The Goodies ride the trandem to a nearby U.S. military base (which they find has taken over a national park and has a sign proclaiming 'No Commies or long haired weirdos') and after they pass several 'keep out' and 'danger' signs (where Bill discovers that the 'stop' sign is the actual danger when the boomgate drops on his head when he crosses the line below it), they are forced to sneak in past the checkpoint behind a truck. The Goodies salute a soldier (whose helmet spins around like a top when he salutes in return) and are then promptly marched off to the Command Headquarters. They find all sorts of nasty things inside the office, such as a working model of a guided missile base (where the U.S. loses to the Commies - again! – to which an unimpressed Graeme remarks "They haven't improved, have they?!"), a range of germ warfare bombs and nerve gases (including laughing and tear gas sprays which Graeme terrorises Bill and Tim with in quick succession) and another bomb which Graeme describes as being "even more effective" because it "blows their heads off!" as he lobs it at a toey Tim.
An American soldier enters the office (swinging two baseball bats and loudly singing a U.S. marine hymn) and introduces himself as "Major Charles M. Cheeseburger … French fries, two eggs and a side salad! Chief of U.S. Military Intelligence in Europe." Major Cheeseburger demands to know what the Goodies are doing there (to which a forthright Tim replies "You sent for us!") and is concerned that they have seen his germ warfare material ("Oh you peeked, you peek-a-booed?!") After considerable debate about whether the conversation is being secretly recorded, the Major asks the Goodies to dispose of a canister of harmless 'Tomato Soup' (or "tomayto soup" in his American accent, which temporarily confuses them) The Goodies attempt to dump the heavy canister outside the five mile limit (where there are signs noting 'Official Dump', 'No Fishing' and 'No Fish', which causes Graeme to do a double take), but they have great difficulty in getting it past the water's edge. They firstly smash a rowboat to smithereens when they drop the can into it from the jetty and Tim takes a dip in the sea after he rides the can down a long boat ramp, then topples over. The Goodies also find that the Road Runner-inspired Acme Giant Soup Can Flipper only manages to squash Graeme with either the soup can or one ton weight on several occasions (as Tim and Bill idly whistle at the top of the cliff while Graeme is getting flattened below!)
The only remaining way to get rid of the 'tomato soup' is to "drink it up", so Tim (resplendent in a chef's hat) serves it up for dinner, despite it being bright green, then adds red paint to it to attempt to satisfy Bill's fussiness about its colour (as Bill grumbles "No, now it's gone a funny mahogany colour!"). Graeme is appalled at the taste, but recognises it from a bad past dining experience on the M1 ("Motorway service station, 1972, 70p a bowl with a mouldy roll and a burnt sausage!") and comes up with the idea to sell all of the 'tomato soup' off to the horrible Thirtes roadhouse chain. Bill dilutes the soup to a 1:100 solution in buckets and Thirtes in turn pass it off as various products at their outlets up and down the country (including ox tails, Scotch broth, paraffin and coffee) but the Goodies' taste of the soup has done them no good at all. Tim emerges from his umpteenth trip to the loo with a "little red nose", which gets bigger and bigger (much to the amusement of Graeme and Bill, who remark that "he looks like Coco the Clown") and leads him to have a decent panic attack when he sees himself in a mirror.
Graeme finally realises that the Goodies have been eating something far more dastardly than tomato soup and insists that they quickly return to the U.S. base. However by the time they get there, Tim is also covered with facial makeup and frizzy multi-coloured hair and Bill's pants fill with air (with him also scoring a colourful hat and bow tie for good measure), which makes it hard for him to squeeze through the gap in the fence. Graeme smirks at their predicament, but he soon sports a made-up frown, red nose and an orange wig which springs wildly in the air at intervals. The Goodies madly race up the road to the Command HQ, where they find a top secret file (which Tim initially refuses to look at because "it's marked secret"!) about 'Operation Tomato Soup'. Graeme reads aloud that the 'soup' is actually CV 70 nerve gas, which affects the skin, hair and clothing and "causes a weird compulsion to behave like a clown"; at which point he tosses the papers in the air and sprays the others with soda water (as Bill launches into his Italian clown routine – "Ohh lookata whaddya you done, you a spraya me with da water!") and Bill wails even more when Tim grabs a bottle and squirts a stream of soda water into the front of his pants!
