THE MISSING BOA CONSTRICTOR
GOON SHOW: TLO 24999
7TH SERIES: No 24
BROADCAST: 28 Mar 1957
By: Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens
Greenslade: This is the BBC. We interrupt the Goon Show for the following announcement.
Sellers: (funereal) Ladies and Gentlemen, the Goon Show.
Greenslade: Thank you. And now, the Goon Show. During this programme it is advisable to have within easy reach an inner tube, a picture of a liquorish factory and a spare pair of trousers. Ah ha ha ha ha! Better safe than sorry, eh?
Seagoon: Ah ha ha ha ha ha! Very funny Mister Greensleeves! Just hold this missing boa constrictor while I announce the Goon Show.
ORCHESTRA: Thin chord on trumpet and snare drum.
Seagoon: What, what what what what what what what what what what?! Whats happened to the band? Wheres Wally Stotts lot then Wal?
Greenslade: Thats our new economy cut orchestra; fourteen men playing one instrument.
Seagoon: Please Mister Greenslade, I get the laughs in this show I wear the funny body. Now, just make the old posh announcement there
OMNES: Various encouraging cries Good luck there Wal! etc
Greenslade: Do you mind! Quiet please, thank you. Right now then, just hold this boa constrictor
Bloodnok: (off) Ohhhhhhh!
Greenslade: now: ladies and gentlemen, the Goon Show part one.
OMNES: Distant crowd noises and shouts continue under
Sellers: (BBC announcer on location) And here, on this glorious eighth of march, I can see the minister of transport mounting the dais wearing his chain of tether as he prepares to inaugurate Birminghams new inner ring road scheme by blowing up a brick wall which was specially built for the occasion.
Seagoon: Hello folks! Hello folks!! I was there that day trying to raffle a boa constrictor. Tickets! Tickets! Tickets for a boa constrictor! (Going off)
Cyril: Do you mind getting that large worm out the way? Im trying to hear the minister talking.
GRAMS: (Recording of Milligan delivering incomprehensible opening speech. Too much reverb, sounds like its coming from various speakers.)
OMNES: Desultory cries of Here, here.
Sellers: and with the crowd lashed into a frenzy by the power of his words, the Minister presses the plunger.
GRAMS: Explosion. Bits and pieces falling. Sounds of fire alarms.
Seagoon: As the wall disintegrated two men in pyjamas appeared from the debris.
Moriarty: What .what .what what happened?
Moriarty: Ehi ehi ehh hi owwww.... (extended)
Grytpype: Moriarty, dont you dare do that again!
Moriarty: I didnt do anything! Look
Grytpype: Yes you did, you went Owwwww!
Moriarty: I did, I know! But look .Listen to me you fool!
Moriarty: Were ruined.
Grytpype: Yes I know. Were homeless, destitute and penniless.
Moriarty: Not a penny!
Seagoon: Good morning gentlemen.
Moriarty: Whats he mean gentlemen?
Seagoon: Care to buy a raffle ticket for a boa constrictor?
Grytpype: Im sorry. Our boa constrictor has already got one.
Moriarty: Yes. In any case, little gentleman, we havent any money. Weve been rendered homeless, homeless, by an explosion called bang.
Seagoon: What, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what, what! What! Home? That was a wall.
Grytpype: I know. We always live in walls. Its cheaper.
Seagoon: Im sorry gentlemen, but you realise that that wall was the last obstacle in the way of our new road through Birmingham for which I have the contract.
Grytpype: I hate to frighten you but I happen to know that there is another obstacle right in the path of your new road.
Seagoon: Ah ha ha! Name it!
Grytpype: Its already got a name, Neddy. Its called hello folks and I quote from this careful plan of a robbery, the Birmingham Town Hall.
Seagoon: What! (Hello folks!) Very well, well have to explode that too.
Grytpype: No, no, no, Neddy! No!
Moriarty: No, Neddy, no, no!
Grytpype: Dont do such a thing. Youre making the dear Count steam! Only one part of the Town Hall lies in the path of your road the city treasures safe.
Seagoon: But hed never agree to me blowing his safe up!
Grytpype: But he already has, Neddy my dear laddy! And as long as you do it secretly at dead of night, without his knowledge, he is perfectly agreeable.
Seagoon: Splendid. Ha ha! Just hold this boa constrictor and Ill meet you there at midnight on the stroke of two.
ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link.
Greenslade: At midnight, Seagoon had rendezvous with an explosion expert.
Seagoon: Psst! Pssst!
