's nothing on this page we can open it with.

Ned:
Well, I'll - I'll write something in. Let's see (typing) 'looking around the room that Bloodnok was wearing, Neddie's eye lit upon the following: one eighteen-foot crowbar and one sledgehammer.'

Bloodnok:
What a splendid piece of descriptive writing! Now, who's going to do all the work?

Ned (typing):
'Without hesitation, brave Bloodnok picked up the crowbar and began to force open the safe.'

Grams:
metallic clanging

Bloodnok:
Oh! Oof! Oh, you cad Edward, making me do all that - give me that typewriter, would you. (types) 'Neddie, horrified at the sight of a retired Indian Army major labouring, snatched the crowbar and set to work himself.'

Ned:
(Groans, working noises, clanging goes on again) It's starting to give!

Spriggs (from off):
Hello! Who are you, you two characters? Stop! Stop I say!

Bloodnok:
It's a copper.

Spriggs:
I'm not a policeman!

Bloodnok:
I beg your pardon, madam.

Spriggs:
I'm not a policewoman, either!

Bloodnok:
I say, you're cutting it rather fine, aren't you?

Ned:
The newcomer wore a small pair of spectacles, tied to a writing desk with the drawers open.

Spriggs:
Put a curb on your tongue, tongue, tongue - I am Jim Spriggs, author of this book. I put you in it!

Ned:
Right in it!

Spriggs:
Silence!

Bloodnok:
Look here, if you're the author, couldn't you have made me a little younger?

Spriggs:
What?

Bloodnok:
I mean, in Chapter Three I met a delightful young lady, but alas, me fires had gone out.

Spriggs:
Do not worry. I've made sure you don't get any older.

Bloodnok:
(relieved) Oh!

Spriggs:
On the next page you're run over by a steamroller, lad!

Bloodnok:
Ooowwww!

Ned:
Mister author, I implore you, I've got to get that safe open!

Spriggs:
Fear not, little Jim! (sings) Fear not, little Jimmmmm! I will write you a new character who will assist you: (typing) 'The door opened, and a virile figure leapt into the centre of the room.'

Bluebottle:
Hello, captin! Springes into center of room, spring!

Spriggs:
Stay a moment, steaming lad. Did I write you in?

Bluebottle:
Yes!

Spriggs:
It's no good. I shall have to go to the country for a long rest.

Grams:
door slams shut

Ned:
And who are you, little blotchy lad?

Bluebottle:
I will show you: moves right, keeping hole in seat of trousers away from vulgar gaze of audience. Now then, whip whip whip! Takes off false boots, revealing -- false feet!

Orchestra:
Short fanfare with cymbal

Spike: Hoy!

Ned:
So that's who you are. Footo!

Bluebottle:
Yes! Secret agent Bluebottle, the mastermind behind the second Finchley wolf cubs!

Ned:
Yes - but can you blow open the safe?

Bluebottle:
Just you watch me. (blows into mike) No, I cannot blow it open. Wait a moment - I know what I shall do! I shall insert my liquorice into the keyhole.

Ned:
But we need an explosive.

Bluebottle:
Liquorice IS an explosive.

Ned:
No, no - we daren't risk any loud explosions. The author might hear us.

Bluebottle:
I have got an idea. Electric light bulb lights up above head. Flash flash, flash it goes! I have got a packet of silent TNT which I readed about in Black Claw, Emperor of the Universe, in a boy's mag, costs tuppence with free elastic and cardboard jet fighter.

Ned:
Silent TNT! Quick, light it little pimply lad, and put it under the safe.

Ellington:
No no no, wait. First let me sing my bit, then I can clear off mate.

Musical Interlude:
The Ray Ellington Quartet

Ned:
Right! Now light the fuse of the silent TNT!

Grams:
fuse lighting sound

Ned:
Quick! Everyone out! Let's go!

Omnes:
hubbub noises

Grams:
running footsteps

Ned:
Wait!

Eccles:
What?

Ned:
We're still in the room!

Bloodnok:
Of course we are, I'm still wearing it.

Ned:
Quick! Get this room off!

Grams:
doors opening and closing

Omnes:
rhubarb, under:

Wallace:
Dear listeners, I don't know about you, but I find this all rather far-fetched. As soon as it's all over, I'm going to tell John Snagge.

Flowerdew:
Oh, you BBC devil, you!

Ned:
Bluebottle - how do I know when the silent TNT has exploded?

Bluebottle:
Oh, I never thought of that. I suppose that, when you hear nothing, that's it.

Ned:
Can't anybody hear it explode?

