Goodies! Goodie goodie yum-yum!A groundbreaking 1970 British comedy series, not nearly as well-known outside of the UK as its contemporary, Monty Python's Flying Circus. (Some view it as The Monkees to the Pythons' Beatles — while others view it as the Beatles to the Pythons' Rolling Stones.) Born from the same generation of comic talents that infused British TV in the 1960s and 1970s with such innovative work, The Goodies was far more plot-oriented than Python (it was nominally a Sitcom when it premiered), but at the same time it was also far more anarchic and surreal.The Goodies starred Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie as three flatmates who run an agency that promises it can do "anything, anywhere, at any time". The BBC's own historical reference for the show describes it as a "live action version of a typical Warner Brothers cartoon", which is quite accurate, although sidestepping completely much of the thinly veiled social satire the show was inclined towards. Entire episodes were devoted to poking fun at topical subjects as diverse as TV censorship Nazis like Mary Whitehouse, nuclear testing, police brutality, Saturday Night Fever and the general crappiness of the British Post. Central to the show were the exaggerated versions of themselves that the leads played — conservative royalist Tim, twisted gadgeteer Graeme, and Earth-child proto-hobbit Bill. The intersection of these three personalities generated as much comedy as the increasingly-bizarre situations that they found themselves in. Their trademark was the "Trandem" — a bicycle-built-for-three which they invariably mounted and fell off of once per episode before riding to their next adventure.More inclined to vaudeville-like humour than the Pythons, the Goodies never quite got the respect they deserved — despite the fact that they lasted at least three times as long on the air. The series can be found — albeit rarely — on public television in the United States, as well as on YouTube; and some of their recordings (such as "The Funky Gibbon") can occasionally be heard on the Dr. Demento show.Perceptive viewers will know Tim Brooke-Taylor from the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, where he played the computer operator trying to get the location of the golden tickets from a computer that refuses to tell him.Notable for having someone die laughing whilst watching it.Not to be confused with The Goonies.Tropes for their music can be found here.
Provides Examples Of:
Accidental Unfortunate Gesture: Tim, as Winston Churchill, gives the "two fingered salute" gesture when he was actually indicating that he wanted a cigar. Graeme then has the idea of turning his hand around to create the iconic "V for Victory" symbol.
Affably Evil: Played for Laughs with Dr. Wolfgang von Petal (Patrick Troughton), a Mad Scientist who just wants to be liked. Unfortunately for him, he seems to have a bit of a skewed idea of how to actually go about getting people to like him.
"All I've ever done is tried to help people! I helped the Russians with their nerve gas, I helped the Americans with their H-Bomb, I helped the British with their anthrax — I even helped the Nazis! Now how generous can you get?"
The Artifact: The Goodies started out as an agency that would do any kind of work. This was pretty much forgotten by series five, but the "Anything Anytime" slogan remained in the title song.
Asbestos-Free Cereal: On "It Might as Well Be String" (a spoof of the advertising industry), their ad campaign for Sunbeam Sliced Bread claims that "nine out of ten doctors agree that people who eat Sunbeam Sliced Bread are less likely to be trampled to death by elephants". Graeme does mention that it was a struggle to find the right nine doctors, however. And the elephants.
Baguette Beatdown: "Kung-Fu Kapers" has Tim briefly make use of a French martial art called Oh-Hon-Hee-Hon that involves hitting the opponent with a baguette... it has no effect whatsoever!
Ecky Thump: it's a "martial art" Bill learned when he was younger that basically revolves around hitting people with black pudding.
Banana Peel: In the episode "Cunning Stunts", Bill is seen throwing several banana peels on the floor just so he can slip all over them as part of his entry in the Eurovision Loony Contest. Graeme and Tim also slip all over the skins.
And a mimed banana peel causes a nasty accident in "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express".
Bar Slide: Occurs in "Bunfight at the O.K. Tearooms". The surly barmaid slides two dainty teacups down the bar to Tim and Bill, who fail to catch them.
Newsreader: In the light of the increasing poverty of the nation, the government have decided that work on the new Brighton to Birkenhead freeway will be suspended indefinitely. Bill: WHAAT?!
Biting-the-Hand Humor: The Goodies contains numerous swipes at the BBC, most notably in the episodes "Alternative Roots" and "The End", during which a service announcement warns of "cutbacks of a hundred percent" - and the screen immediately goes black! And in "Gender Education" they blew up the BBC Television centre!
Bitter Almonds: Played straight and subverted in "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express":
Graeme: (sniffs a bottle) A characteristic smell of bitter almonds... Tim: That's cyanide, isn't it? Graeme: Yes. This bottle of arsenic's been poisoned!
Blackface: Tim in "South Africa". A somewhat unusual example in that it was being used to criticise racism (the joke was that no actual black people would be in a pro-apartheid PSA).
Blood Sport: Cricket has become this in "2001 and a Bit".
Boomerang Comeback: In the infamous scene in "Kung Fu Kapers", where Bill is proving "Ecky Thump" is superior to other martial arts. Graeme misses with a boomerang, but later when Tim has disarmed Bill with some bagpipes, it comes back and clouts Tim from behind.
Bottle Episode: "The End" and "Earthanasia" feature no special effects and no guest stars, and are performed entirely on the one set. The latter episode in fact consists of one real-time 25-minute scene, and both are regarded as among the series' best moments.
Calvinball: "Spat", which seemed to be made of rules that led to Bill always losing and being injured.
Bill mentions in the commentary that he really didn't have any idea what the other two were doing.
The Cameo: Plenty of celebrities spoofed themselves, and the series virtually invented the Newscaster Cameo. Averted with Prince Charles who considered it but had to decline, and Rolf Harris who was never asked to appear in the episode spoofing him, much to his disappointment.note Bill Oddie, whose personal contempt for Harris was part of the motivation behind the frequent mockery of him on the programme, assumed Harris would refuse if asked to appear in the episode, and so didn't bother to ask.
