Though the episodes may not be as famous as The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler of Bexhill-On-Sea or Ill Met by Goonlight (my personal, all-time favorite), the four episodes of goonery on this disc are "bust a gut funny." As in many of the other episodes you can actually hear the lads having a good time while they were recording- and that makes all the difference. Too many comedians (I am one by profession) treat comedy as something they HAVE to do, not WANT to do. The Goons sound like they are having the time of their life recording these episodes. THE GREATEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD pits Sir Harry Seagoon against nature as he attempts to climb a mountain even higher than Everest. Their atempts to build the mountain- in Hyde Park don't work as planned, so they end up climbing Mount Fred- under the ocean! THE MYSTERY OF THE MARIE CELESTE (SOLVED) is a seafaring adventure not at all in the style of C.S. Forrester. Ned Seagoon goes looking for the answer to the mystery of the missing Marie Celeste after being offered 5000 pounds. Grytpype-Thynne says, "Pull up a bollard" a whole bunch of times- and it's always funny. THE SPANISH SUITCASE is a silly little espionage type tale about a suitcase, morris dancing, flamingo, Madrid and Spanish prisons. Ole'! THE LAST TRAM (FROM CLAPHAM) is a Rod Serling type drama (okay, not really- but sort of...) about the forgotten number 33 tram and it's driver (wait for it!) Henry Crun. It's up to Neddie to solve the mystery... heaven help us. All four shows were produced by Peter Eton and written by Eric Sykes and Spike Milligan, except THE GREATEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD, which is Milligan solo. The mastering of these episodes is wonderful.Read more ›
Spike writes a style of radio comedy that is unmatched. Take a look at the amount of Goon Shows released. Why are there so many out there? IT'S BRILLIANT. I wish Monty Python would get out of the stores in the USA and replace it with this cracking wit. BUY IT.
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I'm in for the dreaded deading this time3 May 2009
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Format: Audio CD
The Goon Show, a now quite vintage British comedy radio show from the 1950's has been cited as highly influential by a number of later performers. Certainly anybody familiar with the work of The Goodies and Monty Python will see some of their lineage in the work of The Goons.
Released originally as double cassette collections (the BBC was a bit slow catching up with the times) these things are now available as double disc collections with two 1/2 hour episodes per CD. Alas at no point was it deemed worthwhile to put the episodes in chronological order. So anoraks such as myself at least have some pedantic point to complain about!
Regardless, the four episodes contained in Volume 8 show the performers of Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers in fairly consistent form delivering the scripts written by Spile Milligan and Eric Sykes (Sykes co-wrote three of these episodes) with verve and impeccable timing ably assisted by announcer Wallace Greenslade.
The four episodes here are fairly strong - The Greatest Mountain in the World gets things off to a good start, The Mystery of the Marie Celeste (solved) continues the quality and both The Spanish Suitcase and The Last Tram (from Clapham) are good examples of what this mob were all about. I seem to recall the last episode in particular being repeated a few times on ABC radio in Australia, so it must of been getting requested or been a favourite with the programme director.
Not a bad starting place for the newcomer to the Goons, and there are no profanities to be found anywhere but total newbies may find proceedings can be a little confusing with the relentless stream of consciousness style of comedy on display here.