THE MIGHTY BOOSH Sunday 05 February, 2012

So, you’ve all seen the TV show but how many of you have you listened to the radio series.

The Mighty Boosh. The show that spawned the comedy panel quiz monster that is Noel Fielding. There was a period around 2004 where I thought Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding were the best thing to have happened in comedy. This is largely due to the radio series and the first series of the television show. The second and third television series are still worth watching but the quality tails of significantly from the high point of the radio show. Now I find Noel Fielding quite annoying. The prospect of his upcoming Channel 4 show fills me with horror. I still have hope for Julian Barratt (he’s equally awesome in Nathan Barley but I fear he has disappeared into parenthood. Let’s hope that Julian only decides to return if he has something good to do.

The radio show and the first series of the TV show are essentially the same stories. The TV series is adapted from the radio show. It’s fair to say that the radio series is the best of all The Mighty Boosh output. The reason for this is the superior writing. The interplay between the two characters is simply fantastic in the radio series. The wonderful dialogue is still present in series 1 but quickly vanishes thereafter.

The joy of The Boosh, for me, is the friction between the two main characters. Howard Moon (played by Julian Barratt) and Vince Noir (played by Noel Fielding are like The Odd Couple…on acid. Howard has pretensions of sophistication and Vince is…a camden ponce. They bicker and argue delightfully. In the first series they are based in a zoo and play two idiotic zoo keepers.

Where the later TV series falls down, for me, is that they moved away from The Odd Couple and moved towards Howard and Vince have wacky adventures. This is probably a symptom of their own success and the larger budgets that that success warranted. They also relied quite heavily on crowd pleasing moves like bringing back old characters (and their catchphrases). Either they ran out of ideas or they got lazy but the result is the same a hugely diminished series.

Forget about what was to come though and go and get the radio series. Wonderful comedy, surreal adventures and some splendid music. You’ll be laughing all the way to work.

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