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I've been raving about this comedy for a long time even though I missed
some of it when it was on TV (usually late at night). So the arrival of
the DVD was awaited with much anticipation. People often ask me to
describe The Mighty Boosh - which is not an easy thing to do.
Essentially the structure is that of a sit-com, in that there is the reoccurring location of the zoo, and a set of familiar characters most notably the two main protagonists zoo-keepers Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) and Howard Moon (Julian Barratt). Vince is the fashion conscious shallow one, that plays against Howard's jazz loving, self-important but likable loser. Each episode is a juxtaposition of the Morecombe and Wise type banter between Vince and Howard, and the sheer surrealism of their subsequent adventures that take them to exotic locations and pit them against bizarre and often quite dark foes.
For me the triumph of the show is due to the breadth of vision that links the fantastic theatrical visual look (based on largely on Noel's sketches), with Julian's love of music, together with the off-beat acting style and witty script to provide an experience that is more than the sum of its parts.
There is nothing else quite like this on TV, you won't be splitting your sides every minute at quick-fire one-liners written by teams of caffeine stimulated comedy writers, but instead prepare yourself for a rather more gentle experience, peppered by some hilarious set-pieces, who's imaginative brilliance will ingrain itself into your heart and mind. It's quite simply lovable.
It takes a certain type of person to appreciate this type of comedy,
and I'm glad to say I'm one of them! This show is cool, its British,
it's laid back and it's trippy, much like Naboo I guess. I only just
started watching it at episode six, but as soon as I saw Naboo holding
up a picture of two kittens I was hooked. "Look at the cat on the left.
His name is Phillip." Classic.
It's a great show, something really different and really funny. Vince and Howard are a great couple, their styles compliment each other well, but I have to say I like Vince the best. He has really cool hair.
I hope this show gets another series. I love it. I just went out and brought a poncho!
Its a hubba bubba nightmare!
I can't praise Messrs Barret and Fielding enough for producing one of the finest comedies of the decade so far. It seems to have gone largely ignored by the masses, but I'm sure it won't be long before the rest of the nation catch-up and they'll all pretend they watched from the start! Like all excellent work you are constantly asking yourself "How did they come up with that?!" This for me is the beauty of this programme, it's completely original, imaginative and sometimes it seems completely spontaneous. It may take you one or two episodes before you are hooked but once you are you'll find yourself searching on your Sky remote through BBC2 and BBC3's listings trying to find out if it is on. If its on at 2 or 3 in the morning, so what, stay up, watch it, go into work tired the next morning it's well worth it. If your the kind of person who gets angry if you don't get enough sleep, then simply go into work wearing a poncho! It's impossible not to be happy in a poncho, but of course, you all know that! Boosh Forever!!!!!!!
I first became aware of Julian Barrett and Noel Fielding when they did
a regular slot on the Lee & Herring review show of the juste pour rire
comedy festival. I remember thinking that they were quite funny and
that their main strength was in making you feel like you were just
watching them talking among themselves, rather than acting a rehearsed
When I first saw the mighty boosh I didn't really give it a chance. I was channel-surfing late at night and, in my usual cynicism at any new comedy that the BBC releases, switched over after twenty seconds. It wasn't until about a year ago when I visited a friend and we had been out getting intoxicated that I was persuaded to watch a full episode, post-pub style. In spite of my earlier cynicism I found myself laughing, and since then it has grown on me to the point that I've just ordered the 2 series boxset.
Comparisons to Reeves and Mortimer are inevitable and I don't blame people accusing the writers of stealing some content. Of course I remember in 1990 people saying the exact same thing about Reeves & Mortimer in reference to Morecambe & Wise. As one reviewer has already said, they are standing on the shoulders of giants.
What sets the mighty boosh apart is its form. Reeves & Mortimer have never been any good at sitcom. Barrett and Fielding take the same surrealist approach to comedy but apply it to the form of sitcom with a sort of laissez-faire ease which allows the story to feel as if it's just unfolding in front of you.
