Electro (The Mighty Boosh episode)

The Mighty Boosh

The Mighty Boosh, colloquially referred to as The Boosh, is the collective name for the creators of the British television situation comedy written by and starring comedians Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding. It first aired on BBC Three in 2004, and thus far a total of 20 episodes have been made. Developed from three stage shows and a radio series, it has since spawned a live tour of the UK. A recent festival has been held and forthcoming album of their music and another live tour are also planned.

History

Fielding first met Barratt after seeing him perform his solo stand-up routine at the Hellfire Comedy Club in the Wycombe Swan theatre. The pair soon found that they shared comic interests, formed a double act, and "decided to be the new Goodies". After their first performance together at a bar in London in April 1998, Barratt and Fielding developed their zookeeper characters - Howard Moon and Vince Noir, respectively - in a series of sketches for Paramount Comedy’s Unnatural Acts. It was here that they also met Rich Fulcher, who would become Bob Fossil. Fielding’s friend Dave Brown and Fielding's own brother Michael also became regular collaborators. Richard Ayoade was another original cast member, playing the role of adventurer Dixon Bainbridge, though was later to be replaced by Matt Berry in the first television series, since he was under contract with Channel 4. Ayoade did return in the second and third series however, as a belligerent shaman named Saboo.

The Boosh soon produced three stage shows - The Mighty Boosh (1998), Arctic Boosh (1999) and Autoboosh (2000) - all of which were taken to the Edinburgh Fringe. With the success of Autoboosh, a radio series was commissioned by the BBC. Produced by Danny Wallace, The Boosh was first broadcast in 2001 on BBC London Live, later transferring to BBC Radio 4, from which the team were given a half-hour television pilot of the same name.

The first eight-part series, directed by Paul King, was then commissioned for BBC Three and broadcast in 2004, with a second of six episodes the following year. The second series moved away from the zoo setting, and instead sees Howard, Vince, Naboo the shaman and Bollo the talking ape living in a flat in Dalston. In 2006, the Boosh returned to theatre with The Mighty Boosh Live, which featured a new story entitled "The Ruby of Kukundu".

After two years away from television, the Boosh returned to the small screen in November 2007. Set in Naboo’s second-hand shop below the flat, the third series drew in approximately one million viewers with its first episode, and in light of its success, BBC Three broadcast an entire night of The Mighty Boosh on March 22, 2008, which included a new documentary and six of Barratt and Fielding's favourite episodes from all three series.

In April 2008 it was announced that the Boosh are planning to "get dressed up for a day in the country", organising their own one-off festival day, with "a load of friends and comedians and bands" at The Hop Farm in Kent on July 5. Reports suggest that U2 will headline the event. Later, in August, they are to have an "entire Mighty Boosh-curated evening" at The Big Chill music festival. Other upcoming projects include a second tour of the UK from September 2008 through January 2009, an album of Boosh music currently being recorded,, a feature-length film version of the series and a book to be published entitled "The Mighty Book Of Boosh".

On Channel 4 TV programme "Transmission", rock star Alice Cooper mentioned a possible collaboration between Cooper and The Boosh.

Theatre

Original stage shows

The Mighty Boosh (1998)

The Boosh, then consisting of only Barratt and Fielding, conceived The Mighty Boosh whilst working on Stewart Lee's Edinburgh Festival show King Dong vs. Moby Dick in which they played a giant penis and a whale respectively.

In 1998, they took The Mighty Boosh to the Edinburgh Festival, recruiting fellow comedian Rich Fulcher, whom the pair had met while working on 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, introducing new characters whilst developing old ones.

Arctic Boosh (1999)

In 1999, the Boosh returned to the Edinburgh Festival with a new show, Arctic Boosh, with Dave Brown acting as choreographer and photographer, as well as playing a variety of characters. Arctic Boosh sold out every night and was nominated for the Perrier Award.

Autoboosh (2000)

In 2000, the Boosh premiered their third stage show, Autoboosh, at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, adding Fielding's younger brother Michael to the cast. Autoboosh won the festival's Barry Humphries Award.

Nationwide tours

The Mighty Boosh Live (2006)

The Boosh returned to the stage in 2006, touring the UK for the first time. Though drawing heavily from their earlier material, the main story combined these elements into a new narrative. A recording of this show at the Brixton Academy was later released on DVD, before being broadcast on BBC Three on Boxing Day, 2007.

Boosh Live (2008/09)

The Boosh are undertaking a second tour of the UK and Ireland from September 2008 until January 2009. The show features characters from all three series as well as the Boosh Band.

Radio

The Boosh (2001)

From the success of Autoboosh, the BBC commissioned a six-part radio series for the Boosh. In October 2001 The Boosh radio series, produced by Danny Wallace, was broadcast on BBC London Live, then BBC Radio 4, and later on BBC 7. The show focuses on the adventures of a pair of zookeepers at "Bob Fossil's Funworld": deluded jazz enthusiast Howard TJ Moon, and fan of retro fashion Vince Noir.

Further appearances

The Mighty Boosh returned to radio on October 22, 2004, in one-off comedy special for The Breezeblock, a show on BBC Radio 1. Instead of the plot driven nature of their own series, this show featured improvised conversational comedy with Barratt, Fielding and Fulcher, combined with the show's usual mix of electronic music.

