The Mysterious Punch-Up-The-Conker

by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens

Greenslade: This is the BBC Light Programme.
Seagoon: You'll get a punch up the conk, Wal!
Greenslade: Mr. Seagoon, the practice of punching BBC announcers up the conk was outlawed in 1773.
Seagoon: Wrong! Wallace wrong!
Milligan: He's wrong. He's wrong.
Seagoon: He's wrong indeed.
Milligan: hee haw!
Seagoon: Only recently, there was an fresh outbreak of up the conk punching, so loosen your gentleman's support for elderly couples. Whilst the great poet, Sir Julian William McGonigal sets the scene...
Orchestra: scratchy violin.
William McGonigall: Thank you Paganini, let me get that 'Melody Divine' Thompson [??]. Oh folks, awwww folks. 'The Ballad of the Punch Up The Conk'. No laughing please folks.
Seagoon: [blows raspberry]
William McGonigall: Listen folks, twas in the year of 19 feeftyfrwe, when the Punch Up The Conker struck without rhyme or reee...
Greenslade: ...zon!
Sellers: [ad libs] Made he laugh at you!
William McGonigall: He raged one night without any warning, he struck a gentleman's private conk whilst he was yawning. Awwwww.
Willium: Ucchhh!
Fx: Pneumatic car horn blows.
Willium: Owwwhhhwhhhwhwhhwhwh! Mate! Oww, me 'ooter, owww.
Fx: Police whistle.
Seagoon: Hello, hello, what's goin' on here?
Willium: I've been punched up the conk officer.
Seagoon: I'll have to make a note of this. Now where did I put my notebook?
Fx: Fingernails scrabbling in a wooden drawer.
Seagoon: Ah, it's in the sideboard here. Now, tell me all.
Willium: Well, errrr, I was sleeping on the joe in the garden, [aside] the pianna, er, when a leather omnibus draws up, and out jumps a man wearing a masked boxing glove on 'is 'and. 'What's that up there' he says, up I looks... and wallop... right up me ol' conk there!
Seagoon: I see. Have you ever committed a murder?
Willium: Now, now.
Seagoon: I can't get you on that then. Now tell me, why were you sleeping on the piano in the garden?
Willium: 'cos the grass was damp mate! And, er, I don't wanna get the nadgers again ya see! My wife's got the lurgi, and my eldest boy's got the plin mate. [faintly] on 'is legs!
Seagoon: Sergeant Dongler, take this man along to the station...
Dongler: Yes Sir.
Seagoon: ...and put him on the train to Birmingham
Dongler: Right Sir.
Willium: Leggo mate........[struggles with Sergeant Dongler]
Orchestra: Detective thriller type fanfare.
30's Hern Detective: Eleven Ten. Inspector Seagoon dismissed the conk punching as drunk's hallucination. Hern, hern of the hern. Eleven eleven, Seagoon returned to Scotland Yard. Eleven twelve, Scotland Yard returned to London. Oh snarl snarl.
Fx: Telephone rings twice and is picked up.
Seagoon: Hello, Seagoon of Fabian Yard here.
Singhiz Thingz: [speaking on telephone] Pardon me sir, this is the management of the red indian youth hostel in Paddington W2, we are just having a nasty incident here sir.
Seagoon: Really?
Fx: Door opens.
Seagoon: What happened?
Singhiz Thingz: I tell you, I tell you all about it. Please put on this cardboard turban. Thank you. Now, we were sitting down Sir, playing ping pong in the oriental style, [corpses] When a leather omnibus approaching from the direction of W4, and the occupant, wearing a masked boxing glove, is punching poor Bert Ramjat Singh right up his conk. And poor Ramjat Singh is falling backwards in the direction of SW2, so help me he is!
Seagoon: Gad! I said. Then that old man sleeping on the piano was telling the truth.
Willium: [backstage and very faintly] Yes I was!
Seagoon: Constable, go up to Birmingham and bring him back. [shouts to Willium] I'm sending someone for you.
Willium: [backstage and very faintly] Ta mate!
Seagoon: Now then! Coming Greenslade. Question all people wearing masked boxing gloves, and driving leather omnibuses.
Greenslade: It'll take time Sir.
Seagoon: Very well, take time, and, and... Greenslade...
Orchestra: Romantic clarinet music over the next few lines...
Constable: Yes Sir.
Seagoon: You be careful... Remember, you're, you're all I've got.
Orchestra: Music stops abruptly
Constable: Don't worry Sir, I'm wearing my trousers back to front.
Seagoon: [shouts] It must be hell in there!
Grams: Steam engine locomotive, slows down and grinds to halt.
