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I should imagine that anyone under 40 who appreciates art, good music and oddball humour will be familiar with The Mighty Boosh. The original idea was formed back in 1998 when Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding met and formed a stand-up double act.
After three successful stage shows, the BBC commissioned a Radio 4 series which aired in 2001 and from that the duo were given an eight part television series on BBC 3, first broadcast in 2004. The budget for the shows was small so Noel and Julian enlisted their friends and family as cast members and Noel used his art college experience to design costumes and backdrops for the colourful characters.
I chanced upon this weird and wonderful series late one night and by the end of the programme I was hooked. The trouble was, nobody knew what I was talking about! By the time the second series was shown however, a small army of followers had begun to form, mainly art students and fans of off-the-wall humour like me. (Think The Goodies and Monty Python).
Noel's connections with hip musicians Kasabian, Razorlight and Gary Numan also helped to raise the profile of the show and reach a wider audience.
Series One is set in a zoo, with Julian and Noel as disillusioned keepers Howard Moon and Vince Noir.
Julian is Howard, a middle aged loner with more than a touch of OCD and a love of jazz. Noel is Vince, a self-obsessed dreamer who can talk to the animals and has a close friendship with Bollo, the zoo's resident gorilla. The zoo is run by Bob Fossil, played by the brilliant Rich Fulcher. Bob is an arrogant, loud-mouthed American with absolutely no knowledge of animals who loves to dance outrageously to 70's disco music. He takes business advice from his right-hand man, shaman Naboo, who can see the future and cast spells. Beautifully played by Noel Fielding's brother Mike, Naboo can always be relied upon to save his friends Howard and Vince from the disastrous scrapes they get themselves into.
From the home-made costumes to the psychedelic music, The Boosh is a crazy ride through the subconscious of two mad men and never fails to lift my mood.
The pilot episode is easily the best, with the boys travelling to the Tundra to track down the Egg of Mantumbi, a precious stone in the care of parker-wearing midgets. Vince befriends a lonely polar bear and Howard gets caught in the act of trying to steal the Egg. When Vince comes to his rescue they both end up facing the wrath of the Black Frost. The episodes are interspersed with short animations using Noel's artwork and appearances from the Moon, who provides hilarious anecdotes of his observations from Space. And of course, each episode features an original song, some of which are so catchy you end up singing them for days!
During the first series we see Howard taking on a killer kangaroo in the boxing ring, Naboo's Miracle Wax rescuing the boys from Monkey Hell and a road trip to deliver some violent animals to the Detention Centre ends with Vince finding his adoptive father Bryan Ferry in the forest!
Series 2 however, is completely different. This time the setting is the flat in London which the boys share with Bollo and Naboo. Howard and Vince are trying to break into the music business and are experimenting with various styles to find The New Sound. Cue appearances from cockney villain The Hitcher, an evil nanna demon and Old Gregg, a cross-dressing, Baileys drinking sea creature who falls in love with Howard and holds him captive at his underwater lair.
But the jewel in the crown of this series is the final episode, the tale of Milky Joe. The boys finally catch a break and are invited to appear on a music show in America but Howard is scared to fly so they set off by boat, but they end up stranded on a desert island after Vince upsets the Captain. Vince is happy to sunbathe and make clothes from palm leaves but Howard needs intellectual stimulation, so he makes a friend from a coconut shell called Milky Joe and together they form a literary group, which Vince is not permitted to join.
Unperturbed, Vince makes himself a beautiful coconut ladyfriend, and so the adventure begins. No spoilers here, you will simply have to discover it for yourself.
The complete dvd set also has a host of extra features such as outtakes and short films etc. By series 3 the magic has begun to fade as Julian and Noel run out of steam but it has moments of pure comedy genius nevertheless. I would recommend the first two series to begin with and if, like me, you become a Boosh fanatic, then Series 3 is a must.
The Mighty Boosh is not for everyone. I think that would be the fairest way to start this review but at the same time, too simplistic. The very fact I am stumbling over how to begin is representative of the confused and defuddled space of mind you find yourself in when even contemplating the TV show written and acted out by the comedy partnership which is Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, with the help of family and friends.
But I have to say I love it.
I first embarked on 'my journey through time and space to the world of the Mighty Boosh' - sorry it felt like the best time to get that quote in - after watching Noel Fielding as a team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. I saw him draw a face on a satsuma and thought I had to see more of this man. I'm not being flippant - there was more that attracted me to his brand of comedy than a small orange - but what I'm saying is there was something so refreshingly alternative in his manner and something so intriguing in how he was able to appear all at once both childlike yet insightful that I just had to find out more.
