Graeme and Tim unleash the deadly martial art of Kung Fu on each other with a series of extravagant manoeuvres and bloodcurdling wails until Graeme turns and consults his 'Teach Yourself Kung Fu' training manual ("Page 3, now let's see…!") However Graeme only succeeds in pulling a muscle upon resumption of hostilities, while Tim responds to Graeme's instructions ("Come at me. Strike like the lightning whiplash of the cobra") with such a drawn-out attacking move (as that is how he has seen it done on TV – in slow motion!) that Graeme has plenty of time to take a seat out of the firing line. Before Graeme's next attacking move, Tim wimpily asks "You're not going to hurt me, are you?" (to which Graeme smugly replies "Slightly!") and Graeme tells him that "The King of Kung Fu doesn't cry a lot", before "attacking the nerve points –delayed reaction." This rapid series of gentle prods and nudges initially causes Tim to chuckle ("Graeme, I'll begin to talk!") before he starts to twist and wriggle manically (even squeezing in a quick Funky Gibbon impression along the way) and finally collapses apparently lifeless on the floor.
Bill enters the room (almost stepping on the prone Tim on the way in) and quickly dismisses Kung Fu as a "load of rubbish", especially when Tim regains consciousness after Graeme has supposedly killed him ("You said he was dead! It's like Chinese food, this is. Half an hour later you have to kill him again!") Bill effortlessly chops Graeme's Kung Fu book neatly in half with his bare hand (though not having any success with similarly destroying the latest Max Bygraves record set; only the table underneath it!) and brags that Kung Fu is useless compared to "the infinitely more subtle and superior Lancastrian martial art of what I happen to be a master." Tim asks "Is it good for hurting people?" (to which a scornful Bill replies "Honestly, really! You come on like a poncy public school pansy! Underneath you're a savage little devil, you, aren't you?!"), so Bill tells Tim and Graeme of his inspiring 'Grasshopper'-style journey forth to the Mystic East ("Fish and chip shop in Rochdale, Lancs") to "seek out t' true enlightenment" and become a Grand Master of Ecky Thump.
Upon Bill's arrival at the Mystic East and its 'School of Ecky Thump', he is greeted by one of "t' exquisitely delicate ladies of t' temple" (a roughly-dressed cleaning lady with rollers in her hair) who "demanded proof of (his) devotion" (money, which she holds up to the light and then tucks inside the elasticised leg of her baggy knickers) before she lets him in. At the robing ceremony, Bill is given "t' small flat hat of a novice" and all disciples (including T'Grand Master, who wears an enormous flat hat and is carried in on a fancy chair by his flunkies) dine together on a "carefully chosen diet of them who become perfect in body and mind – black pudding, chip butties, tripe and a piece of parkin for afters!" After a hearty heave and a stint in "t' meditation room" (an outside toilet) to "ponder the purity of (his) soul in peace and quiet", Bill takes his first Ecky Thump lesson which requires a demanding ritual to control his limbs and movements before he heads to "t' master class' to learn new skills that are to be used "only for peaceable purposes" (such as using flat hats for playing darts and soccer goalkeeping). Finally Bill is ready to learn the "final ultimate secret" of Ecky Thump from T' Grand Master, after which he is proclaimed "a black belt and braces, and I myself were truly a Grand Master!"
At the end of Bill's story however, he still refuses to divulge the mystic secret of Ecky Thump (preferring to "commit Harry Corbett" instead!) and merely trots out some rather flowery proverbs; much to the annoyance of Tim and Graeme ("Don't come the Mabel Lucy Atwell with us!") Although Bill explains that "the whole point of Ecky Thump is that you never use it. Far too dangerous!", Tim and Graeme try to wring the secret out of him with plenty of physical and verbal provocation (including "you miserable, jumped-up, squinty little goblin" from Tim and a sneering put-down of "Chelsea supporter!" from Graeme), but find that Bill still won't crack. Some inspired bragging by Tim and Graeme about the superior martial arts of their foreign relatives (including Uncle Taffy from Wales with his "yach-y-daa" and Uncle Izzy, the Golders Green "oy vey" champion!) finally aggravates Bill sufficiently for him to issue a martial arts challenge "at dawn tomorrow on Primrose Hill" to Tim, Graeme and their various relatives … "and I trust they'll all be there!" (to which a hesitant Graeme replies "Not all at once!")