In one episode, John Cleese cameos, deriding the Goodies as a "Kid's show." (In real life, the Pythons and the Goodies were (mostly) friendly rivals.)
Camping a Crapper: In "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express", the Shafts are killed when the lavatory on the train blows up while they're using it.
Can't You Read the Sign?: In "Holidays", Bill pulls down a list of ridiculously strict rules on the wall of their holiday chalet. Underneath is a sign saying '250 pound penalty for removal of notice'. Bill hurriedly sticks it back.
Captured by Cannibals: One episode had the lads placed in a native cooking-pot. They got out of it by encouraging the natives to cook "human clear soup" - the point being that when cooking clear soup you remove the meat before serving.
Cardboard Pal: The fake Graeme in "Bunfight at the O.K. Tea Rooms".
Cargo Ship: Graeme's relationship with his computer was a Running Gag that popped up occasionally, starting in "Women's Lib". In "2001 And A Bit", it's mentioned that Graeme was put away for having an "unnatural relationship" with his computer — also, this is scribbled on a note in The Goodies Book Of Records: invoked
Dear Computer — have gone out for an hour or so. Your programme is in the safe. Love you! Graeme P.S. Hope your transistors are feeling better.
Catapult Nightmare: In "Kitten Kong", Tim returns home determined to wreck vengeance on Twinkles the kitten after his disasterous attempt to walk the over-active purrball. Graeme and Bill caution him that it's not a very good idea, then open the door to reveal that thanks to Graeme's growth formula the kitten has grown to enormous size. Tim screams hysterically, and then wakes up in bed crying: "Get it off me! Stop licking me!" (Bill: "I'm not licking you!") Unfortunately it's not All Just a Dream.
The Cat Came Back: Bill's attempts to dispose of the eponymous robot in "Robot". At one point he seals the robot in a box, which he places inside a larger crate suspended from a crane, only to turn around and find the robot is now driving the crane.
Cave Mouth: In "The Stone Age" the Goodies go caving. They find a remarkable Cave Mouth. They note the curving rows of stalagmites and stalactites and treat the odd red thing note uvula like a punching bag. The giant dinosaur, naturally, closes its mouth on them.
Central Theme: While there is no real lesson to any episode, an overall antiauthoritian streak runs through the program. Antagonists are frequently characters who have let power go to their head, usually one of the trio.
Chandelier Swing: Graeme attempts one in "Snow White 2" and ends up crashing into the wall.
Chewing the Scenery: Many a guest star (and the leads on occasion), but the height of this is reached by Jon Pertwee playing somewhat against type in "Wacky Wales".
Clown Car: In "Skatty Safari", the Rolf Harris plague has a take-off of the Pied Piper of Hamlin, which includes the Rolf Harris "attacking the babies in their cradles". Later when the Goodies draw them out of the city by playing "Waltzing Matilda" on didgeridoos, an endless stream of Rolfs are seen clambering out of the one baby carriage.
Clueless Aesop: Parodied in "Gender Education" with their Mary Whitehouse expy-approved sex education film, which avoids any mention of anything related to sex:
Narrator: This is a man. And this isn't.
Comic Trio: Played with — usually someone would fill the roles, but no one character could or would have total claim to it.
Compliment Backfire: The show was once praised by well-known Moral Guardian Mary Whitehouse. The boys took it poorly, making an entire episode spoofing her and, when she didn't rise to the bait, inserting rude gags until they finally earned her public disapproval.
Computer Equals Tapedrive: Graeme's computer, naturally. Spoofed in the 2005 "Return of the Goodies" documentary where a now middle-aged Graeme tries to insert an enormous disk in his computer.
"I'll pop it on the laptop. Hang on, it's not compatible. I shall give it an upgrade." (hits it with a mallet)
Continuity Cavalcade: In "Change Of Life", the Goodies feel old and useless, and decide to do a Goodies standard test. It's filled with references to classic episodes, including Ecky Thump, Kitten Kong and even the old gag of getting on the trandem and falling over.
Corpsing: Bill was especially prone to this, pointing it out on the commentary tracks.
Credits Gag: "It Might as Well be String" ends with the camera looking through the backwards credits on the TV screen at the Goodies, who are sitting on a couch making snide remarks about the episode they've just watched.
Tim in quite a few episodes - to the point that, after the Goodies have taken over the film industry, Graeme says to Tim "You'll play the woman - you always play the women."
Cruella to Animals: The Endngered Species Club from "Dodonuts". They only hunt endangered species because their small numbers make them hard to find. Common species of animals and birds are too abundant and therefore too easy to hunt.
Dance Sensation: Spoofed in "The Music Lovers" where they were being tasked — by a musical Mad Hatter, no less — with writing a hit song. They belted up a squaredance tune, and Bill improvised fairly ordinary squaredance lyrics which were being followed exactly by the Mad Hatter's goons, ending with this (paraphrased):
Back to the windows, turn about,
Are you ready, all jump out
In universe there is "The Bounce" from "Goodies Rule - Ok?"
And Dr. Demento listeners will remember "The Funky Gibbon".
Deadpan Snarker: Bill and Graeme. Tim would snark occasionally, but he's usually playing it up too much for it to be deadpan.
Dem Bones: In one episode the Goodies are operating their own hospital. Graeme gets a patient to step behind an X-Ray screen, which naturally displays his skeleton. The skeleton then walks out from the other side of the screen, causing Graeme to flee in terror (this scene is included in The Goodies opening montage).
Did I Just Say That Out Loud?: Rather hilariously done in the original form in the episode "Come Dancing". Graeme has built a gadget controlling their "dancing suits", and a female leader of a dancing mafia is hassling him about the importance of the Goodies losing the dance competition they've entered. Distracted, he mumbles that he wasn't listening, and then this ensues:
Graeme: Look, I'm in a terrible hurry to set the control box...
Leader:Set the control box?
Graeme: Yes, the box that—the—uh—the suits, the settings, we—[makes vague hand gestures]—anyway, I must dash!
