On my radar: Noel Fielding’s cultural highlights

The comedian on Patton Oswalt, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s films, out-there animations and the pleasures of a solitary picnic in Highgate Cemetery

Born and raised in London, Noel Fielding began doing standup comedy in the 1990s while studying graphic design and advertising at Buckinghamshire New University. In 1998 he created The Mighty Boosh with fellow comedian Julian Barratt and after taking several successful productions to the Edinburgh fringe, the duo’s surrealism-inspired act moved to radio and then television. Fielding writes and performs in Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy on E4. He is currently touring the UK and Ireland with An Evening With Noel Fielding until 11 December.

Comedian: Patton Oswalt

radar patton oswalt
Photograph: Brad Barket/Invision/AP

Patton Oswalt is a really good American standup – it was Rich Fulcher from the Boosh who got me into him. I did some gigs in Montreal and I got to know him a little bit. He has an amazing use of language – it’s poetic in a weird way. His turn of phrase is quite beautiful. The things he talks about are fairly normal, but he comes in at them at unusual angles. I’ve been listening to a lot of his stuff: he has an album called Werewolves and Lollipops which I’m really enjoying.

St Paul de Vence
Photograph: Sipa Press/Rex

Restaurant: La Colombe d’Or, St Paul de Vence, France

I’m not a foodie in any way, but this is my favourite place to eat. When it first opened, the guy who ran it used to let artists stay there free if they gave him paintings – Picasso, Miró, Braque, Chagall, Matisse, Léger – so it’s a bit like an art gallery. The food is all local produce, really good, and the view is beautiful. It’s quite posh and jet-settery now, but I love the idea that these artists would just give their paintings away so that they could get a good meal.

Place: Highgate Cemetery

radar highgate ceremony
Photograph: Paul Grover / Rex Features

There’s a weird mix of people buried there – Karl Marx, Douglas Adams, Bert Jansch, Malcolm McLaren, Jeremy Beadle – and there are some amazing Victorian mausoleums and catacombs and vaults and tombs. People think it’s haunted: in the 1960s there were sightings of a Highgate vampire who was reported to be the king of the vampires, and there’s meant to be a ghostly highwayman that pushes people over. I live nearby so I go and have picnics in there, on my own. I think I might be being lined up to be the next Highgate vampire.

Book: Tomas by James Palumbo

radar tomas palumbo
Photograph: xxx

I’m reading this at the moment and really enjoying it. It’s a satire on greed and corruption, but it’s quite fantastical. It’s just so extreme and bizarre, I can’t even really explain it. It’s not often that you read a book where you go, “Wow, who’s written this? This is mental.” I couldn’t put it down. James Palumbo is an interesting guy: he’s the person who founded Ministry of Sound, the nightclub. I don’t really read many modern books. My favourite novelist is Richard Brautigan: his books are incredible, surreal, whimsical, insane, really dark and then really light the next minute.

Film: The Dance of Reality by Alejandro Jodorowsky

radar dance of reality
Photograph: xxx

Holy Mountain and El Topo are two of my favourite films: Jodorowsky films are so dense and rich and poetic, it’s hard to watch other films afterwards. He’s pretty incredible: he also does tarot reading and “psychomagic” therapy, as he calls it, and he used to do mime with Marcel Marceau. I didn’t know about this film until someone told me about it yesterday, so I’m really excited about it. I almost want to save it, because I don’t want to use it up. Maybe it’ll be terrible. Maybe he’s gone really mainstream.

TV channel: Adult Swim

radar wonder showzen
Photograph: xxx

In America this is what the Cartoon Network becomes between 8pm and 6am. They play a lot of half-animated or animated programmes, and it’s pretty out-there stuff. There’s two guys called John Lee and Vernon Chatman who do my two favourite shows. One is Wonder Showzen, a kind of pastiche of Sesame Street, but really dark and fucked-up. Chris Morris actually got me on to it. They also do Xavier Renegade Angel, which is the weirdest programme I’ve ever seen. You can only really watch a couple and then you start feeling a bit sick.


Kathryn Bromwich

The GuardianTramp

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