The Goon Show
The Flea

Notes <are in angled brackets>
Singing #within hashes#
Anything incomprehensible or obscured is <garbled>

Transcribed by Christopher Thomas (
"I disagree - we were fools long before he came along"


Greenslade: This is the BBC. Ladies and gentlemen, The Goon Show.

Fx: lots of piano music

Seagoon: Gad! Didn't that music do something to you Wallace?

Greenslade: No, but I'd like to do something to that music.

Seagoon: What? You realise, of course, you're talking of Peter Sellers? The world's greatest outdoor pianist? Did you hear that build up I gave you, Mr Sellers?

Sellers: [snoring/brrrrr car-type noise]

Seagoon: [over] I say... Don't tell me you're down to that, in motorcars?

Sellers: No , I've just ordered a new super-spon reversal senna pod, twelve horse power convertable. I was only making that noise, until it arrived. Then it can do it for me. [brrrrrr car-type noise]

Seagoon: [over brrrr-ing] How jolly for you, Fred Sellers.

Sellers: [brrrrrr-up] Hup!

Seagoon: Thankyou. We'll persue to the herm herm and the herm. [that first bit was heavily edited. Probably unfunny adlibbing that was cut] This week the play is entitled...

Fx: great build up fanfare

Seagoon: I've forgotten what it was, now... [giggles]

Greenslade: Allow me...

Milligan: [off] [over] Al-ow ow ow...

Greenslade: ...allow me, you silly little nit.

Milligan: [off] [garbled]

Secombe: [off] What? [hysterical laugh]

Greenslade: We present, we present, The Flea.

Milligan: #Ah, ha, ha, The Flea. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, The Flea.#

Seagoon: [raspberry]

Fx: music

Greenslade: The year: sixteen sixty five. Sixteen sixty five? Good heavens, I must hurry, I'll miss my bus!

Fx: quill and parchment noises

Seagoon: [writing] [garbled] December, sixteen sixty five. Did rise, [garbled], finding much snow without, did put on my belly binder, and warm knees. Sported thereafter with Mrs Fitsimmonds, and did [garbled] me later, the Ward's coffee house, to break my thirst. [?]

Fx: fanfare

Voices: mutter mumble

Daisy: [camp] Oh, good morrow, master Peeps. Cappuchino?

Seagoon: No. Just coffee, Daisy.

Daisy: Black, or white?

Seagoon: White. With a dash of milk.

Daisy: Oh hoho! You tease!

Seagoon: Now, with whom can I make gossip, this chilly morn? I see nobody, though, and nobody sees me. What a coincident, egad, spon, to be sure. Hern hern. Hi diddle dee. Needle nardle noo. Splin splan splon. Ying ton iddle-i-po. And remember, you've got to go owwwww!

Grytpype: How very interesting that was.

Seagoon: I'm sorry, I didn't see you standing in that coffee pot!

Grytpype: I know, we had the lid down.

Seagoon: We? Where's your friend?

Grytpype: He's up the spout.

Moriarty: Owwwwww. You got to go owwwww!

Seagoon: [garbled] He's just been owwwwed.

Grytpype: Yes, it's all the rage! Now, erm, have these two seats been taken?

Seagoon: No, there still here! Hahahaha! Ahahaha. Ahaha. Ahahaha. Ahaha. Ha-ahem.

Grytpype: A charlie!

Seagoon: What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? Bwark! What? What? What? Bwark! [chicken noises]

Grytpype: I was only...

Seagoon: Bwark!

Grytpype: ...nearly, saying that, the other day! This is my friend, Count Jim 'Thighs' Moriarty.

Moriarty: Oww.

Seagoon: A German diplomat is always welcome in England.

Moriarty: What? Sapristinockows! Hairy insult! You insult me, a Frenchman! We must fight a duel.

Fx: bang bang

Moriarty: Honour is satisfied!

Seagoon: And so am I!

Moriarty: Tah dah.

Fx: fanfare

Moriarty: Hoy!