Leader:[catching on somehow] ...But this is cheating!
Graeme: Yeah, well, it is, a bit, but—[grinning]—long as nobody knows about it, eh? [thumbs up] See you later! [leaves]
Die Laughing: "Kung Fu Kapers" caused Alex Mitchell to laugh non-stop for nearly a half-hour. The strain on his body was too much and he suffered a fatal heart attack. His widow sent a letter to the Goodies thanking them for making her husband's last moments so happy.
In-Universe this is the fate of anyone who sees Bigfoot (Tim Brooke-Taylor with a foot that's swelled up to enormous size) in "Bigfoot".
Dodgy Toupee: Several appear in "Scoutrageous" when Graeme and Bill are trying to earn their Wig Spotter's Badge.
Dog Walks You: In "Kitten Kong" Tim gets dragged along by a kitten (and over some dog poo that happened to be there when they were filming the scene, what makes it worse is that that shot was filmed with stop motion, so Tim was dragged through the dog poo slowly).
Strange to think that in the 1970s- before the introduction of anti-fouling laws- nobody seems to have thought of removing the poo from the grass!
Don't Touch It, You Idiot!: This is played with in the very first episode, as the Crown Jewels have a sign placed by them reading "Please Do Not Steal". It doesn't do much good.
Don't Try This at Home: "We would like to point out that Ecky Thump is the ancient Lancastrian art of self defence. When practised by the untrained, it could be dangerous."
Dope Slap: Frequent — often in the visual gag sequences, one or two characters will make a mistake with comedic results, stand around looking sheepish for a while, and get slapped or shoved (usually on the arm or shoulder) several times by whoever of them watched the mistake happen.
Driving a Desk: "Punky Business" parodied this and then subverted it, the three Goodies are in the back of a van and we see the road in the vans back windows via backscreen projection, then it starts playing footage of punks. The subversion comes when Bill shoves Graeme and Tim out of the back of the van and we see a screen being watched by several policemen with the punk footage projected onto it.
In "Radio Goodies", Graeme's plan to set up a pirate radio station (and pirate post-office) and the resulting success soon turns him into a raging fascist dictator, complete with uniform and ranting Germanic accent, and he develops a mad plan to drag the entirety of Britain outside of the five-mile limit so that he can rule over it as a 'pirate state'. When Bill and Tim walk out on him in disgust, he eventually resorts to trying to tow Britain away single-handedly in a rowboat.
In fact this sort of thing happens rather a lot in The Goodies, for instance it happened to Bill in "Kung-Fu Kapers", Graeme AGAIN in "Bunfight at the OK Tearooms", and all three of them in "The Movies".
Early-Installment Weirdness: Seasons 1 and 2 have a much different feel, with episodes revolving around the lads having to help someone in need, and most villains being played by guest stars. From season 3 onwards, they started working more for their own benefit, until Season 4, where the "Anything Anytime" agency had almost been completely faded out, and the boys simply did whatever took their fancy (or whatever was profitable).
Eek, a Mouse!!: Referenced in "Kitten Kong", where a black housekeeper (suspiciously similar to the one in Tom and Jerry, we even hear her shouting for "Thomas") jumps on the table and shrieks at the sight of the team dressed as mice.
Edible Bludgeon: The black pudding used in the Lancastrian Martial Art "Ecky Thump".
Egomaniac Hunter: "Dodonuts" has Tim and Graeme as leaders of the Endangered Species Club who hunt down endangered species, including a dodo protected by conservationist Bill Oddie.
Eleventy Zillion: In the episode "Culture for the Masses" Tim buys a painting at an auction for "one million billion quintillion zillion pounds and two and a half new pence", which it goes without saying that he does not have. They leave thirteen pence as a deposit. By Contrived Coincidence, the National Gallery have all their paintings insured for exactly one million billion quintillion zillion pounds. Hilarity Ensues.
G (Gee) You need a helping hand O (Oh!) You know we understand O — We'll be there to the end Everyone needs a friend!
Facial Composite Failure: "Lighthouse Keeping Loonies" has two identikit pictures of suspects for some crime who resemble some high-up members of the Royal Family.
The composites are identified as two people seen in the vicinity of the missing lighthouse, and, in fact, in an earlier scene, the couple were established as having been nearby.
Fatal Family Photo: Parodied and Lampshaded in an episode of The Goodies. When one Nazi sentry starts showing his partner a photo of his girlfriend in Dusseldorf, the other starts telling him to put it away and ends up screaming at the top of the lungs to the British commandos he is certain are about to leap and murder them that he is not with this guy.
Fauxreigner: Done more than once, usually as a part of a Zany Scheme. Lampshaded when Graeme is on the phone to Tim and pretending to be an Australian named 'Kerry Thwacker':
"No! This is not Graeme doing a silly accent! Mister Garden would do a much sillier accent than this!"
In "The Goodies and the Beanstalk", Bill has gone to sell the beloved trandem — however, it's rated as worthless by the bike buyers, who jokingly buy it for a tin of beans. When he comes back, Tim and Graeme inspect it, surprisingly calm, before pouring all the beans over Bill's head.
In "Punky Business", Graeme has gotten to work as a waiter in a punk restaurant. When Tim orders the sauce, he gets it all over his head.
In "Black And White Beauty", there's a literal food slap. Exposition: Graeme's running a place that takes care of old animals. Bill, after watching some of their behavior (nothing), starts doubting that they're alive. Bill watches a very unmoving cat, then this ensues:
Bill: Alright, Graeme. (produces a fish) I want to see that cat eat that kipper. (nothing happens) Graeme: Er—yes—oh, look! (points) The hamster's doing a handstand! (Tim and Bill look away for a bit — when they look back, the kipper bone is sticking out of Graeme's mouth. Tim slowly pulls it out) Graeme: Er...(turns to the cat) I'm sorry, Kenneth, I was just so—(Tim slaps him with the kipper)
After the Goodies start robbing banks, a policeman comes to arrest them. The Goodies ask if he wants them to "spill the beans and hand over the dough." No guessing what happens next...
