The Mighty Boosh
Original Air Date: Jul 6, 2004
JD – Associate Staff Writer
And here we are at the last episode of season one, Hitcher. Astute Boosh fans will realize I’ve skipped three episodes here, unlike last time when I only skipped one. But I only have a certain number of episodes I can cover this summer, and I had to pick what I considered the best eleven out of twenty episodes. I should say, though, that it hurt a little that I had to cut Charlie from the list. The ponchos alone were worth it. But Hitcher is classic Boosh, and the hitcher is one of the fans’ (and my) favorite characters. Read on for my recap and review!
So we start with our very last visit to the stage. It disappears next season, never to be seen again. This time, Howard is warning the audience not to be afraid of his powerful acting skill (Howard’s amazing acting is getting to be a theme, yes?), because he’s going to be playing many different characters during the show. He even demonstrates a few of the emotions he knows how to do, such as “grief of a sailor” and “Cornish guilt”.
Back in the Zooniverse, Fossil is leading a children’s tour of the zoo, and he’s at his final stop to show them Ivan, “hairy, Russian, carpet guy”. Or the bear, “if you want to use the Latin”. Ivan loves to dance, and Vince and Howard play the music. Howard insists on jazz-funk, and it winds up angering Ivan, who breaks out of his cage and tries to attack Fossil.
So Howard and Vince are assigned to take Ivan to an animal prison for the attack, and they are off on a road trip. Howard is waxing poetic about how the road is in his blood. When Howard realizes Vince isn’t listening, he tells Vince that they should be really talking… about Howard. He’s amazing, the kind of man who can’t be put into a box by the man. Vince thinks Howard should call the police about the man trying to put him in a box.
Eventually they get hungry, and Vince offers Howard what he’s brought along for food. Candy. When Howard refuses the offer, Vince informs him he’s brought along some music for the ride, which includes every song Gary Newman has ever written. Howard decides they should listen to jazz-funk, though. Oh, Howard. He gets all excited by the slap bass, but the bear gets upset again, and Vince quickly switches the tape to Gary Newman. Everyone’s happy. Even Howard reluctantly gets into it.
As the sun starts to set, Vince gets tired, but Howard won’t let him sleep. He needs Vince to keep him awake, so he tells Vince to tell him a story. Vince tells him of how he was raised in the forest by Brian Ferry, and how the monkey men in the forest wanted to steal Vince’s face, but when Vince gets to the climax of the story, he stops. Howard gets annoyed, but Vince insists he’s not going to tell anymore. Howard has had all the “word nourishment” he needs.
The trip is supposed to take six hours by Fossil’s map, but Vince suggests a shortcut he sees on the map, through the jungle. It should take them only about twenty minutes to get there, he says. They take the next left… and then six hours later they realize they’re lost. What they’ve been following on the map, it turns out, was some of Vince’s candy, a raspberry bootlace. They fight, and Vince gets out of his car to trek through the forest alone.
Back at the Zooniverse, Fossil and Naboo are having tea, when Naboo suddenly realizes Howard and Vince are in trouble. The tea leaves at the bottom of his cup have actually spelled it out, so he and Fossil run to save them.
Vince winds up running into an old friend in the jungle, Brian Ferry (Barratt). Ferry tells Vince the forest is cursed, and many of the animals have disappeared, taken by the “green man witch”. Vince tells Brian that he had better go and find Howard because every week Howard gets in danger and Vince has to come sort it out. That’s how the show works, he says. Brian gives Vince a horn, telling Vince if he is ever in trouble, to blow it and he will come.
Of course Howard does get in trouble. He comes upon a hitchhiker, who somehow magically appears in his car. The hitcher (Fielding) is green and pointy, with a Polo eye (for Americans, a Polo is a candy, like a Lifesaver), and he’s holding a big box. Howard fails at making conversation, aside from a rant he gets about how the hitcher got his big thumb, and then the hitcher finally tells Howard to pull over so he can go to the bathroom. Howard takes the opportunity to escape.
When he gets far enough away, he tosses the hitcher’s box out of the car, but he just can’t resist curiosity. He decides to see what’s in it before he leaves. And what do you know, Howard Moon really can be put in a box! He falls in. Cue the hitcher’s song all about how evil he is, another fan favorite, and then we’re back with Howard.
He’s calling out in the dark when Vince suddenly shows up at his side. Apparently the hitcher picked him up too. Vince calls in the dark to demonstrate how huge it is with his echo, but he’s greeted by the hitcher appearing in front of them. This is the zoo for animal offenders they’ve been looking for all along, apparently, and it houses such animals as the Nazi turtle and a horse with over thirty-seven unpaid parking tickets.
The hitcher is going to kill Howard and Vince, but offers them one last request. Vince blows the horn Brian gave him, but Brian doesn’t hear him because he’s busy vacuuming the forest floor. The hitcher tries it, though, and produces a higher tone that Brian can hear. Brian goes scurrying through the forest for Vince. He doesn’t make it, though. Naboo and Fossil are speeding through the forest and crash right into him.
Now it’s time for Howard’s last wish, and Howard says he’d always wanted to die listening to some slap bass. And the hitcher’s thumb is perfect for it! Vince is appalled, but the hitcher starts to play… and outside, Ivan gets upset. He busts out of the van, gets into the box, and attacks the hitcher! The hitcher escapes, but Ivan saves Howard and Vince’s life, and they head back to the Zooniverse in one piece!
I think one of my favorite things about this episode is how Howard starts off going on about how he’s playing so many different characters, then only plays Brian Ferry. Howard is just so full of it. Of course, you already knew that before this episode. And we have the Gary Newman reference again in this episode. Gary Newman is like the patron saint of the Boosh.
So what do you guys think about the Hitcher? I know a lot of you out there love him, so tell me why! Give me your two cents!