Boris Badenov is a fictional character in the 1960s animated cartoons Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, collectively referred to as Rocky and Bullwinkle for short. He is voiced by Paul Frees. He and Natasha are the secondary antagonists of the 2000 film The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Boris is a spy for the fictional nation of Pottsylvania, and takes orders from the nation's leader,Fearless Leader (and occasionally the rarely seen Mr. Big).
Boris is nearly always accompanied by his fellow spy, Natasha Fatale. The first time he appeared without her was in the story arc, "Buried Treasure." The first story arc where neither appeared was "The Three Moosketeers." Usually, Boris' misdeeds are thwarted by Rocky and Bullwinkle. Boris' attempts at killing "Moose and Squirrel" (as he refers to them) also always end in failure, usually by his own scheme backfiring on him. As Boris expresses his plight in one episode: "I put bomb in Squirrel's briefcase and who gets blown up? Me!" Boris appeared in all but three Rocky and Bullwinkle storylines: "The Three Moosketeers", "The Ruby Yacht", and "Mucho Loma". Boris often appeared in segments of Bullwinkle's Corner, Mr. Know-it-All, and Rocky and Bullwinkle Fan Club. Sometimes, Boris outsmarts Bullwinkle in the Mr. Know-It-All cartoons.
in the 2018 Amazon Prime reboot, Boris is given a backstory, stating he was raised by wolves, grew up on the street, and stole his first tank as a child. He is portrayed in the reboot as being much more cheerful and affable.
Early in the series, Boris was taller and had red eyes. After the first episodes, he changed to his normal height, but still retained the red eyes until a few episodes afterwards. Humorously, they changed from red to white after he had woken up from a long slumber, as if the redness was caused by sleep deprivation.
Boris is one of the shortest human characters on the show, being only a little taller than Rocky. His skin is as pale as paper, contrasting with his black clothing and hair. Boris also claims to be "the world's greatest no-goodnik."
Boris takes delight in all manner of nasty crimes and foul deeds, and considers insults such as "no good" and "dirty" to be flattering. Boris enjoys light reading; his favorite book is an anthology of fiendish plans called the Fireside Crook Book.
Rocky and Bullwinkle: Boris hates Rocky and Bullwinkle with a burning passion, due to them constantly getting in his way. Unless ordered otherwise, he will try to kill them at every opportunity.
Natasha: Natasha is Boris' partner, and he thinks fondly of her. However, he tends to give her the hard work whenever possible. In some adaptions, they are implied to be in a romantic relationship.
Fearless Leader: Boris, like most Pottsylvanians, is afraid of Fearless Leader and obeys him out of this fear. However, Boris holds no loyalty towards him, and has attempted to double cross him multiple times. Boris and Natasha have both trash-talked Fearless Leader behind his back.
Boris is an expert safe-cracker and a master of disguise, able to come up with hundreds of different aliases and names for a large variety of different situations.
Boris' main catchphrase (spoken when frustrated) is "Raskolnikov!" (a reference to the novel Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky), spoken in his Pottsylvanian accent (a mock-Russian accent). Boris would also say, "Sharrup your mouth!" to Natasha when his schemes failed. However, in the final segment of "Greenpernt Oogle", when he and Natasha were stuck in their own mine field, he says to her, "Natasha, next time I get fiendish plan, do me big favor? Sharrup my mouth!" She does indeed do this in one episode, saying those very words to Boris as the car they were in dropped over a cliff to the ground in the 8-segmented story arc "The Treasure of Monte Zoom." Also, whenever his superior gives him an order, he utters the line "You said it!" Boris would usually greet a new acquaintance by saying, "Allow me to introducing myself. I am Boris Badenov, world's greatest no-goodnik."
In other media
- In the 1992 Showtimes Network film Boris and Natasha: The Movie , the live-action Boris was played by Dave Thomas.
- In the 2000 theatrical film The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, the live-action Boris was played by Jason Alexander.
Boris usually assumes a cover identity with a gag name. Rocky and Bullwinkle never see through Boris' thin disguises, though Rocky often remarks that his face or voice seems somehow familiar.
