Article in Mid/West Hampshire Observer
Welcome to the world of The Boosh
A zoo-illogical study by Richard Williams
If you thought the only reason for having BBC3 was the blank screen before 7pm then think again, because this week saw the start of something slightly different, something that will capture hearts and minds like a big fishing net full of guts and brains. Yes ladies and gentlemen, after years of waiting, The Mighty Boosh are finally on TV.
Formed several hundreds of years ago, The Mighty Boosh consist of Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, two Œcomedians∂ who over the past six years have teamed up to produce some of the most surreal and funny moments ever seen on a stage.
Their first show, the aptly titled "Mighty Boosh", stormed the 1998 Edinburgh Festival winning the Perrier Best Newcomer Award. "Catch the vision, smell the dream." said an acceptant Noel. Featuring the zoo-keeping characters of Vince Noire (a squashed Elvis) and Howard Moon (a Leeds brute). The show originally ran in the upstairs theatre of the Hen & Chickens pub in Islington, then the world started to take notice and
Soon the boys were a global entity, jetting off to the Melbourne comedy festival and winning an Australian audience who remain fanatical to this day.
Without pausing for breath, they roped in Richard Herring (of Lee and Herring fame), paid him a directors fee and were off round the country with Artic Boosh, a show that featured Noire and Moon as bored postmen, sent on a mission to the frozen tundra to find the mythical egg of Mantumbi.
Along the way they encounter such characters as Uncle Pedro, a dancing Yetti and the terrifying Mr. Jiffy, described as a 10 foot mish mash of envelopes, bubble wrap and evil. More awards and more fans followed.
And then came Auto Boosh. In a previous life I used to work at The Tower Arts Centre in WInchester. We had booked the two previous shows and had loved them, so when the call came
asking us if we’d like a four night warm-up of the new piece, we jumped at the chance. It was quite some four nights.
Watching The Boosh spend hours working out ideas, changing characters and endlessly improvising was an amazing experience. On stage it looks effortless, but when you see the work they put in you can understand why Julian once said to me "Comedy... it ain’t f**king funny".
Later in the year when the show was at Edinburgh it had changed again, and it keeps changing, always by the seat of its pants. With The Boosh you never know quite where you are, and I doubt whether they do either. To those that give The Boosh a big thumbs up it was always a case of *when* rather than *if* they would get there own TV series. The only surprise is that it’s taken so long, but last year, buried away late at night was a half hour pilot show, which somehow captured the live Boosh experience and put a box round it. Inventive, funny, stupid and crazed, quite unlike anything
else you’ll see on your screens this year.
So first it’s BBC3, then it’ll transfer to BBC2 and by September Julian and Noel will be sitting on the Jonathan Ross sofa being hailed as geniuses. And, while it’s been a long hard slog, if The Boosh go supernova and end up
arrogant and drunk in a Las Vegas strip-joint then, frankly, no-one would have deserved it more. Two of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet.
The Mighty Boosh are on BBC3 on Tueday nights at 11pm. Toffee Sock Scissor Bitch, as someone once said. Everything you ever wanted to know about The Boosh can be found at the
wonderful website: www.themightyboosh.co.uk