On November 15, 2007, as part of the publicity for the premier of their third series the same day, Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding returned to Radio 1, this time on Jo Whiley's Live Lounge.

Television

The Mighty Boosh (2004-present)

In May 2004, after the success of a Boosh pilot, Steve Coogan's company, Baby Cow Productions, produced the first television series of The Mighty Boosh for BBC Three, before it moved to BBC Two in November that same year. Though each episode invariably starts and ends in Bob Fossil’s dilapidated zoo, the "Zooniverse", the characters of Vince and Howard often depart for other locations, such as the Arctic tundra and limbo.

A second series was then shown in July 2005, which saw Howard and Vince now sharing a flat in Dalston with previously minor characters Naboo and his familiar, Bollo. This series had an even looser setting as the four characters leave the confines of the flat in every episode, using their van to travel to further surreal environments. Series three started in November 2007, still set in Dalston, but this time has the foursome working in their shop called the Nabootique. Their adventures and outings in the third series were more toned down than the previous two series', and they focused more on the involvement of new characters (e.g. Sammy the Crab, or Lester Corncrake etc) than just the two of them 'journeying through time and space'. A fourth series has been rumoured since the broadcast of the third, though no official confirmation has been released regarding this speculation.

The Mighty Boosh Night

On March 22, 2008 BBC Three broadcast a whole night of The Mighty Boosh from 9.05pm, starting with a new documentary entitled The Mighty Boosh: A Journey Through Time and Space, documenting the history of the Boosh from their first amateur performances to their upcoming 2008 tour. This was followed by six of Barratt and Fielding's favourite episodes from the three series: "Party", "The Power of the Crimp", "The Nightmare of Milky Joe", "The Priest and the Beast", "The Legend of Old Gregg" and "Tundra". The pair also appeared in live links throughout the night, in a similar style to the openings of Series 1 episodes.

Film

It has been confirmed that BBC Films are interested in producing a film adaptation of the series, and though the first draft of the script is currently being written, work is not likely to start on the film until after their tour.

Media

Audio CDs

Title Release date Contents Bonus material
The Mighty Boosh 8 November 2004 All 6 episodes of the Boosh's radio series across 3 discs Interview with producer Danny Wallace, outtakes
The Mighty Boosh Live 13 November 2006 Audio recording of their live show at Brixton Academy N/A

According to an official MySpace page for PieFace Records (the fictitious music label mentioned throughout the series), Barratt and Fielding are to release an album of music from the show, "along with extras, versions, remixes and rare unreleased stuff all to be released later in the year on their own label - this one.".

DVDs

Title Release date Contents Special features
The Mighty Boosh 29 August 2005 All 8 episodes of the first television series across 2 discs Inside the Zooniverse, history of the Boosh, Boosh music, out-takes, picture gallery, commentary on "Bollo", "Tundra", "Electro" and "Hitcher".
The Mighty Boosh 2 13 February 2006 All 6 episodes of the second series, plus a second disc of special features Boosh pilot, Boosh publicity, making of Series Two, commentary on all six episodes, photo gallery, out-takes, deleted scenes, Sweet
The Mighty Boosh: Series One & Two 13 February 2006 Box set of first and second series DVDs, plus exclusive booklet Identical to individual releases
The Mighty Boosh Live 13 November 2006 Recording of their live show at Brixton Academy Backstage & tour documentary, the Ralfe Band, a deleted scene, The Culture Show piece
The Mighty Boosh 3 11 February 2008 All 6 episodes of the third series across 2 discs Making Boosh 3, Boosh publicity, deleted scenes, Mint Royale promo, Boosh music, out-takes, Boosh 3 trailer, audio commentaries
The Mighty Boosh: Series One, Two & Three 17 November 2008 Box set of first three series DVDs Identical to individual releases

Books

On September 18, 2008, Canongate Books published The Mighty Book of Boosh, described by the firm's website as a "beautifully illustrated Christmas humour book". According to e-commerce website Amazon.co.uk, Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding are cited as the authors, and Dave Brown the illustrator.

Awards

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1999 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Perrier Comedy Award Arctic Boosh
2000 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Barry Humphries Award Arctic Boosh
2001 Douglas Adams Award Innovative Writing The Boosh
2004 British Comedy Awards Best New TV Comedy Series 1
2004 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest TV Programme Series 1
2005 RTS Craft & Design Awards Costume Design - Entertainment and Non Drama Productions June Nevin
Series 2
2005 BAFTA Television Awards Best New Director (Fiction) Paul King
Series 2
2006 British Comedy Awards Best Stage Show The Mighty Boosh Live
2006 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest TV Programme Series 2
2006 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest Double Act Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding
Series 2
2006 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest DVD Series 2
2007 Chortle Awards Best Full-Length Solo Show The Mighty Boosh Live
2007 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest TV Programme Series 3
2007 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest Double Act Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding
Series 3
2007 NME Awards Best TV Show Series 3
2008 NME Awards Best TV Show Series 3
2008 RTS Programme Awards Situation Comedy and Comedy Drama Series 3

Notes

External links

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