Come with us now on a journey through time and space... to the world of the Mighty Boosh.
The Mighty Boosh is a rather unusual British comedy series about two friends, Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) and Vince Noir (Noel Fielding), who have bizarre adventures together. Howard is a humorless braggart with a love for jazz and a penchant for getting into trouble, and Vince — the "King of the Mods", the "Mayor of Camden", and the face of Cheekbone magazine — ends up saving Howard Once an Episode, which tends to involve him talking to animals and wearing silly outfits. They eventually have to fight a Monster of the Week (usually in song) while meeting a range of strange characters, many of whom are also played by Barratt and Fielding.The two work at a zoo and end up living together with the Deadpan Snarker stoner shaman, Naboo (played by Michael Fielding, Noel's brother, whose hair is the show's namesake), and Bollo, Naboo's gorilla familiar (Dave Brown). Most episodes focus on Howard and Vince leaving the zoo (first series), their flat (second series), or their second-hand goods shop (third series), for a number of distant locations. Including the Arctic tundra, Monkey Hell, and the planet Xooberon.The humor of the show is based on a combination of non-sequiturs, pop culture references, psychedelic visuals, and musical interludes. The look of the show is intentionally low-budget but highly creative. The humor ranges from the silly to the surreal, but always stays happy and sweet. Much like a children's show, only with balls jokes.Part of the show's appeal is its home-made vibe. The visual elements (including the animations) are based on Fielding's art, while Barratt composes all of the music (and plays a mean guitar). Many of the extras are Barratt's and Fielding's friends and family.The Mighty Boosh was originally a stage act then a radio series, before it became a TV show. It then returned to the stage between series two and three, and another live tour took place between 2008 and 2009. The whole crew reunited in 2013 for several music-centric stage shows in the UK and one at Festival Supreme on Santa Monica Pier.If you've ever wondered what would happen if the characters of Bob Fossil and Dixon Bainbridge got their own show, see Snuff Box.Now has its own Ho Yay page.This show provides examples of:
Attractive Bent-Gender: Vince proudly claims this status. While he doesn't usually dress like a woman, he's frequently mistaken for one. Sometimes he's considered attractive, while other times he's called Howard's ugly wife.
Vince Noir: I'm the great confuser! 'Is it a man? Is it a woman? Oh, I don't think I mind...'
Ambiguously Gay: before Vince was outed as a Bisexual, he certainly seemed very.... camp for a straight man. He was never shown to be seriously interested in women, was ludicrously flamboyant and fashion orientated, was once caught licking a picture of his favourite male actor, and seemed to have a suspiciously good idea of what made one gay:
Vince Noir: You can't just go gay. It's not like buying a ladder.
Awesome Aussie: Joey Moose the Australian zoo keeper gave off this vibe, seeing as how he was an obvious Steve Irwin Expy.
Badass Bookworm: Dixon Bainbridge, man of action. Dude goes to the Arctic Tundra, alone, survives falling off a cliff (his fall was broken by a wolf, which he then killed with a gun hidden in his mustache, but still), then makes his way back to England, goes off to the Tundra alone again, and somehow finds the fake Egg of Mantumbi, survives being frozen by the terrible "Icy Bastard", who he attempted to fist-fight, thaws himself out with heat hidden in his mustache, goes back to England using a whale's jawbone (he killed the whale, somehow) as a raft to get to another continent, then goes back to England, back to the Tundra, where he finds the real Egg of Mantumbi, and is celebrated as the best explorer and man of action who ever lived. Oh, and he's apparently smart enough to splice together man and snake. Bad. Ass.
Berserk Button: Don't criticize Howard's work. Also, if you are in the presence of one of Vince's stalkers and attempt to harm him, you will die. Always.
Biting-the-Hand Humor: A scene from "The Chokes" pokes fun at BBC Three's sister, BBC Four, basically saying it's all documentaries which are boring and intellectualist. And they actually got to use the real BBC Four symbol.
Bi the Way: Vince's bisexuality has never really affected his actions at all.
Howard realised he was bisexual in the third series, though it was hinted at multiple times since series 1 in his interactions with Tommy, Simon and Vince.
It perhaps bears mentioning that Tony Harrison raped Lester Corncrake's still-living severed head after the events of The Party. Onscreen. While vividly describing his Lovecraftian extraterrestrial genitalia. It was an outrage.
