Tuesday, November 27, 2007


This Funky Squad story from the Triple M Breakfast days later resurfaced as a comic in the Funky Squad Annual. Which I haven't written about. Yet. And might not. Let's see how I feel once I've got through the radio stories.

Framed begins with the end of the case - the bank robbers are busted and Stix gleefully informs them that "the only loot you'll be getting is the musical instrument they teach you in jail!"

While Stix explains the obscure link between medieval instruments and money laundering, the crooks make their escape. They report their failure to their boss, a Mr Poncycrim of Swish Crims Inc, who must be very, very rich and a villian of noble birth since he has a posh accent and an expensive sounding teaspoon sound effect.

Goon: We only just managed to escape while one of them explained a metaphor, Sir!
Boss: Silence! Enough talk.
Goon: But if we don't talk, it gets kinda boring.
Boss: Oh, I don't know. There's always the teaspoon noise.

Jangling aside, Poncycrim crafts a masterly plan to bring down Funky Squad - a couple of loud-speaking goons head to a downtown burger joint, and soon the squaddies think they've got a tip-off about a bank job when all they ordered was a megaburger and fries. But they get a set-up, a dead body, and the Chief and some squares bursting in at the most improbable moment. Funky Squad flees the scene of the crime, in a squeal of rubber.

Chief: Constable Straightlace, Sargeant Square! Go after them at a slightly lesser speed!
SFX: screech!
Cassie: Grant! We can't go on like this!
SFX: screech!
Grant: Why not?
SFX: screech!
Cassie: I don't think the tyres will hold out!

The squaddies head to Poncycrim's stately home to clear their names, braving fences, armed guards, and slavering vicious man-eating labradors.

Cassie: you forget, before joining Funky Squad Grant was a green beret...
Stix: No, Grant OWNED a green beret.
Guard: Hey! You in the green beanie!

Having been spotted, they're dragged inside to darken Poncycrim's doors. And just as all looks black, the Chief makes another inprobable appearance.

Chief: Poncho told me everything.
Stix: But he can't talk.
Chief: He wrote it down.
Stix: He's illiterate.
Chief: It was sign language.
Stix: He's terrible at charades.
Cassie: Stix, shut up!

And I will too, until I drop in again with the next episode in approximately alphabetical order, Hunted.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dance of Death

Grant dismisses ballet as "a bunch of straights in tights bouncing to the beat of square music", but he changes his tune when Russian ballerina Anastasia Primadonov wants to defect. In fact, the tough-as cop falls for the flouncy thing with the help of some subtle audio effects:

Grant (apparently thinking): Must not let on I'm falling in love with her...
Ana (apparently thinking): Must not let on I'm falling in love with him...
Stix (apparently doesn't think at all): Must not let on everyone's voice has gone all echoey!

Heading to the noble dance, Funky Squad sneak backstage - after waking up Poncho and Stix, who've nodded off from the excitement of it all - and meet the Iron Curtain Dance Company, whose sinister minder is keeping the dancers on a short leash:

"Anastasia, look at you. Lipstick, decadent nail polish, mascara... How many times must I tell you - leave my makeup alone!"

But Grant is apparently prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice: being seen in public in leotards.

Theatre PA: Ladies and gentlemen, due to an implausible plot development, Vladimir Smirnoff will be replaced tonight by Grant Funkyscoff.

The ruse works, and Anastasia makes her escape with the squaddies in the Funky Buggy, which isn't a Lada. But there's one broken down ahead of them.

Motorist whose voice bears a strange resemblance to that of the sinister Iron Curtain minder: Excuse me comrade, er, cobber, could you a hand be giving to push my Lada vehicle?"

Funky Squad sees through the ruse - eventually - and after a bout of fisticuffs and Stix taking a bullet in the beachball, they make for a conventiently located embassy over the road. Anastasia takes a moment to pose meaningfully on the doorstep, and gets her brains blown out.

Which is probably just as well, since we wouldn't want her and Cassie getting all catty over Grant's affections. Especially since they were both played by Jane Kennedy.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Cry For Help

Funky Squad's been through several incarnations, from TV Show to slightly unsettling book, but it started life as a radio serial on Triple M, when the D-Gen team was taking care of Breakfast on that station. Each Funky Squad radio story is made up of five episodes (Monday to Friday) of approximately two minutes each. There's more info on this era over in Wikipedia, if you follow the link to the right.

Since I don't know broadcast dates for these stories, I'm blogging them in approximately alphabetical order, starting with:

A Cry For Help

Grant (Rob Sitch), Cassie (Jane Kennedy), Stix (Santo Cilauro) and Poncho (nobody in particular) are cruising a rough neighbourhood in the funky buggy.

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Grant: You know what the murder rate is here?
Stix: One per episode.

A hobo is found dead, and despite reluctance from Deputy Dismissive, Funky Squad are on the case. A string of unintelligibly funky talk from their hip to the groove street contact provides some less than helpful leads.

Stix: What did you make of that?
Grant: Nothing, as usual
Cassie: Man, we've really gotta learn jive talk.

A tip off from Father O'Cool of St Moderns leads them to the classically troubled youth Tito Spanola and his distressed mother.

"Twenty years een zish country and all I haff to show for eet ez zish accent! (sob sob sob) I'm sorry... I get like this when i have only one scene..."

They seem to be getting somewhere when The Chief (Tom Gleisner) puts his irrationally conservative foot down.

Chief: I'm not having you stand there and set up this episode any more Funky Squad. The case is closed, and tomorrow I want you to report for... Useless Duty!"

Funky Squad head off to talk to more incomprehensibly hip street types, but there investigations are curtailed when the Chief inexplicably turns up and slams some car doors at them. Over the banging, they learn that a big shipment of drugs is coming in tonight from Porto Hashish, that young Tito is the lookout and the dead hobo knew too much, hence his ending up with a chalk outline. Funky Squad are back in business.

Grant: Carlos! We have your warehouse completely surrounded!
Carlos: What do you want?
Grant: Throw your weapons out the window!
Carlos: But there are no windows.
Grant: In that case... we have the warehouse beside yours completely surrounded!

This episode later morphed into The Wrong Side of the Tracks when Funky Squad went televisual.

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