Almost All the Goons
This is somewhat of a rarity.
As readers of these pages well-know, I'm a major fan of the late Sir Harry Secombe, whose probably best-known to at least American audiences for playing 'Mr. Bumble,' in the Oscar-winning Best Picture Oliver! But he came to fame in England as part of the famed The Goon Show on BBC Radio in the 1950s, along with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, who wrote all the scripts, a program which the folks of Monty Python acknowledge as one of their major inspirations.
This is an interview with two of the folks in 1987, Sir Harry and Spike -- Peter Sellers had alas passed away at that point. The host is Terry Wogan.
I should note that there is a video clip that they show near the beginning, which is of the famous reunion show the three men did of the Goons in the 1972. It's titled, The Last Goon Show of All. As it happens, Sellers had such a good time that he agreed to do another reunion, and it was planned for the early 1980s, but unfortunately he died a bit before it was to take place. In the clips from the reunion, you'll hear the audience laughing uproariously at a joke at the end delivered by Milligan, having to do with a well, and wonder why. Just know that it was one of the most-famous catchphrases from the program, so it's applause of remembrance and appreciation.
Spike Milligan was notorious for being...how shall we put it?, outlandish and unfocused, going off on all manner of tangents, and at the beginning of the interview you can see Secombe slightly covering for him a bit. But as it goes on, Milligan seems to be having a good time and the interview actually turns out rather nicely.
(By the way, I was pleased to hear Spike Milligan's answer about who 'Eccles' -- perhaps the most iconic of all the Goon characters, and the first voice you hear at the beginning of this video when they show the old reunion clip -- was based on. Indeed it was one of the very few Goon characters based elsewhere. I was particularly pleased since his explanation of who is, as long-time readers here know, as well, one of my all-time faves.)
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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