The Mighty Boosh (TV series)

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The Mighty Boosh
GenreSurreal comedy
Created byJulian Barratt
Noel Fielding
Directed byPaul King
StarringJulian Barratt
Noel Fielding
Michael Fielding
Rich Fulcher
Dave Brown
Theme music composerJulian Barratt
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series3
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Executive producersSteve Coogan
Mark Freeland
Henry Normal
Lindsay Hughes
ProducersSpencer Millman
Alison MacPhail
Camera setupSingle camera
Running time30 minutes (approx.)
Production companyBaby Cow Productions
Original networkBBC Three
Picture format16:9 (576i)
Audio formatStereo
Original release18 May 2004 (2004-05-18) –
20 December 2007 (2007-12-20)

The Mighty Boosh is a British comedy television show created by Julian Barratt, Noel Fielding and others (collectively known as The Mighty Boosh). A surreal comic fantasy, it often featured elaborate musical numbers in different genres, such as electro, heavy metal, funk, and rap. The show is known for popularising a style called "crimping"; short a cappella songs which are present throughout all three series. Julian Barratt wrote the music within the show, and performed it with Noel Fielding. Fielding also designed many of the show's graphics and artwork.

The show takes place in a surreal universe following Howard Moon (Barratt) and Vince Noir (Fielding), two eccentric, failing musicians, as well as Naboo, a mystic alien shaman, and Bollo, a gorilla and Naboo's familiar. They frequently have adventures while they pursue fame.

The series has many animated sequences, puppets and special effects. Barratt has said that he approached Fielding with the idea of doing a show like The Goodies, as if it were a complete "world" rather than simply a sketch show.[1] Barratt and Fielding play many of the recurring and one-off characters themselves, with other characters being played by other Boosh members Rich Fulcher, Dave Brown, and Michael Fielding.

In 2019, The Mighty Boosh was ranked 98th on The Guardian's list of the 100 best TV shows of the 21st century.[2]


The Mighty Boosh centres on the adventures of Howard Moon (Barratt) and Vince Noir (Fielding). Series 1 opens and often closes with Howard and Vince addressing the audience in front of a theatre curtain, introducing the show and offering some final reflections. Series 2 leaves this format, instead starting in the characters' flat, with no direct address to the audience. Unlike the radio series, which is played as though real, the characters on the TV series all seem aware that they are in a TV show, and Vince especially will often break the fourth wall to address the audience and to comment on the situation.[citation needed] Little attention is paid to continuity;[citation needed] for instance, in the second series the shaman Saboo is shown being killed by the demon Nanatoo, but in series 3 he is alive and well. In the first series episode, 'Bollo', Bollo the gorilla dies at the end of the episode, before the credits. However, in subsequent episodes, Bollo is also seen alive and well.

Each series of the show featured Howard and Vince and the various recurring characters in a different context; in series 1 Howard and Vince are zookeepers in the "Zooniverse", Naboo is a fellow employee of the zoo and Bollo is one of the animals that live there. In series 2, Howard, Vince, Naboo and Bollo are flatmates in a district of London. In series 3, Howard and Vince work in Naboo's magical shop, the Nabootique, and plots often revolve around them getting in trouble whilst Naboo and Bollo are away from the shop.

Several episodes featured a "crimp"; a humorous a cappella nonsense song sung by Fielding and Barratt. The crimps were sung in a scat style and were lyrically characterized by non-sequiturs that were rhythmically similar to beatboxing,[3] often accompanied by a small performance of hand gestures and pantomimes. The term was first coined in "The Power of the Crimp", episode 3 of the third season. Controversy arose in March 2008 when a new advertisement campaign for the cereal Sugar Puffs was shown to have imitated the particular style of crimping.[4][5][6]


Though there are many recurring characters, the "central cast" consists of five characters:

Recurring characters include:

  • Dennis (Julian Barratt)
  • Dixon Bainbridge (originally Richard Ayoade, later Matt Berry)
  • The Hitcher (Noel Fielding)
  • Kirk (Kirk Gaitskell-Kendrick)
  • Lester Corncrake (Rich Fulcher)
  • The Moon (Noel Fielding)
  • Old Gregg (Noel Fielding)
  • Rudi van DiSarzio (Julian Barratt)
  • Saboo (Richard Ayoade)
  • Tony Harrison (Noel Fielding)

Notable guest actors and actresses include:


The Mighty Boosh made the transition from radio to television in 2004, when an eight-part television series - called The Mighty Boosh - was commissioned by the BBC. It was directed by Paul King and produced by Baby Cow Productions. The pilot episode was directed by Steve Bendelack, and a large portion of the pilot episode was used in the actual series, in the episode Tundra. The pilot was shot with a live audience because there had been doubts as to whether the successful stage show could translate to the screen, but the actual series had no live audience.

Series 1 of the television version of The Mighty Boosh expanded on the radio series. It was first broadcast on BBC Three on 18 May 2004 and, from 9 November, also on BBC Two, although in a different order and with the mild swearing censored or edited out.