Grytpype: Sir, you will excuse this, steaming Gaul. He is er, given to short temper, as he has no logings for the night.

Seagoon: Er, I can't see a French Count sleeping in the street!

Moriarty: Of course not! I've got up now! Owwwww owwww oww.

Grytpype: He's just been oww, again!

Seagoon: I should like to accomodate you for the night, but...

Moriarty: We accept!

Grytpype: I second that! Moriarty, go and pack the [garbled].

Moriarty: Owwwa'm gonna go an' go an' erm owwwwoooowwoowwo...

Fx: quill and parchment noises

Seagoon: [writing] Did return home, with the two gentlemen. Did not sport with Mrs Fitsimmonds, owing to the cold weather, and the presence French Count and his manager, who occupied my second best bed.

Grytpype: You er, you heard that nice gentleman, Moriarty, put on your second best pyjamas.

Moriarty: Owwwwww...

Grytpype: There he goes again. He never thinks of anything else, these days. By the way, Moriarty, did you notice the brass name plate on our host's door?

Moriarty: Yes! I've got it here!

Grytpype: Hmm, you clever, you clever little vandal, you! You see what it says: Samuel Peeps, Secretary to the Navy. We couldn't have picked a better charlie, for our plan.

Moriarty: Hoiooioioiooooo! Owwwooowooow. Sapristi nadgers! If it works, we'll get rich beyond the dreams of Alwin! [?]

Grytpype: Now, where's Francoise, the flea?

Moriarty: Francoise the flea, is inside my sock. He likes to travel on foot! Hoihoihoihoioooooo! Hoi!

Grytpype: Now, Moriarty, are you sure this flea is reliable?

Moriarty: Reliable? Mon [garbled]. This flea has bitten all the crown heads of Europe, and sometimes lower than that!

Grytpype: You mean, that this flea has royal blood?

Moriarty: Ouiiiii, ouiiiii.

Grytpype: In that case, he might be fussy. We shall have to blindfold him. He must never know, who he's biting. Let's have a look at him...

Moriarty: I'll just unchain him. Whola!

Grytpype: Mmm! Let's see him jump.

Moriarty: Er, Francoise, hup!

Fx: boing boing boing boing boing

Moriarty: [over] Steady, steady. Save your energy, boy. Save it! Steady, steady. Woooaa.

Grytpype: I see he favours the western role. Now, action Moriarty! Chain him to your nightshirt.

Moriarty: Right!

Fx: chains

Moriarty: [over] Ahh, ah, ow!

Grytpype: Now, during the night, on a given signal, Francoise will bite you...

Moriarty: I'm too young!

Grytpype: Moriarty, the reward will be great! You'll be able to retire, Francoise, to stud, on a dog of his own. He'll be able to go..

Moriarty: Oooww, oww.

Grytpype: Thankyou. Now, off you go to ninny byes, while I strum, Max Geldray.

Moriarty: [over Max] Oooww, Max Geldray...


Max Geldray


Moriarty: Thank you. And now, ooooiohohooo!

Fx: door opening

Moriarty: [over] My pectorals!

Seagoon: What oh-s, what oh-s, my many screaming guests.

Grytpype: Mr Peeps! The Count Jim 'Thighs' Moriarty has been bitten by one of your English fleas.

Seagoon: There are no fleas in my house.

Grytpype: No? Moriarty, bend down and show the gentleman the bites.

Seagoon: Nonsense! This bedding is flea free. It's burnt twice a day!

Grytpype: Oh! Then what's this on the sheets?

Seagoon: Let me see... [reading] Siberian Railways.

Moriarty: Proof positive! No wonder there's fleas.

Grytpype: Master Peeps, I must warn you. Anything you take down, will be up-rooted, replanted in Trafalgar Square, and used in evidence, against you.

Fx: fanfare

Moriarty: Hoi!

Fx: quill and parchment noises

Seagoon: [writing] Fifth of December. Did sport with Mrs Fitsimmonds, and then, to the law courts.

