The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Collect 'Em All #14

Spike Milligan
No. 29 out of 48 in Merrysweets' Telegum TV Stars series
"Born Ahmadnager, India, 1918. Did various odd jobs before joining the army as a Bombadier. When demobbed Spike decided to write for a living and submitted two scripts to the B.B.C. One of the scripts scored a hit and in 1951 The Goon Show came into being. Since then he has written and appeared in I.T.V.'s 'A Show Called Fred' and 'Son of Fred.'"


Vanwall said...

One of the greatest comic influences ever. Sadly, hardly known in the States, even though his mark is felt here deeply, as well. This is a rather softer-side looking portrait, I must say, not revealing the depth of his devilish humor at all, unless the very fact of this photograph is a sly joke.

swac said...

Comedy as we know it would certainly be a much different art without Milligan's influence, and much of his writing is an absurdist delight.

Funny, I was listening to a bunch of Firesign Theatre on a recent road trip, and was amazed at how much Goon-ery was buried in their work that I hadn't really noticed before. ("He's no fun, he fell right over.")

Vanwall said...

I never saw the Goon Show before I was priveliged to see and hear Firesign Theater on stage, film and in recordings many times, and when I had more Goon Show viewings later on, I was amazed by the congruance of their comedy, too.

Fun with Firesign: One show I went to, some folk-rock act was opening for FT, and the entire first two rows were filled with Bozos, and Bozo-ettes - the lead singer was totally discombobulated - "I hope you've got the right show!" was his plaintive appeal to sanity; obviously not a Firesigner.