The Goon Show
The Childe Harolde Rewarde

Transcribed by Debby Stark (

You rotton swine, you!
- Bluebottle

First air: December 8, 1958

Greenslade: This is the BBC

Secombe: Mr. Sellers? Forward with your hand-knotted legs.

Sellers: My music, please, minstroon.

FX: music

Sellers: Ah, that music! It's 1899 and always on time. It comes from Winchell See in the heart of the Brown country, a typical English village with a population of 8 million, two-thirds under seven.  From time to time, nothing happened.

Seagoon: But it always gets into the Sunday papers, mate! [laughs]

[Many laugh and growl]

Voice: I don't suppose we'll ever stop it in Winchell See! [laughs]

FX: baby crying, cows mooing

Minnie: Itsy bitsy, dear little... there, there, there, there.

Henry: Dib, dib, dib, dib.

Minnie: Dibble, dibble, oh

Both: Dip, dibble, clue

Henry: Min?

Minnie: Hmm?

Henry: Look. One tooth.

Minnie: So you have, Henry.

Henry: How many months is he now, Min?

Minnie: 439.

Henry: So he's 37 years old, is he?

Minnie: Yes. Dib, dib... dib.

Seagoon: Listen, Auntie bare knuckle hand, I know you love children, but isn't it time I was weaned?

Henry: Listen, Min, he's trying to talk!

Minnie: Oh.

Both: [baby talk]

Seagoon: I can't go on kipping in this pram, it's had ten extensions already! People are starting to talk!

Minnie: There, there.

Seagoon: Another thing: I can't go on wearing nappies any longer!

Henry: Long nappies are a must with you.

Minnie: Oh!

Seagoon: It's embarrassing, I tell you! Look, look what happened to me in the pultrons last night!

Henry: You won a spot prize.

Seagoon: Yes, but what a spot to pick!

Minnie: Oh!

Henry: Let's go in and I'll show you how to bend mangoes. Oh, what with leather, Min [fades]

Minnie: [mumbles]

Seagoon: They've gone in, folks [laughs]. Now's my chance to escape! I'll knot me nappies and slide down the pram! Whoop! No! That would leave me starkers! And there's frost about!

FX: piano music

Major: [singing] "I travel the road, I travel the road, I travel the road, in a military way." [bang] Oh, oh! "I travel the road, I travel the road (he travels the road) I travel the road, in a military way" [speeds up] "All day long you'll see me, down the old road, and when you see me, I am on the road, away!"

Seagoon: What luck! Here comes a man pushing himself along on a piano! I must say, he's a funny shape.

Major: Oh, me frogs, and sorts me plue! What's this? Where's me regimental tape measure. Oh! Three foot by three? Either it's a tall child or a short man.

Seagoon: I'm the latter.

Major: Oh! We must be related, I'm a former latter you know. I retired, the strain became too much for me, oh.

Seagoon: Then those lumps on your head are not fakes.

Major: What a practiced eye you have.

Seagoon: It's been practicing all day. Listen!

Major: Really?

Seagoon: [sings] do rey me fa so la ti dooooh!

Major: Oh, yes.

Seagoon: [continues ohhh!]

Major: Yes, yes. That lovely thing around your neck.

Seagoon: A gold chain. It belonged to my mother's throat

FX: sawing sound, breaking, falling

Major: Woops! Oh, ho, ho, ho, dear, dear, it's broken and what do you know? It's fallen straight into old Dennis's [deep?] pocket Oh! Oh! Dear, dear, dear. Oh, ho, ho. Do you believe in miracles, lad?

Seagoon: Help me escape and you can keep it!

Major: I will not be party to such a crime! Let me tell you, sir, that I am in the process of finding King Arthur's lost sword!

Seagoon: Let me join you! I'm facing in the same direction, what could be better batter butter [etc, to strangled sound]

Major: Spoons on you, spoons!

Seagoon: Splins!

Major: Have you ever had any experience in King Arthur's sword finding?

Seagoon: Yeah, well, I took a course in it at Oxford, you know, and

Major: Oh!

Seagoon: and was sent down with flying colors and a pound of 24-hour, quick-dry licorice.

Major: Really?

Seagoon: Yes!

Major: Oh! But does your granny wear a bowler?

Seagoon: Fine-saddle!

Major: Then you're my man! Come now, hold this outboard motor!

FX: motor speeds up and fades away

Minnie: Help, murder! Thieves! Oh, dear, oh, the child gone, gone and never called me mother.  Hello, dialing, dialing. Hello? Police! Eh? Hello? Station Master: Hello?

Minnie: Hello?

SM: Police, riot and fire station here.

