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. An author of many books, he is best remembered 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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