Friday, November 9, 2007

The Boosh is Back!

Okay, I may have been a little hasty with my BBC America rant the other day. It happens that they have been running some episodes of The Mighty Boosh, but strangely enough, they don't give TMB its own page in the list of programs they air. They used to have a page for it, and it's a shame that it's gone. The only way to you could find it is to scan the listings which is asking a lot from viewers. In any case, looks like Boosh has a Friday night at 1am airtime, but I don't know if that's Eastern or Pacific or what. You'll have to figure that out for yourself....

But may I recommend The Mighty Boosh to you? If you hate insane British comedy, say -- like if you detest Monty Python and wouldn't watch it if your life depended on it -- then skip this one, too. You'd hate it. But if you think you could enjoy the comedy adventures of sort of a post-modern Hope and Crosby duo, a couple of best friends who (at least in Season One) work in a run-down zoo, then The Mighty Boosh is for you!

I discovered it several years and just love it. The creation of Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding, who formally introduced their world of The Mighty Boosh at the famed Edinburgh Festival in the late ‘90s, TMB has since seen life as a BBC Radio series, two seasons on BBC TV, a touring stage show in the UK, and rumors are there may be a movie in the future.

It couldn’t happen to a more talented, insane and original duo. Barratt and Fielding’s comedic vision must be seen to be appreciated, and probably seen more than once; there’s a lot to absorb, and the show’s pace takes no prisoners, but it’s worth the effort. Barratt plays Howard Moon, jazz-lover, frustrated thespian, and zookeeper at the rundown animal park Zoo-Niverse; his partner-in-comedy is Fielding, as Vince Noir, fellow zoo employee, a Cockney clotheshorse who never has a bad hair day, a music-loving boy-toy, and a self-described “Mowgli in flares” for his uncanny ability to communicate with the animals. Together with their boss, the definitely nuts Bob Fossil, who knows nothing about running a zoo -- not even what the animals are called -- and who only has eyes for the Zoo-Niverse’s owner, the dashing and pompous explorer/mad scientist Dixon Bainbridge, and with a little help from Naboo the hip shaman, Howard and Vince embark upon fantastical adventures, meet weird characters, and sing catchy original pop ditties.

It’s not a sketch show, like Little Britain, that other Brit import that’s caught on big over here, and parts of it are a bit of a throwback (in a really good way) -- you’ll find Vince and Howard (at least during the first season of the show) introing the show in front of a curtain –- though it certainly doesn’t quite fit into any one category. The tone has been likened to Monty Python, but aside from the obvious absurdist similarities, The Mighty Boosh is a totally unique and essentially obsessed comic animal, and so will no doubt confuse as many folks as it charms. It’s definitely charmed me and I hope you’ll fall for it, too.

Visit the Official Boosh Website here, and here's Wikipedia's quick overview of the show. There are lots of great Boosh clips and entire shows on YouTube, including this promo for their brand new eagerly awaited Season Three which starts next week on the BBC. Check 'em out!

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