Major Cheeseburger returns to the office (firing his gun recklessly before declaring "Dadblasted things, they make me nervous! I can't stand it. Take it away!") and is "hornswaggled" when he realises that the Goodies have eaten the CV 70. He tells them that there is no cure for the clown virus, which prompts heaps of blubbering from Tim as he doesn't want to be a clown forever (and being tricked by Bill's collapsible chair routine doesn't help his mood either). Meanwhile Graeme is trying to stop Thirtes from selling the CV70 as soup, only to find that they are flogging it off as petrol, which spreads the contagious fumes all over the countryside. The Major also has a red clown nose and is being doused with soda water by the Goodies (while protesting "I was only obeying orders!") when a Pentagon window opens on the office wall and a General congratulates him on "mission accomplished".
The U.S.A. is ready to invade "the little old U.K." to claim it as a 52nd state (and "write it off as a tax loss"!) and the General declares that "A nation of clowns is no match for our invading forces". As his "good news", Major Cheeseburger is awarded the Purple Heart for his efforts, though when he raises the query that it can only be presented to a wounded soldier, the General smirks "That's the bad news!" and shoots him via a blast from a small cannon on the desk. The Major hits the floor with a heartfelt "God bless America!" and a helmetful of confetti flying in the air.
The BBC news bulletin contains film of a royal procession (with the Queen blowing a party whistle from inside her limousine), the opening of Parliament's three-ring circus at Westminster (featuring a big top tent at the base of Big Ben and a banner proclaiming 'Roll Up, Roll Up') and also worrying footage of sizeable U.S. military buildup in the Atlantic. A special broadcast from the cigar-puffing, clown-suited Prime Minister is rudely interrupted when he has a custard pie splattered in his face and BBC newsreader Corbet Woodall (who already sports a clown nose and a spinning bow tie) gets clobbered on the head with a mallet towards the end of the bulletin (leaving him with a cartoon-like bump welling up on the top of his noggin!)
The U.S. troops land on the beach (dancing in formation to jazz music) but are confronted by the Goodies, who soon get the better of them with clown-style antics. The troops are lured by towards a table that contains "blueberry pies, jumbo egg cheeseburgers" and other home-style delicacies, only for the spring-loaded table to activate and pelt them with a barrage of pies. Graeme swipes a landmine, buries it in the sand and repeatedly jumps heavily on it with no explosion (only for it to detonate when a puzzled U.S. soldier tiptoes on it) and then balances a mortar shell on a tightrope walk before he lobs it back at the troops . The Goodies finally manage to blow the Americans up with their own target-seeking missile and just when they are menacingly surrounded by charred and angry U.S. troops, along comes an old gentleman from the deep South in a horse-drawn buggy. He demands that the 'slaves' "get back to my plantation … Move along there, it's cotton pickin' time!"and herds them along the beach (as he wields a whip from his buggy) while the blackened troops are left to sing "Ain't Gonna Study War No More" as they march along slowly.
* Graeme: (holding up a can of Clap Gas): "Spray the enemy with this and no matter what appalling horrors he's faced with, he bursts into applause."
Tim (disbelievingly): "Oh rubbish!"
(Graeme sprays Tim & Bill and they start clapping feverishly)
Bill (impressed): "Good heavens, that's extremely useful. (looks at the desk) And there's a very big order here ... from David Frost!"
* Major Cheeseburger (shocked upon hearing that the Goodies ate the 'tomato soup'): "Well I'll be hornswaggled!"
Graeme (firmly): "Your personal life is no concern of ours!"
* A long-haired protester sitting on the grass near the army base holding a placard with 'Stop U.S. Tests Now' gets blown up by a missile; with the smoke clearing to reveal just the charred placard frame in the shape of a cross.
