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The Goon Show facts for kids

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The Goon Show
Other names Crazy People (series 1)
Genre Comedy
Running time 30 minutes
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
Home station BBC Home Service
  • Wallace Greenslade
  • Denys Drower
Created by Spike Milligan
Produced by
  • Peter Eton (101 episodes)
  • Dennis Main Wilson
  • (38 episodes)
  • Pat Dixon (29 episodes)
  • Charles Chilton (25 episodes)
  • John Browell (23 episodes)
  • Roy Speer (14 episodes)
  • Leslie Bridgmont (4 episodes)
  • Tom Ronald (3 episodes)
  • Jacques Brown (1 episode)
Recording studio Camden Theatre, London
No. of episodes 238 plus 12 specials
Audio format Mono
Other themes
  • "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead" or
  • "Alte Kameraden"
Ending theme "Crazy Rhythm", played by Max Geldray and the Ray Ellington Quartet

The Goon Show was a British radio comedy programme, produced and broadcast by the BBC Home Service from 1951 to 1960. Occasional repeats were on the BBC Light Programme. The first series was broadcast from 28 May to 20 September 1951. It was titled Crazy People; later series had the title The Goon Show.

The show's chief creator and main writer was Spike Milligan. The show was acted by Peter Sellers, Harrie Secomb and Milligan. Each of the actors played several stock characters, a regular pattern in radio and theatrical comedy. By "stock characters" is meant characters whose idiosyncracies (peculiaririties) is well understood by the listening audience. This was also a feature of much music hall entertainment.

The scripts mixed ludicrous plots with surreal humour, puns, catchphrases and an array of bizarre sound effects. Some of the later episodes had electronic effects devised by the fledgling BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Many of these ideas were reused by other shows for decades. Elements of the show satirised life in Britain, parodying aspects of show business, commerce, industry, art, politics, diplomacy, the police, the military, education, class structure, literature and films.

The show was preceded by Ted Ray's Ray's a Laugh as the key comedy programme on BBC radio.

The Goon Show had an influence on the later BBC television series Monty Python. Both were absurdist comedies.

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