Ying tong, Ying tong, Ying tong iddle I po.
Speaking of the Brits…how ’bout them Goons? In the golden era of radio, a comedy group comprised of top-shelf talent (Harry Secombe, Spike Mulligan, and Peter Sellers) provided oddball hilarity to the British airwaves. The British, hoping to escape the doldrums of working in the final gasps of a flagging empire, turned to the radio for respite and a bright new future. Neither came but at least laughter was readily available. After all, one can only hear so much about the ups and downs of the London Stock Exchange and the latest rice pudding recipes.
The Goons tackled the mores of a staid British society and spared no satire for anything and everything within the realm. They thumbed their noses without impunity or prejudice against whatever struck their fancy thus showing the world that even the English and their little cousins were capable of a flaccid upper and lower lip. It was only in laughing at themselves that the British could drown out the mockery of the rest of the world.
Editor’s Note: As with most commentary on the Comics A-Go-Go! website, we take no responsibility for the irresponsibility of blanket and unresearched statements. We actually have no idea what British society was like in the 1950’s but we assume from the movies we’ve seen that it was generally grey and dreary, the clothing and food were stale and moldy, and the Americans were calling most of the shots. That is why the escapist, loony comedy The Goons served up was deliciously satisfying. Or so we assume.
Do you like Monty Python and the Flying Circus? Then you’ll probably like The Goons. MPATFC is the The Goons’ bastard child.
One of our favorite nonsensical bits is a piece titled “The Ying Tong Song” comprised of various inaudible ramblings and funny noises. Listening to it creates one of those experiences where you find yourself laughing because something is ridiculously comical but you can’t quite figure what about it is so funny since there’s no formulated joke. Interestingly, it charted as a UK Singles hit in 1956, crowding out invasive, trite and forgettable American pop. See? Every once in a while there is a glimmer of hope that the British can muscle their way back onto the world stage. Up England! Up Scotland! Up Wales! Up North Ireland! Up Isle of Wight! Up … Pitcairn Islands?! Whatever. On with the show. Take a listen.