I think it's interesting that some reviewers have criticised the actors for being too concerned with their image. Personally I thought one of the central jokes (if not THE central joke) of the mighty boosh was that EVERYONE is concerned with their image, and you can either admit it, preen yourself, and revel in how fabulous you look (like Vince) or you can deny it in pursuit of an elusive higher truth which (according to the show) always gets away from you and leaves you in the soup (like Howard).
This is classic double-act stuff (the vain, shallow one and the insecure, pretentious one) and these are two actors who are at home with each other and pull it off well. The supporting cast do their job very well, and Barrett and Fielding's bizarre side characters provide good, if brief, displays of their range as comic actors.
The sets in the mighty boosh are unashamedly low-budget and as far as I can tell none of it was shot on location. This (along with the curtain-up style intro which the two main characters perform (in character)at the beginning of each episode) serves to give the whole thing a thick layer of romantic irony, which neatly bridges the gap between the surreal train ride of the plot and the often mundane, very naturalistic exchanges between Howard and Vince.
In summary, the more I get into this show the more I love it for what it is; a well-crafted sloppy jelly of mixed ideas, held together with sound-acting-glue and peppered with quotable one-liners. It grows on you like cheese, which is a kind of meat, a tasty yellow beef.
That's the end of the review, but is it really the end?
Everyone's entitled to their opinion and comedy is a matter of personal taste. However, don't be misled by most of the negative comments about the Boosch. It is NOT just humour for adolescents. I'm nearing retirement age and I remember Hancock in the early sixties but I think this programme is excellent. I think American sitcoms are generally grossly overrated (I despair at the popularity of that awful smug tripe known as Friends) and have been concerned at the recent trend to try and imitate this style in British sitcoms. The Boosch has no truck with that approach. It is wonderfully uncompromising in following the British tradition of not writing to a ratings-chasing formula (which nearly all US sitcoms do) but says "if you like this - fine but we're not going to water it down just to try and make it more acceptable to a mass audience". Whether you like it will depend on your personal taste in humour but it is right up there with the Goons, Python, the Young Ones, Father Ted and the rest. Future series may not be up to the standard of the first two but so what? There are only two series of Fawlty Towers but that's not exactly branded it a failure. Incidentally, I'm not totally anti US sitcoms. The Simpsons was great at first (well beyond its sell-by date now though) and one of the greatest of all time was, of course, Bilko.
Noel Fielding and Julian Barret have created a masterpiece of comedy
writing, acting, directing, etc. Julian provides the show's music, as
well as being the star/writer and Noel draws the animation. It is full
of silly and surreal characters, like Bollo the guitar playing gorilla,
the sinister hitch-hiker, or Brian Ferry lord of the forests. It may
not be to everybody's taste. The series is set in a strange zoo, run by
Bob Fossil, played by Richard Fulcher, from the sketch show Unatural
Acts. Daily Mail readers or more conservative style people. It is very
very silly, and many people will not like it. But, hopefully it will be
a Little Britain style hit. Each episode involves Barret, named Howard
Moon in the series, gets into trouble and travels to some strange
world, Then Fielding's character Vince Noir, rescues him with help from
some bizarre new character.