Minnie: Oh. [mumbles]

SM: Hurry up, ma'am, I'm in the bath.

Minnie: Oh. I won't look. Are you, are you the police?

SM: No, I'm the Station Master. I'll get him.

Minnie: Good, good.

Constable: Hello, Constable here.

Minnie: You were the, you were the Station Master!

Constable: I was, but I changed me hat.

Minnie: Oh. Child Harold has been stolen!

Constable: What? Little 'arold?

Minnie: Little Harold.

Constable: The light of Flynn Street, gone? I'll save him, ma! Now then, any unusual marks on his body there?

Minnie: Yes, there's a pair of legs that don't reach the ground.

constable: So we're looking for a lad with a space underneath. I'll save him, mum - click!

Minnie: "Click!"?

Constable: Yeah, I'm hanging up.

Minnie: Oh. I'll come 'round and cut you down then.

FX: music

Seagoon: Hello, folks! Hello, folks! Calling, folks! It's Neddy again! We now perchance upon two men reclining in a deserted crow's nest, listening to a deserted wireless program. Hup!

FX: 2Os music

Wireless Announcer: Yes, it's Bert Trusser and His Late-night Golden Silver Strings. At this time of the year, it's when a young man's fancy turns to love and, well, yes, this young man's fancy turned to love and lovely Tom Links sings: "I Never Knew What Love Could Do" and here it is, and it's called...

FX: piano notes

Links: [sings] "Why, it's cold on the cliffs at midnight, why, it's cold on the cliffs at dawn. I saw on the cliffs at" [speeds up]

FX: splash

Announcer #2: We interrupt that splash to give you a police message: The Child Harold is missing. A reward of four shillings a pound will be paid for his body. At the kidnapping, the child weighed 16 stone.

Thynne: 16 stone and 4 shillings a pound... that's 45 pounds reward, Moriarty.

Moriarty: With that money I can afford to stand up! 45 pounds [shouts babbilously]

Thynne: [tries to speak between babbles, then] Please, Moriarty, keep still, you want us both out of this suit? Now. We must plan a plan during this rendering of Max Geldray's conch.

Max: Oh, boy, my conch is still making the headlines! Whoopee!

Thynne: Conch has spoken!

Musical interlude: "But not for me..."

Major: Whoa, Ned, whoa. Yes, yes. This recorded lake might well be the one in which King

Arthur's sword drowned.

Seagoon: What a terrible death for a sword!

Major: It was in it up to the hilt, you know.

FX: ironic music

Major: Thank you! Now then, I'll lay down and think of you as you schlep around looking for the old food there.

Seagoon: Isn't it risky me walking around the country in a nappy?

Major: Have no fear, Neddy! The district abounds in wet nurses and a 24-hour nappy service.

Seagoon: Then I will return unblemished! [laughs] Farewell!

FX: quacking, fades

Major: and that is exactly what he looks like from the back. Part III, Neddy, further away.

Seagoon: [singing as he marches along] ...trap, trap, trapping along the highway, with your legs all upside down - Gad! What's this under the old cardboard oak tree? A sword in a stone!

Thynne: He's spotted it, Moriarty.

Seagoon: What does the label say? "Excaliber. Read instructions in envelope." [opens envelope] "Whoever pulls the sword from the stone shall be king." King! Gad, I'd stop traffic on buses! [laughs] [pulls]

Thynne: Ah, dear straining lad.

Seagoon: If I could only get this out...

Thynne: Oh. Can we help you?

Seagoon: You know a blacksmith?

Thynne: Follow this road until you reach a blacksmith, and when you get there, ask again.

FX: whoosh, scene-change music, and then a variety of modern music

Bluebottle: Make up your minds, you twits! I've been standing here waiting to start my part.

Orchestra: [argues with him, says shut up]

Bluebottle: Shut up! Shut up, will you? Now then [clears throat] "The Village Blacksmith,' by William Wandsworth. Boil, cauldron, boil. Thou art not unkind, [is named?] in gratitude to Gerald Hairs, of 20 Quert Street Epington. Eh, that's not right, that's not a blacksmith. Come on now, come on! Who's the boy who's been messing around with my part? You rotten part messer, you! Come here, you!

FX: Adult-sounding shoes approach.

Eccles: I'm the anticlimax.

Bluebottle: [laughs] Oh, dear, Eccles, I don't know what to do you with you, man. What's the matter with you, man? What do you got in the parcel then?

Eccles: A bottle of water.

Bluebottle: Oh. I never knew you went in for that kind of thing.

Eccles: Oh, well, when you're earning big money, you know... You know how to fish?

Bluebottle: Yes. Could I see it with the cork out?