Constable: Here he is Sir.
Willium: Hello mate.
Seagoon: You're back quickly.
Willium: Yes, we brought the train by hairyplane.
Seagoon: Splendid. Now look, what did this attacker look like?
Willium: I dunno, I dunno, I didn't see 'im mate. I didn't...
Seagoon: I see. And would you recognize him if you didn't see him again?
Willium: Straight away! Although, you know Sir, I must admit, me eyes ain't what they used to be.
Seagoon: No?
Willium: No! They used to be me ears!
Seagoon: Sergeant! Take this man to Birmingham, and put him on the police station to Crewe.
Sergeant: Yeahhyahayha Sir.
Seagoon: And Sergeant Geldray...
Max Geldray: Yes boys?
Seagoon: ...your nose is an obvious temptation to the punch up the conker, place his harmonica underneath as a protection!
Milligan: Looogeeeeee
Seagoon: Right, round the old back for the brandy there! Right!
Grams: Running footsteps.

Max Geldray and Orchestra - 'Can't We Be Friends?'

Fx: Sound of Geldray getting a punch up the conk! Harmonica blows out of tune.
Max Geldray: Ooohh my nose!
Grams: Bus bell, Leather omnibus pulling away.
Seagoon: Quick, they've clouted Geldray's hooter, after that leather omnibus on these national health feet.
Grams: Running footsteps.
Orchestra: Descending dramatic fanfare link.
Milligan: [Milliganesque singing in the background]
Seagoon: Unfortunately the leather omnibus out-distanced us whilst I was having lunch.
Milligan: [Burps!] Pardon me.
Seagoon: [Harry loses it, but quickly regains composure] [ad libs] We should have had 'em afters! And when I got out of bed next morning, it was completely out of sight.
Voice: Inspector, I have been looking through this, er, log book of the leather omnibus, and hmmfnjbjhbsgsgu.....
Milligan: [backstage, giggling quietly]
Seagoon: Hmmm, let me see.
Milligan: [backstage, corpsing badly!]
Seagoon: There's only one entry. We'll have to go in there! Ha Ha! Ha ha, ahem! Dear listeners. Up a narrow street. In a broad road. Which ran through a long narrow lane. In a quaint... [sings] ...old fashioned town.
Grytpype: You'll starve.
Seagoon: We saw a small green door.
Greenslade: We now reveal for the very first time exactly what is going on behind that green door.
Minnie Bannister: [singing] Green door, yatta bumdebum... green door, bwarck bwarck. [making chicken noises] green door...
Henry Crun: Min, Min. I can't concentrate on the brown leather when you keep singing the green door you know.
Minnie Bannister: Aww, you gotta get modern Henry.
Henry Crun: [shouts] Modern!
Minnie Bannister: Modern
Henry Crun: I am modern Min! I am known as 'Modern Crun'.
Minnie Bannister: That's a messy [??indecipherable??]
Henry Crun: You think that because I don't sing rhythm-type melodies, that I'm a corny. Well you asked for this.
Minnie Bannister: What's this? He's losing it!
Henry Crun: You asked for it.
Minnie Bannister: Awwww.
Henry Crun: I'm going to sing moderrrrrn.
Minnie Bannister: Well, I'll put my corsets on.
Henry Crun: [taps his foot in rhythm] One two three four! [sings] Midda watchayacollum, whatcha doing tonight, Yeahhh! Taroo, I hope your in the mood cos I'm afeelin' alright. Ohhh go man go....etc etc.
Orchestra: Highhat crash.
Henry Crun: There Min. Let that be a lesson to you.
Minnie Bannister: Awww dear, dear.
Henry Crun: You and your Dan Leno school of rhythm. [pauses for laughs] Now let us get back to the leather omnibus.
Minnie Bannister: We never seem to sell any.
Henry Crun: I know, I can't understand it, you know. We make the finest leather omnibuses in the world.
Fx: Penguin sounds.
Henry Crun: Min, Min, it's the penguin wants to go out.
Minnie Bannister: Awww, then. I tell you what Henry. We want to sell more of these modern leather rhythm omnibuses. We should do more modern American advertising-type advertising.
Henry Crun: We can't get more modern than we are already, Min.
Minnie Bannister: What do you mean Henry? Uryeurrhhhh!
Henry Crun: We've got a gaslit poster in the gents wash up and brush up in Piccadilly Tube, you know.
Minnie Bannister: I bet that's been marked for life by now.
Henry Crun: We must keep production rolling Min.
Minnie Bannister: Yes.
Henry Crun: Help me lace up this leather engine.
Minnie Bannister: Mind the piston rods now.