Episode One is KILLEROO. Howard Moon is asked by Bob Fossil, the zoo's owner, to participate in an illegal boxing match against a deadly kangaroo, and Vince tries to train him Episode Two is MUTANTS. Howard discovers that Dixon Bainbridge, the zoo's landlord, is cutting up animals and splicing then together. Can Howard save the animals? Episode Three is BOLLO. Vince's best animal friend Bollo the gorilla becomes ill, and so Howard dresses up as a gorilla to entertain people. the monkey grim reaper accidentally takes Howard to monkey hell... Episode Four is Tundra. This episode is adapted from the Boosh's stage show Arctic Boosh. Howard and Vince set out to the Arctic in search for the mystical Egg of Mantumbi. They meet mysterious dwarfs in Parkas and a dancing polar bear. Episode Five is Jungle. Howard and Vince trape off to the jungle to find the zoo's old owner Tommy, who's mind has been destroyed by a cheese addiction. Episode Six is Charlie. Vince and Howard both try and become writers. But, Vince is published and Howard is not. Little does Dixon Bainbridge know, but stealing Vince's fame is a bad idea. Episode Seven is Electro. Vince joins a band called Kraftwork Orange, with Johnny two hats and the electro sisters. But, Howard cannot join them, as he sold his soul to the spirit of Jazz. Episode Eight is Hitcher. Howard and Vince are asked to drive a nasty bair to an animal prison, and are instructed not to pick up the scary hitch-hiker... The Boosh is definitely for you if you like the League of Gentlemen or the Simpsons. Watch it on BBC3 or BBC2.
"The Mighty Boosh" is one of those series that are only possible in the
U.K.. Writers and producers have such a refreshing and daring humour
there, it's a joy to ignore American sitcoms for a while and take a
peek at British comedy shows. "The Mighty Boosh" is another very
original and imaginative show that grew from a stage act to a radio
show to a T.V. sitcom. Every episode is taking place in different
locations including jungles, deserted islands, snow and sandy deserts
and underwater worlds. Sounds far out? It is.
The only things linking up from one episode to the next are the main characters, clumsy, but lovable Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) and Uber-Mod Vince Noir (Noel Fielding). In the first series these two are working at a zoo where some rather curious colleagues of theirs hang out, too. The second series mainly takes place at night. Vince and Howard have moved in with their friend Naboo, an Indian shaman, and a talking ape. Sounds far out? It is.
Another element that's in every episode is the hilarious, quite catchy music. Barratt is responsible for these short little ear candies. As funny as these songs may be they reveal a real songwriting talent as Barratt covers a lot of different styles effortlessly. Usually I'm not a big fan of musical parts in TV shows, but it works here and the songs about "Nanageddon", "Mod Wolves" and the "Ape Of Death" make this program even more special. Sounds far out? It is.
The humour of "The Boosh" is not as in your face as in other sitcoms. The show is more amusing than it is flat out hilarious. That and the innocent, child-like creativity of "The Boosh" might not be for everyone and these are probably the reasons for the show being more of a cult phenomenon right now. Barratt and Fielding already have a loyal following, though, and I'm sure that it will grow over time. Very English, very far out. The Boosh rules!
I first stumbled upon this a few weeks ago, one late Saturday night on BBC3. I only saw half of one of the episodes but it had me killing myself laughing. I then felt I had to watch the remaining two episodes of series two in the following weeks. It is one of the most random shows ever (and the costume department love their polo mints) but it is hilarious. I think you have to give the show a chance and give yourself time to get into it(having a good sense of humour helps too). A review here said that it was 'a step too far' but I think that was just a wee bit too dramatic a statement to make. I don't think it's a point of not liking it, I think its the fact that people don't give it a chance or understand the humour. The Mighty Boosh could be described as a mixture between 'Garth Marenghi's Darkplace' and 'Spaced' with added randomness and songs but even that is quite vague and I guess you really have to see it for yourself. I just bought the series 1 DVD with my birthday money and so far, I am loving it. It will appeal to fans of 'Garth Marenghi....' and 'Spaced'as I said before(because of the type of humour)Finally, can I just say that I am so glad that the BBC decided not to use canned laughter in the programme. Canned laughter seems to kill a lot of comedies (with the exception of Father Ted and the like) and if the people at the BBC had decided not to ditch the canned laughter, The Mighty Boosh would not be nearly as fantastic as it is just now.
but I can honestly say I love it now. I downloaded the first series and almost deleted it after watching the 1st episode. But I decided to give it a shot and after the 2nd episode it started to slowly get under my skin in a good way. This is not your daddy's sitcom and if you judge it as such, you will probably hate this show. This show is certainly original if nothing else. I love the weird premise of the show and the many assorted weird characters. And I love the musical and dance numbers as well, they're all really well done ! I really like the guy who plays the Howard Moon character. He has a very subtle comedic genius about him. The Vincent Noir character complements him well with his eccentricities ...and his hair ;) I'm currently downloading season 2 -- don't worry, i plan on importing the dvds soon -- and can't wait to see if the magic remains.
