If the only thing he’d ever done had been the Goon Show, even just as a performer, I’d be raising a glass to Terence Alan Milligan tonight.
I’d rather have the Goon Show than the rest of British comedy put together. Nothing can touch it. It’s not just funny, it presents you with a new way of conceiving reality, a new way of thinking. It brilliantly reflected Britian’s 50s fool’s-paradise image of itself back in a fairground mirror. And it featured a farting oyster, a six ton Christmas pudding and a Wurlitzer organ being driven at speed across the Atlantic.
But Spike gave us so much more – the war memoirs (“Night soil!”), the poetry (“That’s why rain is thin!”) and his often explosive interventions on chat shows and quizzes.
So many of the clips on YT are of him post-1992 when he really wasn’t with it, but carried on working – churning out those bottomlessly dreadful “According To…” books. We can do better than that, can’t we?