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Secombe's laughter [Sep. 18th, 2009|10:00 am]

Hello. This is a long shot, but here goes. Having listened to the Goon Shows you'll be well aware that Milligan, Sellers and Secombe all emit or suppress spontaneous laughter at some time or another.

Of the three, Secombe's laughter was the least suppressed, and is at times quite infectious. This is especially when he became helpless with laughter, which itself added to the joy of the show. There have been some particularly memorable moments of this kind, and I am seeking a lead for one in particular. This is one in which Secombe is in character as Neddie Seagoon. He is singing loudly to the sound of a big base drum beating 'boom boom boom...'. Suddenly he can't contain himself, and breaks into a sustained fit of laughter. I grew up listening to the Goons, and this is one of his most sustained fits of spontaneous laughter I'd ever heard, if not THE most sustained fit.

Here's the problem. I can't think which show it is. I remember thinking to myself "I'll remember that". However, years later, I can't. All I can remember is that incredible laughing fit. It's so memorable that there must be other Goon fanatics who remember, and I'm hoping that someone noted which show it was.

I posted this to a couple of people here, before I realised that this is a community and I could join and post this to the community. So to those individuals, I apologise for the duplicate posting. You are hereby granted community immunity with impunity. Or is that me? No. This is me. That is you.


[User Picture]From: unixronin
2009-09-18 01:01 am (UTC)
You silly, twisted boy. :)
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From: countyerluk
2009-09-18 01:47 am (UTC)

It's Milligan. "What's My Line?" Series 7, Episode 10, 05 Dec.1956

I have found the answer, courtesy of striking the right internet search combination. It wasn't Secombe at all. It was Milligan laughing. And not just a stifled giggle which he and Sellers were renowned for.

The title of the Goon Show is "What's My Line?". Series 7, episode 10. Broadcast on 5 December 1956. Neddie Seagoon is demonstrating his musical talent to the show's compere, Grytpype-Thynne. This consists of a series of dull thuds on a base drum. He starts singing off-tune in a high pitched whiney nasal voice.

About 3 min 56 secs into the show, you can hear Milligan trying to suppress a laugh, but he can't. He bursts into loud, uncontrolled, helpless laughter, as Seagoon continues his 'act', and Grytpype chimes in with a platitudinous "wonderful, wonderful".

Now I know why it stood out, and why I thought I'd remember the show. It was the type of laughter you'd normally associate with Secombe in full flight, hence my error. At least I remembered enough to find it courtesy of the internet! If you have access to this episode, you may want to have a listen.
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[User Picture]From: asmodeia
2009-09-18 03:23 am (UTC)

Re: It's Milligan. "What's My Line?" Series 7, Episode 10, 05 Dec.1956

I can never forget that laugh. Of course, it helps that Secombe singing "When you are in love" is in itself fairly hysterical!
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[User Picture]From: tilly_stratford
2009-09-18 05:24 am (UTC)

Re: It's Milligan. "What's My Line?" Series 7, Episode 10, 05 Dec.1956

Heh, I'm going to have to look up that episode now, it sounds hysterical!
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