HARRY SECOMBE plays
PETER SELLERS plays
- Neddie Seagoon, the central figure of all the shows.
Cheerful, likeable, gullible, but his greed regularly leads him
SPIKE MILLIGAN plays
- Hercules Grytpype-Thynne, a posh, educated voice based
on that of English actor George Sanders, who often played the
suave cad. Grytpype-Thynne is a crook and con man, and the basic
plot of most shows revolves around the efforts of him and his
henchman, Count Moriarty, to swindle Neddie Seagoon.
- Major Dennis Bloodnok, a devout coward either retired
or deserted from the British Army. He too is a thief who tries
to steal from one and all. He is afflicted with extreme gastric
distress, and his introductory theme is usually followed by a
bizarre series of explosions and bubbling noises that represent
his guts rumbling. He comments on these sounds himself with
"Quick, nurse, the screens," or "Ooh, it's no wonder I can't go
to parties anymore." Occasionally the sound effect won't play,
and he'll comment, "I'm cured!"
- Henry Crun, crumbling, fumbling, very old man. But he
takes Elderly Gentlemen's Get Fit hormones and is the nearly
lusty paramour of Minnie Bannister. Most shows contain at least
one extended scene with just him and Minnie.
- Bluebottle, a young boy
scout who usually reads his
own stage directions. He is the playmate of Eccles, and most
shows contain an extended scene with just him and Eccles.
- Willium "Mate" Cobblers, an elderly cockney who calls
everybody "Mate." He most often appears as a constable, but
really can pop up in almost any role.
Sellers and Milligan, both of whom had lived in India, regularly
lapse into Bengali accents as (interchangeably) Lalkaka,
and Singiz Thingh.
- Eccles, "the original goon," a voice combining
Disney's Goofy character; Edgar Bergen's Mortimer Snerd; and
Clifton Finnegan, the super-stupid regular customer at Duffy's
Tavern. Jokes about his stupidity are a staple of the show, with
Eccles himself cheerfully joining in. His character serves both
grown-up parts and as the playmate of Bluebottle.
- Miss Minnie Bannister, spinster, a sexy senior citizen
who plays the saxophone and regularly breaks out in song or
dance. She lives in sin with Henry Crun, but whenever Major
Bloodnok comes on the scene it's made clear that they were lovers
in the past. (Milligan got the quaver in her voice by pinching
his neck and wobbling it about as he spoke her lines.)
- Count Moriarty, French scrag and lackey to
Grytpype-Thynne, who usually introduces him and attributes to him
some outlandish title or record that he holds ("Has played the
male lead in over 50 postcards"). Delightfully wretched in his
poverty and degradation.
All three of the primary actors regularly took on other roles as
needed by the plot, with Sellers, of course, doing more than the
OTHER CAST MEMBERS
- Wallace Greenslade, announcer. He opened and closed
each show, did continuities within them, and often took brief
speaking parts. When not doing the Goon Show, he was in fact a
news announcer at BBC. The Goons took great delight in mocking
his proper, trained accent -- and his noble girth.
- Ray Ellington, drummer,
quartet played one of the two musical interludes in each show.
He also took speaking parts in many shows, most often as African
Chief Ellinga or as Bloodnok's old Arab nemesis, the Red
- Max Geldray, jazz harmonica
player from Holland.
Backed by the house band, he plays the first musical interlude in
each show and occasionally takes speaking parts in a thin,
- Wally Stott Orchestra, the house band. Stott made a
great contribution to the show with cleverly written themes and
comedic musical bits. He later became Angela Morley and moved to the United States, where Angela Morley had a long, brilliant career composing and arranging music for films and television. She died January 14, 2009; for a full biography see the Robert Farnon Society website.
- Michael Bentine was the "fourth Goon" at the group's inception, but left after the first two of the show's ten series, before it changed and matured into the format that we remember today. His most memorable character was Osric Pureheart, mad inventor.
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