» #113 Apr 2005
THE GOODIES CLARION AND GLOBE
THE OFFICIAL NEWSLETTER OF 'THE GOODIES RULE - OK' FAN CLUB
Issue No. 113 20th April 2005
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'The Goodies Rule - OK!'
P.O. Box 325
Chadstone VIC 3148, AUSTRALIA
THE LADS AND LASSES OF THE C&G
- Brett Allender <email@example.com>
- Lisa Manekofsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- David Piper-Balston <email@example.com>
- Alison Bean <firstname.lastname@example.org>
FAB FEATURE ARTICLE CONTRIBUTORS:
- John Pinder, Grant Hannis, Robert Yen, John Jackson, Ben Tumney
- Brian Labza, Amy Rixon, Brendan Halloran, Phil Guy, Scott McClelland
1. QUIZ & QUOTE - Goodies brainteasers for you and you and you
2. BOFFO IDEAS - News and club happenings
3. SPOTTED!!! - The latest Goodies sightings.
4. 2001 AND A BIT - Tim, Graeme and Bill sightings post-Goodies.
5. FEATURE ARTICLE - The Goodies Still Alive On Stage - additional reviews and feedback.
6. GOODIES EPISODE SUMMARY - Holidays
7. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
1. QUIZ & QUOTE
(by "Magnus Magnesium")
QUOTE: "Number of legs ... variable."
(a) Which Goodie says this quote?
(b) Who is he talking about?
(c) Which episode is this quote from?
QUIZ: This month's questions are from the episode: "Lighthouse Keeping Loonies"
(d) The Goodies are stuck in a lighthouse because Graeme misread an ad. What did he think that the ad was for?
(e) How long are the Goodies supposedly tending the lighthouse for?
(f) What causes Bill to freak out part way through the episode?
(g) Why has the lighthouse's lamp run out of oil?
(h) What sure-fire bait does Tim use to catch a fish?
The answers are listed at the end of this newsletter.
2. BOFFO IDEAS
You can make it happen here. Liven up the club with a boffo idea for bob-a-job week. E-mail <email@example.com> with your comments, ideas or suggestions - meanwhile these are the boffo ideas which our club has been working on this month:
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
A number of fans have mentioned writing to John Pinder or Big Laugh Productions (the producers of the Goodies live show in Australia) with Goodies-related questions. It'd be best if you sent such questions to the club. While the folks at Big Laugh are very nice they're also incredibly busy working on other projects; they're also not the right people to ask about things such as Goodies DVDs. Feel free to send any Goodies questions to me (at firstname.lastname@example.org); I'll do my best to answer them.
At present we don't know if the Goodies will do any additional live shows (finding time in all their schedules is a big problem in itself). However, if any future shows are planned the club will spread the news as soon as it becomes available.
(by Lisa Manekofsky)
The Goodies Rule - OK! website had a record-breaking 1.8 million hits last month. The site averaged over 1,000 visitors a day. While interest was particularly strong from Australia, due to the Goodies live shows there, Australian visitors only accounted for 60% of the activity on the website. The club had visitors from over 80 countries with the highest numbers being from Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Norway, Italy, Belgium, Finland, Poland, Singapore, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Brazil and Ireland.
(by Lisa Manekofsky and Brett Allender)
The question for March was:
Which Goodies activities do you plan to do this month?
The final vote tallies were:
* buy the new Goodies DVD - 115 votes
* watch "The Goodies" on UKTV - 74 votes
* see the Goodies live show - 415 votes
* wish I could see the Goodies live show - 211 votes
* watch my tapes of "The Goodies" - 37 votes
* several of these - 266 votes
* other - 2 votes
* avoid Rolf Harris - 160 votes
Fair enough too. I think that we all managed to avoid Rolf, which is a bonus at any rate!
More exciting than getting your wig-spotters badge! If you've seen the Goodies recently, e-mail <email@example.com>with the details. Here's where we've Spotted!!! The Goodies this month:
"THE GOODIES - A TASTY SECOND HELPING" DVD REVIEW
(Brian Labza - Goodies-l - 15th March)
There is a detailed review of the new Australian DVD at:
At the end there are some emails re the Region 2/Region 4 debate.
DVD - EXTRAS MISSING FROM AUSTRALIAN VERSION
(by Phil Guy)
You probably already have this information but if not you might be interested in the reply I received from the nice people at BBC Worldwide after I sent a complaint about the lack of extras in the Australian DVD:
Hello Mr Guy
I am replying to your email sent to Roadshow back at the beginning of March
We are fully aware of the difference between our Australian release and the UK one and we certainly did not want to release a different version out here!!
However to meet our release deadlines (to coincide with the Goodies Tour of Australia), we could only include (a) what the UK had ready at the time and (b) what we had rights in. Unfortunately we still do not have rights in the booklet, although we are still trying to clear it!
This is our statement on the differences:
"There are some differences between the UK and Australian releases. The imperative was to release the second DVD to coincide with the
"Goodies Live" tour to Australia and to meet that deadline some 'extras' which were made available for the UK release, were not available for the Australian release.
Unfortunately restoration work on some of the extras,the colour version of "Come Dancing", script PDFs , an "In conversation" piece with the Goodies recorded during the commentary sessions and English subtitles on the episodes were not able to be included in the Australian releases version. In addition . Australian rights have not been granted for the booklet included in the UK version. "
Thanks for your interest in our BBC product
Consumer Products Manager
BBC Worldwide Sydney
GOODIES DVD RELEASE IN NZ
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 16th April))
I just found this article from the New Zealand Herald. It sounds like it was written last month (when the Goodies were in Sydney) but I don't recall if it was sent to the list yet.