The martial arts trial is overseen by a boxing referee (who bellows away into a megaphone in barely understandable dialogue) and Bill's joint ability to absorb whatever pain his opponents inflict on him, then belt them over their unsuspecting heads with a rock-hard black pudding not only sees him ward off a string of challenges from the wacky relatives of his fellow Goodies, but puts Kung Fu in its place as well. Tim returns to the office in plaster (in a menacing Kung Fu pose, except that he "can't move", much to Graeme's disdain) and Bill gloats that he is about to hold a class at the Cricklewood Women's Institute ("I'll let you in if you drag up!") What is supposedly a secret is now being taught to the masses for "ten quid a lesson" by Bill ("Well, who am I to deprive the world of a little harmful fun, hey? I've just had (champion boxer) John Conteh on the phone asking where he can buy a pudding!") and furthermore a stream of "full length, full colour, gratuitously violent and very badly dubbed Ecky Thump movies" (such as "Ecky Thump Meets Mary Poppins (by Welt Disney!) and "Big Pud") rapidly spread the craze all over the country, as evidenced in the Nationwide report where even the presenter and the Prime Minister wallop unsuspecting targets with callous disdain.
Graeme and Tim venture to the Mystic East at Rochdale, where they find that Bill has become the "High Priest Eeba Goom" and now speaks with a heavy Northern accent and dialogue (such as his complaint of "Was tha born in a barn? Shove wood i't'hole, it's reet parky!" when Tim inadvertantly leaves the door open upon entry.) After Bill provides Tim and Graeme with a cup of tea (which Tim tips all over himself thanks to his constrictive plaster cast), he tells them "I'm reet chuffed that you've come to join us", only to find that they have actually come to put an end to the chaos being caused by Ecky Thump. Far from packing it in however ("Stop? Stop? No, nay chucky, can't stop now. Not for all t'hot pot in Oswaldtwistle!"), Bill has released a Mao-like "little red book" of his wise thoughts(such as "While there's tripe on t'pikelets, there's nowt wrong wi' owt!"), which all of his disciples proudly hold aloft, and is planning a march to Westminster to take over Parliament ("T'Night of Long Knives will have nothing on t' day of black puddings") so that he will soon be in charge of Britain ("So spread that on your parkin and munch it!").
Tim is worried that "this could be the end of the world as we know it", but Graeme comes up with a crafty scheme of his own, as he notes that Bill is "useless without his pudding." (to which Tim replies "Aren't we all!") The orders for the march on Parliament (which are left behind in Bill's office) specify the collection of "ten million black puddings from Peckinpah's Perfect Puddings - None Blacker", so Graeme and Tim break into the grimy-looking pudding factory after-hours in a bid to sabotage the next day's product. Graeme pours "ten million little electronic miracles" (miniature radio receivers) into the black pudding mix and gives it a good stirring (until he trips and tumbles into the foul black gunk himself!) so the factory soon starts to churn out radio-controlled puddings, to Graeme's satisfied declaration that "We shall turn their black puddings against them."
Bill and his army of flat-capped, black belts and braces-clad revolutionaries march along the road to Westminster (in an Eisenstein-style film with black-and-white vision and dramatic music), but Graeme is lurking nearby with his remote control box and the puddings start to do some rather strange things, much to the bemusement of Bill and his troops. Graeme detonates Bill's black pudding in a mini-fireball and Tim moves in for a Kung Fu rematch (which is partly successful due to the hardness of Tim's plaster casts), but Bill quickly re-arms himself with two teapots that squirt powerful jets of tea that knock Tim off his feet. Bill also creates a sandwich out of Graeme's Kung Fu-style outstretched hand before he makes a quick getaway down the road aboard the tea trolley. Tim and Graeme pursue him and also jump on board, where a struggle ensues before the tea trolley sails over a cliff and crashes into a rocky quarry below. This is followed by a narrator's eminently sensible warning of "We would like to point out that Ecky Thump is the ancient Lancastrian art of self defense. If practiced by the untrained, it could be dangerous!"
* Graeme (reading from Kung Fu Book): "Now let's see, raise your left leg and kick, at the same time shouting hy yah ha zah!"
