The Comedy Journal’s George Zielinski takes a look at Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, E4′s antipodal answer to the comedies launched so far in 2012.
Over the last decade, few comics have enjoyed such a surge in popularity as Noel Fielding. Finding initial success for his work as part of surreal comedy troupe The Mighty Boosh, Fielding has since become team captain of long running panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks, reached the final of last year’s Lets Dance for Comic Relief with his amazing(ly sexy) routine of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights and has branched out into the music industry, starring in videos for the likes of Razorlight and Kasabian and even forming a band, The Loose Tapestries, with the latter’s lead guitarist, Sergio Pizzorno.
Showing no signs of slowing down however, Fielding has ploughed into 2012 with a brand new production, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, which aired this evening on E4. Assisted by fellow comedians including The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade and his own brother Michael (Naboo in The Mighty Boosh) and with music provided by Pizzorno himself, Fielding has worked on creating a psychedelic sketch show, half filmed and half animated, and made “in the spirit of Spike Milligan or the Kenny Everett Show”.
Although some comedy fans may find NFLC too bizarre for its own good, Fielding’s pure energy helps pull the show through and some sketches are genuinely fantastic. Peter, the cereal producing monster who can only be described as a mound of creosote with dolly mix stuck on, opened the show superbly with his eloquent description of how he came to create his bizarre breakfast, and the sinister interaction between Sergeant Raymond Boombox’s and another strange character who looked like a cross between The League of Gentleman’s Papa Lazarou and Jeff Goldblum in the final scenes of The Fly, was also extraordinarily brilliant.
The cameo appearances from fellow comics including alcoholic spaceman/American patriot Rich Fulcher and Michael Fielding, who briefly appeared as Pele sketch appreciator Smooth, also helped motor the show along and as the series progresses, we’re sure to see more from them and Noel’s other famous friends providing support.
[W]hen I was thinking about where it was set, I suddenly thought, “Does it matter? Does it matter if no one knows where this is, or if no one knows what my job is? Or should I just suddenly get up and say, ‘Anyway, I’ve got to go now, I’ve got to start my job at Tesco Metro’? – Noel Fielding with Danny Wallace on ShortList.com
Admittedly, as with most sketch shows, some scenes don’t work as well as others and if you’re not a fan of The Mighty Boosh, NFLC definitely won’t be for you. However, if Fielding’s aim was to create something in the spirit of the notoriously surreal Spike Milligan, I think he’s achieved it. Roll on Episode Two then, while I go off to peel my brain from the ceiling…
Catch up on Episode One: Pele on 4oD here.