Name That Part: Goon Show Edition
In yesterday’s Name That Part, I made the tragic mistake of leading with a photo of our beloved Saucy Minx. As such, nobody was actually paying any attention to the actual part involved. Which doesn’t matter, because I wasn’t paying attention either.
To that end, I’m awarding the win to engineerd, just for responding to the photo of Murilee and a photo of a transmission with another photo. Murilee curled up with an auto tranny. Two great tastes that taste great together!
For the record, the part was a 4-speed manual transmission from a Datsun 240Z, the first car I did an engine swap in, back at the ripe old age of 16. But I have more coming on that story later.
On to today’s Name That Part!
The BBC radio program “The Goon Show” has often been attributed as the forefather of the genre that we now think of as “British humour”. Primarily written by Spike Milligan, it was famous for its surrealistic stories, frequent catchphrases, repeated inside jokes (what we today call “memes” for some reason) and over-the-top characters.
The dozens of characters were largely played by the three principle voice actors, Milligan, Harry Secombe, and Peter Sellers, all of whom shared the same bizarre sense of humour. Famously, Milligan and Secombe met during the Second World War when the recoil from a fired round broke Milligan’s artillery gun free from its dugout, and sent it crashing over a cliff, where it very narrowly missed crushing the tiny canvas-covered radio van in which Secombe was posted. Before Secombe had had a chance to respond to very nearly being killed, the flap opened, and a young Milligan poked his head inside. “Anybody see a gun?”, he asked.
“What colour was it?” replied Secombe without so much as a pause.
Sellers joined shortly thereafter, and added his legendary character talents to the mix, along with his peculiar obsession with cars — something none of us can relate to. Famously, at one point, he had just purchased himself a limousine, and picked up Milligan to go for a few drinks. After a few more drinks, (in the days before drunk-driving laws) Milligan insisted that Sellers couldn’t drive his own limousine, but he should have a chauffeur. Appropriating a hat from a nearby usher, he climbed behind the wheel of Sellers’ new car, and, with Sellers in the back, went weaving off towards the next pub.
It wasn’t long before they got pulled over. Without missing a beat, Milligan began berating the poor police officer for stopping them, insisting that Sellers was the leader of a small Eastern European nation, here on a diplomatic mission that could finally open formal ties between their two countries, and this police officer was jeopardizing the whole trip. Without missing a beat, Sellers stepped out, looking quite regal, and in a thick German accent, demanded to know what the problem was.
The poor policeman quickly backed down, and the pair drove off unsteadily once again, with Sellers standing up out the sunroof, offering Nazi salutes and “Sieg Heil” cries to anyone who happened to be nearby. Rumour has it he sold the car less than a week later.
What does any of this have to do with today’s Part? Well, probably nothing, but that’s for you to work out.