» Introduction & Index
» 1 Lemon Sherbet
» 2 Newsreaders
» 3 Targets: Max & Des
» 4. Goodies Turning ...
» 5. Beanz Ads
» 6. Targets: Nichola...
» 7. Goodies In Love
» 8. The Trandem
» 9. Targets: Tony Bl...
» 10. Inventions
» 11. Tim In Drag
» 12. Targets - David...
» 13. Bill's Outfits
» 14. Live Music
» 15. Targets: Mary &...
» 16. Goodies Relatives
» 17. Tim's Patriotic...
» 18. Targets: Rolf H...
» 19. Bill & Graeme i...
» 20. Sports & Games
» 21. Targets: Lionel...
» 22. Guest Stars: Pa...
» 23. Graeme's Computer
» 24. Monty Python Re...
» 25. Targets: Eddie ...
» 26. Memorable Animals
» 27. Foreigners
» 28. Targets: The Ra...
» 29. Graeme falling ...
» 30. Targets - Royal...
» 31. Tim Crying
» 32. Baddies & Villa...
» 33. Targets: Ken Ru...
» 34. Quick Change Ca...
» 35. Goodies Deaths
A COLLECTION OF GOODIES THEMES #21
(by Brett Allender)
GOODIES TARGETS: LIONEL BLAIR, ENGELBERT HUMPERDINCK & THE OSMONDS
While some of the favourite targets of the Goodies humour such as Rolf Harris, Nicholas Parsons and Tony Blackburn copped a good ribbing many times during the whole run of the show, this article examines three targets who only came into the crosshairs on a handful of occasions (none of them after the end of Series 5) but who provided some great Goodies moments along the way.
Henry Lionel Blair Ogus was born in Montreal, Canada in 1931 and moved to Britain when he was one year old, with his father (a Russian immigrant) changing the family name to Blair in Lionel's youth. He was an actor in his early years, but came to the Goodies' attention in the early 1970s as a choreographer and tap dancer; with them heavily sending up his camp persona on more than one occasion.
In the Series Two episode 'Come Dancing', Tim and Bill are having all sorts of trouble learning how to dance, so they try using an 'Invitation to the Dance' instruction kit voiced by the very camp Lionel Bleugh. Lionel's instruction record commentary minces: "Hello! Well now, have you got my bijou dance chart spread out on the floor?"; to which Tim and Bill (in a "Yes Mum" kind of frustrated tone) reply "Yes Lionel!" He continues: "Super dupes! Then we're all ready to go, aren't we, petals?"; which draws a cross "Yeah we're ready, you camp old boot!" from Bill.
Lionel bitchily calls him a "Saucy cat!" and that it's "It's ladies on the left and gentlemen on the right"; only to frustratedly intone "Well, make up your mind, sweeties!" after Tim and Bill get their positions mixed up. They get even more confused as they try to keep up with Lionel's fast-paced commentary while trying to follow the floor chart with foot positions drawn on it (rather like a game of Twister) and end up in a messy tangled embrace, with Tim shrieking "I am the woman!"; much to the horror of an unaware Graeme who has just walked in the door and witnessed their finished pose.
The character of Lionel Bleugh is reprised in Series Five episode 'Chubby Chumps' with Bill as Lionel (in a glittery silver-grey suit and top hat) kicking off the 'Miss Housewife Of The Year' contest at Royal Albert Hall with a very camp rendition of 'Les Girls'. Lionel is surrounded by pink-costumed male dancers and when he sings "She'll really make you a man ...", one of the dancers camply asks "Oh will she make me one too?!" before another dancer grabs him by the hand and drags him off-stage at the end of the song, with Lionel kicking his heel up in delight as he departs.
The final swipe at Lionel comes later in Series Five in 'Scatty Safari' where Tim is ordering Bill around at the stables which hold the various celebrities. A bossy Tim tells Bill to "Get on with your work, go on, chop chop. And while you're about it, bung those on Lionel Blair, will you?!" as he holds up a pair of horseshoes!