Eccles: Mr Seagoon! I didnt recognize you.
Seagoon: I didnt recognize you either. Come to think of it, weve never met before.
Eccles: Oh! Well that explains it I suppose.
Seagoon: Now then. Have you got the dynamite?
Eccles: Yes, I got the .
GRAMS: Loud explosion
Eccles: Oh. Well, Ill go and get some more.
Seagoon: You shattered fool! Dont worry, Ive got some. Now, Ill go inside and you wait out here.
Eccles: Ok then. Off you go then. (Calling off) Mind the big door oh...and theres a step down near the wash-room. Be careful of that. (Louder) Oh-a, and mind the hat stand in the middle of the last chamber. (Very loudly) Dont you worry, Ill keep my eyes open for you, dont worry!
Seagoon: (Close to mic) Yes. Well Ill go in now.
Eccles: Ohhh! I didnt see you standing there. Oooo! Can you see in the dark, Mister Seagoon?
Seagoon: I can see in the dark very well, my dear fellow. In the RAF they used to call me Cats-eyes-Seagoon. You know why?
Eccles: No. Why?
Seagoon: Because I was the same size as a cat. Aha ha ha ha ha! Cat-sized Seagoon! Aha ha ha ha ha! Ahem.
GRAMS: Fanfare on awful music hall piano.
Seagoon: Eccles! Put that piano down. We want no killing on this job. And dont forget, (hello folks), Im going in there and you sing to cover the noise of the explosion.
Eccles: OK. Ahem. (Improvises badly in C major. Ends with, Ive got my legs to keep me warm.)
Willium: Ello, ello! Whats-a going on ere? I er, appremend you for singeing in a doorway without a licence.
Eccles: Just a miniute my good constabiule. I got a licence.
Willium: You got a licence have you?
Willium: Here, wait a minute. Let me see. (extended) Wait, Ill just get my glasses. Here my good man. This is a doge licence!
Eccles: I know. Its cheaper than a singing licence.
Willium: Well, you cant sing with this licence. You only allowed to bark or owl.
Eccles: O.K. then constabiule. I wont break the law. Ill imitate a dog then. (barks)
GRAMS: Truck approaching at speed. Pulls up with squeal of brakes. Running boots. Eccles abruptly stops.
FX: door closes
GRAMS: truck driving away at speed
GRAMS: phone rings
FX: phone picks up
Official: (Sellers) Hello. Mister Seagoon?
Official: Battersea dogs home here. Theres a man here who claims hes your dog.
FX: phone down
Seagoon: Curse! Ive lit the fuse. What to do?
Grytpype: Neddie. You claim your friend and we shall wait for the explosion and remove that naughty-type safe.
Grytpype: But first, heres your missing boa-constrictor, (hello folks!) which is about to do an impression of Max Geldray.
Greenslade: The goon show, part two.
Grytpype: There she goes Moriarty, the Birmingham treasurers safe.
Moriarty: Ha ha. Good, good. Now folks, lets count Birminghams massive wealth.
FX: two coins dropping
Grytpype: Half each! Oh, at last were in the money, Moriarty!
Moriarty: I never knew Birmingham was so rich!
Grytpype: Hello folks!
Seagoon: Hello folks! Gentlemen, Im sorry I missed the explosion.
Grytpype: Neddie, (hello folks!) we have a confession to make to you. That bang-type explosion was in the nature of a safe-cracking.
Seagoon: You mean Ive committed a criminal-type robbery?
Grytpype: Yey type (hello folks!) yes Neddie.
Moriarty: Oui type yes, yah!
Seagoon: This means the end of an extinguished career. All my life, (hello folks) - all my life Ive worked and slaved to build the ring road in Birmingham. This was to make my fortune.
Moriarty: Ohh, little steaming welsh ball, you HAVE made your fortune. (Wheres that prop?) Little hairy Neddie, listen Neddie, see this gramophone record?
Moriarty: This gramophone record is the rarest in the world of gramophones. Its worth a fortune, ah ha ha ha ha ha, a fortune, ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, a fortune.
Grytpype: Its a rare recording of Greigs A minor piano concerto played by Chopin.
Seagoon: What makes it so valuable?
Grytpype: LEGS Chopin! Dont you realise, Neddie, its played on a legs piano!
Moriarty: Yes, and Neddie for this record you can name your own price! Neddie, ah ha haw haw oh oh auch .
Grytpype: (aside) Dont steam so much Moriarty. (Aloud) But for the time being you must lay low.
