PYTHONS' TRIBUTE TO GOON LEGEND SPIKE MILLIGAN
"I never met Spike. I never really felt that I had to, though, because he was always 'there'. On my TV, on my radio, or on my book shelves; indeed, with most of his family living here in Australia, he was on my TV and in my Newspapers probably more than he was anywhere else; usually to do with some 'Environmental' issue he always seemed to get caught up in. I say Environment with a capital 'E' because nowadays, that is how we are taught to think of the world we live in. Back in the early 70's, though, to be a public face for Environmental causes was about the same as being the focus of the 'fluff' piece tacked onto the end of the Six O'clock News! But did Spike care? Not about beurocracy and the 'puffed-shirt' brigade, certainly. About his work, the people he presented it to, and the world in which he stood however, Spike was a tireless Champion, a Genius and a true Legend, and if he had to appear foolish to make a point, to bring something he believed important to the public eye, then so be it. His fights with his personal demons were reported ad nauseum, and one wonders if Spike's comedy would have been so very different without them!
I had three comedy hero groups when I was a kid in the seventies: Monty Python, The Goodies, and The Goons. And, of course, Python was my comedy group of choice; It wasn't until I was a little older that I realised that it was because of Spike Milligan that Python was the way it was, if it had even been at all! Spike and his Goons were using phrases like 'stream-of-Conciousness' long before the men-who-would-be-Python were erroneously credited with such a creation.
Rest now, Spike. Thanks for the laughs, and for the passion; say hi to Graham for us!'
"One of the main reasons I made my way to England many years ago died the other day. That reason was named Spike Milligan - one of the most brilliant, whirling dervish comic geniuses the world has ever had to put up with... and the brains behind the Goon Show. I remember hearing the Goons for the first time on an FM station in New York sometime in the mid sixties. Never had I heard anything so absurd, so giddyingly wonderful, wild, and silly in all of my life. There was nothing in America to compare with it. If Britain could produce nonsense as pure and anarchic as that, then that was the place for me.
Whatever doubts about forsaking America were dispelled when, a few years later, I bumped into a strange English film that had clambered up onto the less-than-silver screen of a dingy New York art house called The Running Jumping Standing Still Film (that was the name of the film, not the cinema - the cinema was called Leslie). Although I didn't know it at the time, this too was the product of Spike's corkscrew mind - and it did for cinema what the Goon Show had done for radio - reduced it to lunacy of the finest unexplainable kind.
I had to get to Britain and wallow in this ridiculously funny world. And I did.
But, Spike didn't stop with radio and film...no, he took on the task of deconstructing television comedy as well. Unfortunately, the BBC, in it's wisdom, destroyed the tapes of his shows to make more storage space in their vaults and Python waltzed away with the credit for changing the face of television comedy. But, the truth is that it was Spike Milligan who got there first.
I never thanked him properly for opening the doors to English humour for me and being the illegitimate father of Python - now it's too late - he's already gone and pissed off this mortal coil. Spike was always way ahead of the rest of us."
Others on Spike...