The Mighty Boosh
A British cult comedy, the Mighty Boosh is a culmination of surreal and magical adventures of Howard Moon and Vince Noir, played by Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding.
Satisfying the nation's need for kangaroo boxing matches, jazz-mad zookeepers and a gorilla called Bollo, The Mighty Boosh have been an unlikely hit ever since their first stage-bound incarnation.
Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding, who would one day declare "we're just interested in being ridiculous", were actually rather serious, studious types when they first met at art college. Julian's first passion was music, and he actually toured Europe playing in a jazz band. Noel, meanwhile, was immersed in the visual arts (and would one day be responsible for the distinctive sets of The Boosh).
Comedy was the last thing on their minds, even as they started performing it on stage. Instead of doing anything as simple as telling jokes, they recited poems, sang songs and baffled the audience by getting a woman to cry on stage and attempting to collect her tears.
Noel and Julian first unleashed The Boosh at the Edinburgh Festival in 1998, winning a Perrier Award. Such was the success of their initial Booshy outing that Julian and Noel did the natural thing - and completely changed it. The year after their Edinburgh breakthrough, they returned with a new version of the show, called Arctic Boosh, which replaced the zoo-keepers with postmen. It was a smash-hit, and was followed the year after that by the even more successful Autoboosh.
The BBC had taken notice by this time, and the pair were signed up to bring The Boosh to Radio 4. But even after the success of the six-part radio series (it won the Douglas Adams Award for innovative comedy writing, a one-off award specifically created to honour The Boosh) there was some doubt in TV-land that the show would successfully transfer to telly. Then came Steve Coogan. And the rest is crazed, gorilla-infested history.
A huge fan of the radio version, Coogan approached the lads and offered to produce a TV version through his company Baby Cow Productions. The Mighty Boosh as we know it was born, and in 2004 series one hit our screens airing on BBC Three. Before long though Beeb bigwigs, having finally sat up and taken notice of just how damn good the show was, decided to bump the show to BBC Two later in the year allowing yet more people to experience the weird yet worryingly wonderfulness of Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) and Howard Moon (Julian Barratt).
Series one saw mismatched best pals Howard and Vince working as zoo-keepers at Dixon Bainbride's (you've got to love this man's tastic tache) rundown Zoo-niverse. The pair would often address the audience at the beginning and end of each episode introducing the sitcom and providing some interesting, often reflective thoughts on all the frankly bonkers going-ons. By series two, vain music-man Howard and 60s obsessed Vince were living at a flat in Dalston with the world at their finger trips. By the third series they we back in their London pad working in Naboo's second-hand shop. All the while talking ape Bollo is on-hand to offer his words of wisdom, which are usually: "I've got a bad feeling about this".
Not sticklers for continuity, there are lots of bits that don't quite add up over the series. Like the fact Bollo is killed off, but yet we still see the fury fella alive and well in subsequent episodes. Then there's shaman Saboo who met his grizzly end at the hands of demon Nanatoo only to pop up in series three as though nothing ill-fated had happed. Not that we mind, it all adds to the darkly funny surrealism we've come to know and absolutely love. Love maybe a bit too much.
When is it on?
The series is currently off-air.
The weird and wonderful world of the Boosh is full of hermaphrodites, talking gorillas, arctic exploration and, er, Bryan Ferry. But how well do you know the Mighty Boosh - enter the Zooniverse and find out.