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Audio Comedy Review

Book Cover

The Goon Show
Volume 25 - The Saga of the Internal Mountain


Written by: Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes
Starring: Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan
BBC Audio
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 4056 7772 1
Available 07 April 2008

From 1952 to 1960 the Goons ruled the airwaves, the most celebrated and influential clowns in the history of radio. This collection contains another four classic episodes from 1954 and 1955...

Volume 25 of The Goon Show collects together four classic episodes from the show's early years on two CDs.

The Fireball of Milton Street (originally broadcast 22 February 1955): In the little Kentish village of Milton Street, Henry Crum makes a disturbing discovery: the sun is on fire. Bloodnok decides that Seagoon should go to London to tell the Queen. But Ned only manages to see the Minister of the Crown, Grytpype, who tells him he must build a rocket to go off to the sun, and load it with a barrel of water to put the fire out. Meanwhile, at Milton Street, a dissenter is at work: Bluebottle is spreading the word that the sun is not on fire after all. Can Bluebottle prove it? Will Ned survive his journey into space? And what has become of that crispy bacon we used to get before the war?

The End, or Confessions of a Secret Senna-pod Drinker (originally broadcast 22 March 1955): It is the year skrimpson skrampson and two, and Ned Seagoon has fallen victim to senna-pod tea addiction. In a basement club in East Acton, he awaits the arrival of Count Fred Moriarty, international senna-pod ace and head of the secret senna-pod ring - but then the club is raided by the police, and Ned is forced to flee. Desperate for his fix, he bursts into a doctor's surgery, where Grytpype tells him he must give up the senna-pods and sends him to the Seaview Rest Home, Greenacres. Can he be cured, or will he be driven mad by senna-pod delirium?

The Terrible Revenge of Fred Fu-Manchu (originally broadcast 06 December 1955): Let us turn back the clocks to 1895, the year of the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace. It is the concluding round of the world's international heavyweight saxophone contest, and Fred Fu-Manchu, with his bamboo saxophone, is competing against the British contender Major Bloodnok. When Bloodnok is declared the winner, Fu-Manchu vows revenge on all English people. Back in Outer Mongolia, he concocts a deadly brew that will cause anyone who drinks it to make people explode by pointing their finger. He decants the liquid into a whisky bottle that he leaves in Hyde Park: only for Bloodnok to find it and drink it.

The Saga of the Internal Mountain (originally broadcast 29 March 1954): Lord Hairy Seagoon is tossing and turning in his eggbox when a mystical, ethereal voice speaks to him in a dream. It is Fred Crin, the spirit of adventure, who advises him to gratify his desire for new horizons by climbing Mount Everest - from the inside. Inspired, Seagoon rushes off to the Royal Alpine Club and offers to finance an expedition, but this will cost thirty thousand pounds and he only has two shillings and threepence. After borrowing money from Moriarty, he sails for India to meet the famous mountaineer Major Bloodnok. Will they manage to bore a hole through Everest and make Neddie famous?

This collection has been remastered, but to be honest I couldn't really tell. There seemed to be a fair bit of hiss and the recordings were fairly quiet. Also included are the original instrumental breaks filled by Max Geldray and The Ray Ellington Quartet, as well as the full closing music - which in previous releases is occasionally cut off after the closing fanfare.

I've been a fan of The Goon Show since I discovered audio cassette recordings in my local library as a boy back in the early '80s and it was a treat to listen to these episodes - none of which I'd previously heard.

All four episodes are packed full of the Goons' very own unique (at the time) sense of surreal humour. It's incredible that these episodes have weathered the test of time as well as they have. There's the odd topical gag thrown in, but all the subject are obvious enough (Marilyn Monroe, for example) for a modern audience to get.

Certainly a classic collection I'd recommend purchasing.


Darren Rea

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