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The Mighty Boosh is a British comedy troupe featuring 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 two live tours of the UK, as well as two live shows in the United States.

History

Fielding first met Barratt after seeing him perform his solo stand-up routine at the Hellfire Comedy Club in the Wycombe Swanmarker 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 Londonmarker 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 American Rich Fulcher, who became Bob Fossil. Fielding’s friend Dave Brown and Fielding's brother Michael also became regular collaborators. Richard Ayoade was another original cast member, playing the role of adventurer Dixon Bainbridge, though he was later replaced by Matt Berry in the first television series, since he was under contract with Channel 4. Ayoade returned in the second and third series as a belligerent shaman named Saboo.

The Boosh 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 Dalstonmarker. 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 in November 2007. Set in Naboo’s second-hand shop below the flat, the third series drew 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 22 March 2008, which included a new documentary and six of Barratt and Fielding's favourite episodes from all three series.

On Channel 4 TV programme "Transmission", Alice Cooper mentioned a possible collaboration between himself 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 Theatremarker in North London the following year, they built up a cult following, introducing new characters whilst developing old ones.

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.

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 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 Academymarker was later released on DVD, before being broadcast on BBC Three on Boxing Day, 2007.

Boosh Live (2008/09)

The Boosh went on a second tour of the UK and Ireland from September 2008 to February 2009. The show featured characters from all three series as well as the Boosh Band.

They made appearances and DJed throughout the U.K after their live shows, at after parties held in different places in each city. The events were called "Outrage", after the saying by one Tony Harrison.

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 22 October 2004, in a 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 15 November 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 Dixon Bainbridge’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 Dalstonmarker 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. It transpires that the fourth series will not be written until at least 2010, because of the duo's other commitments throughout 2009.

Although BBC America originally aired only series 1 a few years ago in the U.S., The Mighty Boosh began airing in North America on Adult Swim, starting 29 March 2009 with the third series.

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 then-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. On 23 December 2008, BBC3 held a Merry Booshmas Party featuring the entire series 3 as well as a broadcast of The Mighty Boosh Live.

Festival

On 5 July 2008, the Boosh held their own festival in the Hop Farmmarker in Kentmarker. It featured musical acts, Robots in Disguise, The Kills, Gary Numan, and The Mighty Boosh Band, as well as comedy acts Frankie Boyle and Ross Noble.

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". 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).

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

DVDs

Title UK Release date US Release date Contents Special features
The Mighty Boosh 29 August 2005 21 July 2009 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 21 July 2009 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 n/a Box set of first and second series DVDs, plus exclusive booklet Identical to individual releases
The Mighty Boosh Live 13 November 2006 n/a Recording of their live show at Brixton Academymarker Backstage & tour documentary, the Ralfe Band, a deleted scene, The Culture Show piece
The Mighty Boosh 3 11 February 2008 21 July 2009 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 13 October 2009 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, Unnatural Acts zoo-keeper sketches, Bob Fossil audio
Boosh Live; Future Sailors Tour 9 November 2009 n/a A DVD release of Boosh Live at the Manchester Apollo on 3 & 4 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".


Previously most of the DVDs were only released in Region 2 but as a result of a growing fan base in the U.S., the BBC rereleased in Region 1, Series 1-3 individually on 21 July 2009, and a Special Edition Series 1-3 Boxset on 13 October 2009.

Books

On 18 September 2008, Canongate Books published The Mighty Book of Boosh, designed and compiled by Dave Brown and written by Noel Fielding, Julian Barratt, Rich Fulcher, Dave Brown, Richard Ayoade and Michael Fielding. The book includes original stories, crimps, concept art, behind-the-scenes photography, comics, and various other things, featuring old and new Mighty Boosh characters. On 1 October 2009, a paperback version was released under the name The Pocket Book of Boosh.

Awards

Particularly popular among followers of the indie and electro music genres which the NME magazine caters to, 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
2000 Melbourne International Comedy Festival Barry Award Autoboosh
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
2008 Alistair Baldwin 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
2009 NME Awards Best TV Show Series 3


Notes

  1. Inside the Zooniverse, The Mighty Boosh: Series 1, BBCDVD1553.
  2. BBC. Where is series two set?, bbc.co.uk.
  3. Susie T. Radio 1 Breezeblock - The Mighty Boosh, The Mighty Boosh News Updates, 2004-11-17.
  4. Jo Whiley. Mighty Boosh in the Live Lounge, BBC Radio 1, 2007-11-15.
  5. British Sitcom Guide. About “The Mighty Boosh”.
  6. Dragoncon08. Adult Swim Panel Highlights.
  7. BBC. Mighty Boosh Night BBC Three, 2008-03-22.
  8. Chortle: First TV Comedy shot only on mobilesAccessed 19/05/2009
  9. It Is Coming: The Mighty Boosh Is Coming To Your American DVD Player, 2009-04-08.
  10. [1], 2009-04-08.
  11. [2], 2009-05-29.
  12. Chortle. Boosh win writing prize, First Douglas Adams Award, 2001-10-26
  13. Royal Television Society. RTS Craft & Design Awards 2004/2005, 2005-11-22.
  14. Chortle. Chortle Awards, The UK Comedy guide, 2007.
  15. Loaded. Loaded LAFTAS, 2007.
  16. NME. The Mighty Boosh wins Best TV Show at Shockwave NME Awards, NME.COM, 2007-03-01.
  17. NME. Shockwaves NME Awards 2008: The Mighty Boosh wins Best TV Show, NME.COM, 2008-02-28.
  18. BBC. RTS Awards: Winners list, bbc.co.uk, 2008-03-20.
  19. NME. The Mighty Boosh win Shockwaves NME Awards Best TV Show gong:, NME.COM, 2009-02-25.


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