The Mighty Boosh Double-Bill: 'Eleanor the Tour Whore' and 'Journey of the Childmen'

Fans of British comedy group The Mighty Boosh gathered at Cinefamily Friday night for a double-bill featuring Rich Fulcher's An Evening with Eleanor the Tour Whore and a screening of the new documentary Journey of the Childmen: The Mighty Boosh on Tour.

Eleanor
Eleanor
Liz Ohanesian

The last time we saw Fulcher on stage was at San Diego Comic-Con 2009 as part of the Boosh's live show. He appeared then as Bob Fossil, the best known of his characters on the show, and danced to Hall and Oates in a way that was, well, kind of disturbing (a reference to the episode "The Power of the Crimp"). With his new solo show, Fulcher delves deeper into the life of Eleanor, a minor character within the Boosh universe.

Fans of The Mighty Boosh might recall Eleanor from the Series 3 episode "Eels," who enters Nabootique with an exaggerated "Hellooooooo" and then proceeds to proposition Howard Moon. On stage at Cinefamily, for the final installment of a three-night engagement, Eleanor was an aging groupie with penchants for drinking wine and transforming "Empire State of Mind" into a song appropriate for any city.

Eleanor described her performance as akin to a relationship-- "So, by the end, we'll be sobbing miserably and asking for our Coldplay CDs back."-- and her history of relationships carried the show. There was the man who lured her away from school, resulting in her move to San Francisco. She was "square" when she arrived, but "slowly transformed into a rhombus." There were oodles of men, prompting her to coin terms like "snoozie boozie jacuzzi floozy." Some were famous, others were not. Several were named Mick. Then there was her longstanding rivalry with Susan Boyle.

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Eleanor has loved and lost. She's been slighted and betrayed. But, through it all, she remains a loud, foul-mouthed character yearning for fame. Perhaps Eleanor the Tour Whore will be that vehicle. She might even be the character that propels Rich Fulcher, who was recently interviewed for our own West Coast Sound blog and featured on Boing Boing TV, into a star in the U.S. Check out this clip of Rich Fulcher becoming Eleanor backstage at Cinefamily.

Following Fulcher's turn as Eleanor, we caught the American comedian alongside his British cohorts in Journey of the Childmen: The Mighty Boosh on Tour. The new documentary was filmed by Oliver Ralfe, a filmmaker (Ballad of AJ Weberman) who is a longtime friend of Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding. Ralfe followed the comedy stars on the "Future Sailors" tour, a 99-date jaunt that carried the group through 2008 and 2009, and included some footage of Barratt and Fielding's early shows, which he also filmed. The documentary focuses on the off-stage aspect of the tour, with a healthy emphasis on fan reactions.

From the viewpoint of someone watching this in the U.S., the fans are what make this film most interesting. Though it's never explored within the documentary, it will become obvious to U.S. viewers that the group has very different fanbases within the two countries. The Mighty Boosh is clearly a cult favorite Stateside, perhaps tied into a greater fascination with British comedy. In the U.K., The Mighty Boosh play at stadiums that also host Coldplay concerts. Judging from the footage we saw, the fans include a large amount of young people, some of whom arrive at shows cosplaying characters like The Hitcher, many of whom are screaming wildly whenever Barratt and Fielding are near. They are superstars. It's a fascinating contrast, one that probably makes sense to anyone who grew up in the U.S., but prefers the original version of The Office to the domestic remake and is convinced that The Libertines are the greatest band since The Smiths, or maybe Pulp.

Follow @lizohanesian on Twitter.

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