The article can be found at
Lifestyle & Leisure
Goodie goodie yum yum
by Russell Baillie
Monty Python is reborn on Broadway. Dr Who has been reincarnated on television. Whatever next from the vaults of 70s British television classics? The Goodies on DVD?
Well, yes actually. A two-disc set of eight classic episodes entitled a A Tasty Second Helping has emerged from the bowels of the BBC.
The Beeb broadcast The Goodies throughout the 70s and flogged it off to the colonies where it affected the sense of humour of many a young fan half a world away.
The trio of Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie have been reunited and are touring Australia, which seems to be the home of the show's cult following. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has played the show in re-runs long after its demise.
"So it became part of the culture I guess," says Garden - the boffin one of the three - on the line from Sydney. "So they have now got to a ticket-buying age and they've got kids of their own and the DVDs are coming out."
The discs with episodes like Radio Goodies (the Goodies attempt to start their own pirate radio station), South Africa (the Goodies get recruited by the South African Tourist Office), and Punky Business (the Goodies encounter punk grannies) make it quite the time capsule.
"It went out almost literally in the 70s - 1970 to 80. You could chart the progress of the decade from the series. The BBC were doing a series about the 70s and somebody had the idea of illustrating each year with an episode of The Goodies to catch the zeitgeist, as it were. But that was stamped on from somebody up top," says Garden.
While the Goodies might not have the lasting legacy of Monty Python, these days their influence can be seen in the latest generation of British telly comedy like Little Britain and A League of Gentlemen. Mike Myers has name-checked it too.
"We worked with the Pythons in various combinations of personnel in various shows. And we were all contemporaries. I think we did influence to some extent The Young Ones which came straight afterwards and maybe even the Last of the Summer Wine - three old Goodies."
But while the show had a gentle prod at issues of the day, Garden remains bemused that they were considered satire.
"To a certain extent it was anti-establishment because that was just coming in through the universities. People hadn't been allowed to satirise much before. So there was that element of being let off the leash a little bit, being allowed to be outspoken about things. But I think it was also carrying on the tradition of just good, old-fashioned, stupid jokes and silliness.
"Our generation was following David Frost and Peter Cook and whatever we did would then be labelled satire because of our age and background and it wasn't at all. Our movement, if it was anything, was back to the music hall and the kind of jokes you would get in the Beano."
Since the show ended Brooke-Taylor and Garden have continued to work in comedy - Garden becoming a "script uncle" to a younger generation of comics.
Oddie turned his ornithological bent into a career as a wildlife-programme presenter, becoming Britain's most famous bird-watcher.
Garden says it's been heartening to connect with the Goodies' following Downunder and get back on stage where it all started for the three.
"Obviously people don't want to come and watch telly for an hour and a half in the theatre so we've to tried to make it as amusing and entertaining as we can in terms of what we can talk about. It's a jolly historical evening one way or another but it's not a Goodies programme done live."
So what is the definitive Goodies episode - the one with the plague of Rolf Harrises? The one with the giant kitten marauding London?
"We ask that question in the show and we choose not really to answer it. We've all had favourites over the years. I think the one - it's not the best in all departments necessarily but it's the one which has good stuff in all departments - is Bunfight at the OK Tearooms. A good, silly idea. But that maybe won't be my favourite tomorrow."
* The Goodies: A Tasty Second Helping DVD is out now.
LOVE IS IN THE AIR
(Amy Rixon - Goodies-l - 25th March)
The TV series 'Love is in the Air', which is all about Australian music over the years, is being repeated on the ABC on Saturday nights at 10pm. This week's episode (ie. 26th March) is called 'Strange Fruits' and has a bit on Rolf Harris. Clips from the Goodie's 'Scatty Safari/Existence of Rolf Harris' episode is shown when describing Rolf Harris' music. So if you missed it last time the series was shown, this weekend is your chance to see it.
GOODIES OFF UKTV AFTER 2 SERIES
(by Brendan Halloran)
I complained to UKTV as to why they have stopped airing the Goodies, and received the following reply:
Thank you for your recent inquiry. Unfortunately UKTV only have Series 1 and 2 under licence, we are unable to clear further series due to clearance issues.
Viewer Liaison Officer
BANNED FOR FUNKY GIBBONING!
From the "Letterbocks" section of "VIZ" magazine, No. 142, February 2005, p8:
"I went to watch my favourite Premiership football team last weekend, and I was having so much fun in the carnival atmosphere that me and a couple of mates started singing the Goodies' hit 'Funky Gibbon' (although I was the only one who could remember the dance steps). As a result I found myself yanked out of the stand, banned from every ground in the country and fined several thousand pounds. As usual, it seems it's one rule for zany comedy threesomes on Top of the Pops in March 1975 and another for the rest of us.
Dave, Elwood Park"
4. 2001 AND A BIT
If you've sighted Tim, Bill or Graeme in a post-Goodies role, e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> so that we can tell everyone where to spot a Goodie nowadays. Those of you seeking radio & tv alerts between issues of the C&G should consider signing up for the Goodies-L mailing list (more details available on the club website),as our crack (cracked?!) team of reporters attempt to post alerts as the information becomes available.
* Bill Oddie is up for Best Presenter (for "Britain Goes Wild with Bill Oddie") at tonight's Royal Television Society Awards.
