Mighty Boosh

“Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy” looks like a serve of non-sequitur nonsense. No Noel, that’s not a compliment.

Mighty Boosh

Is anyone else thoroughly underwhelmed at the prospects for “Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy”?

The show is due to begin airing on E4 later this month and will star Fielding, Richard Ayoade (Moss from “The IT Crowd”) and Michael Fielding (Noel’s brother, who played Naboo in “The Mighty Boosh”).

The presence of Noel and Ayoade alone mean it would be foolish to write the show off, particularly before a single episode has been aired, but thus far I’m a bit amiss as to why I would watch it.

Perhaps I’m a bit dim so can anyone explain the comedy in the 10-second ads I’ve seen thus far, such as:

Michael Fielding holding up a revolver made of mashed potato and saying, “a mash potato revolver” in a vaguely American accent before a Hot Wheels car drives out from under the fringe of his wig and over the white stripe running through the middle of said wig.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xLuYgok9i4′]

How about Noel entirely made-up in yellow paint, wearing a fake moustache and afro, dressed as a policeman prancing through a field with over-sized butterflies?

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVLKutB3_Ak’]

Or an animated Noel playing a guitar, singing over and over, “I’ve got the swing ball blues”.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDNiUytyfug&feature=endscreen&NR=1′]

Is it the headwear in all three that makes them funny?

I’ve seen enough episodes of both “The Mighty Boosh” and “Never Mind the Buzzcocks” to know it can take time to ‘get’ Noel’s comedy but, based on the way it’s being pitched in the ads, my assessment is that “Luxury Comedy” is going to be Noel at his bizarre and whackiest.

As opposed to his funniest.

Noel’s comedy has always been based on his off-beat sense of humour and, with a career spanning almost 20 years, it works for him. But when he forces the issue it ceases to be funny.

Because odd-ball comedy doesn’t work in a vacuum. If your jokes are obscure but appeal — and make sense — to even a select few people then it’s fair enough. But when you just throw bizarre non-sequiturs out in to the ether it soon ceases to be funny.

It just seems like an in-joke. The audience sits and watches, feeling like the brothers Fielding and Ayoade are nudging and winking to one another over how funny the jokes they’re sharing between themselves are.

Perhaps worst of all is that any comedian who relies too heavily on being random for laughs runs the risk of being found out. Your audience will expect you to be unexpected and, even if they may not know the specific way you’re going to do it, they will be able to cue “insert zany antic here”.

a naked vegetable man

Like I said, I’m not willing to write off “Luxury Comedy” without having seen a single episode but when a fan of “The Mighty Boosh” — a cult comedy from BBC3 — sees these ads and isn’t particularly fussed whether they catch it or not, what kind of audience do E4 expect to tune in?

Perhaps it’s all just E4’s joke on the companies buying ad time.


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