Make your own free website on

Spike Milligan
The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine
More Pictures of Spike
Drawings of Spike Milligan
Drawings by Spike
The Life and Times of Spike Milligan
Duirt me leat go raibh me breoite
Spike Tudor-Pole
Everything Goes Back To Spike
OK Again, After Spike Of Success
For One Week Only
The Ugliest House In The World
Comedian, Campaigner and Philosopher
Pythons' Tribute To Goon Legend Spike
Did You Hear The One About...
Comic Genius
Spike: An Intimate Memoir
Me and My Dad, Spike
Fry's Milligan memories
Parsons Toasts A 'Comic Icon'
The Prince And The Comic
Stars Pay Tribute...
Gospel According To St Matthew
Sonnet XXX
Here's That Rainy Day
Guide Me
A Truly Remarkable Interview
Simply Spike
Slan Leat, Lance Corporal Milligan
Goon But Not Forgotten
Goon But Not Forgotten...Take 2
In Memoriam
Ever The Old Flatterer!
Crystal Palace Bulletin Board Messages
Danny Bakers Message Board
Spike Milligan Messages
Rename The Thames...
Medics Win Spike Milligan Trophy
His Part In Our Lives
Compassionate Comic Genius
Australian Reviews - Three Books On Spike Milligan
The Spoof
London Statue
Woy Woy Peninsula
Draining The Mirror
Spike Milligans Great Grandfather?
The Ex Nanny
The War
On The Stage
It's Behind You! Mother Goose
Mukkinese Battle Horn
Down Among The Z Men
Watch Your Stern
Invasion Quartet 1961
What A Whopper 1961
Postman's Knock
The Bed Sitting Room
The Magic Christian
The Three Musketeers
Ghost In The Noonday Sun
Great McGonagall
Beau Geste
Digby - The Biggest Dog In The World
Scene 17
Misc Spike Stuff
On Music
78 Not Out
Bill Hall Trio
The Goon Show
Goon Images
The Telegoons
Under The Influence...
The World Of Beachcomber
Curry And Chips
An Apple A Day
The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine
Cure For The Common Cold
On The Muppet Show
An Evening With Spike Milligan
Multimedia And Downloads
My Brief Encounter With A Genius
Spike and Milligan
Poke A Penguin
Contact Us & Related Links
Spikefest UK 2004
Buy Limited Edition Prints
And Finally

To maintain British interest, Spike Milligan was engaged throughout the run


The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine was the idea of Larry Gelbart, the brilliant American producer who was living in London at the time but would shortly return to the USA to develop the feature film M*A*S*H into a TV sitcom and then soar with it to unparalleled heights.

Gelbart had seen Marty Feldman's hugely successful BBC TV series and wanted to produce some material geared especially for the American viewer. With his international track record and reputation, Sir Lew Grade was the obvious man with whom to do business, so The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine saw the comic switch to the commercial network - ITV - and work with the US audience in mind.

Each weekly edition featured a prominent guest star - Orson Welles, Groucho Marx, Art Carney (The Honeymooners) and Barbara Feldon (Get Smart) among them - as well as internationally known singers like Thelma Houston and Randy Newman.

To maintain British interest, Spike Milligan was engaged throughout the run and Terry Gilliam, scoring tremendous success with Monty Python's Flying Circus, provided animations, including the title sequence.

The result was an occasionally brilliant but ultimately patchy piece of work that went out in Britain late at night and, frankly, failed to amuse very much. Before long, Gelbart - like a number of Feldman's other collaborators - grew frustrated with the star's personality; indeed, he tried to withdraw from the series altogether.

Grade persuaded him to stay and complete the 14 editions, but an option on a second series was never fulfilled. Some of the sketches were very good, though, indeed the best bits were worked into a half-hour compilation programme, screened in Britain on 15 February 1972 (repeated by C4 on 30 December 1987), which won the Top Comedy Award and also the Golden Rose at the 1972 Montreux Festival.

In America, where the series was networked by ABC, the 14 programmes were re-edited into half-hour shows, screened from 12 April to 23 August 1972. Although here too they were not an overwhelming success, the series served as Feldman's entrée into American popular culture.

While he would work once more with the BBC in 1974, Feldman spent most of his remaining years in Hollywood, starring in US feature films that ranged from the excellent (notably Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein and Silent Movie) to the dire ( In God We Trust).