(Alison Bean - Goodies-l - 15th March)
* "Springwatch with Bill Oddie" will air Friday 25th March on BBC 2 from 19:00 to 20:00. I believe this same episode will be repeated on Sunday 27th March on BBC 2 from 18:10 to 19:10.
Here's a listing: "Halfway through one of the most unusual springs in living memory Bill Oddie and Kate Humble report on how it's affecting our wildlife. From the Springwatch farm in Devon, hidden cameras reveal how the local barn owls and badgers are faring. Bill gets a birds-eye view of Britain's most impressive early nester - the heron. Kate visits Dartmoor to meet a herd of its most famous inhabitants and Simon King witnesses red deer boxing."
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 17th March)
* Bill's episode of "Celebrity Mastermind" will be repeated on BBC Prime on Friday 25th March from 19:30 to 20:00.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 17th March)
* "Bill Oddie Goes to Iceland" will be repeated by BBC 2 on Sunday 10th April
from 18:00 to 18:40.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 2nd April)
* "Bill Oddie Goes Wild in California" will be repeated by BBC 2 on Sunday 24th April from 18:10 to 18:40.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 12th April)
* UKTV Style Gardens is still showing repeats of "Bill Oddie Goes Wild" at various times (please consult your local schedule for details).
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 12th April)
* I noticed there is a kids show called "Shoebox Zoo" on ABC TV on Tuesday at 5pm which is written by Graeme Garden. Not sure if he writes every week or not though.
(Ben Tumney - Goodies-l - 16th March)
* A short spotted though I don't know whether it's been mentioned previously but it may have. I was watching "Doctor in Charge" the other night on UKTV on Foxtel and saw that the episode was written by Graeme and Bill. It certainly had a 'Goodies' feel to it. Was the one about the doctors all fancying the new physiotherapy nurses. A bit of swappies went on anyway!
* I've just learned that BBC7 played the radio version of Graeme's appearance in "Yes Minister" last Wednesday. The show will be available via Listen Again through the end of the day Tuesday in the UK (in other words, for a bit over 24 hours from now).
It can be heard at this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbc7/listenagain/wednesday/ (scroll down to 14:30-15:00).
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 11th April)
* One of Graeme's appearances in "Have I Got News For You" will be repeated on Monday, 18 April on UKTV Gold (at 01:35) and UKTV Gold Plus 1 (at 02:35). I believe this will be the earlier of his two appearances.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 12th April)
* Some episodes of "Golf Clubs with Tim Brooke-Taylor" are being repeated by Discovery Home & Leisure on Thursdays at 4:30-5:00 starting 7 April. Each episode will also be shown on Discovery Home & Leisure Plus 1 from 05:30 to 06:00 (also on Thursdays starting 7 April).
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 2nd April)
* Taken from http://www.matlocktoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=749&ArticleID=991360
Celebrity patron for the Tiny Tim Trust
A MATLOCK woman has enlisted the help of actor Tim Brooke-Taylor as patron of the Tiny Tim Trust. Mary White, executive of the donations committee for the Derbyshire-based charity thought long and hard about who to approach when the previous patron, the 11th Duke of Devonshire, died last year.
She said: "The Duke of Devonshire was a wonderfully supportive patron and we were very sad to lose him."
The trust raises money for children with special needs such as learning disabilities, behavioural problems and short and long-term illnesses.
With regular golfing events, the charity buys equipment that the statutory services have identified and need but are unable to fund.
Mary added: "Tim offers warmth and humour and is of course a local man and a golfer to boot."
"I know how busy he is and I was both thrilled and excited when he accepted. He will bring a new dimension to trust."
Tim Brooke-Taylor was born in Buxton and educated at Cambridge University where he first met, wrote and performed with Bill Oddie, Graeme Garden, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle and Trevor Nunn and others.
Tim has appeared in many television and radio shows but will probably always be best known as a 'Goody'. Along with Bill Oddie and Graeme Garden, he made nearly 80 episodes of The Goodies and released the novelty record Funky Gibbon.
The annual Tiny Tim Golf Tournament at Chevin Golf Club, Duffield, will be held on Friday, September 2.
For more information contact Mary White, Lane's End, Holt Lane, Lea, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 5GQ, or telephone 01629 534961.
(David Piper-Balston - Goodies-l - 7th April)
* Towards the bottom of this website is the news that At Last! The 1948 Show is coming to DVD in the US on 26th July:
(Alison Bean - Goodies-l - 15th April)
I'M SORRY I HAVEN'T A CLUE (ISIHAC) &
I'M SORRY I'LL READ THAT AGAIN (ISIRTA)
* There's a ISIRTA episode guide at
You can find an ISIHAC episode listing as an MS Word document at home.comcast.net/~jal2.02/f2j/ISIHAC.doc or in HTML format at http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:U4whuUVQYwAJ:home.comcast.net/~jal2.02/f2j/ISIHAC.doc+isihac+%22mark+mckay%22&hl=en
Just FYI, there are 4 ISIRTA sets available on cassette & CD from the BBC Audio collection (available at retailers such as the ABC Shops, Amazon.co.uk, etc. while used copies turn up on eBay & elsewhere). I think there are about 10 collections of ISIHAC (including volumes 1-8 plus the Anniversary special and the "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Christmas Clue" set).
Also, in your search for ISIHAC episode keep an eye out for Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer's spin-off, "Hamish & Dougal, You'll Have Had Your Tea" (two series plus a Hogmanay Special).
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 16th March)
* Just spotted these on www.amazon.co.uk (though I'm sure they'll be available
from other sources as well).
