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The Dreaded Piano Clubber

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Here it is folks! Series four, episode one: ‘The Dreaded Piano Clubber’. Broadcast on 2 October 1953, the Radio Times shows it at 9:30pm on page 42, accompanied by a classic Larry Stephens doodle of a Goon.


For radio history buffs, there is a feature on pages 5 and 6 about how the Radio Times began in the early days of the BBC. The week including 2 October marked the publication’s 30th anniversary.

Credit: AmazingVision (link below)

Series four of the Goon Show has many more surviving episodes than the previous series, but unfortunately this is not one of them. Fortunately, ‘The Dreaded Piano Clubber’ was one of 14 episodes from this series that were reworked and rerecorded for the Vintage Goons series in 1957-58.


From that, we know that Henry Crun was targeted by a mysterious assailant who repeatedly snuck up on him and struck him with a piano.

[FX: Fast piano chords] Sergeant (Sellers): Oooh. What was that type noise? Seagoon: It sounded like a piano. Make a note! Sergeant: I'm afraid it's already made them. Jim Spriggs: No ad-libbing, please.

(from ‘The Dreaded Piano Clubber’, Vintage Goons, recorded 9 March 1958)


Scotland Yard investigates, but the clubber is always one step ahead, striking down the prime minister and – horror of horrors! – even Wallace Greenslade (requiring John Snagge do double duties).


Eventually the clubber is apprehended, and the country can rest easy again. Or can it…?

Greenslade: I've been asked by the BBC Commissioner to explain for the benefit of nervous listeners, that the piano clubber is just a fictitious character, so please don't go to bed thinking about him, as he is... [FX: Piano crashing]

(from ‘The Dreaded Piano Clubber’, Vintage Goons, recorded 9 March 1958)

 

Title: The Dreaded Piano Clubber

Series 4, Episode 1

Written by: Spike Milligan & Larry Stephens

Producer: Peter Eton


Vintage Goons version:

Title: The Dreaded Piano Clubber

Producer: Charles Chilton

Recorded: 9 March 1958


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