- Swami Ben Boris (Jet Fuel Formula)
- Sir Thomas Lippen-Boris (Jet Fuel Formula)
- Sir Hilary Pushemoff (Jet Fuel Formula)
- Hemlock Soames (Box Top Robbery)
- Mojave Max, a prospector (Upsidaisium)
- A scientist (Jet Fuel Formula)
- Cerulean Bleu, an art collector (Painting Theft)
- Abou Ben Boris (Upsidaisium)
- Gunga Drain (Upsidaisium and Bumbling Brothers Circus)
- An "Imposter" five-star general (Upsidaisium)
- Ace Ricken-Boris (Jet Fuel Formula)
- "The Big Cheese" (Metal Munching Mice)
- Madman Morris (The Treasure of Monte Zoom)
- Colonial Tomsk Parkoff (Metal Munching Mice) - this is a takeoff of Colonel Tom Parker
- Mayor Avaricious J. Wardheeler (Bumbling Brothers Circus)
- Clarence Darrownoff, the lawyer (Jet Fuel Formula)
- Alfred Hitchhike, a movie director (The Last Angry Moose) - this is a takeoff of Alfred Hitchcock
- Indian (Jet Fuel Formula)
- D.W. Grifter, a talent scout (The Last Angry Moose)
- Horatio Hornswaggle (Wailing Whale)
- Art gallery guard (Painting Theft)
- "Devil Dan" Hatful (Missouri Mish Mash)
- Egbert Kitchie Itchie (Banana Formula)
- Felonious Floy (Missouri Mish Mash)
- Salesman of Dancer, Prancer, Blitzen, & Fink advertising agency (Moosylvania Saved)
- Ship's doctor (Banana Formula)
- Track walker (Missouri Mish Mash)
- A British police officer (Rue Brittania)
- Big Chief Skunk-Who-Walks-Like-Man (Bumbling Brothers Circus)
- Doctor/Surgeon (Rue Brittania)
- Little boy (Painting Theft)
- A butler (Rue Britannia)
- Spencer Traceback (The Treasure of Monte Zoom)
- Pete McMoss (Pottsylvania Creeper)
- Hushaboom inventor Bermuda Schwartz's mother (Banana Formula)
- Honeychile Moosemoss (Buried Treasure)
- Little Old Apple "Witch Lady" (Louse On Ninety-Second Street)
- Babyface Braunschweiger, the Minnesota Monster (Buried Treasure)
- Sherlock Ohms (Lazy Jay Ranch)
- Hailfellow J. Backslap, Official Washington Greeter (Missouri Mish Mash)
- Black Angus (Lazy J. Ranch)
- "Crazy Legs" Cowpuss, the football player (Wossamotta U)
- Boris Claus (Topsy Turvy World)
- Claude Badley, a Lion tamer (Bumbling Brothers Circus)
- Taxi driver (Jet Fuel Formula and Moosylvania)
- Steamboat captain / card player (The Weather Lady)
- Van N. Storridge, a moving man (Moosylvania Saved)
- Igmar Badenov, director (Rocky and Bullwinkle Fan Club segment)
- The Knave of Hearts (Bullwinkle's Corner segment "The Queen of Hearts")
- Pieman (Bullwinkle's Corner segment "Simple Simon")
- Badenov's name is a play on that of the 16th-century Russian Tsar Boris Godunov ("bad enough" vs. "good enough").
- His accent and explosive temper are an homage to Hollywood actor Akim Tamiroff, especially Tamiroff's role in The Great McGinty, a 1940 movie directed by Preston Sturges.
- The late Paul Frees (Boris' original voice actor) once voiced another animated villain in the 1962 film, Gay Purr-e. it was French tuxedo cat called Meowrice, who had a similar tone of voice as Boris, and had an extremely similar, if not identical, black-and-white color scheme.
- According to the Rialto Theater's "Moosebill" for "Downhill: The Musical" (a special table of contents insert created for the DVD box set Rocky and Bullwinkle & Friends, The Third Season), Boris was educated in the Pottsylvania public schools before taking a scoundrelship to U.S.C. (the University of Safecracking), from which he graduated magna cum louse. He has a cast-iron stomach and, because of it, was one of only three survivors of the ruling clique of Pottsylvania, the other two being his superiors Fearless Leader and Mister Big.
- He is also a charter member of the Van Gogh Society, a Pottsylvanian club whose members collect human ears.