Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy

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Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy
Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy.jpg
The television show's intertitle
Genre Surreal comedy, sketch comedy
Format Television
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
Composer(s) Sergio Pizzorno
Noel Fielding
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 7
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 is a British sketch television series written and directed by Noel Fielding and Nigel Coan. The series stars Fielding, his brother Michael Fielding, Tom Meeten, and Dolly Wells. Various guest stars also appear, including Rich Fulcher and Richard Ayoade, and it features numerous members of The Mighty Boosh.[1] The first episode premiered on 26 January 2012 on E4.[2] The music was written by Fielding and Kasabian's Sergio Pizzorno, a good friend of Fielding's,[1] under the band name Loose Tapestries.

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.[3]

It is described on the Channel 4 website as "a psychedelic character based comedy show half filmed and half animated".[4] 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 is due to start airing on E4 on 31 July 2014. Fielding has said the series is set mainly in a coffee shop in Hawaii and will feature many new characters as well as some of the same characters from Series 1. The series is given the title Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii.[5]

Plot[edit]

Each episode of the series follows a small story involving Noel and his friends, along with a few sketches featuring a variety of strange characters that usually have nothing to do with the episode's main plot. The structure for each episode is Noel either coming up with an idea that doesn't often work (such as in episode 1 where he draws a picture of the footballer Pele with a china cup and attempts to sell it) or coming into conflict with someone or something (such as a dolphin flying a bomber plane dropping bombs on his house in episode 5, or the Giant Tiger with Chlamydia in episode 6). The situation is often resolved by the end of the episode in some bizarre or surreal manner.

Characters[edit]

Main Characters

  • Noel Fielding (playing an exaggerated version of himself). He lives in a tree house in the middle of a blue and red jungle, along with Smooth and Andy Warhol. He is portrayed as childish and irresponsible, often engaging in childlike activities.
  • Smooth (played by Michael Fielding), Noel's butler. He is a grey anteater-like creature dressed in a kilt. Smooth often serves as the voice of reason and maturity, regularly pointing out the flaws in Noel's plans.
  • Dolly (played by Dolly Wells) is Noel's attractive model friend. She is of German descent and also claims to be a DJ and a knitwear designer. She is never shown doing any of these jobs. She lives next door to Noel, but despite this she is always shown at Noel's tree house.
  • Andy Warhol (played by Tom Meeten), the famous painter, who now works as Noel's cleaner. He is very robotic, speaking like a voice synthesiser. In episode 6, a duplicate Andy appeared, who was revealed to be a forgery by the forger Bunker Van Spreckles (shown because "he can't do hands"); however, the original Andy was also ironically shown to be a forgery.

Series 1 Sketch Characters

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

  • Secret Peter, Noel's landlord. He is a purple blob covered in multi-coloured crystals, who speaks and acts in a stereotypical East London accent. He is named after the show's production company. He usually contacts Noel himself and then complains he is too busy to talk.
  • Sergeant Raymond Boombox, a bumbling and incompetent New York cop, who tells the viewer stories of his past cases. He has two bullet holes and a knife wound on his left arm (which he calls 'The Gash') that has somehow gained the ability to speak, and often insults and berates the Sergeant for his failures.
  • Tony Reason, an anthropomorphic stingray who lives in a tank beneath Noel's house. He is a respected music producer and often talks to the viewer about his past experiences with the likes of Jim Morrison and Bon Jovi.
  • Tod/Tom Lagoona, an anthropomorphic hammerhead shark who is friends with Reason.
  • Daddy Push, a man with a giant winkle shell for a head. While he never speaks, he does a variety of random and surreal things, such as making origami breasts. On one occasion, he listens to music on the radio and stands still, and then re-tunes to spoken word, and begins to dance. He also is seen walking along a street where he finds a bin bag alongside a remote control, which he uses to control a takeaway chicken box along the pavement.
  • Diamondback, a country-western singer with silver skin, a ginger mullet and moustache made from copper scouring pads and numerous small googly eyes all over his face, which he uses as percussion to his songs. He's often accompanied by a plastic flamingo named Mrs Diamondback. He claims his father was a 'pet shop junkie' and his mother had 100 eyes. The band Lysergic Casserole get trapped in his guitar case after being freed from their own guitar case by Noel.
  • Fantasy Man, described by Noel Fielding as being "a modern-day Don Quixote". He is a man in tight, metallic clothing who goes on grand, self-imposed quests in an electronic, operatic fantasy world similar in appearance to Tron. Fantasy Man never achieves his aims, and is always snapped back into reality by a passer-by, and then gets in some sort of trouble for his delusional actions. He also sometimes has an assistant called Big Chief Woolabum Boomalackaway, played by Tom Meeten.
  • Roy Circles, an anthropomorphic chocolate finger who used to be in the army and is now a PE teacher. Having recently lost his wife and suffering from, presumably, post-traumatic stress disorder, he speaks in his sketches of his bereavement and is implied to be having a nervous breakdown.
  • City Gent (played by Richard Ayoade), a gentlemen who begins each of his sketches by talking about his lack of confidence in art, education and other intellectual topics, which he feels have declined somehow. He goes on to abruptly blame his doubts on Ice Cream Eyes (played by Noel Fielding), a man with black skin, long blonde hair and strawberry and vanilla ice cream scoops in place of eyes, who appears to live in a freezer.
  • Joey Ramone, a stop-motion clay figure of the late punk rocker Joey Ramone, of the American band Ramones, who is portrayed with comically long legs, blue hair and no arms. These sketches parody children's television from the '60s and '70s, having stop-motion characters in front of a drawn background, with a Scottish narrator describing everything that happens.
  • Dondylion, a lion held in a zoo, who 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 and refers to as 'The King of the Lions' and 'King of the Jungle'. He also occasionally says 'higher, lower, higher, lower'. In episode 6, with the help of Alan Key, a talking key with Andy Warhol's Face, Dondylion escapes from the zoo, but is hit by a car and dies shortly afterwards.
  • The Audience, a strange, laughing clown, who does a variety of bizarre things involving mashed potatoes and fish fingers. His stomach contains a series of cogs and gears that process the mashed potatoes Doo Rag puts into his head into various surreal objects. On one occasion, he stacks fish fingers as if playing Jenga, but then reveals they are stuck together and says 'cheating in a game of breadcrumb Jenga'. He also makes a mashed potato cage to trap a hedgehog called Helen Daniels. A song 'Mash Potato Life Shapes' is played during one of their segments.
  • Doo Rag (played by Michael Fielding), a man wearing blue racing leathers with a moustache and a bowl haircut and puts mashed potatoes into The Audience's head. He stands on a ladder and speaks in a soft, slightly creepy American accent. Often, a tiny red race car emerges from his forehead and drives along the white stripe in his hair.