* Major Cheeseburger swearing that his conversation with the Goodies is not being secretly recorded, while setting various tape reels spinning around; such as two ashtrays on his desk (with the desk lamp as his microphone) and two plates on the bench (while talking to a model of the Statue of Liberty); then memorably activating the bras on Annette Funicello's bikini on a poster on the wall! When the Major finally gives away the fact that they are being taped, the Goodies launch into an impromptu rendition of 'Chattanooga Choo Choo', with rousing applause from the Major thanks to a blast of Clap Gas from Graeme.
* The Goodies' many and varied attempts at disposing of the canister of 'tomato soup', especially Tim riding it down a very long boat ramp (while giving a captain's salute in the process) then capsizing into the drink, and the scenes straight from a Road Runner cartoon where the Acme Giant Soup Can Flipper only succeeds in flattening Graeme (in Wile.E. Coyote fashion) on four separate occasions with either the can or the one ton weight.
* Selling the 'tomato soup' off to the notorious Thirtes roadhouses (who have a logo of a stag throwing up and advertise funerals as one of their services on their turnoff signs!), with the grotty bin-rummaging cook spitting in the 'tomato soup', tasting it, then spitting it out again in disgust before giving the OK signal and a big grin to indicate that it is just fine for his customers!
* The Goodies' development as clowns along the way to the base, especially Bill's pants inflating to the extent that he struggles to get through the fence, Tim's shoes extending over the danger line and bringing the stop sign crashing down on Bill's head, Graeme's orange wig springing madly in the air (complete with appropriately silly sound effect) and the sight of the three of them waddling up the road to the base in full clown gear.
* The service station attendant turning into a clown after inhaling fumes from the car that he has just filled (then squirting himself in the face with his petrol pump) and a cyclist turning into a clown on two unicycles after a smoke-belching truck drives past him. Also the scenes from the BBC newsroom and parliament where newsreader Corbet Woodall and the Prime Minister (among others) fall victim to the spreading clown virus.
* Scenes from the U.S. invasion; including Graeme catching a live grenade and allowing it to detonate in the front of his strides (which really does make his orange wig stand on end!), Bill having his inflated pants punctured by the soldier's bayonets before climbing into a magic box, which is duly bayoneted, but opens up to reveal Miss America in a glittering swimsuit, and Graeme catching a mortar shell from Bill while balancing with a parasol on a highwire and doing a perilous tightrope walk before lobbing the shell back into its launcher and blowing up several U.S. troops in the process.
John Bluthal, Peter Dyneley, Corbet Woodall, Ramsay Williams
Here Come The Clowns
MY 2 CENTS WORTH
True to the theme of clowns and circuses, the Goodies dish up a very funny Big Top send-up of the U.S. military and America in general, with their treatment of other topics like motorway food, Road Runner cartoons and Deep South plantation owners making for very amusing sideshows.
BLACK PUDDING RATING
The scene after the protester is bombed by the Americans
Graeme launches a model guided missile
All sorts of nasty germ warfare at the U.S. base
Graeme tests tear gas and laughing gas on his fellow Goodies
Major Charles M. Cheeseburger ... "French fries, two eggs and a side salad!"
The Major sets his Annette Funicello tape recorder going
Tim launches the tomato soup canister into the sea
Bill and Tim drop the weight onto Graeme instead of onto the
Acme Giant Soup Can Flipper
"Drink it all up ... "
The charming Thirtes diner logo
The Thirtes cook happily receives his 'tomato soup' from the Goodies
Tim is shocked when he sees his "little red nose"
Tim's extended shoes set off the stop sign, much to Bill's discomfort
Tim gives Bill a blast of soda water, making him even less comfortable!
Tim upset at the prospect of being stuck as a clown forever
A cyclist after being affected by the CV70 fumes
Tim has fun clowning around
The Major gets shot as he talks to the General at the Pentagon
Westminster really is a political circus
The Prime Minister cops a pie in the eye during his broadcast
Corbet Woodall clowns around with the BBC News
The U.S. troops are pelted with blueberry pies
Graeme's hair stands on end after a grenade detonates in his pants!
Graeme on the highwire with a mortar shell
The U.S. troops bayonet a box that contains Bill, only for
Miss America to emerge from it
The blackened troops come after the Goodies
"Git on back to mah plantation ... it's cotton pickin' time!"
"Ain't gonna study war no more ..."