by Ariston Anderson
Last month's release of the cult British show "The Mighty Boosh" on DVD made my summer into a viewing marathon and I have to say, it's nothing short of life-changing. Created by comedians Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding from a series of radio and stage shows, the award-winning series is what would happen if Luis Buñuel chewed up the Kids in the Hall and the Flight of the Conchords and spit them out.
Since its initial debut on the BBC, Cartoon Network's Adult Swim picked the comedy up and currently airs it. But, for the first time, the DVD allows for screening of the three seasons in their entirety, uncensored and with loads of extras.
To mark their U.S. debut, the team recently appeared at NYC's Bowery Ballroom as part of a MySpace secret show. The duo treated fans (dressed to the nines as giant coconuts and shaving cream moons) to new material from lead characters Howard Moon and Vince Noir, as well as a DJ set by Naboo the Shaman, played by Michael Fielding. American Bob Fossil, played by Rich Fulcher, taught impromptu dance lessons of his signature moves: feeding the chickens, grabbing the floating sandwiches and the infamous screaming ocelot.
Each season takes place in a different time and universe, starting with Bob Fossil's Zooniverse where Howard Moon, the jazz maverick, and Vince Noir, king of the mods, take care of assorted mutants, fight a kangaroo for sport and wine and dine a reluctant panda.
In season two, the setting shifts to a south London flat that serves as home base for the pair's regular adventures to faraway places, discovering the deep sea transexual Old Gregg, tracking down the infamous yeti, battling a demon grandmother and building a community of coconut people on an abandoned island.
The final season takes the series full circle as the action shifts to the Nabootique, a second hand shop in Dalston, which is a front for Naboo's shaman practices. They go head to head with a crack fox who lives in their own mountain of garbage, avoid the fury of the wretched green Hitcher and face internal struggles with the spirit of Jazz.
The strength of the show lies in Barratt and Fielding, who each play a multitude of characters, each one taking on their own universe through voice, costume, movement and oftentimes song. Celebrated both in underground circles and by the likes of Courtney Love, Jimmy Fallon, Paul Rudd, Jason Segal and Robin Williams, with the DVD release, a new generation of fans will discover their work and eagerly await what comes next. As Barratt said of the U.S. launch, "If it's not too presumptuous, we hope the faint ripples from our strange little show resonate through the American consciousness until they become a deafening roar of love and approval, so all-encompassing and spiritually shattering, that they break down repression and engender a new mystical quasi-sexual religion based on our work." We would expect nothing less.
Bonus trivia: Fielding maintains a close friendship with fellow British comic Russell Brand.