Vince Noir is "king of the mods" and Howard's best friend. He has extraordinary gift to speak to animals. Vince claims to have been raised in a forest by Bryan Ferry. Vince likes electro music, glam rock, punk, Gary Numan and The Rolling Stones, and Mick Jagger is his hero. Vince hates jazz as much as Howard hates Gary Numan, and they're always trying to convince each other to give their music a chance. Vince regards Howard's ideal musical form, jazz-funk fusion, as the worst music possible, calling funk "jazz's deformed cousin."
It is a running gag that people think Vince is a girl and/or Howard's girlfriend/boyfriend, and Vince is indeed quite a dandy. He is almost always dressed in grand, showy style, he is in love with his hair, and when faced with the possibility of spending eternity in the Mirror World with no company but his own reflection, he thought it sounded really cool.
Howard tends to treat Vince as an inferior despite the fact Vince often ends up saving Howard or instructing him in such varied subjects as kangaroo boxing and networking the literary crowd. Vince has a perpetually zenlike quality about him, navigating through life with laidback ease. Vince is often the voice of reason when Howard is being particularly pretentious, although Vince can also be amazingly stupid on occasion, he has never learned that people can go bald, and when he finds out, he is quite distressed. Vince has a tendency to take on different lifestyle choices, his interests including becoming a Mod, a Goth, and a Punk. He never carries any of these roles (except that of a narcissist).
Vince is quite popular with the ladies and flirts with ease, unlike the rather fumbly and desperate Howard. Of his ideal woman, Vince says, "I like thick girls who like bright colors and soft fabrics!" Vince teases Howard for being a "fox bummer," although Vince seems to be in a relationship with one of the zoo's pandas. Mrs. Gideon has a great affection for Vince, but perhaps out of respect for lovestruck Howard, Vince does not return her interest romantically.
Vince is rather talented artist, although he claims that Howard is too generic-looking to paint, and paints Howard with a pink balloon for a head. (Nonetheless, Mrs. Gideon claims it looks just like Howard.) Vince also writes very strange stories about Charlie, a glam rock monster made of pink bubblegum, and places them in packages of Weetabix at the supermarket. Vince claims that Charlie is real and enjoys watching Howard while he sleeps, and eventually we learn that Charlie is indeed a real creature. Vince has also been in several bands, including a disastrous glam rock/folk music combo with his friend Leroy.
Vince and Howard generally tease each other quite a bit, although Vince recognizes that Howard's feelings are rather fragile and he often attempts to cheer Howard up. Vince is generally quite popular and seems to make friends easily, although he is closest to Howard and they have apparently been friends with Howard since childhood.