Fx: orchestra tuning up, followed by a gavel

Ellington: Silence! Silence in court. Silence. The court will now rise, for the Lord Cheif Justice, Jim Spriggs.

voices: [moans] Er, Rhubarb! Rhubarb rhubarb.

sp: Please, please sit [garbled]. The case is come to Jim 'Thighs' Moriarty. Minister without underpants, versus the British Crown, with underpants. Will the plaintive open the case?

Greenslade: [french accent] My lord, we claim damages of forty thousand golden crowns, for the savage attack by an English flea, residing under the roof of Mr Samuel Peeps, Secretary to the Navy.

sp: Ahhh. Well acted! Now then, what is a Navy?

Seagoon: [shouting] A Navy my lord, is an army, entirely surrounded by water!

sp: Silence! Silence please! Or I'll have the court cleared.

Seagoon: [raspberry]

sp: Thank you very much. Now then, what makes you think the British Crown should pay for this, flea bite?

Grytpype: It was a British flea, my lord.

Seagoon: [shouting again] My lord! I object! I move that the flea's nationality be proven, before this case proceds!

sp: Agreed! Call the flea!

Ellington: The flea!

Milligan: [off] The flea!

Sellers: [off] The flea!

Fx: horse galloping toward us

Crun: [over, as horse slows to a stop] Wooooa, wooa mate. Woooa-ooh-oh.

sp: Great Jupiter! Mate. Is that thing a flea?

Crun: No, it's an 'orse, mate.

sp: A horse?

Crun: Yes.

sp: Take his hat off.

Crun: Yeah.

sp: You're right, it is a horse. Where, where's the flea?

Crun: He's on the 'orse, mate. I thought he'd get here quicker that way, you see.

sp: I see. Now then, as he's not riding side saddle, I presume he's a male flea...?

Crun: Yeah, yes.

sp: Ah ha, will the flea, will the flea raise his right leg, and swear to tell the truth.

Fx: boing boing

sp: Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Now Mr Peeps, will you please take the, the flea in the palm of your right hand, and see if you can identify him.

Seagoon: [still shouting] My lord! I can honestly say, I have never seen this flea before in my life! I claim, that he is a forgeiner!

voices: [moans] Rhubarb, rhubarb. Rhubarb, rhubarb. Rhubarb, rhubarb. Rhubarb, rhubarb.

Moriarty: Gridpype, suppose they discover Francoise is French.

Grytpype: Impossible! I destroyed his passport, I tell you.

sp: Silence! It is the opinion of this court, that the flea will re-, will remain in custody, while a description of him, is circulated to Interpol.

Greenslade: Dear listeners, I spring forward at this moment, to mention to those of you who have not been in jug on the contenent[?], that Interpol is an international organisation of policemen. I do hope you find these little snippets of information, helpful. If they are, then, my job has been well worthwhile.

Fx: fanfare

Milligan: [off] Continue please...

Greenslade: [over] And now, The Flea, part two, in which Moriarty, and Gridpype [garbled], to a flea circus, with a plan.

Fx: drum roll

Crun: Ladies and gentlemen, the hero of tonight's performance of War and Peace, is the wonder flea, star of knee, thigh, and chest, who has just returned from a highly sucessfull tour of Mrs Fitsimmonds. Here he is! Little Jim!

Fx: dogs barking, boing boing boing boing boing boing

Grytpype: Moriarty, hand me those [garbled]. What luck! Little Jim is the living image of Francoise, even to the scar on his chin.

Moriarty: What now?

Grytpype: After the performance, we take this shaggy dog backstage, no flea could resist a ride on a dog like this.

Moriarty: You're right...

Greenslade: [over] Er, excuse me, please. Excuse me, just a moment. Excuse me please. Ladies and gentlemen, at this stage, the BBC are concerned about the possibility, of this show causing listeners some, erm, irritation. I should like to state, therefore, that there are no real fleas taking part in this programme. The parts of all the fleas, are taken by small grasshoppers, painted black.

