Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy

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Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy
Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy.jpg
Series one intertitle
Genre Surreal comedy, new wave comedy[1]
Format Sketch show (Series 1)
Sitcom (Series 2–present)
Created by Nigel Coan
Noel Fielding
Written by Nigel Coan
Noel Fielding
Directed by Nigel Coan
Noel Fielding
Starring Noel Fielding
Michael Fielding
Tom Meeten
Dolly Wells
Rich Fulcher
Richard Ayoade
Opening theme "Luxury Comedy Theme" by Loose Tapestries (Series 1)
Variation of "Luxury Comedy Theme" by Loose Tapestries (Series 2–present)
Composer(s) Sergio Pizzorno
Noel Fielding
Tim Carter
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 12
Production
Executive producer(s) Derrin Schlesinger
Running time 25 minutes
Production company(s) Secret Peter
Broadcast
Original channel E4
Picture format HDTV 1080i
Audio format Stereo
Original run 26 January 2012 (2012-01-26) – present
Chronology
Related shows The Mighty Boosh
Bunny and the Bull

Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy, known as Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii for series two, is a British sketch (series one) and situation comedy (series two) television series written and directed by Noel Fielding and Nigel Coan. The series stars Fielding, his brother Michael Fielding, Tom Meeten, Dolly Wells and from series two upgraded from recurring, Richard Ayoade. Various members of The Mighty Boosh make guest appearances.[2] The first episode premiered on 26 January 2012 on E4.[3] The music for the first series was written by Fielding and Kasabian's Sergio Pizzorno, a good friend of Fielding's,[2] under the band name Loose Tapestries. The duo were joined for the second series by Kasabian touring member, Tim Carter.

Prior to the creation of the Luxury Comedy, Fielding had worked in a double act with comedian Julian Barratt as The Mighty Boosh. Together, Fielding and Barratt produced a series of stage shows, a radio series, and a television series between 1998 and 2008. Going their separate ways, Fielding became a team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks from 2009, and also began co-operating on a new sketch show with Coan. The show originally had the provisional title Noel Fielding: Boopus.[4]

It is described on the Channel 4 website as "a psychedelic character based comedy show half filmed and half animated".[5] The first series started airing on 26 January 2012 and lasted for seven episodes. Channel 4 announced in February 2012 that Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy had been recommissioned for a second series, which started airing on E4 on 31 July 2014. The series format has switched from sketch show to sitcom, set mainly in a Hawaiian coffee shop. It features many new characters as well as the majority of characters from the first run. The series is given the subtitle Tales from Painted Hawaii.[6]

Plot[edit]

Each episode is structured around a plot involving Noel and his friends, accompanied by sketches featuring strange characters who are usually not connected to the main story. The first series is set in Noel's treehouse in a red and blue jungle, while the second series Tales from Painted Hawaii is set on a fictional island in Hawaii, where Noel runs a coffee shop. There are fewer sketches in the second series than in the first, with most of the character sketches being set around the Hawaiian island.

Characters[edit]

Main Characters

  • Noel Fielding (playing an exaggerated version of himself) - Noel is portrayed as imaginative yet child-like and irresponsible. In the first series, he lives in a treehouse in a red and blue jungle, and dresses in elaborate costumes and brightly coloured face paint. In the second series, Noel is the manager of "Luxury Coffee", a coffee shop on a fictional island in Hawaii named "Painted Hawaii". He stops wearing face paint and wears the same costume, his Luxury Coffee uniform, in every episode of the second series.
  • Smooth (played by Michael Fielding) - Smooth is a grey human-anteater hybrid, describing himself as "mixed race" because his father is a human and his mother is an anteater. He often serves as the voice of reason and maturity, often pointing out the flaws in Noel's plans.
  • Dolly (played by Dolly Wells) - Noel's friend and former girlfriend. She is a fashion model from Berlin, and is obsessed with fashion, art and the latest cultural trends.
  • Andy Warhol (played by Tom Meeten) - An exaggerated version of the famous painter, who works in Luxury Coffee with Noel and Smooth. He talks and acts like a robot, with his voice mimicking a voice synthesiser, and he is often neurotic and insecure. A recurring joke in the second series includes Andy meeting with other famous artists, musicians and writers from the 20th century, such as George Orwell and Yoko Ono, for leisure activities.

Major Sketch Characters

All characters listed are played by Noel Fielding, unless stated otherwise.