** Hamish and Dougal, You'll Have Had Your Tea: Series 2 [AUDIOBOOK].
Scheduled for release 4 April 2005.
I only see a CD collection so far (series 1 was also released on cassette). The item description doesn't say if the Hogmanay special will be included in this collection (although the CD cover says this will be a 2 CD set with a running time of 2 hours, so it's possible).
** the Uxbridge English Dictionary (Hardcover). Scheduled for release on 18 April 2005.
Here's the item description: "To mark the 33rd anniversary of the birth of the antidote to panel games, we present the pick of the Definitions Round, a quirky cross between the Collins dictionary and 'Call My Bluff' that has had audiences in stitches for over a decade. I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue - the antidote to panel games, has thrilled the nation for over thirty years. With listener figures now over 2 million each week, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue has become as firm a British institution as the Queen's lap-dancing club. For all those that have ever pondered the meaning of antidisestablishmentarianism (the wife of strangely named Northern uncle), bedlam (a very favourite sheep) or cenotaph (a Welsh laxative), this is the book for you. With cartoons by Graeme Garden and Humphrey Lyttleton and over 300 more definitions to push the boundaries of the English language and 'good clean family fun', I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue - Definitions is a must have for any fan of British comedy at its best."
** Also, there appears to be a "Hamish & Dougal" book in the works for release in October 2005. The description mentions that it'll be based on the "16 episodes written so far" (meaning a third series must be in the works). http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0007210515/ref=ord_cart_shr/026-4934914-9386814?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE
Here's the full item description: "Hamish and Dougal are the two elderly Scotsmen played by Barry Cryer and Graeme Garden on Radio 4. For years the two characters were favourites on 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue', and now they have their own radio series, and their own book to boot. The book will be based on the 16 episodes written so far, with plenty of additional material from the two men. In series one, Dougal hosted a musical evening (at which Mrs Naughtie performed her Dance of the Seven Voles).; Mrs Naughtie (played by Alison Steadman) suddenly disappeared, causing great concern; Hamish found a love rival; and Hamish and Dougal assisted in summoning up some heavy armaments for an afternoon's shooting on the moors. The book will be a host of anecdote and lore from the long lives of these two living Scottish legends, and is the perfect gift for Radio 4 lovers."
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 16th March)
* We've learned that the recordings for the next series of "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" are
- Monday 9th May at the Ipswich Regent
- Sunday 29th May at the Rhyl Pavilion, and
- Tuesday 22nd June at the New Theatre Oxford
I don't believe tickets are on sale for any of these shows yet.
Speaking of ISIHAC, while cleaning up my inbox I found the following in the BBC 7 Newsletter from 25th February 2005:
"This week I received some interesting statistics concerning the online figures for January. Apparently all of the BBC digital services have spearheaded an increase in U.K. listeners accessing the websites, with On Demand listening totalling 1.2 million hours. Here on BBC 7 we have doubled our "monthly unique users" since January 2004, with over 300,000 U.K.listeners accessing us through the internet last month.
In the Top 30 BBC radio programmes listened to On Demand, BBC 7 has an entry at number 10 - no prizes for guessing that it's I'm Sorry I'm Haven't A Clue from the archive, with almost 110,000 monthly listens. I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue on Radio 4 is enjoying even more popularity, coming in at number 3 on the Audio on Demand chart with 252,000 listens."
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 9th April)
* The second series of "Hamish and Dougal: You'll Have Had Your Tea" (starring Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer) is going to be repeated on BBC Radio 4 starting Tuesday, 19 April at 23:30. It appears the show will air DAILY in this time slot (not once a week). You can listen to the show online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/ . Please note that if the show is available on Listen Again that each episode will only be available for a day, until the next episode airs.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 12th April)
* "Hamish and Dougal, You'll Have Had Your Tea: Series 2" was released in the UK on 4 April. This 2-CD set contains all six episodes of the second series. It doesn't have the Hogmanay special from 31 December 2004; that's probably being held for a later release.
"Hamish and Dougal" is a spin-off from "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue". The two characters (played by Barry Cryer and Graeme Garden) were so popular from their appearances in the Sound Charades rounds that they were given their own series (which also features frequent ISIHAC guest Jeremy Hardy).
Here's a description of the series 2 episodes from the back of the CD:
"Barry Cryer and Graeme Garden's skittish Scots are back with a second helping of crazy comedy in these six shows.
Two of the most popular characters from 'I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue', elderly, eccentric Scots Hamish and Dougal now appear in their second radio series, alongside Mrs. Naughtie, a cleaning lady cum housekeeper played by Alison Steadman, and the local Laird, played by Jeremy Hardy.
In 'The Vampire of the Glen', our heroes are suspicious after the Laird asks them to dig a hole in his allotment large enough for a coffin-shaped wardrobe, while in 'Fame Idol', Hamish and Dougal are anxious to enter 'Fay McAdemy', the famous Highland talent contest. A contest of a different kind is on the agenda in 'The Fitness Club', when the Laird challenges Dougal to a MacAthlon, an endurance test which involves swimming Loch Crankie, cycling to the bottom of Ben Kingsley, then running the length of Glen Close.
The daffy duo try to discover the identity of the author of a series of unsettling anonymous letters in 'The Poison Pen Letters', and accidentally manage to hook the Loch Jaw Monster while out fishing in 'The Monster in the Loch'. And to round off proceedings, they find themselves stuck between floors in a trip to a well-known department store on London's Oxford Street, in 'Trapped!'
So curl up and have a cuppa with Hamish and Dougal - you'd be two teabags short of a full pot to miss out!"