Fx: Shop doorbell rings, door opens.
Seagoon: Good morning.
Henry Crun: and Minnie Bannister: [shrieks of surprise]
Minnie Bannister: What is it, What is it. A morning...
Henry Crun: Min!
Minnie Bannister: A welsh driver. What is it?
Henry Crun: It's a gent customer direct from the Piccadilly wash and brush up. [sings] Midda watchayacollum, whatcha doing tonight, Yeahhh!
Seagoon: So that's what happened to Harry Roy? Now sir, I'm from the police department.
Henry Crun: nnNMMMMnnnnyooiiii!
Henry Crun: and Minnie Bannister: [gasps of surprise {and a few giggles from Peter and Spike!}]
Henry Crun: Min and I haven't done anything wrong.
Seagoon: I don't suppose you could at your age. Now!
Minnie Bannister: What do you mean?
Seagoon: All I've come for is your record of all leather omnibuses sold.
Henry Crun: Just a minute sir, we shall then have to look in the vital ledger. Errr.
Fx: Pages being leafed through.
Henry Crun: Ahh, let's see. Omnibuses sold. Yes, here's the first one we sold, 1873.
Seagoon: And the next one?
Henry Crun: Yes, Ohhh, we haven't finished it yet.
Seagoon: Now, well, who did you sell the first one to?
Henry Crun: We don't know. You see he punched me up the conk and displaced my spring and leather wig.
Seagoon: Dear listeners, here was proof, whoever bought that omnibus was the punch up the conker!
Minnie Bannister: Whoooooooooooooaaaaaa
Orchestra: Dum Dum Dum Dum dramatic horn chord!
30's Hern Detective: Eight sevendy six, got back to headquarters, found dinner in oven.
Seagoon: Two months went by.
30's Hern Detective: Dinner got cold. Three months went by. There were no more reports of punch up the conking. Work at Scotland Yard went on as normal.
Grams: Curious noises including a steam engine, violin and knocking noises.
Seagoon: [shouts] Sergeant Hobbs, turn that radio down will you?
Voice: [faintly] Yoing.
Seagoon: Thank you. Now! Any news?
Hobbs: Yes Sir, I, err, think we can close the Dick Turpin case now, we discovered, we discovered where he was hiding Sir.
Seagoon: Where was that?
Hobbs: Under a gravestone in Highgate Cemetary Sir.
Seagoon: Are you sure it wasn't a disguise?
Hobbs: Ooerr, I never thought of that Sir. I'll send a man round with a police shovel... anyway...
Fx: Buzzer
Seagoon: Yes?
Voice on intercom: [Proficient receptionist-type gibberish]
Seagoon: Send him in.
Fx: Door rattles open.
Grytpype: Good morning Inspector. Grytpype-Thynne is the name. Permit me to introduce you to the part owner of my suit. Count Jim 'Thighs' Moriarty.
Moriarty: Owwwwwww.
Grytpype: Schlapper royale, and noted amateur postman.
Moriarty: Owwww do you doooo, owwwww do you dooooo.
Seagoon: The voice came from a thin, heavily oiled Lyle Street frenchman.
Moriarty: [faintly] Owwwwww.
Seagoon: His suit was a West End misfit, and fitted him perfectly. He occasionally took a sip from the steaming jam tin of porridge.
Moriarty: [slurps]
Grytpype: Inspector. We seek the long lost heir to the Spon fortune of £40,000
Moriarty: [in background] I telllyo more....
Seagoon: Have you any clue to his identity?
Grytpype: He has a habit of leaping off leather omnibuses and punching people up the conk.
Orchestra: Melodramatic drum and horn link.
Seagoon: Gad: There's just a chance that this might be the 'up the conk puncher'.
Orchestra: Dum-te-dum-dum-dummmm type whodunnit drum and horn link. [with Milligan singing along!]
Moriarty: Brrrmmmm, beep beep Owwwwowwww. Beep beep, brrrrmmmm, owwwww,
Grytpype: Moriarty?
Moriarty: Yuyuyuyuyuyu.
Grytpype: Moriarty...
Moriarty: Owwwwwww.
Grytpype: How many times have I told you not to drive that leather omnibus round the bedroom in broad daylight. You know these blinds are drawn... they're not real.
Milligan: They're a blind thing. Thank you thank you. Here they come...
Moriarty: Thank you, I was only practising my leap and conk punching.
Grytpype: Yes, I quite understand Moriarty.
Moriarty: Yuattooowwww
Grytpype: Now, did you put the advert in The Times?
Moriarty: Yes, here read it.
Grytpype: Let me see.
Moriarty: From left to right. The new style.