  • Secret Peter - Noel's landlord. He is a purple blob creature covered in multi-coloured crystals, and speaks and acts in a stereotypical East London dialect. He is named after the production company which makes the series.
  • Roy Circles - an anthropomorphic chocolate finger biscuit who works as a PE teacher and once served in the army. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and often talks about how depressed he is because his wife passed away.
  • Sergeant Raymond Boombox - an incompetent New York cop with yellow skin. In the first series, he tells stories of his past cases, and in the second series he serves as law enforcement on Painted Hawaii. He has a knife wound on his left arm (which he calls "'The Gash") that has the ability to speak and often insults the Sergeant for his failures.[7]
  • Tony Reason - an anthropomorphic stingray who lives in a fish tank across a bridge from Luxury Coffee. He works as a music producer and often talks about his past experiences with famous musicians such as Jim Morrison and Bon Jovi.
  • Todd Lagoona (played by Richard Ayoade) - an anthropomorphic hammerhead shark. He is Tony Reason's friend, a fellow music producer and sometimes appears in the same fish tank as Tony.
  • Joey Ramone - a stop-motion, plasticine version of the punk rock star, portrayed with comically long legs, blue hair and no arms. The Joey Ramone sketches parody children's television programmes from the 1960s and 1970s, having stop-motion characters in front of an illustrated background, with a mild-mannered narrator commenting passively on everything that happens and speaking for each character.
  • Fantasy Man - a superhero who goes on self-imposed quests in an electronic, operatic fantasy world similar in appearance to Tron. He rarely achieves his goals; often being snapped back into reality by a passer-by and getting into some sort of trouble for his delusional actions. His voice and mannerisms are a parody of Don Quixote.
  • Big Chief Whoolabum Boomalackaway (played by Tom Meeten) - Fantasy Man's sidekick. He is a Native American chief who likes Rave music, wears a brightly coloured headdress made of household objects, and claims to be able to see up to fifteen minutes into the future. He is a parody of Tonto.
  • Dondylion - an anthropomorphic lion. In the first series he is held in a run-down zoo and is quickly driven insane by his small enclosure and poor living conditions. He keeps a framed photograph of David Lee Roth, which he talks to as if it were a real person and refers to as "The King of the Lions"'.
  • Doo Rag (played by Michael Fielding) - a man with a bowl haircut and moustache, who dresses in blue racing leathers. He speaks in a soft American accent, and a tiny red race car occasionally drives across the white stripe in his hair. In the second series, Doo Rag works as a doctor in a "Coolness Clinic" (where people go for tests to see how cool they are) on Painted Hawaii.

Episode list[edit]

Series 1 (2012)[edit]

No. Title Original airdate
1 "Pele" 26 January 2012 (2012-01-26)
2 "The Jelly Fox" 2 February 2012 (2012-02-02)
3 "King Tutta" 9 February 2012 (2012-02-09)
4 "Phone Cake" 16 February 2012 (2012-02-16)
5 "Mash Potato Utopia" 23 February 2012 (2012-02-23)
6 "Tiger with Chlamydia" 1 March 2012 (2012-03-01)
7 "BBQ Breakdown" 8 March 2012 (2012-03-08)

Series 2 (2014)[edit]

No. Title Original airdate
8 "Paul Panfer" 31 July 2014 (2014-07-31)
9 "Saving Terry" 7 August 2014 (2014-08-07)
10 "Reality Man" 14 August 2014 (2014-08-14)
11 "Cucumbers of Cool" 21 August 2014 (2014-08-21)
12 "Joey and the Whale" 28 August 2014 (2014-08-28)

Music[edit]

The show's soundtrack is provided by Fielding and close friend Sergio Pizzorno of rock band Kasabian, who formed the group Loose Tapestries to make music for the series. An album entitled Loose Tapestries Presents: the Luxury Comedy Tapes was released following the first series. Fielding and Pizzorno returned to create the soundtrack for series two with Kasabian guitarist, Tim Carter.[8] The series one theme tune appears on the album as "Luxury Comedy" - a Hawaiian style variation of this theme tune is used for series two.

Reception[edit]

Series 1 received polarised reviews, offering both high praise and scathing criticism.

The Guardian described it as a "neo-psychedelic riot of mirth that regurgitates decades of memories of broad, Technicolor TV entertainment from The Banana Splits onwards."[9] Stephen Armstrong wrote in The Sunday Times that "Fielding grins down like a fiendish blend of Peter Gabriel, Syd Barrett, Samuel Beckett and a TV-age Antonin Artaud, unsettling and hypnotising in equal measure. In these dreary times it's as subversive as Bowie appearing on Tops of The Pops in a dress." Andy Johnson at Purple Revolver said that "if someone wanted to make TV for Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte then Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy would be it. The artwork, decadent use of colour and reckless abandonment of the rules of form is a delight to watch."[10]

On the other hand, The Yorker, said "The plots are too obscure to follow, so one is left with a lurid array of half-animated, half-real characters spouting phrases which seem to have been generated by flicking through the dictionary at random."[11] The Scotsman said of Fielding: "as an absurdist comedian he’s so painfully uninspired and laboured" and "I was left bewildered as to how anyone could ever fall for this charmless rubbish", and goes on to say "he patently thinks of himself as a mind-blowing surrealist bursting with astonishing ideas (A sentient chocolate finger! A Noo Yoik cop with a talking wound!). But in reality he’s the tiresome equivalent of the unfunny office clown persistently proclaiming how mad he is."[12]

Series 2 was rated 4/5 stars by the Daily Telegraph's Christopher Howse, who described it as "best watched drunk".[13]

International broadcast[edit]

In Australia, the first season commenced airing on ABC2 each Thursday at 10:30pm from 5 April 2012.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://thevelvetonion.com/category/4-projects-films-tellyboxes/noel-fieldings-luxury-comedy/page/2/
  2. ^ a b "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy - Channel 4 - Info - Press". Channel 4. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  3. ^ "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy - Production Details & Cast and Crew - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  4. ^ "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy - E4 Sketch Show - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  5. ^ "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy". Channel 4. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  6. ^ BBFC (n.d.). "The making of luxury comedy 2 - tales of painted Hawaii". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.channel4.com/programmes/noel-fieldings-luxury-comedy/4od
  8. ^ http://www.nme.com/news/kasabian/78459
  9. ^ Robonson, John; et al (25 Jan 2012). "TV highlights: 26/01/12". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  10. ^ Johnson, Andy (3 Feb 2012). "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy review - second view". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  11. ^ Couldrey, Lottie (28 January 2012). "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Whitelaw, Paul (January 2012). "TV preview: Birdsong; We’ll Take Manhattan; Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy". The Scotsman. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  13. ^ Howse, Christopher (31 Jul 2014). "Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, E4, review: 'best watched drunk'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  14. ^ "ABC2 Programming Airdate: Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy (episode one)". ABC Television Publicity. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 

External links[edit]