Eccles: [opens] There, there, 'bottle.

Bluebottle: Oh, oh. Is that real water?

Eccles: Oh, yeah! I got the maker's guarantee on this record, you listen.

Major: This water is genuine, and any copy of it will be confiscated. Remember, only genuine water makes this sound:

FX: splash

Major: [faster, singing] Buy a bottle of genuine [inaudible] water, today!

FX: splash

Eccles: You can't get... better than that!

Bluebottle: Oh. What are you carrying it about for then, Eccles?

Eccles: Why, it hasn't got legs.

Bluebottle: What about running water?

Eccles: Yes, this water must be a fake! Why that naughty Bloodnok!

FX: whoosh! banging on metal sound

Seagoon: Blacksmith?

FX: [hammer, hammer]

Seagoon: Could you help me to get this sword loose?

Max: Well, I'll hold it, and when I nod my head, you hit it.

Seagoon: Let's get this right... You'll hold it, and when you nod your head, I hit it?

Max: Yeah!

Seagoon: Okay.

Max: Right.

FX: bang on metal

Seagoon: Hurrah, that got it out. [laughs] Hands up all those who thought I was going to hit him on the nut. Well, then. I'm the King of England! All kneel down say after me: I am shorter than Harry Secombe!

Thynne: Your Majesty! We just heard the good news! Allow me to present my credentials.

FX: items falling on floor

Seagoon: What beauties!

Thynne: Yes. The finest set this side of the wash.

Seagoon: [laughs] You could do with one - thank you, loyal subjects! Kneel down and I'll dub you!

FX: bong

Major: You filthy swine!

Seagoon: Arise! Arise, the Rector of Thompson, Hotspur and Chelsea. Moriarty: Mucky, mucky, mucky. Greeting from la France, your Majesty! Your Majesty, your royal robes and your royal choppers.

Seagoon: They're too big!

Thynne: We'll soon fatten you up, lad. Swallow this stuffed elephant down.

Seagoon: [swallows]

FX: elephant trumpet

Seagoon: Ah, delicious!

Thynne: On the royal scales with him!

FX: scales sound

Moriarty: Oh, look.

FX: scales straining sound

Thynne: 83 royal stone!

Moriarty: [writing] 4 shillings a pound, 83 stone... That's 240 pounds reward!

Thynne: [secretly] The heavier, the better, Moriarty! [aloud] Come Ned, nibble this roast mountain down.

Seagoon: [nibbling sounds] Gad, it's wonderful being a king! You can eat things that commoners don't get!

Thynne: And another little fried hippopotamus for you lad!

Seagoon: Oh, thank you! [swallows, strains] Oh! Let the royal minstrel play! musical interlude, "Old Black Magic"

Seagoon: [still eating]

Moriarty: 500 stone, 30 pounds, 4 ounces.

Thynne: A jackpot, Moriarty

Seagoon: Look, I, I can't eat any more, lads, [hiccup] pardon--

FX: phone

Seagoon: [answers] Hello? King Seagoon the First here, speaking from Pond Street, Croydon.

Prime Minister: This is the Prime Minister. Look here, I've looked up your claim. Seagoon: Oh?

PM: And I'm afraid you're not the King of England, you know?

Seagoon: Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

PM: What, what?

Seagoon: But there must be some mistake, I'm, I'm all dressed for the part! I mean, I'm, I'm on the throne!

PM: Sorry, sorry...

Seagoon: So, what am I king of? Croydon?

PM: No, not even that, no.

Seagoon: Oh. Pond Street then?

PM: No, no, no.

Seagoon: Um. What then?

PM: Well, now, look here, what's the number of your house?

Seagoon: 23.

PM: Well, that's it, you're king of 23 Pond Street, Croydon, that's it.

Seagoon: That's better! [laughs] You won't get me scared into abdication, you know!

Major: Knock, knock, knock.

Seagoon: Ah, the door! Come in!

Major: Ah, Ned, what happened, what happened? Where did you get to, you, you naughty thing, I've been laying by the lake for three months in all weathers, but the weather got too much for me, you so, and the wind, you know it...

Seagoon: I bet it was, man. yes, yes, your search is over! I've found the sword Excaliber!

Major: Excaliber to you, too, my dear fellow. Heavy wait a moment! What? Where's me old military magnifying glass... What a second, this is a fake!

Seagoon: Whatwhatwhatwhat -

Major: Look here, "Property of the Touring Company of Nudes, Knees and Shakespeare"!

Seagoon: [cries] This means... This means I have to abdicate! Citizens, 23 Pond Street is now without a king!

Major: I declare it a republic! I say, wait a minute, oh! Look who's, look who's there in the mirror!

