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The Mighty Boosh
The Mighty Boosh is a well known British comedy television series. It is a comedy about two friends who go on a series of magical adventures. The series appeared initially as stage shows. Later, it became a BBC radio series and subsequently a BBC Three television series. The Mighty Boosh was created by Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, who play Vince Noir and Howard Moon respectively.
Series one and two have now aired on SBS Australia and Finland's YLE Extra. Series one has aired on BBC America; Israeli channel, Xtra; Portuguese channel, RTP2; Swedish channel, ZTV; Danish channel, DR2; and New Zealand music channel, C4. The title of the show apparently comes from a comment Noel heard about his brother Michael Fielding's hair by a Portuguese friend. The stage show has no strict setting, but the radio series and first television series are based around a zoo called Bob Fossil's Funworld and later The Zooniverse.
Though the episodes would invariably begin and end in the zoo, the main characters would tend to leave the area for more bizarre realms, such as the Arctic tundra and limbo. The second series had an even looser setting, based in a flat in Dalston. The third series is set in a shop in Dalston owned by a shaman named Naboo (the Nabootique), who is played by Noel Fielding's brother, Michael.
The Mighty Boosh is a comic fantasy containing humour and pop-culture references. Episodes often feature elaborate musical numbers in different genres, such as electro, heavy metal, funk, and rap, as well as crimping (short random songs; though it had appeared in earlier series, the name crimping appeared in the 3rd episode of series three). Julian Barratt writes the music and sings the psychedelic theme song, and Noel Fielding often sings the series' music.
Fielding also designs many of the show's graphics. The TV series has many animated sequences, puppets and special effects. Barratt, in a 2005 interview, says that he approached Fielding with the idea of doing a show like The Goodies, as if it were a complete world rather than simply a sketch show.
Fielding and Barratt play many of the supporting characters themselves, usually disguised on TV with elaborate make-up; Rich Fulcher takes on many of the other roles in the TV series and is the only other writer to provide additional material. The dialogue is mainly scripted but features some improvisation .
Series one of the television show opens and often closes with Vince and Howard addressing the audience in front of a curtain; the viewer is thereby led to believe that Howard and Vince wrote the show themselves. The second series leaves this format, instead starting in front of the characters' flat. Unlike the radio series, which is played as though real, the characters on the TV series all seem aware that they are in a TV show, and Vince especially will often break the fourth wall to address the audience and to comment on the action. Little attention is paid to continuity; for instance, in the first episode of the radio series, Bob Fossil is forced to give up being boss of the zoo, which is then renamed Howard Moon's Fun World, yet by the second episode, Jungle, he is once again boss.
Also, in the second series the shaman Saboo is shown being killed by the demon Nanatoo, but in the first episode of series three he is alive and well.
They have also created a style of singing loosely based on scat singing called crimping. Present throughout all three series, it came to fruition in the third when Vince and Howard confront their doppelg?ngers Lance and Harold and take part in a crimp-off, the culmination of which is a never before done 4-way crimp. In The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2007, Noel performed a crimping duet with Jonathan Ross. The Mighty Boosh has a number of recurring themes including references to Polo mints, Bailey's, Woodstock, Santana, Level 42, their production budget and the late slot the show was given before it became popular.
The Mighty Boosh (Stage show - 1998)
Main article: The Mighty Boosh (1998 Stage show)Fielding and Barratt conceived of The Mighty Boosh whilst working on Stewart Lee's Edinburgh show King Dong vs. Moby Dick in which they played a giant penis and a whale respectively. Barratt and Fielding took The Mighty Boosh to the Edinburgh Festival in 1998, recruiting fellow comedian Rich Fulcher, whom the pair had met working on a television series called Unnatural Acts.
The show won the Perrier Award for Best Newcomer. During their residency at the Hen and Chickens Theatre in North London the following year, they built up a cult following and introduced new characters whilst developing old ones.
Arctic Boosh (Stage show - 1999)
In 1999, they returned to the Edinburgh Festival with a new show, Arctic Boosh, which sold out every night and won a nomination for the Perrier Award. It was the first time Dave Brown worked on a Boosh show playing a variety of characters, as well as acting as choreographer and photographer.
Autoboosh (Stage show - 2000)
In 2000, while performing their third stage show Autoboosh at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, they won the festival's Barry Humphries Award. Noel's brother Michael and his friend Pete (who worked in a branch of the Evil Empire) also went along for the journey, but ended up going on stage with the cast every night. Michael became a permanent fixture.
Radio series (Radio - 2001)
The Boosh were signed by the BBC soon after the success of Autoboosh and in October 2001 The Mighty Boosh radio series, produced by Danny Wallace, was first broadcast on BBC London Live, then BBC Radio 4, and later on BBC 7.
Like many other successful British comedies such as Dead Ringers, Goodness Gracious Me and Little Britain, The Mighty Boosh made the transition from radio to television in 2004, when an eight part television series - also called The Mighty Boosh - was commissioned by the BBC.
It was directed by Paul King and produced by Baby Cow Productions. The pilot episode was directed by Steve Bendelack, and a large portion of the pilot episode was used in the actual series, in the episode Tundra.
The pilot had a live audience because there had been doubts as to whether the successful stage show could translate to the screen, but the actual series did not. Series 1 of the television version of The Mighty Boosh expanded on the radio series. It was first broadcast on BBC Three on May 18, 2004 and, from November 9, also on BBC Two, although in a different order and with the mild swearing censored or edited out. (The censors were not infallible in their task, however. In one case, a word that had been bleeped out in a particular scene was left written in fully legible form on Howard's back seconds later.)