The Mighty Boosh

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The Mighty Boosh
The BooshFrom left to right: Howard Moon (Julian Barratt), Bollo (Dave Brown), Naboo the Enigma (Michael Fielding), Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) and Bob Fossil (Rich Fulcher).
The Boosh
From left to right: Howard Moon (Julian Barratt), Bollo (Dave Brown), Naboo the Enigma (Michael Fielding), Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) and Bob Fossil (Rich Fulcher).
Medium Theatre, Radio, Television
Years active 1998–
Genres Double act, surreal humour
Subject(s) Surrealism, fashion victims, fantasy
Influences The Goodies, Mr Benn, Monty Python, Frank Zappa, Basil Brush, Ziggy Stardust.
Notable works and roles The Mighty Boosh (stage show, 1998)
Arctic Boosh (1999)

Autoboosh (2000)
The Boosh (2001)
The Mighty Boosh (TV series, 2004–present)
The Mighty Boosh Live (2006)
Members Julian Barratt
Noel Fielding
Dave Brown
Michael Fielding
Rich Fulcher
Website The Mighty Boosh Online

The Mighty Boosh, colloquially referred to as The Boosh,[1] is the collective name for the creators of the British comedy written by and starring comedians Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding. Developed from three stage shows and a six episode radio series, it has since spawned a total of twenty television episodes for BBC Three and 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.


[edit] History of the Boosh

Fielding first met Barratt after seeing him perform his solo stand-up routine at the Hellfire Comedy Club in the Wycombe Swan theatre.[2] The pair soon found that they shared comic interests, formed a double act, and "decided to be the new Goodies".[3] 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.[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.[5] 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,[6] 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.[7][8] Reports suggest that U2 will headline the event. [9] Later, in August, they are to have an "entire Mighty Boosh-curated evening" at The Big Chill music festival.[10][11] Other upcoming projects include a second tour of the UK from September 2008 through January 2009,[12] an album of Boosh music currently being recorded,[13], a feature-length film version of the series[14] A book called "The Mighty Book of Boosh" has been released.

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

[edit] Theatre

[edit] Original stage shows

[edit] 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.

[edit] Arctic Boosh (1999)

Poster used in magazines and venues around the UK to promote the Boosh's nationwide 2008 tour.

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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] Nationwide tours

[edit] 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.

[edit] Boosh Live (2008/09)

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

They will be making appearances and DJ'ing throughout the U.K after their live shows, at after parties held in different places in each city. The events will be called "Outrage", named after the saying by one Tony Harrison.

[edit] Radio

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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.[15] 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.[16]

[edit] Television

[edit] 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.

Noel Fielding (left) and Julian Barratt (right) in the first of their live links for BBC Three's Mighty Boosh Night.

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.[17] It transpires that the fourth series won't be written until at least 2010, because of the duo's other commitments throughout 2009. [1]

The Mighty Boosh began airing in North America on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, starting March 29, 2009 with the third series. [18]

[edit] The Mighty Boosh Night

On 22 March, 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. And on 23rd December 2008, BBC3 held a Merry Booshmas Party featuring the entire series 3 as well as a broadcast of Boosh Live. [19]

[edit] 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. After their tour they will be taking a short break, then either make a new series (the fourth) or release a movie.[20]

[edit] Spin-off

It was announced on 11 November 2008 that MTV has commissioned a spin-off series of The Mighty Boosh, starring Rich Fulcher as Eleanor the Tour Whore, the transvestite who appeared in the Series Three episode "Eels". [2] Although rumoured, it is not clear if any other Mighty Boosh characters will appear in it. A 20-minute pilot episode has already been made, which can be viewed on several comedy websites currently and is expected to air on MTV2 shortly (as will the series).

[edit] Media

[edit] 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.".[21] In interviews since, including one Noel Fielding gave the to Guardian Newspaper, The Mighty Boosh have confirmed they will indeed be releasing an album of their music.

[edit] 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 Special Edition DVD 17 November 2008 Box set of first three series DVDs, plus seventh disc Identical to individual releases, plus stickers, postcards, 'A Journey Through Time and Space' documentary, behind the scenes of a live night, footage from the Royal Television Society Awards, Dave Stewart interview, the making of Sammy the Crab, outtakes and deleted scenes from the pilot, pre-recorded live night links, cinema trailer, crimping collection, Paramount zoo-keeper sketches, Bob Fossil audio
Boosh Live 2 9 November 2009 A DVD release of the Mighty Boosh Live at the Manchester Apollo on the 3rd & 4th December 2008 Features the full show, commentary, audience participation option, Bob Fossil's Vietnam Video Diaries, highlights from The Mighty Boosh Festival and performances from the Teenage Cancer Trust concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Footage was filmed during the aftershow party that week at Club Academy, and members of the audience in costumes were filmed and photographed throughout the week, which may also add towards the additional features. There will also be a "Limited Edition".

Currently all of these DVDs have only been released in European format (PAL), which will not play on North American DVD players. Despite a growing fan base in the U.S., there has been no word from the BBC regarding a North American compatible (NTSC) release.