The Goodies had an episode about soccer hooliganism, in which ballet eventually replaced soccer as the national pastime but was then ruined by - yep - ballet hooligans.note This is likely a Call Back to a sketch on At Last the 1948 Show featuring Tim, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Marty Feldman, and guest cast member Barry Cryer as rival Scottish and English ballet fans at a performance by troupes from both countries which eventually degenerates into a football riot.
This was quite probably a reference to The Rite Of Spring, which actually did have hooligans beating each other and gendarmes called in to quell the riot on its premiere.
They also had a milder parody in one episode, where Tim and Graeme ran in, cheering, chanting, and dressed in red-white scarves and wooly hats.
Footprints Of Muck: In "Kitten Kong", the Comic Trio follow the huge paw prints of Tinkles the Kitten across London on their three-seater bicycle, and keep running into things because the giant purrball can just step over objects they can't.
For the Evulz: A rather light example in "Gender Education": Bill's just signed up to do a row of extremely violent shows for the BBC. Graeme and Tim, bewildered, simply ask why he'd join up for such 'immoral, gratuitous violence'.
Bill: Oh, don't worry, I have a perfectly good reason. Graeme: Oh really? What's that? Bill:I like violence! (jumps Graeme, beginning to strangle him)
Graeme: Melancholic (driven to the solution of the problem)
Tim: Phlegmatic (neurotic, naive and social)
Free Prize at the Bottom: One of the spoof ads was for Goodies Plastic Spacemen, which came in a cereal box with a free corn flake.
Friend to All Living Things: After Tim Brooke-Taylor becomes Bigfoot (his right foot has swollen from walking around the sides of mountains, looking for legendary creatures) he retreats to the wild (so people will stop laughing themselves to death over the sight of his enormous foot) and becomes friends to all the animals, who join him in a rendition of the "Bigfoot" theme song.
Funny Background Event: In "U-Friend Or UFO", Tim and Graeme discuss their sensitive UFO sensing equipment. Meanwhile, Bill is abducted.
In another UFO gag, Graeme (spoofing Arthur C. Clarke) completely fails to notice a UFO refueling behind him at Stonehenge or the Yeti eating his latest book.
Fun with Acronyms: Bill runs for PM as the leader of "The Worker's Revolutionary Party...not just A Worker's Revolutionary Party, but The Worker's Revolutionary Party!" An unimpressed Tim notes that the acronym is "Twerp".
Gaussian Girl: Parodied, Bill and a woman are in soft focus whilst kissing, when he suddenly stops, runs up to the camera and wipes the petroleum jelly off the lens.
Gay Cowboy: Tim as the Rhinestone Cowperson in "The Goodies Almost Live".
Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Played for comedy in one episode. Tim is in hysterics. Graeme lightly slaps him. Tim is silent for about two seconds...and then slaps back much harder, sending Graeme tumbling into a nearby pile of boxes.
Gibberish of Love: The first time the Goodies meet their dancing partners in the episode "Come Dancing", this ensues. Simultaneously. To both trios. How else to explain this exchange?
Girls: We are Norma. We are a hair artiste. Goodies: We are Cyril. We are a bank clerk. Girls: That's interesting. (Beat) Girls:[awkwardly] Our vision is to own our own hair dressing salon. Goodies: How interesting. Our ambition is to own our own bank.
The Girl Who Fits This Slipper: In "Punky Business", Graeme turns Tim into a punk by cutting his leg off. After reattaching it, he warns Tim that the catch won't last much past midnight. Tim goes to the Trendsetter's Ball, where he loses his leg at midnight. Caroline Kook vows to marry the man whom the leg fits. Cue punks cutting off their own legs.
Tim's Union Jack boxers make several appearances in The Goodies, most notably in "The End" and "Scoutrageous".
And in "Saturday Night Grease" he dons a pair of underpants that have a large carrot on them (a scene which finally provoked the much-sought ire of Mary Whitehouse).
The others had them too, such as the scene where Graeme tries inflating a tyre and ends up blowing up his own trousers.
Helping Granny Cross the Street: In the episode "Silly Scouting", Graeme and Bill, playing overage boy scouts, are trying to earn a proficiency badge for Helping Old Ladies Cross the Street. A sequence of madcap visual humour ensues, where Graeme is seen chalking a billiard cue and setting up trick shots involving Old Lady Number One with side-spin off the cushions into old Lady Number Two....
Hilarious Outtakes: Included on the first DVD, showing several takes of the "breaking the record" scene from "The End". Notable among them is the one where Bill takes the record off and smashes it against the desk, and...it doesn't break. He smashes it against the desk four more times, until Tim takes it from him...and attempts to smash it himself.
Hive Mind: In "Gender Education" all three Goodies disguise themselves as one person...all at once...and talk in synch. Something similar happens with both the Goodies and their dance partners in "Come Dancing".
Homoerotic Subtext: Frequent. In one episode, Tim and Graeme replace Bill with a robot, which they treat like a son, and end up acting like a dysfunctional married couple.
And lampshaded, notably in "The End", when they're concreted into their office.
Tim: We shall make a new world...a better world for our children. Bill: What d'you mean, children—we're not going to have any children, are we? I mean, think about it, y'know...face it, from now on we three are doomed to be bachelors gay!(puts his hand on Tim's shoulder while Graeme starts stroking his hair) That's, uh...that's an idea, innit? Tim:(thoughtful pause) ...No! Get off!
Hospital Hottie: Spoofed in "Hospital For Hire", where the nurse turns out to be a bearded man. Then they're informed she's not a man.
Tim plays his own eccentric, rich uncle in "Hunting Pink".
In "2001 and a Bit", all three Goodies play their own sons (by Raquel Welch) - except that Bill plays Tim's son, Tim plays Graeme's son, and Graeme plays Bill's son.