Secombe: Are you done?

Greenslade: Yes.

Secombe: Thank you.

Seagoon: December the sixth.

Fx: quill and parchment

Seagoon: [writing] Did sport with Mrs Fitsimmonds...

Milligan: Owwww....

Seagoon: ... and, being suspicious of Gridpype Thinne, I did place two, stalwart guards, outside the accused fleas cell in Newgate Prison.

Fx: footsteps and jangling keys

Fx: boing, boing, boing

Bluebottle: Have you ever guarded a flea before Eccles?

Eccles: No. This is the first big job I had. Just a minute... [off] Hoi!

Fx: boing

Eccles: That made him jump! Did you hear that? [garbled] Doi! That's him, when he go... Doi! Hego, hego, doing! Doing, he do that all the time. He does the lum...

Bluebottle: You're a naughty cruel thing, Eccles. You hould not do that! You may have fleas of your own, one day.

Eccles: Oohhh, I'm, I'm sorry 'bottle.

Bluebottle: Lance Corporal 'Bottle, to you!

Eccles: Sorry, Lance Corporal 'Bottle to you.

Bluebottle: I should jollyd well think so too. Stand, stand to cardboard attention!

Eccles: Owwwowowow.

Bluebottle: Chin up! Chest in!

Eccles: But it hurts!

Bluebottle: Thinks: I will teach this naughty man a lesson. Eccles?

Eccles: Yeah?

Bluebottle: Raise right leg!

Eccles: O.K.

Bluebottle: Now raise, left leg.

Eccles: Right.

Bluebottle: Ohhhh! How is it that you got three legs, Eccles?

Eccles: 'Cause the forth one fell off. Oww, oow.

Bluebottle: Well, we've given them enough Terrance Rattigan-type dialogue. It's time to exercise our flea-type prisoner. Private Eccles, open flea pit!

Fx: creak of flea pit hinges

Eccles: [over] Oohh! Here, do you think it's safe to take his leg shakles off?

Bluebottle: Do not worry, Eccles. I will keep him covered with this flea powder.

Eccles: Oh dear, O.K. well, I'll, I'll run the flea round the yard on his lead.

Fx: boing, boing, boing, boing, boing,

Eccles: [over] Oh oh! Steady! Wooa. Wooa, stop, please. Wooa, steady, steady now. Woa, woa. Woa, woa.

Bluebottle: Eeoeah! Eccles, don't let him come near me! I don't want to be bited. I'm an East Finchley-type boy, and, there are no fleas in East Finchley. Flealess Fincherly, they call it! Eeehehe! I don't like this game! I'm all itchy-coo!

Greenslade: Er, listeners, er, we should like to reassure you once again, that at no stage in this drama, do genuine fleas take part. To allow you to relax, here is Ray Ellington, and his D.D.T. quartet.

Milligan: [over Ray] [garbled] Ho!


Ray Ellington


Fx: music (1812 overture)

Seagoon: Eighteen twelve? And in sixteen sixty five! Ahahaha! So uch for humor. Well now.

Fx: quill and parchment

Seagoon: [writing] December the splon. Did sport with Mrs Fitsimmonds. Haa-mm. Suddenly...

Fx: door opening

Bluebottle: Captain, Mr Peeps, sir. Hello, Mrs Fitsimmonds. Captain, two men crept up on us, from behind, and overpowered us with a quarter of Pontefract cakes.

Seagoon: They nearly had you on the run!

Bluebottle: Yes! Then, thinking that I... that em... thinking that they had, made us unconcious, we the dredded Prontelfracts, they switched fleas and made off with our one! Hello, Mrs Fitsimmonds!

Seagoon: So, Moriarty's flea, was a forigener. We must stop it leaving the country, or the crown will loose the case. To the Millitary!

Bluebottle: To the Millingtree! Good bye Mrs Fitsimmonds.

