The Legend of Old Gregg
Series Two Episodes:
- "You should never go out on Black Lake when the moon be full."
"Because there's something out there. Something evil. Something that goes by the name Old Gregg."
- ―Lucien and Vince Noir
The Legend of Old Gregg is the fifth episode of Series Two of The Mighty Boosh. It aired on BBC Three on August 23, 2005, and was directed by Paul King and written by Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding.
After a bad gig, Howard and Vince travel to a village near Black Lake to take a break. At the pub, they get the idea of going fishing from Ramsey; which Vince seems instantly proficient in. Vince soon leaves a disgruntled Howard to fish himself. Vince returns to the pub, where he learns about Old Gregg. Howard then inadvertently catches Old Gregg (an intersexual merman with female genitalia the creature refers to as his "mangina"), who takes him to his underwater cave. Vince phones Naboo to help him rescue Howard, which Naboo grudgingly agrees to do. While having a meal with Old Gregg, Howard learns of his possession of The Funk. While Old Gregg is preoccupied, Vince, Naboo and Bollo arrive in a submarine, and rescue Howard, who steals The Funk from Old Gregg. They use it to perform to the pub, singing a song about having the funk. They then leave, planning to bring the funk back to London. Old Gregg is shown to be riding atop their van while exposing his mangina.
- "Love Games" – performed by Old Gregg and Howard
- "Sea Funk" – performed by Howard, Vince, Naboo, and Bollo after drinking the Funk's juices.
Minor characters featured
Old Gregg (Noel Fielding) is a strange, murderous, hermaphroditic merman-creature that lives at the bottom of Black Lake. On a full moon he kidnaps any fisherman that sails in his waters. Some say he's half-man half-fish, others say it's more of a 70/30 split, but, as Lucien (Barratt), a local fisherman, says, "Whatever the percentage, he's one fishy bastard".
Old Gregg has seaweed hair, webbed fingers, and a 'mangina'. He wears a silver jacket and a tutu, and has an accent that seems to suggest he originates from the American South, and is also loosely based on Rick James. He lives in an undersea cave and has, as he puts it, "all things that are good". He is also the keeper of The Funk (see below). The bright light which emerges from Old Gregg's mangina has a hypnotic effect on its victims. He takes them to his underwater lair ('Gregg's Place') to marry, or kill them. Only one man had ever returned from Old Gregg's lair before Howard's escape, and he was so terrified that today he shrieks whenever he is spoken to.
Once Howard is taken to Old Gregg's lair, he discovers that Old Gregg is a pathetic creature, desperate for love. Old Gregg paints water colours and has a fixation with Baileys, so he constantly offers Baileys whenever he is not painting water colours of himself, Howard or Baileys. He is very persistent, repetitive and mad, and wishes he could perform in a catchy 80's funk duet with Howard called The Family Funk. At the end of the episode he persuades Howard to marry him, and while Howard escapes before the marriage can take place, the show ends with our heroes driving back to town and Old Gregg perched atop their van, wearing a wedding dress. What happens when they return to London or how Howard deals with Old Gregg is never made clear. Old Gregg's catchphrase is to wail "I'm Old Gregg!".
Old Gregg also appears in the live show and sings his "Love Games" song to Howard which turns into a rave at the end of the song.
The Funk is a "funky ball of tits from outer space": a small, medicine ball-sized, purple alien who lives in a box in Old Gregg's underwater home. The Funk is made up entirely of teats which can be milked to produce a "funk-shake", and drinking this apparently grants a person extreme funkiness. When the Funk first came to Earth it fell into the possession of Bootsy Collins, who used it to become a funk star but mistreated the Funk terribly. Eventually the Funk ended up under the sea, where it was found by Old Gregg and taken to Gregg's lair.
Interestingly, when Howard opens the Funk's box, the sad-looking creature seems to recognize him, calling his name in a high, whispy voice. It is unknown if Old Gregg spoke of Howard to the creature, if it was able to overhear their conversations outside the box, or if it somehow recognized Howard due to his obsessive love of jazz-funk fusion music. Howard steals the box at the end of the episode, and while it is implied that Old Gregg catches him later, we are never shown what becomes of the Funk.
In some early stage shows a character called Jono The Jono would come on from underneath the stage and drink The Funk's funky milk, but this was not adopted as a regular theme mostly because of a lack of trapdoors at every theatre or gig.
Like Fire in Jungle and Extreme Sports Calender in Journey to the Centre of a Punk, Naan Bread starts off as an ordinary naan bread, but when some characters are beckoned to gather round, the naan bread, now played by Dave Brown, does too. He is then reprimanded, "Not you, Naan Bread.".
- Ramsey - (Rich Fulcher) is a local artist who tells Howard and Vince about Black Lake and rents them his boat. His main form of art is covering various objects with seashells, including shoes, telephones, amd his own wife.
- Matilda - (Dee Plume) Matilda is Ramsey's wife. Ramsey has stuck seashells onto her face as part of his "art".
- Neville - An old fisherman at the bar, who has allegedly never been fishing.
- Musicians - A trio who provide mood music to the fisherman's bar, and share one huge knitted jumper.
- One of the gloves worn by Old Gregg is the same glove worn by Vince and Sandstorm in the previous episode, "Fountain of Youth".
- "The Legend of Old Gregg" at the Internet Movie Database
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