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's missions range from trying to steal a secret rocket fuel formula to eliminating all television from the United States as part of Pottsylvania's various attempts to seize power. Boris, who is thoroughly dedicated to (and takes delight in) all manners of nefarious deeds, would also sometimes engage in his own schemes, such as starting his own organized crime gang. Separately from the television series, a commercial for the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show featuring Boris established that he was an active member of Local 12 of the Villains, Thieves, and Scoundrels Union. During this commercial, Boris also claims to be "the world's greatest no-goodnik." Boris is also quite proud of the fact that the nicest thing Fearless Leader ever did for him was sending a picture of himself to Boris inscribed "Drop Dead — Fearless Leader".
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. 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's misdeeds are thwarted by Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle the Moose. Boris's 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.
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 comstantly getting in his way. Unless ordered otherwise, he will try to kill them at every oppurtunity.
Natasha: Natasha is Boris's 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's 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 you 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 sair 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 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's 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)
- 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 (Missouri Mish Mash)
- 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.