I Know Kung-Faux: Ecky-Thump, the ancient Lancastrian art of self-defence. It involved the use of black puddings as weapons.
Implausible Deniability: In "Scoutrageous", Graeme and Bill have been terrorising the country as 'the Lone Scout, Plus One'. When they are finally cornered by Tim and the Salvation Army, Tim orders them to take off their masks. Upon seeing their faces, Tim lets out a shocked "It was you all along!". Graeme and Bill look sheepish and Bill mutters "No". Tim then says "Oh well, that's alright then" and starts to leave.
Inept Talent Show Contestant: In "Hype Pressure" Graeme and Bill form a folk duo called 'the Twofolk'. They appear on Tim's cruel talent show New Faeces (a parody of the similarly cruel actual talent show New Facesnote Judge "Tony Bitch" is a parody of the equally vicious New Faces judge Tony Hatch) and perform a hideous song called "The World Is Full Of Women and Men". Despite being booed by the audience, they are a hit with the supposedly unscrupulous panelists, who admire the song's naivety and purity. Tim's theatre of cruelty series is cancelled as a result.
Ms. Heffer: He doesn't want you! You're fat and old and ugly! "Mitzi": Fat and old I may be, but ugly—(hissing)—ugly... ...you're absolutely right, that's why he loves me. C'mere...
It Makes Sense in Context: Graeme pulls this in "The Clown Virus" due to his less-than-helpful explanation of what's going on.
Bill:(seeing the first signs of Tim's transformation into a clown) Hey, Gray, Gray...he looks like Coco the Clown! Graeme: Good grief, of course...that's it! Tim & Bill: What? Graeme: Wh—can't you see—Coco the Clown! The Americans! The tomato soup! Nerve gas! It all makes sense! Tim & Bill: ...No, it doesn't.
Less than half the total number of episodes have been released on DVD in the UK, allegedly due to the controller of the BBC not liking the show.
Due to ABC in Australia pretty much playing the episodes on constant repeat, most of the material is now obtained from Aussie pirates, where the show has a HUGE following.
Kill the Poor: An annual cull of the poor was one of Tim's policies when running for Prime Minister.
Hilarious in Hindsight - in a black way - given that this was BEFORE Thatcher's gov't in 1979 and the current Cameron administration, both of whom virtually made this a manifesto promise to their faithful.
Larynx Dissonance: Tim in "Cecily", talking on the phone (using the same voice he used for Lady Constance on I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again). It might not be convincing, but, credit where its due, he slips into the voice like an evening gown (as he should, given how many years he's been using the voice by then).
Laser Blade: In "Snow White 2", Tim and Graeme have a duel with light sabers.
Le Film Artistique: Ken Russell's outlandish composer biopics, especially Mahler, are parodied in "The Movies" with The Life of Pablo Casals. The film of a nun stripping to a frenzied cello accompaniment, but revealing a whiteface mime, is especially bizarre.
Left the Background Music On: Tim's habit of giving inspirational speeches to a background of patriotic music — which he is seen starting up himself on a tape deck before beginning his speech.
Tim: ...Ruddy 'ell! Bill:Surely you're not resentful toward a little kindness for one of our dumb friends? Tim: The only dumb friend I've got is you! Bill: Well, thank you, after I make supper for you— Tim: Look, we can hardly afford to feed ourselves, and you start giving four-course meals to flaming guinea pigs! Bill:[turns his back] Temper, temper... Tim: Well, since when have we eaten that well! Bill: Since when indeed, yes...what did we get last time you cooked supper, eh? [Tim turns his back as well] A bowl of corn flakes! Yes, and they were burnt... Tim: Well, better than your soggy lettuce and potato peelings... Bill:[turns back around, snapping] On the money you give me you're very lucky to get anything at all, I can tell you! [turning his back, hands on hips] Oh, I've a good urge to go back to mother's... Tim: Well go. Bill: I shall. Graeme:Now listen! Bill and Tim:AND YOU KEEP OUT OF THIS! Graeme: Tim, you are being very, very silly! Tim: Oh, you always take sides with him, don't you...
Limited Wardrobe: Played straight with Tim and Graeme but averted with Bill, who had the same outfit for the first two seasons but went through several groovy outfits after that.
Locked in a Room: "The End" features the Goodies' office being encased in a block of concrete - with them inside.
Lottery Of Doom: When the Goodies are sealed inside a block of concrete in "The End", they draw straws to see which one of them will be eaten by the other two. Tim and Graeme don't tell Bill that this is what they are drawing for.
Tim: You say you're the Most Naughty Man in the World, how come we've never heard of you? Nasty Person: Because I am a master of disguises. Look, these are some of my greatest triumphs! [unveils pictures of Richard Nixon, Enoch Powell, Idi Amin and David Frost] All me!
Later they fool Nasty Person's brainless henchman into thinking he's disguised himself as the Goodies, all three of them. At the same time.
Medicine Show: The Goodies performed a scene as part of "The Goodies Travelling Medicine Show" in the episode "Hospital For Hire". The scene included a plant from the audience (Tim) being pulled from the audience to 'prove' that the mystery elixir cured all ailments.
Merit Badges For Everything: The "Scoutrageous!" episode features the World Domination badge (up to that point only ever awarded to Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and David Frost. But Frost stole his).
Stories have it that this scene was repeatedly screened at BBC parties, where it attracted huge cheers every time.
Kitten Kong took down the Post Office Tower (now known as the BT Tower) in a clip that ended up in the Title Sequence of later seasons.
Most Definitely Not a Villain (In one episode, the Goodies ran a pirate radio station inside a submarine attached to a rowboat. The rowboat itself had a sign saying 'Not A Pirate Radio Station'.)
And earlier on, in "The Greenies", there was a military base with a sign saying (paraphrased): "Not A Germ Warfare Station Or A Nuclear Weapon Testing Site Or A Place Where People Are Hurt In Any Way". And below it, a small sign saying "So There".
Motorcycle Jousting: In "Camelot Capers", The Goodies had to joust a horseback knight while mounted on their iconic three-seater bicycle. It doesn't go well for them.
