MAGAZINE: Star interview - Noel Fielding ‘surrealist funnyman’

Noel Fielding
Noel Fielding

The Mighty Boosh surrealist funnyman takes his unique brand of Luxury Comedy on a massive tour of the UK.

Most people know Noel Fielding best as his eccentric zoo-keeper alter ego, Vince Noir, from The Mighty Boosh. However, in the years since that particular smash hit series, Noel has continued to bring his distinctive surreal style of comedy to the stage and screen – he is about to take his show on the road with a massive UK tour, An Evening with Noel Fielding.

His latest TV programme, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, was set in a café on the side of a Hawaiian volcano. The eating establishment was staffed by Andy Warhol and a chocolate finger who was also a PE teacher, as well as Noel himself, who played the straight guy to his weird and wonderful companions. This series got its best viewing figures to date, proving yet again that the British love bizarre humour.

“It was just like that with the Boosh,” says Fielding. “It was such a weird show, Julian (Barratt, his writing partner and co-star) and I thought it was pretty mental how big it had got, considering that we didn’t compromise on anything, we didn’t leave anything out, and we were doing a show about a Crack Fox and a transsexual merman. It was pretty amazing!”

A decade after The Mighty Boosh first aired on BBC Three, Fielding has established himself as a central figure in the UK comedy scene, having already done gigs at Wembley Arena and the O2. “Last time we were on a massive tour, we went out in Marilyn Manson’s tour bus!” Noel says. “It became like we were in Pink Floyd or something.”

Once the Boosh reached its peak of fan mania, Julian Barratt wanted to take a step back out of the limelight. “It got to the stage where everyone wants a picture of you, and I don’t think Julian was comfortable with that whole ‘celebrity’ thing,” explains Fielding.

He, on the other hand, threw himself into the London party scene, often spotted out and about in Camden with his showbiz pals Amy Winehouse, Razorlight, and the Geldof sisters. “I’m not very good if I don’t work; I’m a bit of a workaholic and I start going out partying, doing stupid things – I get bored very easily so I have to keep stimulating my mind,” says Fielding.

“I wanted the Boosh fans to get on board with Luxury Comedy,” he says, “because I feel like I lost a few of them.”

Now that his TV show has picked up steam, Fielding has focused his creative efforts into making An Evening with Noel Fielding into a spectacular tour. “There’s live animation, which takes ages to work out how to do, live music, brand new stand up, which I’m excited about; it’s a really complicated and expensive show – I always want to put on a show that costs as much to put on as it takes in tickets!” he laughs.

Fielding is excited to get out to some slightly smaller venues; “It’s more intimate, which is actually better for comedy. When you are performing at the O2, it’s so massive that the laughter takes 30 seconds to get back to you, which is weird,” he says.

Fielding’s adoring fans will be eager to see him on this forthcoming tour; not least because he’s bringing out The Moon, who was his favourite character to play even before the Boosh. As an experienced performer, Fielding has put everything he has into making this tour enjoyable and successful. “I just want people to come away thinking ‘wow, I really enjoyed that’,” he says.

For both Luxury Comedy and this run of live shows, Fielding has tapped into all the resources of his comedy ‘juice’. “If this doesn’t work, I’ve got nothin’!” he laughs.

The UK tour An Evening with Noel Fielding runs until December 12, including Brighton on November 29. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster