The Telegoons

Telegoon Puppets...

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Contents of this Chapter:
Introducing:
         Neddie Seagoon
         Eccles
         Bluebottle
         Major Dennis Bloodnok
         Hercules Grytpype-Thynne
         Count Jim Moriarty
         Miss Minnie Bannister
         Mr. Henry Crun
Anatomy of a Telegoon Rod Puppet...
underconstruction

Introducing:

Neddie Seagoon
Well known for, "What what what what what what what what what what?"
(To which Grytpype-Thynne usually replies, "Only ten watts? You're not very bright are you, Neddie!")  Impersonator of blue-blooded aristocracy, the entire Royal Air Force and idiots, this one hundred ton hero was born in Broadcasting House, and is still trying to find his way out. Believes EXIT refers to some kind of laxative. Neddie is the central figure of all the shows. Cheerful, likeable, and gullible, his greed for money and gold regularly leads him astray.

   Neddie Seagoon rod puppet   Neddie Seagoon rod puppet
Ned Seagoon rod puppet
Photographs GFL.

Neddie Seagoon string puppet   Neddie Seagoon string puppet
Ned Seagoon string puppet
Sources: The Goons the Story (L)
& The Goon Show Companion (R)
(see Bibliography)


Eccles
The original Goon. Born 1863, only child of Ethel Cox. Virgin birth. Educated at a convent till age 7 --end of education. Has had 18,312 interviews for jobs. Has never been employed. Spends his days walking around saying "Hello dere" to anyone who will listen.   Likes children. Children like him. His economy drives consist of wearing only one sock. Was the personal friend of a brewer's dray. Was Home Secretary for 3 days --until the printing error was discovered. Lives near 29 Scrot Lane, Balham. Clubs: none.

Spike admits that the character Eccles was pinched from the Disney cartoon character Goofy, for which he developed a fondness as a boy.

 

Eccles string puppet   Eccles string puppet  
Eccles string puppet
Sources: The Goons the Story
(see Bibliography)

   Eccles rod puppet
Eccles rod puppet
Photograph Violet Philpott, used with permission.


Bluebottle
"Ye he he! Heuheuheuheuheu he!"
A self-styled cardboard cut-out liquorice and string hero who usually reads his own stage directions. He is still in school, though usually playing truant. The veteran of numerous school playground romances, Bluebottle (like Spike Milligan, his creator) also has a penchant for Sabrina. A proffered bag of dolly mixtures plus a free subscription to Wonder Mag persuaded this ragged Boy Scout to append this, his signature, to the aforegoing, whatever that means. (Thinks: I wonder what that means.)

Bluebottle's mark (330 bytes)

Bluebottle is the playmate of Eccles, and most shows contain an extended scene with just him and Eccles.

Bluebottle string puppet
Bluebottle string puppet
Photograph Violet Philpott, used with permission.

Major Dennis Bloodnok
A devout coward either retired or deserted from the Indian Army. He 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. He comments on these sounds himself with "No more curried eggs for me!" or "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!"
Major Bloodnok rod puppet
Bloodnok rod puppet
Still from The China Story
GFL

Hercules Grytpype-Thynne
A character with a posh, educated voice based on that of English actor George Sanders, who often played a suave cad. Grytpype-Thynne is a crook and con man, and the basic plot of most shows revolves around his efforts, and those of his henchman, Count Moriarty, to swindle Neddie Seagoon.
Grytpype-Thynne rod puppet
Grytpype-Thynne rod puppet
Note: The arm on the LH edge of the photo
belongs to the Major Bloodnok rod puppet,
out-of-sight behind the Grytpype puppet.
Photograph Violet Philpott, used with permission.

Count Jim 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.

Moriarty rod puppet
Moriarty rod puppet

Photograph GFL


Miss Minnie Bannister
Spinster and sexy senior citizen who plays modern rhythm-style saxophone and regularly breaks out in song or dance. Although she refused to be quoted directly, some Sanders-style flattery induced Miss Bannister to reveal that she had once danced the Can-Can at the Windmill Theatre, and that in the naughty nineties she had been, "The darling of Roper's Light Horse."
She also hinted at a former passionate involvement with a bounder named Bloodnok. When pressed, however, she screamed and referred all further questions to her spokesman and companion of honour, Mr. Henry Crun. Miss Bannister is the Auntie of Captain Osric Pureheart and also Bluebottle. A bannister (alt. Eng. spelling) is also the hand rail and posts used in a stairway, hence the "Didn't I see you on the stairs?" joke.   (Note: Milligan got the quaver in Minnie's voice by pinching his neck and wobbling it about as he spoke her lines.)
Minnie Bannister rod puppet
Minnie Bannister rod puppet

Photograph Violet Philpott,
used with permission.

Mr. Henry Crun
(Full name Henry Albert Sebastopol Queen Victoria Crun)
"Mnk-grnk-mnk-mnk-grmp."
(Persistent questioning failed to refresh Mr. Crun's memory as to the identity of Mr. Henry Crun, beyond the remark, "Henry Crun? Mnk - isn't that the name of - mnk - Henry Crun?") Former employee of the firm of Wacklow and Crun. A 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 an extended scene with just Henry and Minnie.

Henry Crun rod puppet
Henry Crun rod puppet

Photograph Violet Philpott,
used with permission.


Acknowledgements: Character bio's based on material in Spike Milligan's The Goon Show Scripts (see Bibliography section), Wilmut and Grafton's The Goon Show Companion (see Bibliography section), and on material available at the Goon Show Preservation Society (GSPS) web site (see Links section).
  

Anatomy of a Telegoon Rod Puppet...

Neddie X-ray 1
A photographically created "X-ray" rear view of Neddie Seagoon's cranial anatomy

underconstruction
More Coming Eventually!


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