Did Spike Milligan Wear a Shirt That Said “Hashish” When He Was On the Muppet Show?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Spike Milligan wore a shirt that said “Hashish” on it when he was on the Muppet Show.

Spike Milligan (1918-2002) was one of England’s leading comedians from his days with The Goon Show in the 1950s (along with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe)

to his days with Q during the 1970s (and lots of projects in between over the many, many years he was a performer – he was performing and especially writing right up to his death in 2002).

In 1978, Milligan hosted the third season of The Muppet Show, for an episode about international good will, etc.

At one point during the show, Milligan is wearing a T-Shirt with Arabic lettering on it…

For years, it has been said that Milligan’s shirt translated to “hashish,” and this was a sly opportunity by Milligan to sneak a drug reference into the show (hashish is a preparation of cannabis). As the story goes, no one noticed what he was doing until the episode had already aired.

Is it true?

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