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Boffo's Novelty and Joke Shop is located at No. 4, Tenth Egg Street, Ankh-Morpork. It is the spiritual home for all those who consider that fart powder is the last word in humour (which in many respects it is). The proprietor is Jack Proust, who also runs a thriving mail-order business to more seriously-minded customers in outlying reaches of the Disc, and who has therefore got a lot to thank Moist von Lipwig for. This was also the very first business in Ankh-Morpork to accept one of the new-fangled paper dollars, which promptly circulated next door to the newsagent/tobacconist, who in turn kept the money in circulation to the butcher's shop across the road.

One of Boffo's far-flung customers was Eumenides Treason, a Witch who bought many of her decorations in order to gain respect (through instilling fear) from the locals. This was discovered by her final apprentice, Tiffany Aching, who decided to name this "putting on a show" type of deception "Boffo".

in I Shall Wear Midnight, we discover the shop is not a one-man-band but a family firm. Jack would appear to have a brother, Derek, who is a mousy, perpetually worried little man with no perceptible sense of humour. Their mother is the driving-force of the shop, creating all the successful gags in her downstairs laboratory workroom which has more than a hint of Igor to it.

In Raising Steam Moist von Lipwig wears Boffo's best artificial vomit as part of his disguise as a down and out tramp.

We discover Mrs Proust is, to all practical intents and purposes, a City Witch. She is certainly held in mutual esteem by Granny Weatherwax, despite the fact the two only meet for the first time at Tiffany Aching's introduction.

The term, Boffo used by Miss Eumenides Treason in Wintersmith, means "the power of expectations"; the strength one gains from behaving exactly as someone expects you to is taken from the Joke shop.


Boffo is a term meaning 'very good' and is used in show business to mean 'hugely successful'. It likely comes from a contraction of 'Box Office'. The name resonates with Zonko's Joke Shop in the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, but whether Pratchett was thinking of this is unknown. Mister Boffo is also the main character in a comic strip by Joe Martin. As a concept, Boffo is hardly unique to the Discworld: Roundworld bling such as Rolex watches, Armani suits and the crowns of kings is all Boffo, only more expensive.