Occasional/one-off characters

  • Tony Coins, a man who lives in a till and has piles of coins in place of eyes. Ice Cream Eyes passes the blame on to him after being blamed by City Gent.
  • Adam Printout, a printed sheet of paper with holes for eyes and a mouth who speaks with a Northern accent. He is blamed by Tony Coins, but claims he was drinking weak tea and eating a lemon slice.
  • Eugene Secret Note Passed Under the Door, a man with cut out letters from magazines and newspapers on his face, who emerges as a secret note passed under the door.
  • Ravi, a monkey who is seen with Dondylion, who allegedly cannot talk but can write. He is asked to write a letter to Dondylion's family.
  • Jeremy Beautiful Chest, a man with a large red heart on his chest who dances and stands in a fenced enclosure with a sign reading 'Keep off the chest'.
  • Lysergic Casserole, a 1960s psychedelic rock band that Noel listens to and claims "took so much LSD, they got trapped in their own guitar case." Noel bought the guitar case on eBay and the band's two members are seen riding around on a motorbike on a road inside the case surrounded by sand. Noel makes a ramp out of Ryvita to set them free, but they fly through the air and land in Diamondback's guitar case, which he then closes, meaning they are trapped again.
  • King Tutta, a mountain which tuts, alongside two other mountains. The tutting irritates Noel and Smooth and Noel punishes him by placing a hot teaspoon on his cheek.
  • Hooper, assistant to Raymond Boombox. Boombox constantly calls his name.
  • Ian Gauge, a man with a seemingly deformed face. He is seen singing on a stage in front of a crowd in a nonsense language which may be a parody of French. He sings 'Bing Bong Changez', which supposedly means 'Do You Love Me?'. The lyrics of the song appear to be aimed at a piece of toast called Zissou which replies by saying 'Non!' at the end of each verse. Gauge claims to have 'pain au chocolat tears'.
  • Count Ziggenpuss, a singing fish finger featured in a Raymond Boombox sketch.
  • Kite-headed Ferry, a figure clad in a white tuxedo whose head and neck are a kite and long string bearing numerous bow ties. Severed by Brian Eno Frisbee in a contest of the Brians/Bryans in the 'BBQ Breakdown' episode, the free floating kite moans in a Bryan-Ferry-like tremolo.
  • Brian Eno Frisbee, a frisbee with an embedded face that uses a large pair of scissors to cut the string attaching the kite head to the rest of Kite-headed Ferry in the 'BBQ Breakdown' episode.

Series 2 characters

  • Paul Panther,[6] a relative of Pink Panther who is blue and has become an internet sensation after re-enacting Elvis Presley films. He has breasts and spends his time surfing.

Episode list[edit]

Series 1 (2012)[edit]

No. Title Original airdate
1 "Pelé" 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 "Episode 3" 14 August 2014 (2014-08-14)
11 "Episode 4" 21 August 2014 (2014-08-21)
12 "Episode 5" 28 August 2014 (2014-08-28)

Reception[edit]

The series has mainly positive reviews coming from broadsheet reviews. 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,"[7] while 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."[8] The Yorker, however, 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".[9]

International broadcast[edit]

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy - Channel 4 - Info - Press". Channel 4. 2012-01-11. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  2. ^ "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy - Production Details & Cast and Crew - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  3. ^ "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy - E4 Sketch Show - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-01-25. 
  4. ^ "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy". Channel 4. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  5. ^ BBFC (n.d.). "The making of luxury comedy 2 - tales of painted Hawaii". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Paul Panther". Channel 4. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Robonson, John; et al (25 Jan 2012). "TV highlights: 26/01/12". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  8. ^ Johnson, Andy (03 Feb 2012). "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy review - second view". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Couldrey, Lottie (28 January 2012). "Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy". Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "ABC2 Programming Airdate: Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy (episode one)". ABC Television Publicity. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 

External links[edit]