“We're the Goodies, and we're going to do good to people”
“Goodie Goodie Yum Yum”
“Daddy I want to watch the Goodies”
The Goodies were two British men and one (hideously disfigured, yet strangely narcissistic) bearded dwarf committed to raising awareness about the threat of environmental degradation from rampant capitalism, nuclear war and the myth of global warming. Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Billie Odd documented their environmental activism in a weekly television series on the BBC.
A meeting of minds at Cambridge University
The two studious young men and the young (but nevertheless bearded) humped back dwarf met at Cambridge University in the 1960s. Graeme Garden was reading economics, Billie Odd was learning how to make miniature iron axes in a forge. And Tim Brooke-Taylor wasn't doing anything at all. They were concerned at the apathy of their generation, who were more interested in supporting the economy through the production and distribution of illicit substances than preserving the environment for the next generation.
The Goodies: The Series
2001: A Bill Oddiesy
In 1969 Garden approached his "Uncle" who was Minister for Broadcasting at that time. He told "Uncle" Humphrey that he would like to film a serious-minded series on environmental science with his two university chums. Since "Uncle" Humphrey was particularly eager not to meet Garden's father while in a compromising situation with Garden's mother, he ensured that Garden got his way. The first episode screened in late 1970, and featured Graeme Garden, Billie Odd and Tim Brooke-Taylor serious-mindedly climbing an ancient oak tree to protect it from unscrupulous housing developers. The episode received critical acclaim, with audiences falling out of their chairs with amusement. Graeme Garden was reported to have said, "But it's not a comedy." Tim Brooke-Taylor said, "What the hell."
The series was a hit with the British public. Garden continued to insist this was a serious programme, and introduced such important environmental issues as nuclear kitten mutation, the plight of the gibbon and the use of human-powered clean transportation (trandem bicycles). The public continued to wonder whether or not to laugh until the end of the series in 1982.
The Goodies Reunion
In the early 2000s the three found they were a bit short of cash. Billie Odd had given all his money to a fraudulent charity claiming to support the preservation of field mice. Graeme Garden had invested and lost all his money in high profile energy company Enron. And Tim Brooke-Taylor hadn't done anything except read The Beano at the University of St. Andrews since the series ended. They decided to join together for one last, money raising performance, but found that environmental issues were no longer considered funny and the BBC was not keen. Undeterred they were determined to raise enough cash to buy a villa in Tenerife. As a compromise they departed from their usual format and their final reunion was a performance of The Full Monty, which aired live in November 2002.
Where are they now?
Graeme Garden is at the tailors. Tim Brooke Taylor is in the garden. And Billie Odd was last seen in one of the Lord of the Rings films, but you have to look really closely.