Mundane Object Amazement: Graeme becomes enthralled by the process of making a cup of tea in "Holidays". This results in him making several hundred cups of tea.
Mushroom Samba: In some of the early episodes Bill Oddie's hallucinations are crucial plot points. They are induced by
Graeme: LEMON SHERBET? :: Whenever the sherbet comes up, it's often mentioned that his grandmother sends him it. It's also described as "Not dangerous, but it turns him on".
Musical Assassin: Everyone at the end of "The Stolen Musicians". The organ cannon. Or the orchestra using their violins as bows. And their bows as arrows. And finally, Cilla Black against the Goodies in the last scene.
Tim: Look at this! Nine out of every ten doctors agree that people who don't eat Sunbeam sliced bread will get squashed by elephants! Graeme: That's right. Mind you, it did take us a long time to find the right nine doctors, woo hoo hoo (makes loony signal) ... and the elephants!
No Celebrities Were Harmed: There were several thinly-disguised parodies of media personalities, usually with punny names such as Bill Grumpy, Michael Aspirin, and so forth.
No More for Me: In "Frankenfido" a man walking out of an optometrist takes off his new glasses after seeing the giant mutant pup...and promptly walks into a lamppost.
No Party Like a Donner Party: When the office is sealed in concrete in "The End", Tim and Graeme's thoughts immediately turn to cannibalism to survive, with Bill their intended target.
"Bunfight at the OK Tea Room" has an Overly-Long Gag about the pronunciation of the word "scone". The joke is that both the long-O and short-O pronunciations are correct, and it's slightly region-dependent which one is favoured.
Also done in "The Clown Virus" when they're meeting with an American general.
General: Gentlemen, we want to employ you to dispose of this small canister of harmless substance. Graeme: Oh, no, no, no. We're not dumping your...poison gas or whatever it is. General: Poison gas!? This is not poison gas, this is...tomayto soup! Goodies:(incredulous) Tomato soup!? General: Yes, tomayto soup! (points to the label) Bill: Oh, tomato soup...
On the Money: In "Culture for the Masses", Tim buys a painting for one million billion quintillion zillion pounds and two and a half new pence. Looking for a way to pay this off, they later learn that the art in the National gallery is insured for one million billion quintillion zillion pounds.
Orgy of Evidence: "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express" where the evidence left behind by the murderers includes a Union Jack waistcoat, a pair of glasses and a beard...which Bill proceeds to put on.
In "Invasion Of The Moon Creatures", Bill, dressed as a rabbit (It Makes Sense in Context, promise) runs next to a hole and jumps down the rabbit hole to get rid of Graeme, who is chasing him. Graeme attempts to jump in also, but hits the ground. Confused, he touches the hole, and manages to pick it up — it's just a piece of round, black paper. Frustrated, he throws the hole away as he stomps off-screen. When the hole lands, Bill crawls out of it again.
Taken to a truly manic extent in "The Movies": Characters jump in and out of the cinema screen, then in and out of the cinema screen which is on another cinema screen, then running off screen, appearing in the cinema screen inside the cinema screen, then jumping through all the cinema screens. The amazing thing is that it manages not to look obviously fake despite the episode being from 1975, and live action television.
At one point, all three Goodies disguise themselves as one man. No, they aren't wearing identical disguises — they're wearing one very large mustache and speaking all at the same time. When they take it off:
Man: Good Lord! There are three of you in there!
This is inverted in another episode when they attempt to bluff a villain's henchman by pretending to be the villain disguising himself as all three of them at once.
Parodies: Too many to list, so we'll just list Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World.
Parody Commercial: From the start of season 1 to the end of season 4, episodes were split into two parts, divided by parody commercials. They made a return in the season 6 episode "It Might As Well Be String", which was a parody of the advertisement industry in general.
Poke the Poodle: When the end of the world is nigh, Tim panics, worrying about his sins and the possibility he may go to hell. His sins, in the order he confessed them to Bill and Graeme: forgetting to put the turkey in for Christmas, tucking his shirt inside his underpants, and farting in the bath. When he has a Freak Out and tries to be sinful, he wears a t-shirt showing-off his belly button (and mocks Bill and knees him in the groin, which actually is pretty douchey.)
Political Stereotype: Not a major part of their characters, but the three Goodies each had elements of being stereotypical members of the three main political parties in the UK at the time: Bill for Labour, Tim for the Conservatives and Graeme for the Liberals.
Pressure Point: Spoofed in "Kung Fu Kapers": Reading from a book of martial arts instructions, Graeme delivers a large number of light taps and pokes to various spots on Tim's body. After several seconds of nothing happening, Tim suddenly spasms and jerks back and forth before collapsing unconscious.
Projectile Toast: Tim is pelted by toast fired from the toaster when the household appliances rebel in "Robot".
Pseudolympics: "A Kick in the Arts'' had Tim converting the Olympics from sports alone to a combination of sports and arts, leading to such events as the 'Snatch and Limerick' (combining poetry and weightlifting).
Real Vehicle Reveal: One of the early episodes has them leave their office and move behind a Rolls Royce, looking as if they are about to get in it. They then emerge from behind the Rolls riding their "trandem" bike.
Rube Goldberg Hates Your Guts: Mad Scientist Rat Fink Petal tries to kill the Goodies with a simultaneous pair of deathtraps: a bathtub slowly filling with water in which sits a man-eating alligator, and a candle burning a rope holding a tub of concentrated acid, so they'll be tormented over which horrible death they'll experience. After a comical Cliffhanger Copout in which they make an unseen escape thanks to Graham's fruit peeler, their escape is foiled by Rat Fink who's Genre Savvy enough to be waiting outside the door. He then straps them to an enormous Cartoon Bomb, which if moved will open a canister of poison gas.
