Spike Milligan

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Terence Alan Milligan, KBE (16 April 191827 February 2002), known as Spike Milligan, was a British-Irish writer, artist, musician, humanitarian, comedian and poet. He played the piano, trumpet, saxophone, and guitar. While producing a prodigous number of books, he remains most famous as the creator, principal writer and performing member of The Goon Show.


  • For ten years Caesar ruled with an iron hand. Then with a wooden foot, and finally with a piece of string.
    • The Goon Show, Season 7, Episode 25: "The Histories of Pliny the Elder" (28 March 1957)
  • Are you going to come along quietly, or am I going to have to use ear plugs?
    • The Goon Show, Season 9, Episode 12: "The Call of the West" (January 20, 1959)
    • Alternative: "Are you going to come along quietly, or do you want musical accompaniment?"
  • A lot of learning can
    be a little thing.
    • England Home and Beauty for Sale, Small Dreams of a Scorpion: Poems (1972)
  • I thought I'd begin by reading a poem by Shakespeare, but then I thought, why should I? He never reads any of mine.
    • Spike Milligan with Jeremy Taylor Live at Cambridge University. Recorded at Cambridge University on December 2, 1973, this was previously released as a double LP, and later re-issued as a 2 CD set. Milligan used variations on the Shakespear line throughout his later life.
  • If a man dies when you hang him, keep hanging him until he gets used to it.
  • On the Ning Nang Nong
    When the cows go bong!
    • Poem On the Ning Nang Nong.
  • God made night
    Man made darkness.
    • Poem God Made Night, Small Dreams of a Scorpion: Poems (1972)
  • Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite.

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