[edit] Books

On September 18, 2008, Canongate Books published The Mighty Book of Boosh, designed and compiled by; Dave Brown and has the multiple authors of: Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Rich Fulcher, Dave Brown, Richard Ayoade, and Michael Fielding. Generally the book includes wacky stories, letters, crimps, and various pictures and artwork, from all of the Mighty Boosh Characters.

[edit] Awards

Particularly popular amongst followers of the indie and electro music genres which the NME magazine caters for, The Mighty Boosh has been recipient of the Shockwaves NME Awards Best TV Show for three consecutive years, even though there were no new episodes broadcast for the latter two of the three years.

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1999 Edinburgh Festival Fringe Perrier Comedy Award Arctic Boosh Nominated
2000 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Barry Award Autoboosh Won
2001 Douglas Adams Award Innovative Writing[22] The Boosh Won
2004 British Comedy Awards Best New TV Comedy Series 1 Nominated
2004 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest TV Programme Series 1 Nominated
2005 RTS Craft & Design Awards Costume Design - Entertainment and Non Drama Productions[23] June Nevin
Series 2
2005 BAFTA Television Awards Best New Director (Fiction) Paul King
Series 2
2008 Alistair Baldwin Comedy Awards Best Stage Show The Mighty Boosh Live Nominated
2006 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest TV Programme Series 2 Nominated
2006 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest Double Act Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding
Series 2
2006 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest DVD Series 2 Nominated
2007 Chortle Awards Best Full-Length Solo Show[24] The Mighty Boosh Live Won
2007 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest TV Programme[25] Series 3 Won
2007 Loaded LAFTAS Funniest Double Act Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding
Series 3
2007 NME Awards Best TV Show[26] Series 3 Won
2008 NME Awards Best TV Show[27] Series 3 Won
2008 RTS Programme Awards Situation Comedy and Comedy Drama[28] Series 3 Won
2009 NME Awards Best TV Show[29] Series 3 Won

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ PBJ Management. The Boosh.
  2. ^ "The Mighty Boosh: A Journey Through Time and Space". The Mighty Boosh. 2008-03-22.
  3. ^ Raphael, Amy (2007-10-21). "Boys from the Boosh" (in English). The Observer.,,2193898,00.html. Retrieved on 2008-03-29. 
  4. ^ Inside the Zooniverse, The Mighty Boosh: Series 1, BBCDVD1553.
  5. ^ BBC. Where is series two set?,
  6. ^ Barber, Nicholas (2007-12-09). "Noel Fielding: The comedian is returning to his first love - painting" (in English). The Independent. Retrieved on 2008-03-29. 
  7. ^ NME. The Mighty Boosh to launch their own festival, NME.COM, 2008-04-18.
  8. ^ Trinity St. The Mighty Boosh Festival, The Mighty Boosh Online, 2008-04-22.
  9. ^ The Quietus [ U2 to headline Mighty Boosh Festival
  10. ^ The Big Chill. It has since been confirmed that they will form their own band specially for this event, playing songs from the television series The Mighty Boosh will perform at The Big Chill festival 2008,, 2008.
  11. ^ Trinity St. The Mighty Boosh go to the Big Chill, The Mighty Boosh Online, 2008-04-22.
  12. ^ The Mighty Boosh Online. 2008 Tour Dates, 2007-12-10.
  13. ^ PieFace Records. Boosh in the Studio, MySpaceTV, 2008-03-24.
  14. ^ Ali Jaafar. BBC's 'Boosh' looks to big screen, Variety, 2008-02-12.
  15. ^ Susie T. Radio 1 Breezeblock - The Mighty Boosh, The Mighty Boosh News Updates, 2004-11-17.
  16. ^ Jo Whiley. Mighty Boosh in the Live Lounge, BBC Radio 1, 2007-11-15.
  17. ^ British Sitcom Guide. About “The Mighty Boosh”.
  18. ^ Dragoncon08. Adult Swim Panel Highlights.
  19. ^ BBC. Mighty Boosh Night BBC Three, 2008-03-22.
  20. ^ Natalie Jamieson. No pointless celebs for Mighty Boosh movie, BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, 2008-03-04.
  21. ^ "PieFace Records on MySpace Music". Retrieved on 2009-03-22. 
  22. ^ Chortle. Boosh win writing prize, First Douglas Adams Award, 2001-10-26
  23. ^ Royal Television Society. RTS Craft & Design Awards 2004/2005, 2005-11-22.
  24. ^ Chortle. Chortle Awards, The UK Comedy guide, 2007.
  25. ^ Loaded. Loaded LAFTAS, 2007.
  26. ^ NME. The Mighty Boosh wins Best TV Show at Shockwave NME Awards, NME.COM, 2007-03-01.
  27. ^ NME. Shockwaves NME Awards 2008: The Mighty Boosh wins Best TV Show, NME.COM, 2008-02-28.
  28. ^ BBC. RTS Awards: Winners list,, 2008-03-20.
  29. ^ NME. The Mighty Boosh win Shockwaves NME Awards Best TV Show gong:, NME.COM, 2009-02-25.

[edit] External links

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