Welcome once more to Blog Spot, the part of this blog where, once a month, I put aside my own work to concentrate on that of others. For our 25th edition, I'm paying tribute to a website which is the go-to source for one of my favourite comedy series:
I've been a massive fan of The Goon Show for many years. As someone brought up on Monty Python and Peter Cook, it was perhaps inevitable that my curiosity would lead me to the people who influenced these greats. As my interest grew, fed by my good friends Thomas Wales and Peter Byrom, I stumbled across during a manic search for online episodes. The site offers one episode a month which can be streamed or downloaded as an mp3, as well as promoting the official BBC releases.
On top of the actual episodes, this site is an absolute treasure trove of all things Goon. There are transcripts of every single one of the surviving shows, enabling fans to track down full episodes based upon a great joke they may have heard elsewhere. There are some fantastic cartoons available, some drawn by Spike Milligan himself, along with song lyrics, articles about memorabilia and information on where you can still here the episodes being broadcast today.
But the really good thing about this website is how bespoke it feels. While wikis are often incredibly informative, they can feel sterile and unwieldy at times because they are built from similar templates and have had many different kinds of often contradictory input. This site, on the other hand, is a labour of love: it's beautifully designed with a simple but effective layout, reflecting the heritage of the Goons while also making their work accessible. In short, if you're even slightly into the work of Messrs. Sellers, Secombe, Milligan and Bentine, you would do well to check this site out.
Click here to explore and download this month's episode, 'The Nasty Affair at the Burami Oasis'. Alternatively, click here to see my other Goon Show-related posts, including a number of gems from Letters of Note. Join me next month for another Blog Spot!