Seagoon: Right. Ill get my head down.
Grytpype: Not here, you fool! In the corner of some foreign field
Moriarty: that is forever Acton.
Seagoon: Right! Eccles! Saddle that boa-constrictor. Giddup there!
GRAMS: horses hooves galloping into distance. chicken clucking. All speeded up gradually
Greenslade: Listeners may doubt the authenticity of this sound; a boa-constrictor galloping. If the truth be known, a horse covered with a snake skin was used to simulate the sound. As for the chicken noise, we can only apologise. And now we join Seagoon in his country hide-out.
GRAMS: distant bird noises. (Recording: SPRIGGS: singing rubbish to the tune of Greensleeves, with Flute accompaniment. He ends with the words dear old Greenslade.)
Seagoon: Thank you Mister DEverleigh. Yes, it was a lovely old sixteenth century Tudor ditch. It had been modernized and had running water laid on.
Bloodnok: Ooooohhhh! Owwwwwahggg! Owwwwwwhhh!
Seagoon: Major Bloodnok! How dare you drop on me from a great height!
Bloodnok: Neddie! We must be neighbours. You know, I live across the road. You see that pig-sty?
Bloodnok: Well you see the big Manor house behind it?
Bloodnok: Well I live in the pig-sty.
Seagoon: I havent seen you around since the case of the missing compost heap.
Bloodnok: Yes, well, you see Im just hiding here til it all blows over, you know.
Seagoon: It blows over me every night.
Bloodnok: I know, I know. Youd think theyd nail it down.
Seagoon: Well, make yourself at home Major. Here, lie down in this chair.
Bloodnok: No thank you. Im quite comfortable kneeling on this wash-stand, thank you.
Seagoon: Bloodnok! Im going to let you into a secret. Just listen to this record. Its the only recording of a record in the world of Chopin in person on a record recording in the world of Chopin
GRAMS: Recording: Hollow recording of bad dance hall jazz.
Bloodnok: You fool! You military fool! Thats not Chopin playing.
Seagoon: Are you sure?
Bloodnok: Of course Im sure. Chopins dead. It cant be him.
Seagoon: Just to make sure Ill put the record on and ask him.
GRAMS: Continuation of bad dance hall recording.
Seagoon: Stop! Im sorry to interrupt but Ive been told youre not Chopin.
GRAMS: Recording; Spriggs: What! I tell you I am, Sir! I aaaaaaam. I am Chopin.
Seagoon: Have you any proof?
GRAMS: Recording; Spriggs: Yes, my birth certificate, certificaaaaaaaate, is on the other side.
Bloodnok: Right! Well then put it on.
GRAMS: Recording; FX: Boinnnng. Milligan: I name this child Fred Chopin. Big splash.
Little Jim: Hes fallen in the water.
Seagoon: Thank you little Jim!
Bloodnok: I tell you Seagoon, this record is a fake.
Seagoon: But the hole in the middle looks genuine.
Bloodnok: Look, any hatter knows that all you have to do is to take it to ye house of wax records for authentification.
Seagoon: Right! Hold this brown boa-constrictor.
ORCHESTRA: Dramatic link
Greenslade: Neddie proceeded to London hot-foot, a common complaint in the Seagoon family. He was bound for a certain little music shop.
FX: Door opening
Crun: Oh, good um good morning, um...
Seagoon: Neddie Seagoon, hello-folks!
Crun: Good morning Neddie-Seagoon-Hello-Folks!
Seagoon: I believe you are a dealer in instruments and records.
Crun: Yes. What about an all rubber euphonium with fitted carpets?
Seagoon: An all rubber euphonium with fitted carpets!!
Crun: Im sorry sir, theyre out of stock. You cant get the wood you know. Now here is something it fit everybodys pocket.
Seagoon: What is it?
Crun: (ancient cackling) A lining! Oh ho ho ho ho! (Further ancient cackling)
FX: Body falls to the floor.
Minnie: Oh dear! Hes fainted.
Seagoon: Yes, and at the exact moment in which you hit him with that hammer. Lift him in the direction of up while I bring him in the direction of round.
Minnie: Right. Ohhh Henry, Henry. Ohhhh Henry. Speak to me Henry. Speak to me about your will.
Seagoon: Steady, hold this bottle of Ray Ellington under his nose.
Greenslade: The Goon Show part three. Seagoon goes to Scotland Yard.
Inspector: GRAMS: bagpipes under. You say that youre partly responsible for the Birmingham safe robbery.
