The Goon Show Preservation Society

From Newsletter No: 87 published January 1997. Written by Mike Childs.

Originally hitting the airwaves during January 1959 (or so it has been rumoured), could easily have been entitled 'In Search of a Hern'; is largely a succession of one liners (which I think work very well) but the ending is poor and fades into obscurity. So there.

Remember folks - these were the days of steam radio and much imagination was needed. Most people were used to macho cowboy films at the cinema (principal form of entertainment).

A wonderful series of sound effects throughout provide the imagery that we have come to know and love. Remember these sounds: Fertungg - Toweeee - Shhnitonuuu and Ter-thud as bullets wing on their way…(the story was typically a mixture of American Frontier activity and lampooning goonery) .
The descriptive roles are worthy of study:-

"…See, Hear and Smell the hairless midget - Hairy Seagoon as Double Captain Rupture: hard-riding, hard-hitting and hard-up Cowboy (
Spike's notes say here: Cut glass posh London Kensington W2 accent called for).

"...  See, Feel and Hit Spike Milligna as the dying actor (FX PISTOL).

"...  See the hand operated teeth of Peter
'voices' Sellers and Big Black Beauty - the mad Wallpaper Stallion.

GRAMS: Galloping boots - done by operating a pair of old army boots at the same speed as coconut shells - overlapping with 'that' mule.


It is 1867 and Boston Harbour is a hive of inactivity. The good ship
Venus has just arrived in the New World from England. Little Jim falls in the water - and the rest is history… Seagoon requests the horses be filled up with 3 gallons of Hay. He is an unnoticeable figure in tri-corn hat, tri-corn trousers and a first edition of the Union Jack. He is en-route to Fort Fertang. Grytpype-Thynne is heading west with a retired wooden fish crate. Moriarty is trapped in the crate and suffering from fish pong fumes and is travelling with the teeth of Count Jim 'Flies' lyric plumber (no one ever understood this bit!). There are several rapid exchanges throughout this piece…

Probably the best summary is that provided in the 1973 published edition of the Scripts:

THRILL  to the noble atrocities of illiterate Captain Slokum and the 9th U.S. Cavalry!
SIGH  to the romantic strains of Tex Maclength and his sons of the bicycle-saddle!
For the first time on the wide-screen of the wireless - The TRUE story of how the Wild West was won.
Set in East Finchley the drama recounts how the Indian tribes' cut-off supplies from Fort Fertang with just 29 saxophones and a crate of fish bones.

Hindered by the insanitary exploits of "Mad Dan" Eccles aboard a No. 49 bus, Bluebottle massacres the entire tribe single-handed with his cardboard cut-out pistol.
(Note: Miss Miriam Reene of 33 Croft Street, East Finchley, has been left out of this script in order to protect a man called Tom Fountain).


Memorable lines (try to identify which character said what to whom):

  •  "What no bath - Just what the Count likes at the end of a long day."
  •  FX: GALLOPING HORSES COME TO A DEAD STOP - "There's discipline for yer."
  •  "The Prairie Dogs are always howling - No trees on the prairie."
  •  "That's a good answer son - you must be mighty proud of it."
  •  "What's the dollar for Hern (It's Pay as You Hern, Hern)."
  •  "He looks mighty tall in the saddle - that's because he's on a horse mate."
  •  "Lightning Alopecia" (when wig falls off).
  •  "How to spell AMERICA… Mrs. Agrrs owoowowowowowowowowo."
  •  "I'll run you in - I am already run in, I've done 10,000 miles."

Continued on next page