Well after the Goodies had finished making fun of him, Lionel Blair took on the role of a team captain on the gameshow 'Give Us a Clue' during the 1980s and early 1990s, which has led to him becoming a target all over again for Tim and Graeme's current radio program 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue'. Lionel's miming skills from the show are frequently sent up in the lead-in to the 'Sound Charades' round by the ISIHAC hosts (the late Humphrey Lyttelton and nowadays Jack Dee) who make memorable double entendres based on Lionel's camp on-screen character, such as him supposedly trying to "pull off Twelve Angry Men in under two minutes". It is reported that apparently Lionel despises the remarks that are made on ISIHAC about his supposedly rampant sexuality, particularly as he and his wife Susan have been married for more than 40 years and have three children and two grandchildren.
Engelbert Humperdinck was born Arnold George Dorsey in Madras, India, in 1936. Moving to England at the age of 10 (with a British father and Indian mother), he sang as Gerry Dorsey for a decade until 1965 when he changed his name to that of the 19th-century composer of operas such as 'Hansel and Gretel.' He is a long-time pop singer with a large number of worldwide hits such as 'Release Me and 'The Last Waltz'
Engelbert's name first bobs up in the Series Two episode 'The Music Lovers' when the Music Master gets his dopey offside Gerald to show the Goodies the various music stars that he has abducted and imprisoned at his country hideaway. Upon opening one of the cell doors, we hear a rather mournful Engelbert singing "Please release me, let me go ..." before Gerald closes the door again. At least the Goodies think enough of Engelbert to let him out of his cell as they escape the Music Master's clutches … a courtesy not shown to Cilla Black and her ear-splitting high notes!
Later in 'Scatty Safari', one of the celebrity sightings during the Goodies' bus tour is Engelbert being felled with an axe by a lumberjack. He again sings 'Please Release Me' as he is chopped off at the ankles and buckles to the ground.
While Engelbert only gets the two actual name checks in The Goodies, he has a significant hidden association with the show as he commissioned the Goodies to provide 13 five-minute visual inserts for use in 'Engelbert and the Young Generation' in 1972. Five of these inserts were later woven together to create the Goodies' special 'A Collection Of Goodies', including 'Pan's Grannies' which were an older-generation send-up of the Pan's People dance troupe from Engelbert's show.
The Osmonds are a Mormon family from Utah in the U.S.A. and consist of nine siblings, most of whom formed part of the hugely successful musical group The Osmond Brothers (and later The Osmonds) from the mid-1960s, with several of them having fruitful solo careers as well. The Goodies found two particular Osmonds to be ripe for some stirring in Series Four and Five: Donny and Little Jimmy.
Donald Clark "Donny" Osmond was born in 1957 and has carved out a multi-faceted career in showbusiness; including time as a singer, actor, dancer, radio personality, talk and game show host, record producer and author. It was when Donny went solo in the early 1970s with hits including "Puppy Love" that the Goodies had a go at him; notably for his incredibly shiny white teeth.
In Series Five episode 'Frankenfido', Graeme is so chastened by Tim's success as the owner of Mastermind champion Cuddly Scamp Hairylegs of Cricklewood that he decides to whip up a custom-made mutt of his own to enter into Crufts the next day. With the help of his 'Needlework For Beginners' book, a stormy night and lots of electrical cables and switches, Graeme sets to work putting Frankenfido together to the revulsion of Tim, who thinks that he just been chopping up other "poor innocent little doggies".
Graeme: "Look. Teeth. You wouldn't find teeth like these on a mere dog."
Tim (curious): "What are they? Horse, alligator, tiger ..."
Graeme (opens box to reveal glittering diamond-studded teeth): "Look at them."
Tim (shocked): "No! Not Donny Osmond!"
Graeme (proudly): "Yep."
Tim (in horrified indignation): "You ... you've been using people! ... And Donny Osmond!!"