Running Gag: Many. Bill's "lemon sherbet" in early episodes, for example. They also had several that only lasted for one episode, such as Graeme always adding a deadpan 'boom' to their radio station's theme song (It Makes Sense in Context...ah...sort of...) in "Radio Goodies".
The Heenz Meenz Beenz add, featuring Tim as a Butt Monkey boy who keeps messing up an add for baked beans.
Screwed by the Network: Apparently the controller of the BBC hated the series, but was unable to kill the show off due to its popularity. So while it had a good long run, there have been very, very few repeats of the show on British TV, even in recent years. For instance, their 30th anniversary was celebrated by... a cheaply made documentary and one repeated episode on TV. And Tim, Bill and Graeme had to take matters into their own hands to get the show out on DVD.
The BBC eventually did cancel the series (or rather, failed to continue it; there was never a formal contract), and it moved to ITV, where it was subjected to Executive Meddling and died. Ironically, this is the season that Comedy Central UK is allowed to show.
Apparently the show was canceled so that the special effects budget for The Goodies could be reallocated to the effects heavy and very expensive TV version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
The Secret of Long Pork Pies: In "Animals", Graeme runs out of animals to serve in restuarant and concocts a scheme to farm humans and sell their meat for human consumption.
Shoot Out the Lock: In "U-Friend or UFO" Bill is being chased by what he thinks is an alien, but Tim won't let him in the door, so he orders Graeme's robot to open it. The robot promptly disintegrates the door, so Bill can't lock it after him.
Shout-Out: In "Invasion Of The Moon Creatures", there's a shout out to Doctor Who ("(while in space) I'll just step outside to the telephone booth." "What telephone booth?" "That one! (points to the TARDIS)"), Star Trek (Spock shows up on their screen briefly, and Graeme records his thoughts in a captain's log á la Kirk), and Monty Python's Flying Circus.
Graeme: Captain's log...stardate, February 18th...time, 10:15...It is with deep regret that I—10:15?! Hey! [turns TV on, the opening titles to Flying Circus roll]Ah, blast! ...Missed Moira Anderson.
They had another Python reference at the end of the beanstalk episode; after rubbing the empty bean tin that started the havoc, a genie (played by John Cleese) rises out and proclaims it to be time for Something Completely Different, before realising that he's in a "Kids' Program!" and disappearing.
Graeme: My friends, this here bottle contains a guaranteed all-purpose remedy for prostration, inflation and frustration! Pneumonia and old monia! Distemper, dat temper and bad temper! Sunburn, heartburn, and Tony Blackburn!
Sound to Screen Adaptation: The roots of the show lie in manic 1960's ensemble comedy show I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, which starred the three Goodies with John Cleese and Jo Kendall, who both performed TV cameos in the series. Several ISIRTA sketches were recyled into The Goodies, and fans of the radio series can be heard in the studio audience, knowingly cheering mentions of Spot The Dog and all references to gibbons (funky or otherwise). The TV show also gave Tim Brooke-Taylor ample opportunities to reprise his Lady Constance deCoverlet voice.
Spin-Off: At the height of their fame, they had a comic series in Cor!! magazine — although it wasn't penned by them, it got their yea or nay as the 'final test' before publishing. A well-known fansite has some scans.
Spot the Imposter: In "The Baddies", where robot doubles of the lads were made by someone trying to give them a bad image. Tim eventually yells that they should try and unscrew the doubles' heads, to which the inventor of the doubles panicked, revealing them, The Goodies then begin to chase the duplicates. Hilarity Ensues.
Start My Own: The basis for several episodes, including "Radio Goodies" and "Hospital for Hire".
Stewed Alive: The Lost Tribe of the Orinocco attempt to cook Tim and Bill in a pot. They escape by fooling the tribe into making "human clear soup", which involves removing the meat before serving.
Stop Motion: The Goodies often used the live action version of this effect during the action scenes.
Strapped to a Bomb: In an episode, the Goodies fall foul of a mad scientist who ties them to a bomb (after they escape his first inescapable death trap, which involved rising water, an alligator, a candle burning through a rope, and an acid bath).
Graeme:(enraged) How can I create a new world when I'm surrounded by fools?! Tim & Bill: ...He's flipped. He's flipped, he's gone, he's completely gone...
Surreal Humor: On occasion, the most notable occasions being the endings of certain episodes — "The Movies" (which ended with Tim, Bill and Graeme running back and forth between movie sets and into television screens in an epic battle between an epic, a silent comedy, and a western), "Daylight Robbery On The Orient Express" (which ended with Evil Twin Goodies entering the French Le Boring competition, and using the power of mime to stop the Goodies from interfering), and "It Might As Well Be String" (which ended with switches to several different commercials in which Bill and Graeme tried to stop Tim from telling the world that string was evil). None of these endings offered any attempt at closure, even for a show with Negative Continuity, all of them make just as much sense in context, and it was even lampshaded in the credits of "It Might As Well Be String", with Tim, Bill and Graeme looking at a television screen.
They took a few playful shots at Monty Python.note The Pythons and the Goodies' 1960s careers have a lot of overlap. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, and Eric Idle had been in the Cambridge Footlights with the Goodies (Idle succeeded Graeme (who himself succeeded Tim) as Footlights president in 1964-65), and Chapman and Idle wrote for I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, while Cleese was a cast member. Graeme and Bill went on to appear in a (now wiped) sketch series called Twice a Fortnight with Terry Jones and Michael Palin.
In "Invasion of the Moon Creatures", Graeme switches on the television and sees the opening credits to Monty Python's Flying Circus. He immediately switches off again, fuming at having missed Moira Anderson.
"Scatty Safari" features four Gumbys as exhibits in the "Star Safari Park", accompanied by Sousa's "Liberty Bell" March (used as the Flying Circus theme tune).
In "The Goodies Rule... OK?", the down-and-out Tim and Bill pass two Gumbys rummaging through a dustbin; Bill addresses them as John and Eric.