Seagoon: Yes, but it was all a trap.
Inspector: GRAMS: bagpipes under. Oh dear, dear, dear, oh dear!
Seagoon: Yes, Ive been a fool. (With feeling) Yes, Ive been a fool. (Dramatic pause) Ive been a fool. A real fool.
Inspector: GRAMS: bagpipes under. If you think Im going to contradict you, youre wrong.
Seagoon: I tell you Inspector Bernstein, if we can find these two men Ill prove my innocence.
Inspector: GRAMS: bagpipes under. Now then, would these two men recognize you if they saw you again?
Seagoon: GRAMS: bagpipes under. Well I think the .
Inspector: GRAMS: bagpipes under. Put them pipes doon!
FX: Telephone rings
Seagoon: Hello! What? Yes! Good! Right!
FX: Phone down
Seagoon: A bit of luck. Theyve found the safe!
Inspector: Harrrrghned nack the noorrrgh!
Seagoon: Harrrgh too!
Inspector: After it on this boa constrictor.
GRAMS: Train whistle; engine speeding off; all at terrific speed. Recording: (Milligan:) Cockerel crowing. Gunshot. Giant splash. Metal spring. Fred the oyster. Pane of glass breaking. Old gramophone recording of The Shanghai Fox Trot. Mix in corny military fanfare. Champagne cork-popping. Duck quack.
Greenslade: Im afraid youll have to work that one out for yourselves. Meanwhile in a field in Kent, a boy scout stands guard over the safe.
Bluebottle: Halt! Who goes there?
Greenslade: Silly boy, silly boy! Im only the announcer.
Bluebottle: Then what are you doing in a field in Kent?
Greenslade: Im not really in a field in Kent
Greenslade: (shadowed by Bluebottle) ...it just so happens that I was merely announcing in the .Shut up!
Bluebottle: Shut up!
Greenslade: (shadowed by Bluebottle) announcing in the studio, the next Will you shut up!
Bluebottle: Will you shut up, will you
Greenslade: (shadowed by Bluebottle) which happens to be a field...Will you Oh, Im fed up with this wiry idiot.
Bluebottle: Oh, do not be angry at bonttle. I was only doing my best-type acting cause Gladys Bowels is listening tonight.
Greenslade: May I ask, who is Gladys Bowls?
Bluebottle: She is my Mistress at school. (Very close to mic.) Hello Miss Bowels. This is me talking on the electric wireless. Ehhheehehehehehe!
Seagoon: Shut up.
Bluebottle: Shut up!
Seagoon: Shut up. Here, tie a knot in this string and swallow it. Gentlemen of the police - this is the safe. How do you suggest we open it?
Inspector Bernstein: Arrgh. Harrrun.
Jampton: Rubbish. Extended.
Seagoon: We tried that but it failed.
Jampton: Further rubbish.
Seagoon: Ive got it! Ive got it!! Eccles. Place this gelignite under the lock
GRAMS: Burning fuse. Continue under.
Seagoon: Right! All run for it!
GRAMS: Boots running into distance. Lock being shaken. Squeaky door opening. Sawing of timber.
Moriarty: Oh, ho ho ho!
Grytpype: Close that safe door Moriarty. Its draughty.
Moriarty: Wait a minute Grytpype! I thought I smelt something exploding.
Grytpype: Smelt something exploding?
Grytpype: Nonsense. Its too near the end of the show for an explo
GRAMS: Massive explosion
Seagoon: Curse! The explosion has blown the door off the safe.
Moriarty: Its also blown the safe off the door. Awwwww .
Seagoon: Look! Those were the two men.
Grytpype: Quick Moriarty, bury that fourpence.
Seagoon: Eccles, cover them with this missing boa constrictor.
Eccles: Ok you naughty man, hands up! This boa constrictor is loaded. Hand back Birminghams fourpence.
Grytpype: Very well, I give in. Your boa constrictor is much bigger than mine.
Grytpype: Still, here is your fourpence back.
GRAMS: Large splash
Seagoon: You you threw it in the water!
Grytpype: Yes. Weve gone into voluntary liquidation.
Seagoon: Dont worry. Any bank will cash that water, especially the river bank. And with the money (Get your hats and coats on lads, here it comes. Were getting near it now.) and with the money, Birminghams ring road goes through.
ORCHESTRA: Tatty chord in C
Greenslade: Ladies and gentlemen, if you werent satisfied with that ending youll be glad to know that neither were we.
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. The program produced by Pat Dixon.