Six Charlies in Search of An Author

Six Charlies in Search of An Author is an episode of the classic radio comedy, The Goon Show. It was first broadcast on 26th December 1956.

The title is a parody of the play Six Characters in Search of an Author, by Luigi Pirandello. While the plot revolves around the common scenario of Neddie Seagoon being blackmailed by Hercules Grytpype-Thynne and Count Jim Moriarty, its development appears to blur the lines between the writer and the characters. The characters refer to places and times as chapters or pages, the author appears in the story and the characters themselves can edit the plot.


Ostensibly the plot is that of a book being written by Adolphus "Jim" Spriggs. Grytpype-Thynne blackmails Neddie with a 'compromising set of X-ray photographs'. Neddie decides to pawn himself at Henry Crun's pawnshop to pay for the photograph; however, he cannot leave the pawnshop safe until redeemed.

Neddie uses the ten pounds to redeem himself, but then has nothing to pay off his blackmailers with. Asking Wallace Greenslade the announcer (who has peeked ahead in the book) for help it is revelaed that Major Bloodnok has the photographs for safekeeping.

Arriving at Bloodnok's, Neddie finds that the photographs are in a safe, and Bloodnok does not have the combination. At this point, the characters begin to alter the book with a typewriter, and everything they write comes true. Neddie forces Bloodnok to work by describing him working. Bloodnok retaliates by doing the same. Bluebottle is written in by the author to help them. He has some "silent explosive".

:Neddie : "Can't anybody hear it explode?":Bluebottle : "Only idiots.":Sound FX : Explosion!:Bluebottle : "Did you hear anything, Captain?":Neddie (after a long pause) : "No...":Bluebottle : "Good. 'Cuz only idiots can hear explosions like that.":Eccles (running up) : "Here! What was that big explosion!":Neddie : "So you heard it too?":Bloodnok : "No comment."

Going back into the room, they are surprised at gunpoint by Moriarty and Grytpype-Thynne, who had played a recording of an explosion "written in without the author's knowledge". Neddie disarms Moriarty by writing in an empty gun, but Grytpype quickly writes in an escape with the photographs in a speedboat traveling up the Amazon river. At that point Jim Spriggs, the author, appears and demands that they stop interfering with his book. Bloodnok sends him away by writing "...the author turned and left the room!"

Bluebottle, playing with the typewriter, imagines an attack by "Black Claw and his Chinese pirates", ruining their pursuit of the villains. Reaching the banks of the river, they encounter Henry Crun, who tells them "Someone gave Min a typewriter and here I am!" Appealing to the author, they get a happy ending written for them as Neddie marries his fiancée Gladys Minkwater.

: Schnorrer : "I pronounce you, Neddie Seagoon, and you Gladys Minkwater, man and wife, and leave you to discover which is which!"

But Bluebottle still has the typewriter. He writes that Gladys deserts Neddie for him. The show ends with Neddie shouting "Come back! You're too young for that!" and Bluebottle responding "That's what you think! Yee hee!"

Unscripted Moments

When Neddie encounters Grytpype for the first time, he asks the "bone specialist", "What do you want?"

:Grytpype : "Bones.":Neddie : "I, er, I haven't got any.":Grytpype : "Nonsense, you fall down without them.":Neddie : "You'd fall down without them!":Grytpype : "You'd fall down without them!":Sellers (giggling) : "Take your choice!" (both giggle)

Musical Interludes

*Max Geldray : "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-bob-bobbin' Along"
*Ray Ellington : "From the Bottom of My Heart"

External links

* [ Six Charlies in Search of An Author] at [ The Goonshow Depository] .
* [ Transcript]

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