"Some people go awwww, look at the moon up there with his milky white face... he's all gentle. And others go UGH, he's a vanilla rapist, get 'im away from my kids."
Cloud Cuckoo Land: The place Howard and Vince live in is supposed to be London, but instead of British currency they use euros, all people everywhere go on bizarre rants without police interference, animals attempt to get busy with humans and no one finds it odd, time travel is as simple as hailing a taxi, and strange, immortal Cockney green witches inhabit the streets.
It would seem this extends to the rest of the solar system, as the Moon is something of an Eldritch Abomination (apparently having driven a man who looked up to the Moon to "[Have] a shit on a salad."), is completely and utterly batshit insane, and often mentions other planets as living beings, with Jupiter showing up to eat a fake moon that inexplicably appeared from nowhere.
Continuity Nod: Inverted, in numerous moments in all three series, reference is made to the age difference between Howard and Vince; sometimes they are the same age, sometimes they are up to 10 years apart. These moments are invariably followed with a musical cue and pointed looks into the camera.
After Naboo tells the story of the peacock and the magpie in "The Power of the Crimp", Naboo and Bollo are shown to be watching Peacock Dreams in "Party".
Crowd Song: Everybody join in! "Bouncy bouncy/Oh such a good time/Bouncy bouncy/Shoes all in a line..."
Bob Fossil attempts this and fails in the radio series with the "Nicey nicey zoo zoo" song, partly because no-one joins in, partly because, in his excitement, he hurls a small child into the lion enclosure.
Deal with the Devil: Howard sold his soul to the Spirit of Jazz in exchange for musical talent.
Death by Adaptation: In the radio series, Joey Moose turned up alive during the events of "Mutants" and even helped Vince and Howard on their quest. In the TV version, he's Killed Off for Real at the start of the episode. His actor Dave Brown played one of the mutants (Specifically the breakdancing one), so it's possible he was turned into mutant, but the mutant shows no recognition towards Howard and Vince so it's up to interpretation if this was meant to be Joey or not.
Death Is Cheap: The episode "Bollo" is almost entirely based around the death of the titular gorilla. He becomes a major character in Series 2, and even makes a brief cameo later on in series 1, wherein the fact that he died a few episodes ago is not mentioned.
Not exactly. The entire premise of "Bollo" is that after the gorilla-suited Howard is mistakenly picked up in his place by a cockney Grim Reaper, the real Bollo feels better, so he never actually dies.
The episode ends with a shot of Bollo's heart giving out as Phil the reaper watches, so it's pretty safe to say he actually died.
Also, Saboo and (presumably) Tony Harrison die in Series 2 only to return in Series 3. Not to mention the Hitcher, who was liquefied in Series 2 but returned in the next series perfectly intact.
Though we never really get confirmation Tony and Saboo die; Saboo just fell over, and we never saw Tony hit the ground. Being powerful shaman it's entirely possible they can survive what would kill most humans.
The Ditz: Bob Fossil, zoo manager doesn't know the names of any of the animals in the zoo, calling them such things as "grey leg-faced man" (elephant), and "black-and-white Chinese person who eats sticks" (panda). Here's his description of a kangaroo:
"Oh. You know those guys, with the little hands? You know, with the big pockets? You know, with the little version of themselves in the front pocket?"
Doppelgänger: Lance Dior and Harold Boon of "The Flighty Zeus".
Everyone Can See It: Every single character on the show including one shot extras think that Howard and Vince are in a relationship
Everyone Is Bi: Minor characters often mistook Vince for a woman, hit on him, and never seemed put off upon the revelation that he was a man. Also, Howard's female crush in season one showed interest in Vince, and Vince went on a date with a female panda. The panda and the crush then end up together. The Hitcher is possibly bisexual too, and Howard and Vince definitely are.
Eating the Eye Candy: Vince tends to do this to Howard. The infamous 'Black Bits In bananas' scene is a good example.
Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Hello, mirrorball suit! Vince is the only person in the world who even remotely pulls it off.
Foreshadowing: Howard and Vince's conversations throughout Party set up the episode's little "birthday surprise" and its aftermath in several ways: Howard practically falls in love with a girl he'd only spoke to once and states that if he doesn't get with a woman soon, he's "going gay". Vince tries to explain that it's not that simple and that Howard is the least gay person he knows. Howard also says he doesn't fancy Vince, but Vince egotistically insists that all men do. Later, Howard is revealed to be a virgin who's never even kissed anyone. He declares that when he finally does "make that leap across the physical boundary, it'll be forever".