I had no idea what I was letting myself in for.
I think you can try to analyse the Mighty Boosh too much. Yes it is strange beyond all recognition at times and at best it distorts our sense of reality but I found that once you give up trying to understand it and just sit back and enjoy the ride that is when the enjoyment begins.
It is easy to dismiss the Mighty Boosh as completly nonsensical but there is an intelligence and a creativity far superior to many of the comedy series on TV today.
It is in fact an emalgamation of many different comedy styles from the old-school Morecombe and Wise-style address in front of the curtain in the first series to the more modern alternative humour of Spike Milligan, with a good dose of slap stick and toilet humour thrown in for good measure.
The episodes, whilst easily perceived as jumbled assortments of randomness, are each well structured around a particular trend or phase in history as most obviously defined in the choice of music for that episode - we have the punk, the mod, the hippy.
Here we see in particular Fielding's own love for fashion and music coming into play. In this sense the androgenous, super trendy Vince Noir is simply an exaggeration of his real-life character as Howard Moon reflects Barratt's more serious, deep-thinking input into the partnership.
The characters in the show are completely mis-matched, chalk and cheese, black and white, but like the moon needs the dark to shine they are complementary of each other, and though quick to disparage each other there is a deep affection, often an homoerotic affection, between the pair.
In the first series, set in a zoo, everything is very much stripped back, the costumes, the sets, even the surrealism is not as developed as it is in later series.
Whilst it is sad to see some of the 'shaky set' elements disappear as time goes on, some of my favourite episodes come later when there is a richer, more sophisticated feel to the show such as Old Greg, Eels and Nanageddon.
It is in fact the songs which make the episodes. It is here you are reminded that the Mighty Boosh started out as a stage show rather than a TV series. And a review of the Mighty Boosh would not be complete without mentioning the Crimp. One word - genius.
The Mighty Boosh eh? Well, where do I even start? It's quite hard to explain exactly what the Mighty Boosh is, accurately. Surreal Comedy is probably my best effort, if I'm being short and to the point. Fortunately, I'm not.
The Mighty Boosh consists mainly of actors Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Michael Fielding, Dave Brown and Rich Fulcher. Noel plays a hip and trendy character, keeping with the latest fashions, while Julian plays an old looking 'James May' styled character. In other words, they are complete opposites. This all seems pretty normal, when you think of comedy mismatches, but then if I were to add that Michael plays a Shaman, Dave plays a talking Gorilla and Rich plays... well we'll come to what Mr. Fulcher does a bit later... you may actually begin to wonder what this show has to offer.
The first series was a lot more constrained as it had a specific setting (a zoo) which is where most of the action took place. Here they were also joined by famed comedian Matt Berry who played the manager of the Zoo. Throughout the whole series each actor played multiple roles, presumably to save money, but this just adds to the quirkiness of the entire thing and is far better with it, than without it. I don't wish to spoil much, so I'm feeling quite limited in what I can say about the series, other than it's fantastic.
The second series is much more free than series one, which them going on adventures elsewhere (including other dimensions) in each episode. Unfortunately, this series has only 6 episodes as opposed to the 8 they had for series 1, but nevertheless it's still a fantastic series.
There's not much more I can say without spoiling it, so I urge you to just go out and watch it, because the chances are, you won't be disappointed.
I first became aware of The Mighty Boosh is mid-2007, when a friend linked me to a skit on youtube, a section from Season 2's "Nanageddon". I found it very amusing, and read up on the series, and eventually bought the series off Amazon - both series, in fact, with promotional Boosh booklet. This was before the show became VERY popular, but still had somewhat of a fan-base, but was mostly unknown.
I enjoyed both series, though they are radically different. The basic synopsis of both series is that it centres around two men, Vince Noire (a very stylish, androgenous, likeable character), and in contrast, the frumpy, jazz-obsessed mustached Howard Moone. The two bounce off of each other, which is where most of the humour comes from, and basically, Vince is always better off, and Howard...isn't. There's no hard feelings though. Most episodes also involve a song and a dance, which are fun, and a very unique part of the show. Minor characters include a shaman, Naboo, and his familar, a gorilla, Bollo (who also speaks and DJs). The comedy is broadly 'surreal', there's no nudity, and a rare bout of mild language, though the comedy is sometimes toilet and often crude. A lot of the skits are hit-and-miss, one that comes to mind "I did a shit on a swan". Hmm.