Meanwhile, the Pythons returned fire in John Cleese's cameo at the end of "The Goodies and the Beanstalk". He appears as a genie from the tin of beans and declares, "And now for something completely different." An annoyed Tim snaps, "Push off!" To which Cleese sneers, "Kids' programme!"note A favourite term of derision for The Goodies by the Pythons' more militant fans.
DJ Tony Blackburn was a frequent target.note Bill in particular disliked Blackburn, but had to mend the bridge he was burning when he realised Blackburn was the most likely Radio 1 DJ to play the Goodies' music.
In "Chubby Chumps", Terry Wogan (voiced by Graeme) is announcing a contest, the second prize for which is a night out with Tony Blackburn, and the third prize for which is two nights out with Tony Blackburn.
In "Scatty Safari", Tony (who appears as himself) is the safari park's main attraction. He doesn't do well in captivity, and after Tim can't bring himself to put the poor fellow out of his misery ("I couldn't do it! Those big brown eyes looking up at me. I swear he could understand every word I said!"), they decide to release him into the wild, and he makes his glorious run for freedom... at which point he is promptly shot dead by a hunter.
In "The Goodies Rule... OK?", when the Goodies are driving through the streets rounding up the UK's now unemployed entertainers to stage a coup against the tailor's dummy government, they pick up Tommy Cooper, Ken Dodd, Rolf Harris (all seen only from behind, of course), and begin pulling up to Tony Blackburn (appearing as himself again), only to turn around and zoom away when they realise who he is. Tony takes out a hankie and begins weeping.
They even devoted a whole episode to mocking Rolf Harris - in "Scatty Safari", they capture Rolf Harris, who becomes the star attraction at the Goodies' celebrity safari park. Unfortunately, their captive breeding program works a little too well, and Great Britain is soon overrun by a plague of Rolf Harrises.
Other favourite targets: singers Max Bygraves and Des O'Connor, journalist/comedian David Frost (fondlynote Frost having given the Goodies some of their first breaks as television writers), then-Opposition leader Margaret Thatcher, "Clean Up TV" and "Festival of Light" campaigner Mary Whitehouse, actress and political activist Vanessa Redgrave, and television presenter Nicholas Parsons.
The height of the trope is reached when the characters are learning kung fu — Graeme is reading aloud from the book, Tim is trying what it says.
Graeme: Now lift up your index and middle finger and make a V. (Tim makes the rude V sign) Graeme:(still reading aloud) No, not like that. (Tim flips his hand around to a less rude gesture) Graeme: Yes, like that.
In "It Might as Well Be String", Graeme and Bill have apparently planned ahead when recording the tapes to simulate their voices for the tailor's dummies of themselves they use to fool Tim. When he discovers the ruse, this exchange occurs:
Tim: I should have known something was wrong when you didn't laugh at the Chelsea result! Bill:(on tape) How did they get on? Tim: Lost 3-0 at home to Derby. Bill:(on tape) HA HA HA HA HA!
Trandem Parasite: The Trandem is a three-man variation of a Tandem. The original version was an ordinary (sic) tandem with an extra seat at the back. Tim and Graeme pedalled, Bill being shortest was at the back in the non-pedalling seat. Later on the BBC prop department actually built a version with three sets of pedals.
Apparently it was roughly made (with plenty of sharp edges), hard to steer, hard to pedal and ridiculously prone to overbalancing.
The first time they tried the trandem they were unable to pedal it, so they had to write that into the scene (the bike falls over and they have to push it along). This ineptitude then became a Running Gag.
This Is No Time to Panic: Usually Graeme will say calmly, "Who votes that we should panic now?" followed by everyone putting up their hands, then Bill and Graeme start running about shouting hysterically while Tim pretends he's a Teapot.
Trading Bars for Stripes: In "Scoutrageous", Tim is arrested for being a scout, but is let off by the judge because he went to a good school. However, he joins the only organisation left for someone like him: the Salvation Army.
Trash Can Band: The boys form one in an attempt to relieve their boredom in "Holidays".
Tribal Carry: After being captured by the huntsmen (who are all attractive young women) in "Snow White 2", the boys are carried back to the castle in this fashion.
True Art Is Incomprehensible: Mocked in-universe in "The Movies", where Tim eventually fires all the film directors for making films of this type. Specifically, he says 50% of them are either "very boring or extremely pretentious", and the rest are unnecessarily violent or sexy.
"Scoutrageous" started off by quoting the White Rabbit's song from Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Bill and Graeme are sitting around the office:
Graeme: He's late. Tim: (walking in) I'm late. Bill: For a very important date. Graeme: No time to say hello. Tim: (leaving) Goodbye. Graeme and Bill: (together) He's late, he's late, he's late, eeh eeh!
And from an early season episode comes this exchange:
Graeme: Well, that's love. Who can explain it? Who can tell you why? Bill:(singing) Fools give you reasons... All:Wise men never try! Tim: Some enchaaaanted evening—don't change the subject!
William Telling: The boys are challenged to a medieval battle by a team of black knights. One of them successfully shoots a melon off of Graeme's head, nailing it to the tree behind him. Bill then has to one-up them by shooting an olive off Tim's head — he does, but nails most of Tim's hair to the tree as well.
Write Who You Know: Averted, despite all three characters being Danzas, their real personalities had little similarity to the characters on the show. Bill the character was a Heroic Comedic Sociopath, Bill the guy was an Actual Pacifist, for example. Both Bills were keen ornithologists, though, because that was something he was known for. Tim would later say that the characters were exaggerations of how the public percieved them; so Bill's passionate outspokenness became heroic comedic sociopathy, Graeme's medical degree made him a Mad Scientist, and Tim's posh accent and name made him an Upper-Class Twit.
Your Mime Makes It Real: This is the primary weapon of the mimes in "Daylight Robbery on the Orient Express". Mimed guns allow them to shoot musical instruments out of the Goodies' hands, miming carrying a sheet of glass across a road causes nasty accident, a mimed tack on the road causes a blow-out on a wheelchair, etc.
Zany Scheme: What the boys do when there's no helpless to help!