* Amazon.co.uk is listing I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue Vol. 9 with a 5 Sept 2005 release date. The description only says that this set will include four shows from the recent series of Clue.
(Lisa Manekofsky - Goodies-l - 15th April))
5. FEATURE ARTICLE
THE GOODIES STILL ALIVE ON STAGE
ADDITIONAL REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK
Further to the all of the news and reviews on "The Goodies Still Alive On Stage" which featured in our special Tour Edition C&G last month, here are some additional articles which we have received since then:
(A). MESSAGE FROM JOHN PINDER
The team producing The Goodies tour to Australia all thought it was the best thing ever. Bill Tim and Graeme really were the nicest guys. The show was fantastic and we all just want to have them back next week!
About 25,000 people were able to get tickets to the shows in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane and we think there were probably another 25,000 who missed out because it was such a short tour (we did 13 shows).
We started out thinking it might be four or five shows but the tickets just flew out the door and we added as many shows as we could fit in. Tim, Graeme and Bill were tireless and continued to evolve the show at every performances. The world premier of The Goodies Still Alive onstage was a great success!
I think the most exciting thing was that the show was so well put together. I have had hundred of emails from people who, like me, just wanted to be in the same room with The Goodies, saying how wonderful the show was and I really do agree. Personally I loved the 'early days' stuff. I wrote in the program that Cambridge Circus was the first live comedy show I ever saw in 1964 in New Zealand where I grew up. Anyone who saw the show may remember they mentioned a little town called Timaru...my home town. I like to think it was a little joke specially for me but I think the hotel in Timaru was probably even worse than they said!
We wanted people to really get a sense of the importance of The Goodies in comedy history and it was great to see so many performers involved with The Big Laugh Comedy Festival talking about favourite episodes and the influence The Goodies have had on their comedy. The Umbilical Brothers, who had their own sold out show at the festival, saw several of the Goodies shows, and ten minutes before the last-minute second Sunday show in Sydney, Shane called desperate for one more ticket. Unfortunately they were all gone...every single one!
One last story...We all went out sailing on Sydney Harbour on one of the few days off during the tour. Deck Hand Tim had a bit of a close shave in a brisk wind as we jibed somewhere off Taronga Park. A rope whipped around his arm and dragged him off the fore-deck. Luckily he grabbed the hand rail and we didn't lose him over board. Melbourne actually saw all three Goodies the next night! (I hope he doesn't mind me telling this story).
Last but certainly not least...Goodies fans are the best! We met so many terrific people during the tour and the crowds outside the stage doors were brilliant.We had to drop the signings in the foyers because of the huge crowds but the smart people jammed the stage door after every show. A round of applause greeted The Goodies as they came out to get in the car...it took an hour to move about three metres...and everyone got pictures and autographs. After the first night at The State in Sydney when the guys eventually got in the car the crowd made a guard of honour and applauded as The Goodies took off for the hotel! Someone even did a traffic cop impersonation and stopped the traffic for them!
Saying good bye with all the team at the airport was sad. There were even a few small tears just held back.
The Big Laugh Comedy Festival
(B) GOODIES TOUR REPORT
(by Grant Hannis)
After seeing visions of giant kittens and flying lighthouses, long-time Goodies' fan Grant Hannis made his way from New Zealand to catch three of the lads' recent Aussie shows and meet the boys. Here's his report:
I teach journalism in Wellington, New Zealand, and when I announced to my class of mostly twenty-somethings that I was off to Oz to see The Goodies, I was greeted with many blank stares.
"Are they a band?" asked one lone voice.
Only the older students in the class knew what I was on about.
"Yeah, The Goodies," piped up a student in his forties. "I remember them. They were great!"
They certainly were. When I'd heard the boys were reuniting for a tour across the ditch, I hurriedly bought tickets to three shows. This was to be a special treat.
I later learned I had a fellow Kiwi to thank for the pleasure. The tour was put together by New Zealander John Pinder, who first saw Oddie and Brooke-Taylor in Timaru during the Cambridge Circus tour in 1964. Thanks, John!
Taking in four Aussie cities, The Goodies 2005 tour was a sell out, playing to 25,000 people.
The stage show was a mix of monologues, skits and video footage from the show. It was built around the comedians answering questions fans had sent in beforehand.
So, what were the shows like? Well, they were bloody marvellous!
When I sat down at the first show, the audience's excitement was palpable. As the lights go down, the video screen breaks into the familiar opening sequence and theme tune: "Goodies!! Goody, Goody, Yum...Yum.....". The crowd goes nuts.
When the sequence ends, there is a pause. Slowly, The Goodies appear on stage pushing a three-man Zimmer frame. They lose control of their new mode of transportation and stagger off the stage.
They then re-emerge and stand unaided, drinking in the tumultuous applause. They look strong and healthy, if a little longer in the tooth.
But if the outward appearances have changed, the inward talent remains.
"Why did you come to Australia?"
"Well," says Graeme, "I could say it's because we've always had such a loyal fan base here. But the real reason is that, if this show doesn't work, we want to be as far away from England as possible!"
"Is it true that a man actually died laughing watching the Goodies?"
"Yes," continues Graeme. "He died of a heart attack and his widow sent us a lovely letter thanking us for making his last moments so happy. So, for those of you who may also suffer the fatal combination of a weak heart and a sense of humour, here is the clip that he died watching."
Cue the fight sequence in which Bill is the master of the ancient Lancashire martial art of Ecky-Thump.
"How did you get together?"