Bluebottle:
Only idiots.

Grams:
Huge explosion

Bluebottle:
Did you hear anything, Captain?

Ned:
No.

Bluebottle:
Good. 'Cuz only idiots can hear explosions like that.

Grams:
Running footsteps approaching

Eccles:
Here! What was that big explosion! It blew me backwards out of my underpants! I'm back to front now - for Christmas, of course.

Ned:
So you heard it too?

Eccles:
Yeah.

Bloodnok:
No comment. Help me on with this room and we'll see if it's safe's blown open.

Grams:
door opens

Moriarty:
Hands up, you steaming fools!

Grytpype-Thynne:
Yes Neddie, that was only a recording of a silent explosion, specially written in without the author's knowledge.

Ned:
Oh? Well, two can play at that game!

Moriarty:
What do you mean?

Ned:
(typing) 'Moriarty's finger squeezed the trigger, but there was only a hollow -'

Grams:
clank

Moriarty:
Sapristi! He's written in an empty gun for me!

Grytpype-Thynne:
Never mind. (typing) 'before Seagoon could alter the next line, Grytpype-Thynne and Moriarty were already on the motorboat, speeding up the Amazon River, with the compromising X-ray photo safely in the hold.'

Spriggs:
What's going on here, Jim? (sings) Going on heeeere? What are those men doing sailing up the Amazon river in my book? (sings) don't you dare change another woooord.

Bloodnok:
Hands up, Mister author.

Spriggs:
What? Oh, you great big leaping crab, you, don't be a fool! Drop that typewriter!

Bloodnok:
(types) 'The author turned and left the room.'

Spriggs:
I don't -

Grams:
door slams

Bloodnok:
There, that's got rid of him.

Ned:
Now what?

Bluebottle:
Can I have a go at the typewriter, Captain? (types, very slowly) 'in a matter of sectonds, blunebottons was at the helm of a powerful elastic-driven speedboat, chasing the naughty Grytpype-Thynnes up the Amadon. But suddenly, they was attacked by Black Claw and his Chinese pirates from the boys mag'.

Grams:
battle sounds up over speedboat noises

Ned:
You blithering idiot! Look what you've written us into! Quick, swim for the bank.

Bloodnok:
Not there, I'm overdrawn.

Grams:
splashes

Eccles:
Let me help you out.

Ned:
Eccles! How did you get ashore?

Eccles:
I walked across on that log.

Ned:
That's not a log, that's a crocodile!

Eccles:
Ooooo. I wondered why my legs kept getting shorter.

Wallace:
Listeners will note that that was a repeat of a joke first heard on the Goon Show, second series, 1952. Repeated by special request of the authors. I should like to remind listeners that there are now only 364 shopping days to Christmas.

Ned:
Good heavens! We must hurry!

Henry:
Water, water...

Ned:
Mister Crun! How did you get out here?

Henry:
Somebody gave Min a typewriter, and here I am!

Ned:
Well, we're completely lost.

Henry:
I suspect the listeners are, too.

Ned:
We must find our way to Chapter Ten.

Eccles and Bluebottle:
We must find our way to Chapter Ten.

Ned:
Thank you and good night Gladys Young. (giggling) We must find our way to Chapter Ten, that's where Grytpype's heading for. Come on, and keep your eyes open for a 211A bus.

Eccles:
What for?

Ned:
It goes right past Brixton jail.

Henry:
Why do you want to go right past there?

Ned:
Well, I don't want to go IN.

Spriggs:
Seagoon! Oh Seagoon!

Ned:
It's the author!

Bloodnok:
Thank heavens! I say, look here, could you write us in a good dinner - we're starving, you know.

Spriggs:
Don't worry, steaming lads. I've written a happy ending for you all on the next page, so go on, (sings) turn it oveeerrrr.

Grams:
pages turning

Grams:
wedding bells, wedding march on organ

Minister:
I now pronounce you Neddie Seagoon and you Gladys Minkwater man and wife - and leave you to discover which is which.

Ned:
Oh, and we lived happily ever after.

Bluebottle (over slow typing):
'But even as Seagoon and his - mallionharess bride stepped outside, she noticed in the crowd a certain handsome virile youth: Wolfcub Bluebottle. So she ran over to his car and...'

Grams:
car revving up and away

Ned:
Come back! Who gave him that typewriter? You're too young for that sort of thing!

Bluebottle (off):
That's what you think! Yeeheehee!

Orchestra:
theme music

Greenslade:
That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded program 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 Stevens. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The program produced by Pat Dixon.

Orchestra:
theme music off