Apart from being shows that star two male musicians, Flight of the Conchords and The Mighty Boosh do not have as much in common as initially meets the eye. Most importantly, Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt’s Britishness provide a distinctly different comedic tone from Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie’s more deadpan New Zealand brand of humor.
The Mighty Boosh first aired in 2004, and followed the surreal hijinks of Howard Moon (Barratt) and Vince Noir (Fielding) as they attempt to make it big on the London music scene. With a stoner shaman named Naboo (Michael Fielding) and his familiar–a gorilla that goes by Bollo–to keep them company in their flat, the good times never stop with Howard and Vince. Unlike Flight of the Conchords, which highlights problems that are much more specific to New York City, The Mighty Boosh never focuses on the poverty aspect of the main characters’ lives.
Although Flight of the Conchords also has a light-hearted feel, there is a more darkly realistic element to it, whereas The Mighty Boosh tends to favor a more dreamlike aesthetic. Both shows, however, put great emphasis on the music and performances of the musical duos they star. In terms of costuming, The Mighty Boosh is most definitely more bombastic and Bowie-inspired (though Flight of the Conchords does have an episode called “Bowie”).
At times, it’s hard to say which show verges on being more macabre, though it usually happens to be The Mighty Boosh (see: “The Nightmare of Milky Joe”). British humor always has a way of toeing the line between hilarity and utter bleakness, after all. But this isn’t to say that Flight of the Conchords isn’t without its own set of grimnesses, including having a lackluster manager, Murray (Rhys Darby), who works for the New Zealand Consulate, and an obsessive fan, Mel (Kristen Schaal), who borders on psychotic.
Regardless of how similar Flight of the Conchords and The Mighty Boosh may seem on the surface to someone who has never watched either, the feel and concept of each are very unique.