The Intro and the Outro

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"The Intro and the Outro"
Song by Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
from the album Gorilla
ReleasedOctober 1967
Songwriter(s)Vivian Stanshall
Producer(s)Gerry Bron, Lyn Birkbeck

"The Intro and The Outro" is a recording by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.[1][2] It appears on their debut album, Gorilla (1967). It is not so much a song as a comic monologue in which the speaker introduces the musicians who ostensibly appear on the recording. The recording fades out before the emcee completes the introductions and without the "orchestra" being able to play anything more than a vamp. The piece was written by Bonzo member Vivian Stanshall, who also provides the vocal.[3] Stanshall first introduces the seven members of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, who are credited with their actual instruments, over a vamp that resembles Duke Ellington’s "C Jam Blues".

Following that, the imaginary line-up turns toward comedy. Some of the "musicians" named are actual performers credited with instruments that they did not play or typically were not associated with. Others are actors, politicians and other public figures not generally linked with musical performance in any way. Some of those named will now be unfamiliar to listeners outside mid-20th century Britain, such as Billy Butlin, Val Doonican, Max Jaffa and the comic strip character Lord Snooty from The Beano. Peter Scott, credited as playing the duck call, was a well-known British ornithologist.


According to Stanshall's monologue the Bonzos play the following instruments on the recording, although several of the band were multi-instrumentalists and may play other instruments as well.

As well as being mentioned in Stanshall's patter as playing the ukulele, Eric Clapton actually plays the ukulele on the recording.[4]

Mentioned in the recording[edit]


The "sessions gorilla" portion of the recording originally ran "And now just arriving, Quintin Hogg on pig grunt". Hogg was a British politician at the time. He learned of the piece prior to its release and objected to his name being used in such a context, namely the pun on his last name as "hog" (with one "g") is also another term for a pig. He managed to get Stanshall back into the studio to record the line about the sessions gorilla that is heard on the final recording. It is not known if any copies of the original version still exist.[5] Controversy also grew out of the juxtaposition of The Princess Anne with Hitler.[6]

Cultural references[edit]

Vivian Stanshall is also known for appearing as the “Master of Ceremonies” on Mike Oldfield’s original recording of Tubular Bells, a role which involved introducing the instruments featured in the recording, most of which were played by Oldfield.

An excerpt of the song, with an adapted commentary sounding like Stanshall (actually performed by Bob Monkhouse), was used in a 1988 television advertisement, made at Passion Pictures and animated by Chuck Gammage, for the Cadbury Creme Egg.[7][8]


  1. ^ "All made up and being friendly: Back on the road, the surviving members of the Bonzo Dog Band make a stopover in the canyons of Alan Franks's mind". The Times. February 5, 2010. Retrieved March 11, 2010. Nonetheless, they had something suspiciously resembling a hit in 1968 with a single called 'I'm the Urban Spaceman'. There was also 'The Intro and the Outro', their sublime spoof of instruments soloing in a jazz band; and 'Trouser Press', an oeuvre for an amplified version of that hotel appliance.
  2. ^ "Dance veteran steps up to lead role in classic musical". Western Morning News. May 29, 2009. Remember the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and their hit 'I'm The Urban Spaceman'? Or 'I'm Going To Bring A Watermelon To My Girl Tonight'? Or 'The Intro and The Outro' ("looking very relaxed... Adolf Hitler on vibes")? Well the avant garde, off-the-wall entertainers are at the Landmark Theatre next month in their latest incarnation – Three Bonzos and a Piano.
  3. ^ Mike Chapple (November 3, 2006). "Showbiz antidote hits the road again". Daily Post. Archived from the original on February 25, 2023. Retrieved March 11, 2010. The Bonzos pre-empted the quintessentially English anarchic comedy of the Pythons in the late 1960s with songs that celebrated all things daft and beautiful. These were epitomised perhaps by "The Intro and The Outro", in which Stanshall in his posh MC voice reeled off a series of unlikely guest artistes over a mantra-like trad jazz riff, ie, "Say hello to big John Wayne, xylophone, Robert Morley, guitar, Billy Butlin, spoons. And looking very relaxed, Adolf Hitler on vibes."
  4. ^ Jack Malvern (June 16, 2007). "It's the latest craze and it means ukulele lovers must wait for their ship to come in". The Times. Archived from the original on February 25, 2023. Retrieved March 11, 2010. George Harrison and Eric Clapton both admired Formby and Clapton played the ukulele in The Intro and the Outro, a song by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band
  5. ^ "BBC article on the song". Archived from the original on 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  6. ^ Mark Steyn (May 2006), He Made the Refrains Run on Time, The Atlantic, archived from the original on 2011-09-13, retrieved 2017-03-11
  7. ^ "Creme Eggs animated advert". Archived from the original on 2014-01-02. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  8. ^ "British Arrows Awards". Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2022.

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