As a follow-up in the special 'The Goodies Rule OK' at the end of Series 5, a down-and-out Graeme reveals to his equally ragged colleagues that he has finally assembled the secrets of success for them to form a rock supergroup. The first of these mystical items that he reveals is Donny Osmond's glittering set of teeth, which are chattering away inside a box. Tim and Bill gasp and rapidly turn away, then don sunglasses so that they can have a peek at the gleaming choppers!
James Arthur "Jimmy" Osmond was born in 1963 and is a singer, actor, and businessman. He is the youngest of the nine Osmond siblings and had a No. 1 hit single in the UK charts with 'Long Haired Lover from Liverpool' when he was just nine years old. It was this particular song that brought him to the Goodies' notice; firstly in Series Four episode 'Hospital For Hire'
Tim is showing new doctors Bill and Graeme around the disgracefully neglected hospital ward as the patients start to get rowdy at the lack of food and general squalor. Tim quells the cacophony by yelling "Alright! I warned you! Headphones on!" The patients don their headphones and Tim counts down "3 … 2 … 1.", then flicks a switch. The patients all scream in agony and a shocked Bill asks: "What are they hearing?!" When Tim replies "Little Jimmy Osmond.", a disgusted Graeme says "That does it! You're supposed to be curing people; not making them sick to their stomachs!" and outlines his own plans for a better health service.
In Scatty Safari', the strains of 'Long Haired Lover from Liverpool' can be heard emanating from one of the stables holding the celebrities and a cranky Bill roars "Shut up!" and a few other muttered curses, then throws a bucket of water into the stall to make Little Jimmy stop his singing!
Also at the end of the 1970s LP 'The Goodies Sing Songs From The Goodies' after the song 'Spacehopper', there is a spiel where Graeme is the doorman at a party which is being held to celebrate the release of the Goodies' new record. All of the who's who of the record industry are greeted as they arrive, including Cliff Richard, Mick & Bianca Jagger, Elton John ("don't fall off the shoes man ... timber!"), Gladys Knight ("How's the Pips? Oh yeah, looking very tasty!) and many others. The doorman says "Ah, great to see you, Little Jimmy" and gets a boyish reply of "I'm a great fan of yours!", only to respond to it with a flat "Thanks Mr Clitheroe." – a shot at tiny actor Jimmy Clitheroe as well as the supposed initial target of Little Jimmy Osmond! Shortly afterwards, the doorman says "Oh, hi there Osmonds!" and gets an enthusiastic chorused reply of "Hi there everybody!" from them; then a little later there's an enquiry of "Ohh, wotcha Engel?" Engelbert's reply is a dull and rather stupid moan, to which the doorman asks "Headache, man?" (followed by another dull moan from Engelbert) "OK I'll call the tree surgeon!" The sketch rather appropriately ends with Tim and Bill trying to get into the party ("We're the Goodies, we made this record.") only to get an unimpressed "Oh. Inadequate, man!" from the doorman, who slams the door in their face.
2/8 Come Dancing
Tim and Bill try out Lionel's learn-to-dance kit
5/3 Chubby Chumps
Bill as Lionel Bleugh singing 'Les Girls'
Lionel Bleugh strutting his stuff
5/6 Scatty Safari
"Bung those on Lionel Blair, will you?!"
2/5 The Music Lovers
"Please release me, let me go ...!"
Special - A Collection Of Goodies
Pan's Grannies - a send-up of Pan's People from 'Engelbert & The Young Generation'
5/6 Scatty Safari
The sad sight of Engelbert being felled.
Engelbert at the Goodies' office (from 'Engelbert & The Young Generation')
The Osmond family in the early 1970s
Little Jimmy Osmond
Jimmy Osmond all grown up ... well, sort of!
4/3 Hospital For Hire
The patients get a burst of Little Jimmy Osmond
Donny's teeth for Frankenfido
5/6 Scatty Safari
Shut up Little Jimmy!
Special - The Goodies Rule OK
Donny's teeth are so bright that Tim and Bill need sunglasses on to look at them!