The second series began showing on BBC Three on 26 July 2005, though with a smaller budget. A full-length preview of the following week's episode was available online at the BBC's Boosh webpage. Series 3 started airing on BBC Three from 15 November 2007.

Series 3 began airing on America's Adult Swim on 29 March 2009. Series 1 aired on Adult Swim on 10 May 2009 with Series 2 airing on 5 July 2009.

The first series was shot on standard definition tape and digitally altered with the film look process. Both subsequent series were shot on digital at 25 frames per second.


In 2020, Netflix removed The Mighty Boosh from its catalogue, citing the use of blackface in skits such as "The Spirit of Jazz" (where Fielding portrays the ghost of "Howlin' Jimmy Jefferson"), as well as the fifth episode of the first season, "Jungle." Comedian Jack Carroll tweeted that the removal was "an arbitrary gesture that means [Netflix] don't have to put any real work into combatting actual instances of racial discrimination."[7]


Series overview[edit]

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1818 May 2004 (2004-05-18)6 July 2004 (2004-07-06)
2626 July 2005 (2005-07-26)30 August 2005 (2005-08-30)
3615 November 2007 (2007-11-15)20 December 2007 (2007-12-20)

Series 1 (2004)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Original air date
11"Killeroo"Paul King18 May 2004 (2004-05-18)
22"Mutants"Paul King25 May 2004 (2004-05-25)
33"Bollo"Paul King1 June 2004 (2004-06-01)
44"Tundra"Paul King & Steve Bendelack8 June 2004 (2004-06-08)
55"Jungle"Paul King15 June 2004 (2004-06-15)
66"Charlie"Paul King22 June 2004 (2004-06-22)
77"Electro"Paul King29 June 2004 (2004-06-29)
88"Hitcher"Paul King6 July 2004 (2004-07-06)

Series 2 (2005)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Original air date
91"Call of the Yeti"Paul King26 July 2005 (2005-07-26)
102"The Priest and the Beast"Paul King2 August 2005 (2005-08-02)
113"Nanageddon"Paul King9 August 2005 (2005-08-09)
124"Fountain of Youth"Paul King16 August 2005 (2005-08-16)
135"The Legend of Old Gregg"Paul King23 August 2005 (2005-08-23)
146"The Nightmare of Milky Joe"Paul King30 August 2005 (2005-08-30)

Series 3 (2007)[edit]

No. in
No. in
Title Directed by Original air date
151"Eels"Paul King15 November 2007 (2007-11-15)
162"Journey to the Centre of the Punk"Paul King22 November 2007 (2007-11-22)
173"The (Power of the) Crimp"Paul King29 November 2007 (2007-11-29)
184"The Strange Tale of the Crack Fox"Paul King6 December 2007 (2007-12-06)
195"Party"Paul King13 December 2007 (2007-12-13)
206"The Chokes"Paul King20 December 2007 (2007-12-20)


DVD releases[edit]

In the UK the Mighty Boosh has released Series 1-3 individually and in a few boxsets. Series 1 was released on DVD (Region 2) on 29 August 2005, Series 2 on 13 February 2006 and Series 3 was released on 11 February 2008.

As a result of a growing fan base in the U.S. the BBC released seasons 1-3 individually on North American NTSC-formatted DVDs on 21 July 2009. The North American series 1-3 boxset was released on 13 October 2009.

DVD Title No. of discs Year No. of episodes DVD release
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
Complete Series 1 2 2004 8 21 July 2009 29 August 2005 11 April 2007
Complete Series 2 2 2005 6 21 July 2009 13 February 2006 12 April 2007
Complete Series 3 2 2007 6 21 July 2009 11 February 2008 6 August 2008
Complete Series 1 & 2 4 2004–2005 14 13 February 2006
Complete Series 1 - 3
(Special Edition)
7 2004–2007 20 13 October 2009 17 November 2008 6 August 2009
Complete Series 1 - 3
(HMV Edition)
6 2004–2007 20 17 November 2008


  1. ^ John Dredge (2005). "Interview with John Dredge". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
  2. ^ "The 100 best TV shows of the 21st century". The Guardian. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 23 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Mighty Boosh, The - Liverpool Echo Arena (From Warrington Guardian)". Archived from the original on 24 January 2009.
  4. ^ "Sugar Puffs ad accused of ripping off The Mighty Boosh". Brand Republic. 19 March 2008. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
  5. ^ Rifkind, Hugo (28 March 2008). "People: Madonna, the Queen, Ian Paisley, Gareth Thomas". The Times. London. Retrieved 7 October 2009.
  6. ^ Reynolds, Simon (19 March 2008). "'Mighty Boosh' pair furious with Sugar Puffs". Digital Spy.
  7. ^ "Netflix pulls The Mighty Boosh and The League of Gentlemen over blackface". the Guardian. 10 June 2020. Retrieved 15 October 2022.

External links[edit]