Series one centres on the guys working at a zoo, with several of the animals that can talk, in fact, Bollo paints portraits. Many episodes involve Howard's unrequited love for Gideon, a fellow zookeeper, and Vince's attempts to get them together. The zoo manager - Bob Fossil - is the funniest character, in my opinon, and I'd rate this series 5/5. Funny without being too surreal, plenty of laughs, and Not Too Much Vince.
Season two is completely different - the pair now live in a flat in London, Vince is now a "gothic fairy", and they live with Naboo and Bollo, who now DJ at local nightclubs. The series feels the loss of minor characters (Bob Fossil, Gideon), but the series is a lot more surreal, with various odd characters - a yeti, gothic femmes, and Old Gregg (a cross dressing fish dancer)! The music generally gets better, the humour is a bit fresher, but probably isn't for the whole family - definitely more teen and young person based.
The characters are very linked (for example, Vince and Naboo are brothers in real life, and a few minor characters are the partners of the characters, including Sue Denim of european electronica group Robots in Disguise.)
I'll be straight with you, I did like these series. They were funny, fresh, and interesting - the characters were morbidly insane, obviously, but it was a nice change from American TV sit-coms that seem to dominate the comedy scene.
Unfortunately, the fan base happened. Hoards of screaming thirteen year old girls declaring their love for Vince Noire in the halls of schools, and in the concerts of Robots in Disguise (unfortunately), singing and quoting the songs, really put me off the series. It seems to have effected series three of the Mighty Boosh, also, as to be honest with you, it was absolute rubbish. I feel if you want to get into the Mighty Boosh, buy these, watch them, laugh at the one-liners and enjoy the quality - it diminishes in series three like a shadow in the sun. Don't mind the fangirls, and don't fall in love with the characters - they are, after all, characters, and with Noel Fielding's fame came his pressing urge to sell his artwork.
The first two series of The Mighty Boosh were fantastic, funny and very original, and probably not to everyone's taste. The show is weird and magical and doesn't make much sense but for people who love it, it is one of the best shows on television in the last few years.
The show is the creation of Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, who play the main characters in the show (Vince Noir and Howard Moon). Vince is young, easy going and good looking and his main interests are fashion and music. Howard on the other hand is older and more serious and is passionate about poetry and theatre. The age gap between the characters is an ongoing joke throughout the series though as it is often claimed that they were in the same class at school.
It is a surreal comedy where Vince and Howard go on weird and holarious adventures in each episode. Other regular characters include Bob Fossil (played by Rich Fulcher) Naboo (Michael Fielding (Noel's brother)) and Bolo the gorilla (Dave Brown). Fielding and Barratt also play a wide range of other characters throughout the series, which in itself adds to the humour. Occasional characters include Richard Ayoade (from the IT Crowd and Garth Marengi's Dark Place amongst other things).
Series 1 is set in a zoo where Vince and Howard are zoo keepers. There are 8 episodes in this series. Each episode sees Vince and Howard going on a new adventure of some kind. For example, in "Bollo," Vince travels to Monkey Hell to save Howard, who has mistakenly been killed instrad of Bollo himself. All of the episodes are entertaining but I would personally pick Killeroo and Charlie as being the weakest in the series.
A running theme throughout the series is polo mints, which pop up all of the time, be it in the open title sequence or in a characters costume. An example of this is in the last episode where one character 'the Hitcher' has a big polo for an eye.
Something else that I really liked about series one is the scene before every episode where Vince and Howard stand in front of a curtain and talk to the audience. I find this to be a very entertaining beginning to the show.
Series 2 sees Vince and Howard move away from the zoo and into a house with Naboo, who is a shaman, and Bollo. In this series Naboo plays a much larger role than in the first series. Again in this series, every episode has its own adventure, only this time not based at the zoo.
The second series has 6 episodes, which again are all entertaining and funny. An episode that stands out is 'Milky Joe'. In this episode, Vince and Howard are stranded on a desert island. They lose touch with reality and form a community by humanising coconuts. It's as mad as it sounds and very entertaining.
Music plays a big part in the Mighty Boosh and each episode has at least one song in it. These add massively to the comedy of the show and the songs are very well written and performed. My personal favourite is in 'Mutants' in the first series, where Vince and Howard set some mutant creatures free. The song in this episode involves the mutants performing a break dancing routine which is very funny.