Tim: "What does that mean?"
Graeme: "That means" ... (reading)..."Ouch I've pulled a flaming muscle! ... (in pain) ... hy yah ..."
* Bill (after seeing Tim sprawled out on the floor): "Hello, what's wrong with him?"
Graeme (matter-of-factly): "I killed him."
Bill (annoyed): "Oh you are careless, you really are, honestly! (changes tune) What's for dinner, Grae?"
Graeme: "We were doing Kung Fu"
Bill (objecting): "I'm not eating that! It's got noodles in it, hasn't it? Makes me throw up!"
* Bill (about Kung Fu being a load of rubbish, when Tim comes to): "There you are, you see, that proves it, doesn't it? You said he was dead! It's like Chinese food, this is. Half an hour later you have to kill him again!"
* Bill (about to tell his Ecky Thump story): "Allow me to elucidate."
Graeme: "You do and you clean it up yourself!" (starts cackling, almost cracking Bill up)
* Bill (narrating his Ecky Thump journey) "At that moment we met our Grand Master and eee, 'e were grand! 'E was full of wise sayings such as" (cut to GM) "There's nowt wrong wi' owt what mitherin' clutterbucks don't barley grummit!"
* Graeme: "And I shan't even allude..."
Tim: "Allude not!"
Graeme: " … to my wee cousin Hamish who has a black sporran in the Scottish martial art of Hoots Toots Och Aye The Noo!"
* Graeme (stunned, after returning from Primrose Hill and a shellacking from Bill): "Ecky Thump?! You know, it's our own fault. We should have let him keep his little secret."
Tim: "Little secret?! He just belted us with black puddings."
Graeme: "It's extremely effective."
Tim: "They're extremely hard!"
* Narrator (introducing Bill's Ecky Thump movies): "The Classic Tokyo. Ecky Thump in ladies clothes ... Enter With Drag On"
* Tim (to Bill, incredulously): "I'm not calling you Eeba Goom!"
Bill (yells): "ECKY THUMP!!" (belts Tim with black pudding)
Tim (startled): "Flippin heck!"
Bill: "Oh no no no. (points to flat-capped guard at door) That's Flippin' Heck, him over there!"
*Tim: "I've found the recipe (for black puddings), 500 gallons of pigs blood, three gross of calves stomachs, 400 ... ohh ... poor little tom kittens, monosodium glutamate ... ugghh, rats brains, dung... (turns to Graeme, who is wallowing in the mixture) hey, get out of that ... you'll absolutely ruin the flavour!"
* Graeme and Tim practicing Kung Fu on a padded mat in the Goodies' office; with lots of audacious martial arts moves and ferocious battle cries (before Graeme stops to read page 3 of the instruction book!), both of them repeatedly bowing to each other just as Graeme shapes up to knock Tim's block off, Tim's noisy slow-motion attack which is so protracted that Graeme is able to take a comfy seat on the sidelines (and jeer "You missed!" when Tim ends up miles away from him) and Graeme attacking Tim's nerve points with a series of little chops and pokes, causing Tim to writhe around like a funky gibbon before collapsing flat on the floor, presumably dead.
* Bill effortlessly chopping the Kung Fu book neatly in half, but not being able to make a dent in the horrible "SleepalongaMax Volume 98 records" that Tim produces for him to destroy, although he succeeds splendidly in busting Tim's Union Jack-covered table in half underneath after a delay of a few seconds.
* Bill's entire journey forth to seek t' true enlightenment at the Mystic East fish and chip shop in Rochdale; especially the "ritual bath to cleanse my imperfect body" (a scrubdown in a tin bath outdoors by a big, fat, scruffy cleaning lady) "and the water was softened with exotic unguents" (several puffs of Ajax powder which are scattered by the strong breeze), Bill receiving "t' maiden's delicate massage" (thumped repeatedly with a big mallet), the entry of T' Grand Master (with his unforgettable – and close to unpronounceable - wise saying), Bill's gruesome partaking of traditional delicacies like black puddings, chip butties and tripe (which leads to a gang heave from all disciples afterwards!), and the much-needed stint in "t' meditation room" (where "t' air was heavy with mystic scents" thanks to an Air Wick-type loo freshener) to purify his imperfect body and soul afterwards.