Grytpype: Ahhhh, how appropriate, they've put it in the fourth leader. [reads] Don't risk being punched up the conk. Wear a Moriarty nose protector. Now available in flesh tint plastic. Send ten shilling postal order for free receipt. Splendid! Well, according to the nine o'clock news it's getting dark outside.
Moriarty: Dark? What ideal conditions for night!
Grytpype: Yes! A few more punch up the conk attacks and the orders'll start rolling in!
Grytpype: and Moriarty: Uhuheeehow! etc etc
Moriarty: Right. Tonight we start punch up the conking...
Orchestra: Dramatic link.
Seagoon: I called an all night meeting, but held it in the day because the light was better.
Cast: rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.
Seagoon: Now gentlemen, where is the head of the river police?
Grams: Kersplosh!
Little Jim: He's fallen in der water.
Seagoon: Thank you Sir Lawrence. Gentlemen, gentlemen, I'm of the opinion that the heir to the Spon fortune and the puch up the conker, are one and the same person.
Officer: How can two people be one person Sir?
Seagoon: It's all done under cover of darkness. Therefore, all people showing signs of darkness will be searched.
Ray Ellington: I object!
Seagoon: Silence Ellington. Give us the ol' calypso banana boat song while we slip round the back for the ol' mild and brandy there.
Grams: Running footsteps.

Ray Ellington - 'The Banana Boat Song'

Orchestra: Dum-te-dum-dum-dummmm type whodunnit drum and horn link.
30's Hern Detective: Midnight, twelve thirty. Entire London police force now wearing Moriarty nose protectors. Inspector Seagoon checks on all police posts buburl fnarl in de hern furl.
Grams: Big Ben chimes three, ends with a wound down bell chime. Cheery British bobby whistles!.
Seagoon: Evening, Doxon of Dick Green. Anything to report?
Constable Doxon: Ahhhhhhh, ahhhhh, yes, I was ahhhh ahhhh.........
Fx: Thud!
Seagoon: Good Heavens. He's collapsed in the direction of pavement. Just as I thought...
Constable Doxon: Awwhh
Seagoon: ...the constable's nose protector has been severely dented...
Constable Doxon: Oiks
Seagoon: ...annnd there's a finger print of a boxing glove on it. Quick! Give him some air. Undo the buttons on his boots.
Constable Doxon: Awwwhhh, I want to be buried with my socks on. I'm...[corpses]
Seagoon: Here you are you poor man. Swallow this bottle of smelling salts.
Constable Doxon: [gulp]
Seagoon: Steady now. Sit in the direction of up and tell me what happened.
Constable Doxon: I felt alright Sir, until some idiot made me swallow a bottle of smelling salts Sir.
Seagoon: Quick Sergeant, after himmmm!
Sergeant: [undecipherable shouting after the culprit]
Milligan: [cracks up]
Seagoon: Now Bowser, when I arrived here, you were lying in the gutter, why?
Constable Doxon: I was off duty Sir.
Seagoon: I trust it's different when you are on duty?
Constable Doxon: Oh yes Sir. Then I lie on the pavement.
Seagoon: That's better.
Constable Doxon: It is.
Fx: Telephone rings and is picked up.
Seagoon: Hello. What? Yes! Bowser, great news.
Constable Doxon: Yeowwhh.
Seagoon: A leather omnibus has been discovered grieviously injured.
Constable Doxon: Yeowwhh.
Seagoon: It collided with a lead tricycle on the roof of the Kensington Science Museum.
Orchestra: Three chord dramatic link.
Seagoon: Gentlemen, the mystery assailant is now immobilised. There's only one place he can get a new leather omnibus.
Constable Doxon: Where?
Seagoon: Men! Surround Crun's factory. And wear your nose protectors.
Policemen: [muttering]
Orchestra: Untuneful mystery thriller type link.
Milligan: Oy!
Greenslade: This is the Light Service of the BBC Home Programme. Here is the neen o'clock noise. To date, the £40,000 due to the heir of Spon is still unclaimed. The only clue to the missing heir is that he always rides in a leather omnibus....[fades out]
Bloodnok: Oooeeerr, owwweeerrr oooooohhh, did you hear that Gladys darling?
Throat: Yes darling.
Bloodnok: If I can get a leather omnibus, I could pass myself off as the heir of Spon, and collect 40,000 naughty pounds.
Throat: Gor blimey!
Bloodnok: Gladys darling, this is the moment I've been waiting for.
Throat: Ahhhh darling.
Bloodnok: Awwww...
Throat: Awwww
Bloodnok: ...all these years I've lived off you. You've lent me money, bought me suits, and never asked for a penny back.