Following on from these 2 series, there is a third series as well as 2 live shows.
Overall, I think that the Mighty Boosh is a great example of a good, modern British comedy. Its very weird and very colourful and it doesn't make a lot of sense but it is absolutely brilliant and its popularity speaks for itself.
I was a massive fan of the radio series. It was one of the funniest things I had heard in a long time, and the word original seems to follow these guys around, but it's true. And the TV shows, series one and two, are indeed still very original concepts. It would be difficult for me to compare these programmes with anything else. However, that doesn't mean they are great. I absolutely loved and preferred the radio series, and the TV shows were a bit of a let down. The more they do the worse it gets too. Having said that, the shows are actually very good! The first series, set in a zoo like the radio show, in my opinion are hillarious. And punctuated with beautiful dream-like sequences, they'll certainly take you away from reality. But they're not as good as the radio show, which tells you how good those shows were. The second series steps away from the zoo to see the main characters living together in a small flat and getting into all sorts of surreal scrapes. But with a bigger budget comes more focus on design than pure jokes. Still very funny, and very different from the old days too. They seemed to be pushing the PC boudaries which makes for some interesting, maybe a little offensive, moments. Not for everyone, but these guys deserve all the hype. Genius.
Julien Barrat and Noel Fielding bring there popular radio show to the small screen with the might boosh series 1 and 2!!! and what a sucess it is .
This is hands down in my opinion the funniest comedy on television in years its surreal without going all self indulgant the charachter which with the exception of one or two are all played by Barret and fielding are like something out of a psychidellic story book I wont give away the episodes here but my favourite from series one is "bollo" and from series 2 "milky Joe"
Vince and Howard (Noel and Juilen) are joined by their sidekicks Bollo (dave brown) and Naboo (Mike fielding who is alsonoels brother in real life) and go on all sorts of zany madcapped ideas it is at points almost like a living cartoon. with Noel fieldings fantastical artwork present throughout.
oh and a special mention must go to Rich Fulcher who play Bob fossil in the 1st series what a quality character.
Pure comedy gold! and not just for students
Go with them now on a journey through time and space. A thrilling adventure, much unlike anything else known on television today. Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding make the perfect unlikely pairing as they star in The Mighty Boosh. With Mike Fielding, Dave Brown and Rich Fulcher also starring in most episodes, particularly series 2, the journey is a thoroughly enjoyable one as Howard Moon and Vince Noir find themselves in all sorts of weird and wonderful situations, often needing Naboo the Enigma and Bollo, Naboo's familiar to get them out of trouble.
Series 1 is set in Bob Fossil's Zooniverse, where Howard and Vince work. Mrs Gideon, the object of Howard's affection features in these episodes, and in the first episode, Killeroo, Bob Fossil makes Howard fight the deadly kangaroo, which he refuses to do until Vince convinces him that it will make Mrs Gideon fall for him. Howard the Jazz Maverick and Vince King of the Mods go through many different experiences in the Zoo, and this does not chnage in series 2. In series 2, the Zooniverse is no more and Howard, Vince, Naboo and Bollo now live together in a flat in Dalston where many more adventures happen and Howard and Vince also end up getting Naboo's powers as a Shaman revoked. In series 2 there is no consistent Bob Fossil character, however Rich Fulcher does appear in every episode under many different guises - another genius part of The Mighty Boosh - a whole two series underway with fourteen different adventures using only five main actors. The Moon also makes many appearances in series 2 - a simpleton as Noel Fielding describes him.
The extras are also not to be missed, especially 'Inside the Zooniverse' of series 1 - an inside guide to the making of the Boosh. Series 2 offers insight into the Boosh publicity, showing just how popular the show is (Borders signing) and how laid back the stras of the show are.
Of the two, I personally think that series 2 is slightly better, despite it being filmed on a smaller budget - simply because Naboo and Bollo make more appearances and the bond between the characters is more visible, making the whole thing even more enjoyable. I also enjoyed series 2 more because there are more settings for the adventures, allowing each one to be even more diverse than in the first series.
I bought the series on Amazon for £9.98, a very good price for such an amazing show. It took around 3 days to be delivered and came in perfect condition when it did arrive.
I would highly recommend this product to others if they want a 30 minute break from everyday life. It is the perfect way to take your mind away from everything and just leave everything for half an hour.