Intro: Old Gregg Costume (The Mighty Boosh)
Hi there. I’m Old Gregg, pleased to meet ya! Do you love me? Could you learn to love me?
Crack open a fresh bottle of Baileys and let me tell you the tale of my Old Gregg costume….
(All professional pictures were from a photo shoot with my good friend Brooke Ewing from Dirt Candy Photography, gotta give that girl credit for an awesome job!)
First off I have to say, if you decide to do Old Gregg be prepared for a hit or miss as far as people recognizing you, but trust me when I say, those that do will LOVE you for it! I have been a fan of The Mighty Boosh and specifically watched the Old Gregg skit countless times with my friends growing up, and I knew that this loveable scaly, manfish was just the person to be this Halloween. This was by far my most “interactive” costume I’ve done as far as staying in character all night and it made it all the better. I started to scare myself and my friends by the end of the night at just how well I was getting with mimicking his voice. All throughout the evening I was showing off my watercolors, flashing anyone that crossed my path my “downstairs mix-up,” and just being an general creep to the bar patrons.
Step 1: Making the Costume
Down to the details, this was one of my easier/cheaper costumes to make, minus some concerns regarding the wig that induced a panic attack or two. Anyone else that takes their costumes as seriously as I do will totally understand the anxiety that comes along with getting every detail perfect. A blessing and a curse! I turned to an online/app thrift store called Poshmark for both the metallic jacket ($22) and the perfect white cowboy style boots ($13)! One of the big things about Old Gregg is that he lives at the bottom of Black Lake and is a terror to local fishermen. (“How come this hook is attached to my head fool?”) I turned to one of my own fishermen friends who loaned me several lures/hooks to attach all over my jacket. Be sure to bend the hooks back to avoid unwanted stabbing. I was unable to avoid a few snags to other’s costumes in close quarters so just be aware of that.
The black button up shirt and the silver tie were both Goodwill finds. I was super excited to find the perfectly matching tie locally. I had to add a couple buttons on the black shirt to close it all the way to the top. I purchased a generic pink tutu from Amazon, and I already had the green shiny leggings from a Christmas “costume” last year. Old Gregg has two distinct hands..his left hand is green and webbed, and the right has a white glove on it. I attempted to recreate the webbed fingers with some little finger fins meant for swimmers I found online, but after spray painting them the paint just started cracking all over the place and was a big mess. I just opted for painting my hand green instead.
One of the most fun parts of the costume is Old Gregg’s “mangina.” I bought a small round LED push light and velcroed it to the...ahem...crotchal region of my leggings. Just give it a quick push before lifting your tutu to the world and you’ve got an insta-light beam emanating from your “downstairs mix-up.” People LOVED that aspect.
Step 2: THE SEAWEED WIG
Now the wig...wig was the most time consuming and smelliest thing. I’ve seen a lot of different styles out there for this costume but since he has seaweed hair, I thought that the best way to imitate that would be with a trash bag. I cut strips of a black trash bag and stretched them out in multiple places to make the ripples, and then spray painted them green. I used a slightly brighter green in a few places to give it some definition. Once the strips dried, I whipped out my hot glue gun and started carefully and slowly gluing each piece to a wig cap. I was terrified that it wasn’t going to fit in the end, since 1) The wig cap I bought was too small anyways and 2) The glue would make it dry even tighter. It was a slow process and I made sure to keep stretching the cap as best I could throughout as well as removing it from the styrofoam head as I went so it wouldn’t glue itself to the base. I’m super happy with how it turned out in the end, but warning. IT WILL SMELL CHEMICALLY REGARDLESS OF WHAT YOU DO. I let the wig air outside for days, tried all of the home remedies to get the smell to lessen and was still surrounded by the odor. If you are sensitive to strong scents or migraines you might want to try another route.
Step 3: Makeup
As for the makeup I went with my go-to brand Wolfe FX in Essential Green 30mg. (still have a lot left over) Just take your time with the application, do several layers so it doesn’t look patchy and try a translucent powder over top to give it a smooth look and extra hold. I also sprayed myself down with a theatrical grade makeup sealer and I stayed put all night. I used eyeshadows for the red, black, and dark green spots. Slap on some bright red lipstick and you are all set!
Step 4: Final Words
I promise you will have an absolute BLAST with this costume wherever you go. Bring along some extra props like watercolors or a bottle of Baileys to fully recreate the glory of Old Gregg. I placed in three different contests throughout the night, 1st, 3rd, and “Scariest” in a local dive bar that simply referred to me as “flashing green guy”…..close enough, eh? :P