Fx: fanfare

Bloodnok: Ooooohooohoooo! Ohhohooo! Ohhh! Oh you caught me out then, lads, you did!

Fx: knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock,

Bloodnok: Ooohohhoo! Out the back, Mrs Fitsimmonds, dear. Ohoho! [off] Come in!

Fx: door opening

Seagoon: Now, Major Bloodnok.

Bloodnok: Ohohoho! Oho!

Seagoon: Helllooo, Mrs Fitsimmonds! Any signs of these men, with the fugitive flea?

Bloodnok: No, no no.

Seagoon: It's not good enough, Major.

Bloodnok: What?

Seagoon: Are your men reliable?

Bloodnok: Myuk!? My men reliable? My...? Captain Curhuthers. Tell him.

ct: Ahhh, well, er, they are, er, eraahhh, men sir, arr, well, you see, er, well, aaaaahhhhhh, I- [giggles], I, I, I suppose they arrrrrhhhh, well um, you, ahhhhhhhhhhhahhhhhhhhhh.

Bloodnok: Well Seagoon. Does that answer your question?

Seagoon: I can't remember the question....

ct: Nether can I!

Seagoon: Thank you.

Bloodnok: Thank you.

Seagoon: Excuse me a moment, Major!

Fx: door opening.

Bloodnok: What?

ct: Yeahhhhh...

Fx: door closing, followed by quill and parchment

Seagoon: [writing] I retired to adjacent room, with a breifly sport with Mrs Fitsimmonds.

Fx: door opening/closing

??: [over and off] Oh not again!

Seagoon: Ahemm. Well now, Major Bloodnok. We suspect, that the er, forigen flea, might be an exact replica of the flea I've got in this horse box.

Bloodnok: Oooh! What cunning...

Ellington: [off] Er, excuse me Major, a company of my highlanders have caught two men trying to slip past on a banana skin.

Bloodnok: Bring them in, McGregor!

Seagoon: How did he get in a Scottish regiment?

Bloodnok: He lied about his age.

Ellington: Come on! Come on you two, there! Come on! Come on get in here angels.[?] Come on.

Moriarty and Grytpype: [moans of resentment]

Grytpype: Stop pushing us! Don't push.

Ellington: Come on!

Moriarty: Ahhh!

Grytpype: Steaming nit!

Ellington: Get up.

Moriarty: Take your filth hand of my filthy neck.

Seagoon: That's him! I recognise him by his...

Moriarty: Ooowww!

Seagoon: Now. Where's that French flea?

Grytpype: Outside on a sheepdog.

Fx: door opening, dogs barking

Seagoon: Ahhhh! Forty, long haired sheepdogs! Which one is he on?

Bloodnok: I'll soon find him. In a military way! Dogs, from the right, number!

Fx: woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, woof, howwwwl!

Bloodnok: That's the one! That's the one! Search him!

Fx: boing

Bloodnok: Ohh, ahhh, now, into the dustbin with him.

Fx: clang

Bloodnok: Ha! Got him!

Moriarty: They've got the flea in there!

Bloodnok: Ahh, got him there!

Seagoon: Well, Gridpype, ahahahaha, this is the end of your nafairious career!

Moriarty: Ooowww!

Grytpype: Yes, and yours!

Seagoon: What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What? What do you mean?

Grytpype: Mr Peeps, we've found a diary. Let me read you a sample extract. [reading] December the third. Whilst the King was away, did sport madly, with Nel Guin.

Seagoon: [swallows] Oh come, chaps, you're joking! Hahaha-nelly! Let's forget everything, eh? L-l-l-l-l-l-lets go owwww, together! Ahahaha!

Moriarty: Yes. For one thousand pounds.

Seagoon: Oooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!

Grytpype: He's just been ooooooowwwwww'd.

Moriarty: One thousand poinds....

Fx: closing music

Seagoon: [over] Ooooooooooooowwwwwwwwwww!

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 orchestraconducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan, and Larry Stevens. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The program produced by Pat Dixon.