Sunday, 28 May 2017

Ascension Sunday or Not

Much confusion among the Beaker Folk as we wondered whether to celebrate Ascension again today. Many were against it. Among them the people who think you ought to celebrate religious feasts once, on the right days. And the people who fell off the roof on Thursday and don't want to do it again.

So instead we are marking the anniversary of the first broadcast of the Goon Show.

Now, to be clear, none of us can actually remember the Goon Show. We are aware however that it was a seminal moment in British cultural history. A time when people who were working class were still allowed to be satirists. Before the great Posh Satire Takeover that was "That was the week that was" that was.After which, only people who had been to minor public schools or Oxbridge could even consider being funny.

So the Goon Show Liturgy consisted of a load of catchphrases nobody understood, allusions to a time long gone past, and a nasty moment down by Duckhenge when Hnaef fell in the water. While people said things weren't as good these days.

Imagine a 1662 baptism service. You'll just about get the idea.


  1. You can hear the Goon Show on Radio 4 Extra. Although not this week, it seems.

  2. Ah Seagoon you fool.... what's that Eccles?..

  3. Pragmatic application of Churchyard Regulations to wording on Milligan’s headstone, St Thomas, Winchelsea. Diocese (eventually) permitted “I told you I was ill”, providing it was in Gaelic – “Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite”.

  4. I loved the Goons and listened to every episode. Nothing since then has ever seemed half as funny.
    Oddly, despite that, the only thing I remember clearly was Ned Seagoon going down a coalmine and stumbling over Eccles in the dark, What are you doing here Eccles?" he cried.
    "Um everybody got to be somewhere". was the reply.
    Today this doesn't sound half as funny, have we become more sophisticated, or have we perhaps forgotten how to laugh?.

    1. It was a coal cellar into which Eccles had been delivering coal, and it was in the Last Goon Show of All which was rather strained. Context is everything. Milligna was quoting something he alleges (in Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall) he said to an idiot of an officer who asked him why he was manning an AA gun during an air raid.


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