Neddie Seagoon was an affable but gullible idiot. Often chronically poor and/or part of the government (such as "The Strolling Prime Minister of No Fixed Address" or some other civil servant), Seagoon frequently falls prey to the schemes of Hercules Grytpype-Thynne (Sellers) and Count Jim Moriarty (Milligan), and needs the help of Bluebottle (Sellers), Eccles (Milligan), and sometimes even Major Bloodnok (Sellers) to rescue himself.
Neddie's appearance was based on Secombe's own likeness, exaggerated for comic effect. Thus, he was often described as very short, round and immensely fat. In The Greenslade Story, John Snagge described him as "a little ball of fat", while in "The Mummified Priest" Bloodnok identifies him as Seagoon on the grounds "Who else could walk under a piano stool?". He also suffers from duck's disease (short legs). He shares Secombe's tenor voice, as used to identify him in The Mystery of the Fake Neddie Seagoons. He was also generally Welsh, as in "Tales of Men's Shirts" he was referred to as Ned of Wales, and in "Pam's Paper Insurance Policy", Greenslade introduced him with "a bundle of Welsh rags suddenly becomes animate."
His fatness is a particular subject of gags. In "Dishonoured" and "Dishonoured - Again", he gives his body mass as either 17 or 18 stone (in metric, 108-114kg)and his head mass at 20 stone (127kg), totalling either 235 or 241 kg, depending upon episode. Once, upon visiting Henry Crun's house in Tales of Men's Shirts, Crun remarks "Did you know they've sent a rocket to photograph the other side of you?". In the episode Nineteen Eighty Five (a parody of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell) he says: "Over the weeks that they tortured me my weight dropped by ten stone, I went down to a mere twenty stone". In Ye Bandits of Sherwood Forest, Prince John (Dennis Price) and The Sheriff of Nottingham (Valentine Dyall) discuss Robin Hood:
Sheriff: Your Majesty, is it this Robin Hood vagabond that upsets you?
Prince John: Oh, don’t mention that man's name again, don't mention that man's name to me again!
Sheriff: But what part of him shall I mention then?
Prince John: Well, there's so much of him.
Sheriff: Well you insisted on Secombe playing the part.
Neddie was usually the one who greeted the audience at the beginning of the show, referring to them as "folks" or "Dear Listeners", and introducing that week's story. He would often step out of the frame of the story, explaining elements of the plot to the audience or narrating some of the plot, and would usually converse with Wallace Greenslade (The Goon Show's announcer); for instance:
Seagoon: Greenslade, tell the listeners what we have in store for them toni...
Greenslade: (Interjecting) Rubbish.
Seagoon: That's right. Yes, it's rubbish!
The Seagoon character would sometimes have a different name depending on the setting of the plot; for instance:
Seagoon had several catch-phrases, seemingly random gibberish that became his trademarks, such as "Ying tong iddle I po!" and "Needle-nardle-noo". He would also express intense surprise by repeating the word "What?!" rapidly and in rising pitch, as "Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?", and would do likewise with the word "Yes?" as "Yesyesyesyesyesyes?" generally motivating Grytpype-Thynne to request "Please don't do that."
Gooning around with Dad; When Andy Secombe Was Young, He Had No Idea That His Father Harry Was a Household Name as One of the Goons. and That's Because the Secombes Worked Hard at Having a Loving, Close and Normal Family Life. but What Was It like for Other Goon Children? Andy Tells Abbie Wightwick Why He Just Had to Find Out
Feb 12, 2011; Byline: Abbie Wightwick AS a boy Andy Secombe had no idea his father was famous. Harry Secombe was the much-loved Welsh dad who'd...