Howard as well apparently. According to Old Gregg he has a "Shenis". And they're going to make sweet, sweet love.
Historical In-Joke: In the episode where they get lost in the zoo, Howard's mentor sees Vince and shouts "A Mod! I am a Rocker, he is a Mod. We are mortal enemies!" This is a reference to the two eponymous subcultures which clashed in England during the early to mid 60's.
The odd thing about this is that Vince worships Mick Jagger (no, seriously, he's got a shrine and everything) while calling himself King of the Mods, even though Jagger was very much a rocker.
Ho Yay: Between almost all of the characters at one point or another, most prolifically Howard and Vince. It's all intentional, and has its own page. invoked
Modern Minstrelsy: White dudes in blackface and brownface (and playing very broad racial stereotypes). Although the Spirit of Jazz isn't really "blackface", per se. He's supposed to be Baron Samedi as a reference to New Orleans culture.
Moment Killer: Many, many times, but (usually) not in a romantic way; Howard and Vince are best friends, but since both are stubborn, they find it very hard to admit their affection for each other and it usually takes a near-death experience for them to say they need one another. Vince's distraught speech to Howard in the episode "The Power of the Crimp" seemed to shock them both. It was probably a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
Monster of the Week: Sandstorm, Evil Tree, Mister Susan, the Black Frost, Old Gregg, the Ape of Death and the Mod Wolves. The Hitcher probably counts as well.
Mr. Fanservice: Noel Fielding, who has won a 'Sexiest Man' NME, and is also just pretty.
Julian Barratt has his own dedicated fandom.
The Munchausen: Howard makes unbelievable boasts all the time, but they're occasionally shown to be true, like his job offer from Walt Disney, or the sale of his soul to the Spirit of Jazz.
Selective Obliviousness: done by Howard. His obstinate refusal to understand that Mrs Gideon has no idea he exists, his denying that he is a vain and shallow man (he thinks himself dark and artistic) and he refuses to accept that fact that people find him and his interest/anecdotes/jokes boring. See John Coltrane, the "Pencil Case" story, and everything else Howard enjoys. His way of wooing women? Trumpets and bookmarks.
Which apparently could've worked on Mrs Gideon... if it weren't for that meddling panda... and the fact that Howard had just punched her in the face.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: Sort of, between Howard and Vince. More like Insult-Insult-Impromptu makeout session
Happened at least one on the radio show. In "Jungle", the swelling music behind Howard's dramatic scene cuts out when he stops the cassette tape he was playing it on. May have also happened twice with the mood music in "Mutants."
Show Within a Show: The Pieface Showcase features in the second series, while the Colobos the Crab appears in the radio variation.
Peacock Dreams could also be an example, though the show itself is only described rather than shown.
Howard did deny, once that he was Vince's wife. A little too strongly, I should add.
Howard: I'm not his wife, am I!
Lance Dior: Word on the street is you are his wife. You cook him his meals, straighten his hair, bake him little cakes.
Sophisticated as Hell: In the live show, Vince tries to get Howard to wear pink pants. Howard refuses, saying he has poise and dignity. Vince says he has poise and dignity, too—while putting the pants on his head.
He peppers his conversations with a variety of Mockney phrases pretty much constantly.
Lampshaded by one of his minions who mutters "Apples and pears and other assorted fruits"
Also, Colin the Death Cab dispatcher, who mutters at one point, "I'm a Cockney, I'm a Cockney", after a (not-quite) stereotypical round of "How's your old woman?" with the cabbie who brought Howard to Limbo.
Super Cell Reception: One character receives a phone call on an expedition somewhere in the arctic. We can safely suspend our belief to include it, considering that at the time the expedition, comprised of two zoo-keepers, was trying to defrost the frozen last words of an explorer killed by the Black Frost.
The Look Howard gives Vince at 1:35 sort of says it all.
Word of God is that they were originally going to resolve it, but decided against it for fear of hitting the Relationship Ceiling. If Howard and Vince ever do get together for real, it wont be until Noel and Julian are done with the characters once and for all.