The Goodies take a trip down memory lane, with Tim explaining he headed the Footlights comedy club at Cambridge in the early '60s and actually auditioned the other two. Graeme and Bill re-enact their auditions. Graeme performs a fantastic mime with small furry animals and Bill sings one of his early songs.
"Were you ever injured doing your stunts?"
"Yes," recalls Tim. "We were dressed as mice and were suspended by wires getting ready to stick a giant hypodermic needle into an enormous kitten.
"Suddenly, one of the wires snapped and wrapped itself around my wrist. There was blood everywhere and a burly stagehand collapsed at the sight.
"I was rushed to the nurse, who was French. Only the BBC would have a French nurse! I don't know if you've ever tried explaining in French that you have just cut your wrist while dressed as a mouse and trying to inject a giant kitten."
"Were The Goodies ever censored?"
"I'm afraid so," says Graeme, "and it was here in Australia." Cue the scene where The Goodies, dressed as boy scouts, are sitting under cold showers and must dowse themselves every time they have rude thoughts. The ABC cut the scene when it first aired in Oz.
"Apparently they thought we were a kids' show," says Graeme ruefully.
But The Goodies were in good company, he adds, as even the early Julie Andrews was rather rude and thus heavily censored. A sound recording of Andrews then kicks in, with Graeme pressing a buzzer to hide the supposed rude words:
"All I want is a BZZZZ somewhere, far away from the cold night air."
"I could have BZZZZZ all night, I could have BZZZZZ all night, and still have begged for more."
"BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ tied up in string, these are a few of my favourite things."
"Where's the tandem?"
"That bloody bike!" shouts Bill. "It was so hard to ride. We hated it. Here it is!" He produces a small cube of crushed metal.
"Do you prefer working on radio or TV?"
"Radio!!!" they all say. The Goodies then embark on a lengthy radio play from "I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again", with Bill working overtime on the sound effects.
Each of the three shows I saw was basically the same, save for the odd ad lib. During the radio play at a later show, for instance, Tim, in the role of an elderly woman, has taken to calling Bill "Tiny" (a reference to Bill's rude bits). Bill ad libs, "If you call me Tiny again I won't come in anymore." Tim retorts, "That's just it. I wouldn't notice if you did!"
Towards the end of the show The Goodies ask the audience what final clip they'd like to see on the screen. There is a mighty roar for "Rolf Harris", the classic episode where Britain is infested with a plague of Rolf Harrises. At my last show six members of the audience have even turned up dressed up as Rolf.
But it's not to be, and the fans get "Movies" instead, a very clever montage in which The Goodies jump in and out of movie screens and films. It's not Rolf Harris, but it does showcase the team's incredible visual sense.
I have to admit that at show number three I yell out first and in a nice clear voice "MOVIES!!!" I then sat back and enjoyed the admiration of those seated around me as The Goodies seemingly do my bidding and played the "Movies" clip.
The encore each night is "Funky Gibbon", the group's biggest pop music hit.
After my final show I join other intrepid fans waiting backstage for the boys to appear. It doesn't take long.
"You've made three sad old men very happy," Tim tells us with genuine gratitude.
I thank Bill for coming all this way for the shows. "No worries, mate," he replies between swigs of his beer.
Graeme is quieter than his colleagues and keeps more in the background. But that dry wit is all too apparent. When I tell him that, despite how great The Goodies are, I think "I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue" is perhaps even better, he smiles.
"Thank you, but I wouldn't say that too loudly around this crowd."
He's right. All six Rolf Harrises are standing behind me!
(C) MR YEN'S WORLD. OLDIES BUT GOODIES
The following is an article I wrote about the Goodies show in Sydney for "Education", the NSW Teachers Federation newspaper. I am a high school mathematics teacher who writes a column for the journal. This article was published in early April.
Flashback to 1977. Three brothers play backyard cricket in suburban Chester Hill, when the eldest shouts 'It's 6 o'clock!' They all rush inside, switch on the ABC, and are projected into the comical world of three British chaps who ride a 'trandem' bicycle and whose motto is 'We do anything anytime'. In the eyes of a 12-year-old, The Goodies is the best TV show ever. It had madcap adventures, clever wordplay and slapstick, visual gags, zany send-ups, elaborate sets and props. Remember the giant kitten, the pirate radio station, the Ecky Thump kung fu spoof, the advertising campaign for string, the plague of Rolf Harrises? Each of us brothers adopted a character. William was his namesake, Bill Oddie, the young and scruffy hippie. Harold was Graeme Garden, the mad scientist, because he wore glasses. I was Tim Brooke-Taylor, the snobbish monarchist, because he was the only one left. And because of my tendency to wear Union Jack waistcoats.
The Goodies produced an amazing 130 episodes from 1970 to 1982, and Generation X'ers (born 1965-1980) may remember watching the countless repeats every day after school. This live-action Simpsons of the 70's attracted a cult following here, even more so than in its home country. I've learned recently that in the UK, the episodes were shown only once by the BBC (no repeats), and later at night, after 8:30 pm. The Goodies was not meant to be a children's show, but the ABC didn't know that, also screening The Kenny Everett Video Show in that timeslot.
Fast forward to a Sunday night in 2005. The three brothers plus two cousins are sitting in Parramatta's Riverside Theatre, poised for the headline act of Sydney's Big Laugh Comedy Festival: The Goodies: (Still A)live On Stage. We're seeing our childhood heroes live, in Australia, in a different century. It's a surreal moment. Some British fans have flown over to be in the audience, which consists of mostly white, male Generation X'ers and baby boomers. There's nobody here under thirty, no piercings. A million questions run through our minds. What are The Goodies doing now? What will they look like? What the hell are they going to do on stage for two hours? How are they going to recreate the humour of their TV shows?