* The martial arts duel at dawn on Primrose Hill, with a boxing referee announcing the various contests as Bill uses his lethal black pudding with great effect to defeat Kung Fu Tim (with his loud war cries and rather grotty feet), black boxer Graeme (who dances around in a fleet-of-foot manner and at least manages a quick "hello!" before he hits the deck), breadstick-wielding French Tim (who draws a hilariously pained look from Bill after shoving the breadstick up his clacker!) and Aussie Graeme (who curses "Strewth!" after missing Bill with his boomerang). A bagpipe-wielding Scotsman Tim (doing a hilarious jig accompanied by assorted Scottish gibberish, which actually caused a Goodies fan in England to die of laughter while he was watching this particular segment on TV - fair dinkum!) finally disarms Bill of his black pudding and moves in for the knockout blow, only to be KO'd by Graeme's returning boomerang, as Bill belts the indecipherable referee senseless in celebration.
* The Nationwide report on the craze of Ecky Thump sweeping the nation, including a group of businessmen knocking each other out with black puddings while waiting at a bus stop, a little old lady creaming a newspaper seller over the head with a pudding as she casually walks past him, the Prime Minister leaning out the door of 10 Downing Street and clobbering a policeman on patrol, and the presenter himself walloping a guest psychiatrist (who only manages to drone out a reply to a question regarding Ecky Thump's popularity of "Mindless violence is nothing new ..." before he falls victim to it himself) then eagerly preparing his pudding for the imminent arrival of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
* Graeme staging a few more expert falls; including his plunge into the revolting black pudding mixture and his stumble back through the fence after his flying Kung Fu leap has missed Bill altogether (but bowled Tim over on the way past). Also Bill's plaintive wail of "The puddings are coming. Errkk!" before he and his troops are flattened by a shower of black puddings, thanks to Graeme's remote control.
* The Goodies' out-of-control ride over the cliff face on the tea trolley and heavy crash onto the rocks in the quarry below, followed by the narrator's considerate warning that if Ecky Thump is practiced by the untrained, it could be dangerous!
Michael Barratt, Richard Pescud, William F. Sully
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
One of the all-time classic episodes of The Goodies that comes into most fan's memories almost immediately (much like 'Radio Goodies') and one of my own personal favourites too. A super send-up of the martial arts craze sweeping the globe at the time, with the northern England lifestyle, Eisenstein films and various other topics all combining with the humble black pudding to produce a truly great half hour of comedy.
BLACK PUDDING RATING
Graeme and Tim learn Kung Fu by the book
Bill has a chop at SleepalongaMax Volume 98
Bill journeys forth to the Mystic East
"T' exquisitely delicate lady of t'temple" demands proof of Bill's devotion
Bill has a ritual bath to cleanse his imperfect body
Bill and the other novices meet T' Grand Master
Bill hoes into his black pudding and chip butties
A mass upchuck after a feed of traditional delicacies
Bill receives his "black belt and braces" from T' Grand Master
And Bill truly were a Grand Master of Ecky Thump!
Graeme and Tim try to extract the secret of Ecky Thump from Bill
Bill ready to do battle at dawn on Primrose Hill
Kung Fu Tim and black boxer Graeme in action
Another victory for the might of Ecky Thump
Frenchman Tim at least gets in one good low blow before being eckythumped
Aussie Graeme with his boomerang
Ecky Thump versus Hoots Toots Och Aye The Noo!
Down goes the referee as Ecky Thump reigns supreme
Tim and Graeme are much worse for wear afterwards
Two of Bill's "gratuitously violent and very badly dubbed Ecky Thump movies"
Ecky Thump is causing chaos all over Britain
Even the PM is getting in on the act
The Nationwide presenter eckythumps his guest
Chairman Eeba Goom and his "little red book"
Graeme takes a dip in the black pudding vat
Bill's Ecky Thump rebellion on the march
Graeme's remote control makes the puddings do strange things
"The puddings are coming ... ERRRKKK!!"
A shower of puddings rains down on the troops
Bill disposes of Tim with teapot power
Graeme tries out his Kung Fu on a puddingless Bill
Out of control aboard the tea trolley
The fatal finale of the Ecky Thump duel