Major Bloodnok

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Major Denis Bloodnok, IND. ARM. RTD. coward and bar (military idiot and former plumber's mate) is a fictional character from the 1950s BBC Radio comedy The Goon Show. He was voiced by Peter Sellers.

Basis of character[edit]

Bloodnok's army career was notable for cowardice and monetary irregularities. He was discharged after being found dressed as a woman, although he claims it was carnival night.

He was repeatedly implied to be a womaniser. A prime example of this is in "Drums Along the Mersey" where he is thrown out of a boat for being caught with the captain's wife. Another example is featured in "The Histories of Pliny the Elder", when he says: "You know that saying 'Caesar's wife is above suspicion'? Well, I put an end to all that rubbish!" Also, in "The Jet-Propelled Guided NAAFI", when Moriarty arrives at his tent to bribe him into blowing up said NAAFI, he catches Bloodnok saying supposedly to a woman he was romancing, "Good night darling, I'll see you later", to which Milligan, playing Throat, replies "Good night, darling". In addition, during "Tales of Men's Shirts", he appears obsessed with women, answering a request for a favour with "What's her name?"

Bloodnok was based on the memories of Spike Milligan who remembered an old Colonel who used to come to their shows in Italy. The Bill Hall Trio (which Spike was a member of at the time) got friendly with him and also found he was notorious at missing his wallet every time he had to pay for a round of drinks and used to make up probably exaggerated stories of his military experiences. Spike has stated in his memoirs that one night they put the Colonel in the wings, and whenever it got quiet, the Colonel shouted "These boys were at Cassino you know!" This probably got the biggest laugh of the night so Spike brought the Colonel to the Stage to take the applause. Spike was in contact with him up until the Colonel died.

Regiments[edit]

He introduces himself in "Napoleon's Piano" as "Major Denis Bloodnok, late of the 3rd Disgusting Fusiliers, OBE, MT, MT and MT". Seagoon questioned him on the MT's, to which Bloodnok responded "I get tuppence on each of them" (MT's meaning "empties", as in empty bottles). Also said to be a former member of the "3rd Mounted NAAFI", and the "3rd Regular Army Deserters". In "The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler (of Bexhill-on-Sea)", Major Bloodnok is officer commanding of the "56th Heavy Underwater Artillery". In "The Mummified Priest", when Seagoon explains that he has come to Egypt to look for the tomb of a priest belonging to the third or fourth dynasties, Bloodnok replies, "Fourth Dynasties? My old regiment!" He has also claimed to have been in the "3rd Heavy Nudists" ("Oh, what a cap badge they had!").[1] It is possible that he was at one time a member of a cavalry regiment: Roper's Light Horse are mentioned in more than one episode. In "The Last of the Smoking Seagoons", Major Bloodnok hides Ned of Wales in the Bloodnok Patriotic Military Museum; in doing so, he hears the cash register's ring, and reminisces: "Oh, that tune how it haunts me; it's my regimental march for the Third Mounted Cash Registers, you know". In "The Fear of Wages", Seagoon is the commander of the Third Armoured Thunderboxes ("who vanished in Burma ten years ago"), while Bloodnok is an officer in the regiment.

Running gags[edit]

Denis is plagued by chronic gastro-intestinal problems and his entrance is usually accompanied by explosions or flatulent sound effects, the sound being created by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (on the one occasion it wasn't played, Bloodnok cried, "I'm Cured!") and quotes such as:

"The screens, nurse! Quick, the screens!"
"No wonder I can't go to parties any more ...."
"No more curried eggs for me."

In "The Policy" Bloodnok sings a song called "The Indigestion Waltz".

Catch phrases[edit]

  • "It's Hell in there!" - typically about somewhere hot, crowded etc. or his own quarters and/or latrine.
  • "I say, you're cutting it rather fine, aren't you?" - after another character has uttered seemingly contradictory statements.
  • "I don't know who you are sir, or where you come from, but you've done me a power of good." - often shortened to "you've (or "that's") done me a power of good". In "The Gold Plate Robbery" the catchphrase was set to music.[2]

Other characters[edit]

In several episodes Bloodnok has an Indian manservant called Singhiz Thing.

Bloodnok's arch enemy is "The Red Bladder", voiced by musician Ray Ellington.

In the DreamWorks film Shrek, a reference is made to the Major when the title character points out an Ogre constellation known as 'Bloodnok The Flatulent'.

See also[edit]

Il Capitano

References[edit]

External links[edit]