It's good to see so many who appreciate this comedy. I meet few who've
seen it, anyone who has loves it and the rest, obviously, haven't seen
it. Many here love it which is great, one making ambiguous suggestions
to a dislike of it, but with no real depth to the reasons why. Id like
to talk about the opposing reasons of what they could have said. I
think this is muchly Noel and Julian's personal SOH and I think that
that is great because they have really good SOH. I have a similar SOH
and so enjoy it. A good alternative comedy should not be written with
the masses in mind, and just because you may not understand the humour,
that doesn't make it weak. Id never call any comedy weak, especially
not because it is the writer's own humour. Do you think all stand up
comedians are acting? No. Some do, but most gather information of
things they find funny in there daily lives and use them. It is up to
the audience as to whether or not their upbringing brought them to this
moment in time where they find it funny. I personally think its the
best kind of comedy. And if you don't, so be it. I don't like "Bo
Selecta" very much, but id never call it weak. I just know that its
just not my SOH. I have seen Noel do stand up and think he's great.
Fantastical and childlike, with almost infinite energy and ideas.
I am not a big fan of progression either, musical or comical, I think genius can come from anywhere, at any time. The key is originality. We all know that "Friends" being the number one comedy based on the public doesn't make it the funniest or most clever comedy in what I call "The Real World." Something else I've noticed, and I don't mean to sound arrogant, is that the "scally" culture just don't get The Boosh. Probably because it's weird and dark, and the jokes aren't always spelled out for you in brightly coloured letters. It is suited more to "real" music fans, artists, poets and those of an alternative nature.
I think Noel and Julian are very clever, with many other great inputs and inspirations from the likes of Steve Coogan (producer)(Alan Partridge), Matt Berry (Dixon Bainbridge) and Richard Ayoade (Saboo) (Garth Marenghi's Darkplace), Nicholas Burns (The King)(C**t, Nathan Barley) and they have both worked with Chris Morris (Brass Eye, The Day Today, Big Train, Jam) on Nathan Barley.
I believe this comedy, particularly the first series, to be rich in word play and a clever use of language. The use of sets and props is well thought out, artistically, minimally and budget-wise, it's also different and humble. The ideas of such extreme, deep and diverse characters is almost astounding at times, if not for its light heartedness. The jokes vary in style, like "oh yeah the double bluff gag" or "oh yeah they blatantly stupid and weird gag" a lot, and such crammed word wizardry makes it a feast of surreal munchery. The best thing is that they know that some things are funnier if they're said differently. Like everyone knows that "You S**gs" is funnier said in a cockney accent than a Cumbrian one. They also use timing, delivery and camera work to the best they can be. The music. How can you not mention the music they obviously have good musical ability. They are catchy songs, varying in style with each one, including brilliant lyrics. To do one in every episode is very special.
I would compare it more to the young ones, if I had to, rather than R&M. Mainly because it is a sitcom and although TMB is less slapstick, the central points of the subjects are similar, for example the alternative lifestyle and the thoughts and feelings that come with that, and obviously the characters like animals and weird people are similar too.
I've said a lot, if you've even got this far! That's because I was so impressed and wanted to tell people who are considering watching it. Its now my second favourite comedy, behind "Spaced" and just before "Family Guy" and "Alan Partridge."
I loved this programme as I relate to it and think it is very, very clever. You might too.
A step too far? Maybe, if you're wanting to stay put, if not, Come with us now on a journey through time and space, to the world of the Mighty Boosh. And love it.
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