Why, it's old Dennis Bloodnok! First president of 23 Pond Street, hooray for Dennis. Moriarty: Hurry, Ned, it's a revolution, they will overthrow the monarchy! Pull this coach on.

FX: horses

Seagoon: Thank you for rescuing me, loyal subjects! I'll see you have tea with me.

Thynne: And you with us! We commence with elephant au gratin and cement pudding.

Seagoon: [eats] Ah, delicious!

FX: weighing

Moriarty: 603 stone, Grytpype!

Seagoon: No more, my lads, please, I, I'm almost bursting!

FX: explosion

Seagoon: Too late! Why? Why have we stopped? Where are we?

Voice: Weeeeee

Seagoon: Help! Not the cradle again!

Thynne: Here, Auntie Min, your child Harold. 613 stone at 4 shillings a pound equals, ah, skeltonfrunderklee pounds reward.

Minnie: He's a fake, my boy only weighs 16 stone.

Thynne: Well, we shall reduce him. Into the steam bath with him, Moriarty!

Moriarty: Ah!

Seagoon: Oh, please, stop [screams]

Thynne: Get the steam on his knees, Moriarty! [laughs] That's it. Look at that stomach vanish, Moriarty!

Seagoon: [screams]

Moriarty: That's got him down, bring him down.

Seagoon: Oh, please, stop! I'm vaporizing with the heat! You can't do this to me, I'm, I'm the King of 23 Pond Street! I'll have you arrested by the royal policeman! [speeds up to inaudibility] My mother.... [screams, winds down]

Moriarty: Ah, he's vaporized now, into this bottle with him. There [pop] Ah, to the Palladium!

Greenslade: The scene: Harry Secombe's dressing room.

FX: dance hall music, knock on door.

Agent: You want an autograph?

Milligan: Yeah, autographs.

Agent: In that cue over there, sonny [cash register]

Eccles: [Arriving from a distance] ...dressing room

Bluebottle: It's hot in here...

Eccles: Yeah, like a drink from my bottle of water?

Bluebottle: No, thanks, Eccles, I'm training to be a desert.

Eccles: Oh.

Moriarty: Hands up, everybody! Drop everything!

Thynne: Yes! Now, listen, Secombe fans, this bottle contains your favorite singer in liquid form!

Secombe: Hello, folks, don't let me down!

Thynne: [aside] Put a cork on it, Moriarty!

FX: pop

Secombe: Oh!

Thynne: Now, we want 1,000 pounds or, we drink him!

Secombe: Don't let him drink me, folks, I shall hate traveling by tube!

Agent: All right, all right, I'll pay!

FX: money falls

Agent: There, 1,000 pounds in big nappy spoon.

Moriarty: Ah! Even better than we thought! Here's your bottle! Off!

FX: Two escaping whooshes

Jim: Harry! Harry! Speak to me! Say something, Harry!

Secombe: Help!

Jim: Hold this bottle while I get a doctor.

Eccles: Okay. [hums]

Bluebottle: Eccles, don't get them bottles mixed up, Eccles.

Eccles: Oh?

Secombe: Can you see it coming, folks, if so, well don't spoil it for me!

FX: bagpipes

Doc: [singing Scotsman]

Voice: Hello, doctor

Doc: [confused sounds] Have no fear, this is a piece of pie. Hey, this is a genuine vintage Secombe and it tastes very ill.

Eccles: [laughs]

Doc: What are you laughing at, what are you laughing at there?

Eccles: Well, I was just ready to in case anybody said something funny.

Doc: [mumbles]

Secombe: Hurry up, I'm catching me death of cold in here. Be sure to [inaudible] the bottles.

Eccles: Oh!

Doc: We've got no time to waste. The only way to restore Mr. Secombe to his normal self is to bring this to the boil, add a pound of leeks...

FX: boiling

Doc: goats milk, a [bunch of?] [inaudible] [by Jones?], a spoon a whirl and [inaudible]

Secombe: [What about some?] brandy?

Doc: Harry Secombe, Harry Secombe, I've just got to bring you to the boil.

FX: boiling, explosion

Doc: That's strange, nothing's happening.

Eccles: Oh, I, I gave you the wrong bottle!

Doc: What, what, what? The other one then, hurry, it's the payoff, hurry.

Eccles: I... I drank it.

Doc: Say `ah'.

Eccles: Ah.

Secombe: [screams] he's had onions for tea!

Doc: Bring the stomach pump

Eccles: Oh no! [inaudible]

Greenslade: Ladies and Gentlemen, in the interests of hygiene, we end this show. Good night, all.

Eccles: Aoooh!

[end music; no regular sign off on my version - D. Stark]