Throat: Never.
Bloodnok: If I get this £40,000, at least I can afford to run away from you.
Fx: Penguin sounds.
Bloodnok: Ellington, let that Penguin out will you.
Ray Ellington: Yes Major.
Bloodnok: Yes now, er, lay out your pugree, your dohti and your loin cloth.
Ray Ellington: Oh good. Am I going out?
Bloodnok: No. I am. And lay out one boot.
Ray Ellington: Why?
Bloodnok: I'm going to hop to where the leather omnibus factory lives.
Orchestra: Brass section plays Ying Tong Song as a link.
Seagoon: Meanwhile, in a sleeping England. And let's face it England is asleep. I had surrounded the Crun omnibus factory with two plain clothes detectives. Who were secreted in the ground floor attic of a nearby clock repairers.
Grams: Various timepieces ticking, chiming and cuckooing. A chicken clucking. Finally a hooter.
Bluebottle: What time is it Eccles?
Eccles: Err, just a minute. I've got it written down on a piece of paper. A nice man wrote the time down for me this morning.
Bluebottle: Ooooh, then why do you carry it around with you Eccles?
Eccles: Welll, um, if a anybody asks me the time, I can show it to dem.
Bluebottle: Wait a minute Eccles, my good man.
Eccles: What is it fellow?
Bluebottle: It's writted on this bit of paper, what is eight o'clock, is writted.
Eccles: I know that my good fellow. That's right, um, when I asked the fella to write it down, it was eight o'clock.
Bluebottle: Well then. Supposing when somebody asks you the time, it isn't eight o'clock?
Eccles: Well den, I don't show it to 'em.
Bluebottle: Ooohhh.
Eccles: [smacks lips] yeah.
Bluebottle: Well how do you know when it's eight o'clock?
Eccles: I've got it written down on a piece of paper.
Bluebottle: Ohh, I wish I could afford a piece of paper with the time written on.
Eccles: Oohhhh.
Bluebottle: 'Ere Eccles?
Eccles: Yah.
Bluebottle: Let me hold that piece of paper to my ear would you? 'Ere. This piece of paper ain't goin'
Eccles: What? I've been sold a forgery.
Bluebottle: No wonder it stopped at eight o'clock.
Eccles: Oh dear.
Bluebottle: You should get one of them tings my Grandad's got.
Eccles: Oooohhh.
Bluebottle: His firm give it to him when he retired.
Eccles: Oooohhh.
Bluebottle: It's one of dem tings what it is that wakes you up at eight o'clock, boils the kettil, and pours a cuppa tea.
Eccles: Ohhh yeah. What's it called? Um.
Bluebottle: My Granma.
Eccles: Ohh. Ohh, wait a minute. How does she know when it's eight o'clock.
Bluebottle: She's got it written down on a piece of paper.
Seagoon: Alright!
Eccles: What?
Seagoon: A man has just gone into Crun's factory.
Bluebottle: and Eccles: Whoaoaoaoayay
Seagoon: If he comes out driving a leather omnibus. Arrest him.
Bluebottle: Is this man armed?
Seagoon: Armed and legged.
Bluebottle: and Eccles: Whoaoaoao.
Grams: Sound of a leather omnibus driving slowly.
Seagoon: Psst. Here he comes. Quick Eccles. Do an imitation of a bus stop.
Grams: Sound of a leather omnibus stopping.
Eccles: Stop! Stop bus.
Bloodnok: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. This is a private bus.
Seagoon: Come out with your hands up and your legs down.
Bloodnok: What? I'm the heir to the Spon fortune.
Seagoon: That's him. The dreaded punch up the conker is brought to book. Take him men.
Bluebottle: Hit hit.
Eccles: Hit hit.
Bluebottle: Hit hit hit hit. End of hitting.
Orchestra: Comical fanfare.
Bluebottle: Thank you.
Eccles: Parp.
Seagoon: Yes folks. Bloodnok is now doing a hundred years imprisonment and lucky he didn't get life.
Bloodnok: What? I deny it all.
Greenslade: And thus another glorious miscarriage of justice was perpetrated.
Bloodnok: It's a lie I tell you. What?
Greenslade: Grytpype and Moriarty for their nose protectors, were each given a knighthood and a spare pair of trousers
Moriarty: Awwww, saved the day.
Greenslade: Sic transit gloria, or in English... Goodnight
Orchestra: End theme and Outro.
Greenslade: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded program featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan. With the Ray Ellington Quartet. Max Geldray and the orchestra conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stephens. Announcer Wallace Greenslade. The programme produced by Pat Dixon.

Original transcription and HTML by Kurt Adkins: [email protected]