With Noel coming to town this week for the NZ International Comedy Festival, Alex Casey breaks down some of his absurd hits from The Mighty Boosh.
I can only assume that when Noel Fielding arrives in New Zealand this week, it will be on a bedazzled polystyrene unicorn. Just orbiting around and around baggage claim, whilst customs officers reel at his lack of declaring a full Carmen Miranda fruit hat. But he won’t have flown here by plane – simply on a gentle waft of whimsy. That’s what got him to where he is today, so why stop now?
If you are unfamiliar with Noel Fielding or The Mighty Boosh, I have assembled some of his greatest hits on the show. The surreal UK comedy series was born from the jewel-encrusted brains of Noel Fielding and Julian Barrett. Fleshing out a whole new Zooniverse, The Mighty Boosh is full of song, dance, costumes and characters that live in that very special twilight zone between hilarious and terrifying. It is perhaps the oddest and most psychedelic corner of the television universe, and we are truly blessed to have one of it’s founders arriving to our fair shores.
To quote another British export that was extremely popular in 2007, The Mighty Boosh really moves in its own way. Set in a zoo for the first season, and moving on to the bizarre trappings of the Nabootique later, there’s very little reality to grasp onto. But Noel is always there, his huge elven face and black crows nest hair becoming relatively normal signifiers in a truly topsy turvy world. Dredging up some of his weirdest characters and musical numbers from the deepest depths of the sea, I present the best of Noel Fielding’s Boosh:
The Spirit of Jazz
The subject matter definitely has enough of a racially tense historical context to set a thousand think piece hats on fire, but somehow the Spirit of Jazz sidesteps those itty bitty details. Maybe because The Spirit of Jazz looks like less of a minstrel and more of an out-of-work wrestler trying to scrub up.
Bouncy Bouncy Crimp
The perfect example of The Mighty Boosh‘s pioneering musical style – the crimp. Noel describes it as a sort of “white folk rapping”, a sort of acapella scatting built vaguely around describing a real-life situation. As always, stilettos are a no-no.
Nobody could have ever predicted that The Moon would have this many different accents. Or would have such a sexual relationship with the Sun. Best successful alternative PR for the moon since Wallace and Gromit ate all that moon cheese.
The Frozen Tundra
I am truly mesmerized by Noel’s Little Johnny Frostbite legs lizarding around the flurry. Just a bloody catchy track, hopefully Noel can stop by Snowplanet and then have nowhere to go.
The classic. The definitive work. Sip a Bailey’s from a shoe and listen to a scaly man fish show you his mangina. He needs your love a lot. Old Gregg is one of the greatest hits because it sums up everything The Mighty Boosh is about. Vaguely musical. Drenched in adrogyny. Comic book elements. The odd tutu. Dive on in you breadstick.
Noel as The Hitcher becomes like The Mask on acid, painting a horrid electro image of a gutsful of eels. Somehow he can pull off looking like the Cryptkeeper from that old Nightmare VHS board game, and still be hilariously funny. It’s a hell of a talent, and one sure to be even more impressive in the flesh. Find an entrance where you can.