The stage is bare but for a lectern and three armchairs decorated with symbols of each Goody. The lights dim. 'Ladies and gentlemen, please make welcome The Goodies!' The crowd goes berserk. Our three superheroes hobble onto the stage, on a giant trandem walking frame. Graeme is wearing a pathetic wig and sideburns to hide his age, but he has his trademark brown jacket with elbow patches. Tim is in his blue suit with Union Jack while Bill wears a T-shirt, shorts and back-to-front baseball cap. They look older and wider (they're in their sixties), and each one takes his turn at the lectern while the other two interject from the armchairs.
Tim and Graeme still work in comedy together for BBC radio, but Bill has reinvented himself as a wildlife documentary maker. However, the old banter and rivalries are reignited immediately, with Bill introducing the balding Graeme as a man 'with a brain so large that it is bursting out of his head'. It becomes obvious the form the show is to take. They will be answering questions that fans have e-mailed them, reminiscing about making their TV series, showing clips and performing routines from their early days. It's not so much a performance, but a school reunion with old friends. The night has a vaudeville / radio show feel to it, with lots of audience cheering and applauding when a familiar scene, character or episode is recalled.
'Why did you come to Australia?' Graeme: Because we were asked. (Pause) The British government asked us to leave. Tim: Because we heard that there was an island in the south Pacific whose natives still worshipped us as gods. 'How did you meet?' At Cambridge University, where they performed in the student revue with half of Monty Python. Graeme demonstrates his audition piece, his party trick where he makes stuffed animals come to life: a tiny bunny that crawls over his shoulder, a vampire bat that lunges for his neck. The Cambridge revue was so successful that it toured New Zealand and Broadway. Up flashes a photo of Bill with John Cleese relaxing on Bondi Beach.
'What was your most painful or dangerous stunt? Did a man really die from watching an episode?' Yes, a Scotsman had a heart attack during the fight sequence in Ecky Thump. The widow sent The Goodies a letter thanking them 'for making my husband's last moments so happy'. Graeme dares us to watch this scene again, apologising for its political incorrectness. 'Which episodes were cut by TV censors?' We are shown a risqué ad for Fairy Puff washing powder from Episode 1, as well as a scene featuring boy scouts with suggestive undertones. Morals campaigner Mary Whitehouse (the British Fred Nile) first praised The Goodies for their fun-natured show, which annoyed them no end, but by 1980 she was objecting to a Saturday Night Fever parody in which Tim's underpants had a picture of a carrot.
The Superchaps Three (the original, rejected title for The Goodies) also perform a mock radio drama, 'Jack the Ripper', from their 1960s radio series I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, and sing Do The Funky Gibbon, a silly song that went to No. 1 in the UK. We had a jolly good time tonight, but I think you would only if you were a fan of the show.
Back in 1977, it's 6:30 pm and the three brothers are outside in the yard playing cricket again. You see, we didn't care that much for Doctor Who.
(D) COURIER MAIL, BRISBANE, 24TH MARCH
(contributed by John Jackson)
Royal Payoffs Roll On
The Goodies were good value on their visit to Brisbane.
Writer: Jennifer Dudley
It WAS the original TV show about nothing - a series about three oddball Englishmen and the motto, "We do anything, anytime" - it was sometimes surreal and always silly, and its three writer/performers remain cheerfully surprised at the show's enduring popularity.
'The alumni, Tim Brooke-Taylor, 64, Bill Oddie, 63, and Graeme Garden, 62, recently toured Australia and witnessed this popularity first-hand.
Their first concert tour sold out in most states, including Queensland. Brooke-Taylor says he didn't know what to expect, or whether people would even remember them, but all three are living their rock-star dreams. "It is extraordinary", he said. In England you have to be around 40 or 50 to know the group. But their Australian fans are aged in their 30s.
The British group owe a lot of their Australian popularity to the ABC, which replayed their 11 years of antics often until the ABC's rights expired in the late 1980s. Their absence from television screens was rectified earlier this month when subscription TV channel UKTV began showing the series from its black-and-white origins.
While the show's 1970s haircuts and wide lapels have dated, and even become funny themselves, the programme's humour is as relevant as ever.
Even their targets of jest have remained familiar, said Graeme. "There are certain targets that we had but most of them are still pretty identifiable like Rolf Harris," he said. All the people we've targeted have gone on to have wonderful careers despite us mocking them viciously."
Age has not dulled their wit either. Asked about the timing of their Australian trip, which coincided with visits from two sets of royalty, Oddie let loose. "Prince Charles is stalking Tim, but now he's given up and gone to Fiji. And, of course, Princess Mary is following us. We just said 'stop pestering us, go back to Denmark!' I know what these Danes are like. They're always naked and frolicking in the snow and all that and we said, 'no, no Mary, get back on the throne'."
(E) FINAL FAN FEEDBACK
* Just want to say thanks very much to The Goodies for touring with the great show, and for being so friendly and easygoing to the fans in Melbourne when meeting us at the stage door. (and for the comic genius of The Goodies itself, of course). Cheers Tim, Graeme and Bill and hope to see you again some day.
