Hercules Grytpype-Thynne was a character from the British 1950's comedy radio programme The Goon Show. He was voiced by Peter Sellers.
Grytpype-Thynne is the smooth spoken and sophisticated principal villain on the show, and is usually accompanied by his companion in crime, Count Jim Moriarty . The main plot usually follows an impoverished Grytpype-Thynne thinking up a money making scheme which involves the (usually equally-impoverished) Neddie Seagoon being the fall-guy. In early scripts, however, Grytpype was often cast as a government official, and not necessarily a villain. For instance in "The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler of Bexhill-on-Sea" he is a police inspector; in "The Whistling Spy Enigma" he is the secret Government agent who sends Seagoon to Hungary to booby-trap the boots of the national football team; and in "The Jet-Propelled Guided NAAFI" he is Prime Minister Neddie"s butler and confidante, but also an undercover Soviet agent plotting with Moriarty to sell the guided NAAFI secrets to the Russians. In "The Histories of Pliny the Elder", he was Julius Caesar.
In later series, he and Moriarty are much further down the respectability scale, often found sharing the same suit, eating newspaper stew, or living up trees, in dustbins, or on top of disused factory chimneys.
Grytpype's relationship with Moriarty also goes downhill in later series; he often refers to Moriarty in very insulting tones. The lowest point appears in "The Pam's Paper Policy"; on the way out of Ray Ellington's musical piece, there is the prolonged sound of clubbing, mixed in with Moriarty's howls of pain, and Grytpype says, "Let that clubbing be a lesson to you, you crutty French schlapper!"
Grytpype sometimes offers Neddie things instead of cigarettes, such as gorillas or pictures of Queen Victoria. Seagoon's usual response is "No I'm trying to give them up", "No, they hurt my throat", or "I've just put one out". This happened most notably in "Rommel's Treasure", "The International Christmas Pudding" and "Napoleon's Piano".
Grytpype often used the word "Charlie", meaning "chump", instead of "person" or "fellow", a trait that was also made fun of several times during the show. His book of ideas for schemes, alphabetically ordered, reads, "A... B... C... Charlie." In another instance, in "The Jet-Propelled Guided NAAFI", he refers to Seagoon as "Charlie". Seagoon states that his name is not Charlie, to which Grytpype responds, "I know, but for some reason I always think of you as Charlie". Having put one over on Seagoon, he and Moriarty would often break into song, singing "April in Pareess...We've found a Charlie".
In The Goon Show Script, published in 1972, it was revealed that Hercules Grytpype-Thynne was homosexual. The same authority also intimated that he was the half-brother of Willium "Mate" Cobblers, having the same mother, a certain "Vera Colin".
Gritpype"s sexual preference occasionally appeared in the show. In "The Lost Emperor" he and Moriarity are held at gunpoint by Eccles, and they are trying to persuade him to close his eyes so they can escape;
- Eccles: If I close my eyes I won't be able to see you!
- Grytpype: (intimately) Will you miss me?
- Eccles: (alarmed) Hey hey hey hey!
Sellers revealed in an interview for Irish television that he drew inspiration for the character from actor George Sanders; the script of "The Dreaded Batter-Pudding Hurler of Bexhill on Sea" in 'The Goon Show Scripts', has a stage direction next to the first appearance of Grytpype 'Sanders throughout'.