How Peter Sellers and ‘The Goon Show’ Paved the Way for the Comedy Podcast

Celebrating Peter Sellers’s birthday by taking a look at The Goon Show’s massive impact on comedic podcasting.

In the wake of the Second World War, a small group of British comics knit the world back together with a revolutionary brand of comedy. The Goon Show—the BBC radio comedy child of Spike Milligan (the show’s primary writer), Harry Secombe, and Peter Sellers—has left a huge fingerprint on comedy as a whole. However, the most wide-ranging influence of the show can be found in the medium it was originally presented in: radio. Going further than radio, you can definitely see the influence in your favorite comedy podcast from Earwolf and other podcast networks. Seriously, what The Goon Show did for comedy broadcasting cannot be overstated.

But let’s step back. Before we see how the show has influenced the radio medium sixty years later, we have to know what the show really was. The Goon Show was a thirty-minute scripted comedy program that aired between 1951 and 1960. It was the impetus for Peter Sellers’s comedy career and many of Spike Milligan’s nervous breakdowns. The three actors would voice multiple characters throughout each episode, playing one leading character each, along with multiple background characters. In this way Sellers honed his skills in [ . . . ] More at Film School Rejects:


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