Tag Archives: Mighty Boosh

TV zombies

Last night, Carol and I decided to watch an episode of “The Mighty Boosh,” the British cult TV show, as a way to relax before we went to bed. We put the laptop computer on a chair and settled back on the couch to watch. But although we have access to the most recent episodes, from the third season just now being released in Britain, we decided not to watch them. As happens to too many television series, the characters have now shrunk into crude caricatures of what they originally were.

Carol pointed out that this happened with “Sex and the City”: in the first season, she said you could almost believe that these were real women talking to one another, but as the show progressed they looked more and more like caricatures. We agreed that the same thing happened with “Will and Grace”: in the first couple of seasons, the four lead actors did some wonderful, fresh, spontaneous ensemble acting; but as time went on, the acting got stale, and by the last few seasons the show had become hard to watch. As for “The Mighty Boosh,” by the third season, you can no longer believe that the two lead characters would ever be friends or even spend any time together, and so the whole premise of the show becomes unbelievable. In each case, the characters became what I think of as “TV zombies”: they move around and talk to one another and almost look alive, but inside they are dead and rotting away. John Cleese did the right thing when he pulled the plug on “Fawlty Towers” after only twelve episodes; it would have been almost impossible to keep the characters and their interactions alive and fresh, and what a zombie horror that show could have become had it continued.

So Carol and I watched an episode from the first season of “The Mighty Boosh.” No stink of death then; the old shows remain delightfully free from TV zombies.

There are parallels to preachers here — preachers need to keep reinventing themselves on a regular basis to keep from turning into preaching zombies — but that’s kind of close to home for me, and, not wanting to be tarred with my own brush, I really don’t want to go there right now.

The true nature of happiness

Having based sermons on readings from the Beatles and from Monty Python, I consider myself open to the insights of the sacred texts of British popular culture. But for the past couple of years, I have not found myself inspired by the Brits.

Until Carol discovered The Mighty Boosh. And lo, unto us has The Mighty Boosh spoken words power and righteousness on the nature of happiness. I’m not sure when exactly I’ll use this reading in a worship service, but it will be sometime in the next year….

Scene: the Zoo.

(Howard Moon and Vince Noir, in green zookeeper’s uniforms, carry a bucket of animal feed to some small cages. Vince wears a poncho over his uniform.)

Vince: C’mon, Howard, put some energy into it. Get involved.

Howard: I’m carryin a bucket of seed. How am I supposed to get involved in that?

Vince: This is the best job in the zoo — millet distribution!

(Vince opens door of small cage, chucks a scoop of seed in. Sound of small animal squeaking in delight.)

Howard: Somethin wrong with you, you know, don’t you.

Vince: What d’you mean?

Howard: You’re always happy aren’t you? Everythin’s fun for you.

(Vince sighs.)

Howard: You see a peanut — the day’s off to a good start. You witness some soil — it’s a jamboree for Vince Noir. I need something more.

Vince: I think it’s this poncho.

(He swirls around so poncho flares out.)

Vince: I mean, it’s impossible to be unhappy in a poncho!

And there it is, the answer to one of humanity’s age-old questions: how to find true happiness.

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