If you flick over to E4 at around 10pm tonight you’ll probably think that your partner has slipped a strong hallucinogen into your tea, until you realise that what you’re watching has something to do with Noel Fielding.
A chocolate finger war veteran who has a tank made of cheese? A chef with fried eggs for eyes named Renny (sidekick to Gaviskon)? A music-producing manta ray?
This is no ordinary Thursday night fare but Noel Fieldingâs Luxury Comedy is exactly what we have come to expect from the raven-haired nutcase.
The programme itself combines surreal live action sketches with bizarre animations, all of which manage to feature Fieldingâs face and copious amounts of eyeliner. The zany characters and blinding colour schemes would look at home in any Mighty Boosh episode, but without the dour face of Julian Barratt aka Howard Moon, Luxury Comedy finds it harder to keep its head amid the chaos.
The âplotâ? of this first foray into the imagination of the former Mighty Boosh frontman is an elusive beast to track down. After Noel receives a ânew cerealâ? from Secret Peter, which he later discovers is made of something rather unpleasant, he sketches a picture of footballer Pele holding a teacup. If this were a regular show you might suggest that at the âcruxâ? of the episode is a debate about whether his felt-tip Pele is kicking a football or the accompanying tea cup to his saucer…but is it?
Hard core fans of Fielding and his previous work on the Boosh are sure to love this latest comedy offering. But it is highly likely that countless others will get lost in the labyrinthine corridors of this 38-year-oldâs warped mind and emerge without much joy in their hearts. It might be refreshing to see something new(ish) and delightfully psychedelic shaking up our TV screens but some of Luxury Comedy begins to cross the line into self-indulgence.
There is still fun to be had, however. Smiles were raised. Look out for Sergeant Raymond Boombox, the Noo Yoik policeman with skin the colour of a NYC cab, who spins a bizarrely engrossing yarn with the help of a speaking knife wound. Yes, you read that right. Meanwhile the Mr Blobby-esque, Gaviskon, is less appealing. He crashes around his kitchen setting being zany for zanyâs sake – if there can possibly be such a thing.
This new show may well make all the right noises and pull enough stupid faces to keep the Fielding faithfuls happy, but it will need to contain a little more actual comedy (luxury or otherwise) to hold the attention of a broader audience.
Follow Sarah Cox on Twitter.