6. GOODIES EPISODE SUMMARY
(by Brett Allender)
Series 9, Episode 5
First screened: 6th February 1982
Tim is busy doing the washing as Graeme and Bill return to the office from another hard day's work and they immediately launch into their hobbies (as Bill plays the drums while he peers through binoculars at stuffed birds mounted on his drum kit and Graeme straps on a headset with a portable tv mounted to it and gets comfortable, while being serviced by a range of fancy automated gadgets) without taking any time to listen to Tim, who moans about his tough day out at the shopping centre. Tim is sufficiently annoyed at their lack of attention to turn the power off, as he wants to have some company and a chat with them and after they reject the dinner that he has cooked for them (a disgustingly unappetising hogs head!), further rows break out and he concludes that their relationship just isn't working and that they need a holiday to help them to relax and sort things out.
Tim books them into a bungalow in the seaside town of Dunsquabblin for three weeks, but when they arrive, they find that the bungalow is very poorly equipped and that no modern conveniences like radios, record players or musical instruments are permitted, as loud noises disturb the sheep (and even the restrictions notice covers a sign which declares that there is a 250 pound penalty for removing the notice, which forces Bill to stick it back on the wall very quickly). The perculiarly designed bathroom with its maze of pipes (and loo half way up to the ceiling!) also causes quite a racket when it is flushed, which upsets the sheep even more and causes Tim to declare that the Goodies will just have to be like the Royal family and never go to the loo, which in turn leads Bill to tell Tim that he heard a royal blow off once, as Tim embarrassedly replies: "Probably one of the corgies!"
Graeme and Bill are lost without all of their modern electronic gadgets, but Tim finds it relaxing and plans to spend most of the time outdoors until it starts to rain heavily and the roof leaks like a sieve. Three days of non-stop rain later, boredom has set in until Tim shows Graeme and Bill the forgotten art of how to make a cup of tea without electronic help, but a few days (and dozens of cuppas) further down the track the rain continues to fall, Bill is bloated from too much tea and the others take advantage of his lack of card game knowledge to thrash him in a game of 'spat' (in which they make up the rules as they go along).
The rain still tumbles down (even in the cupboard that Graeme has painted with a nice sunny beach scene, as Tim discovers when he steps in there) and Bill desperately sets his alarm for midnight just so that he can cross off another lousy day on his tally board on the wall. He has been in bed for seventeen days, but there are still another four to survive and even Tim is starting to get very tense by now at the lack of action. Tim promises Bill that they will go bird watching the next day, regardless of the rain and they realise that it has finally stopped raining - only for Bill to open the window and get blown off his feet by a fierce blizzard of snow!
Bill has to be content with watching a yellow rubber duck (which is conveniently pictured in his birdspotting book!) strapped onto Tim's head, Tim's punny 'puffin' and painful 'flycatcher' impressions and finally Graeme as a web-footed crane (after he has been attempting to snorkel in the bathtub) and although they all try to relax on banana lounges, they are far too tense and the holiday appears to have done them more harm than good.
To mark their final night at Dunsquabblin, they decide to put on an old fashioned Victorian musical evening to entertain themselves, with Graeme as compere, Tim as the first act (with both of them in tuxedos which they somehow amazingly managed to pack in their holiday gear!) and Bill dressed up as Queen Victoria herself (as one Tim is not amused!). Their gentle rendition of 'Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Sea Side' soon degenerates as Bill firstly does a fair impersonation of Animal from the Muppets on the drums and then all three turn into shouting punk rockers who trash their hellhole cabin to bits, as Tim declares that it's the best holiday he's ever had!
* Graeme: (about the bathroom, with the toilet located halfway up the wall) "I don't think it's very well designed."
Tim; "I think it's charming. All you need is a little imagination."
Graeme: "And a little stepladder!"
* Only a few small cameos including the deafening racket caused by the mass of plumbing pipes in the bathroom when the loo (which sits half way up the wall!) is flushed (causing Tim to demand that none of them are to go to the bog for the next three weeks), Graeme and Tim's silly bird impersonations (especially Tim's flycatcher!), Graeme's glasses being fitted with little windscreen wipers when the roof is leaking and Tim creating an interesting sound effect by blasting a nosy sheep away from the window with a shotgun during their punk rock performance of 'Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Sea Side' (which incidentally contains the only usage of the f - word (bleeped-out) by the Goodies in the entire run of the show, although it appears as though Brother Ignatius also mouths it when he breaks his silence in Wacky Wales after Mary Whitehouse has roughly tackled him!)
Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Sea Side
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
One final attempt to recapture the 'trapped with nowhere to go' atmosphere of earlier studio-based classics like The End and Earthanasia, but this time it fails miserably with a plot almost completely devoid of funny dialogue or visual scenes - a very rare dud episode among a decade-long run of classic comedy and probably only rarely screened on television in any case, so most fans haven't seen how bad it is anyway.
I Tripe on t'pikelets
BLACK PUDDING RATINGS SYSTEM:
IIIII - Superstar.
IIII - Officially amazing.
III - Goody goody yum yum.
II - Fair-y punkmother.
I - Tripe on t' pikelets.
May Episode Summary –
Animals (final summary)
7. QUIZ & QUOTE ANSWERS
(a) Tim Brooke-Taylor
(b) Rolf Harris
(c) Scatty Safari
(d) "A little light housekeeping"
(e) Five years
(f) Because everything on a lighthouse is round in shape
(g) Because Bill threw it out after getting complaints from the others after using it to cook chips with.
(h) Rancid halibut giblets
8 Goodies fan supreme
7 Mastermind of the year
5-6 Clever clogs
3-4 Reasonably Goodie
1-2 Thick as old boots
0 Rolf Harris!
NEXT C&G EDITION:
- #114: - 12th May 2005.
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