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RIP, People's Poet
June 9, 2014 9:57 AM   Subscribe

Rik Mayall, English writer, comedian and actor, has died at age 56.

Rik from The Young Ones.
Richard "Richie" Richard from Bottom.
Lord Flashheart from Blackadder.
posted by Lucinda (209 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
This hits me right in the feels...in high school, we traded VCR tapes of Young Ones episodes like contraband. Death is a fascist bastard.
posted by k_nemesis at 9:58 AM on June 9 [31 favorites]


Me too. When I was in middle school someone gave my older brother a VHS of The Young Ones. I didn't get all the jokes, but I did get that Rik was a complete bastard.
posted by Partario at 9:59 AM on June 9 [9 favorites]


Goodbye, Snotface.

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posted by Windigo at 9:59 AM on June 9 [12 favorites]


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posted by Flashman at 9:59 AM on June 9


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posted by HandfulOfDust at 10:00 AM on June 9


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posted by the_royal_we at 10:00 AM on June 9


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posted by JohnLewis at 10:01 AM on June 9


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posted by bookwibble at 10:01 AM on June 9


I just saw this! Hard to believe.
posted by doctornecessiter at 10:01 AM on June 9


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posted by Wordshore at 10:02 AM on June 9


I guess it's because I'm an ugly American, but I have so many Drop Dead Fred jokes wanting to burst out.

We'll miss you, Rik, you bastard.
posted by Etrigan at 10:02 AM on June 9 [6 favorites]


Oh Rik
You are so dead
Unlike the FASCIST STATE
Eh kids?


Seriously though... damn. Just a year older than me. Jaysus.
posted by Decani at 10:02 AM on June 9 [23 favorites]


RIP funny man.
posted by nikitabot at 10:04 AM on June 9


This house will become a shrine, and punks and skins and rastas will all gather round and hold their hands in sorrow for their fallen leader. And all the grown-ups will say, "But why are the kids crying?" And the kids will say, "Haven't you heard? Rick is dead! The People's Poet is dead!"


Also:


DANGEROUS BROTHERS!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:04 AM on June 9 [29 favorites]


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posted by 0 at 10:05 AM on June 9


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posted by penguin pie at 10:06 AM on June 9


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posted by TedW at 10:07 AM on June 9


OMG. I'm in shock. He was one of my first really big celebrity crushes. I mean, he had to work really hard to be disgusting, which was a testament to his artistry. I'm babbling because his work was such a big part of my youth and it's just, I don't know.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:08 AM on June 9 [6 favorites]


Man, I loved him on the Young Ones. Best show ever.

56 is so goddamned young - he wasn't that much older than me.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:08 AM on June 9


No, he spells it with a silent "P".

Damn it. He was a great source of joy in my life all through school. Half the things I say in a given day still come from the Young Ones.

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posted by quin at 10:08 AM on June 9 [5 favorites]


Damn it. Peace, Rik, peace.

oh god,
why
am I so much more sensitive than everybody else ?
why
do I feel things so much more acutely than them,
and understand so much more.
I bet I'm the first person who's ever felt as rotten as this.
could it be
that I'm going to grow up
to be a great poet and thinker, and all those other wankers in my
class are going to have to work in factories or go on the dole?
yes, I think it could.

posted by Kafkaesque at 10:08 AM on June 9 [47 favorites]


His Flashman-styled-school-bully-cum-Eroll-Flynn character Flashheart from The Black Adder was the first time I saw a villain that a wanted to be. WOOF.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:08 AM on June 9 [18 favorites]


In 10 days it'll be thirty years since the last airing. I guess a reunion of the entire cast is off the cards now. :(
posted by Talez at 10:10 AM on June 9


Damn it. Damn it. Damn it.

My life is boring but now he can't come back and kill me. I really credit Rik with keeping my adolescent pretentious jerk tendencies to a dull roar.

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posted by lumpenprole at 10:10 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Guh.

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posted by Lyn Never at 10:11 AM on June 9


Oh the kids, don't you understand nothing? How can Rik be dead when we still have his poems comedy?
posted by MartinWisse at 10:12 AM on June 9 [11 favorites]


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posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:13 AM on June 9


Flashheart, Mr. Toad... he has left us with some wonderful work. I had hoped for so much more of it.

Here he is at a public event, realizing that an attendee is recording him -- Mayall, ever impish, rude, funny, spontaneous, and witty. Thank you, sir.
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:13 AM on June 9 [16 favorites]


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posted by jocelmeow at 10:13 AM on June 9


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posted by GrapeApiary at 10:14 AM on June 9


Oh Cliff,
Sometimes it must be hard not to feel as if,
You really are a cliff
When fascists keep trying to push you over it,
Are they the lemmings or are you Cliff,
Or are you clff,
Or are you Cliff.
posted by jenkinsEar at 10:14 AM on June 9 [20 favorites]


.

FUCK
posted by lalochezia at 10:14 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


He called his autobiography Bigger than Hitler, Better than Christ.

He made me howl when I was a teenager and first saw Bottom. He made me laugh last year in the (underrated) sitcom Man Down. He made me laugh many, many times inbetween.

Goodbye Lord Flashheart (WOOF).
posted by Hartster at 10:14 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


Damn. We never had cable, but in the late 80s/early 90s when VH1 aired the young ones, and my mom's place of employ had a TV I would sit there waiting for her to get off work, and watch the silly antics. Just as I was becoming aware of my punk/alternative sensibilities.

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posted by symbioid at 10:15 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


That time Ade Edmondson got him to corpse during the Bottom stage show.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:15 AM on June 9 [19 favorites]


That first and only tweet is the best.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:16 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


British Twitter is full of Young Ones/Bottom quotes at the moment. But no love for Filthy, Rich and Catflap.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:17 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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posted by crocomancer at 10:18 AM on June 9


Lousy laxative pills...
posted by jonmc at 10:19 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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posted by Kitteh at 10:22 AM on June 9


Rik Mayall reading George's Marvellous Medicine on Jackanory was the highlight of most of my childhood TV.
posted by dng at 10:23 AM on June 9 [12 favorites]


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posted by Smart Dalek at 10:24 AM on June 9


MartinWisse: "That time Ade Edmondson got him to corpse during the Bottom stage show ."

This isn't even corpsing, this is a delightful masterwork of improvisational showmanship.
posted by boo_radley at 10:25 AM on June 9 [9 favorites]


Fellow Americans, if you've only seen The Young Ones and have never seen his other work - particularly but not limited to Bottom - seek it out immediately. Mayall was a great character comedian but his slapstick work is fearless and punk fucking rock.

He also hosted a series of surreal children's stories. He'd sit an a huge easy chair with ostrich legs reading the story (often with big emotional reactions to the story) while the story was illustrated with sometimes nightmarish animation. That show cemented my love for him.

Thank you for the laughs and the fine example of maintaining one's comedic principals without compromise.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:26 AM on June 9 [9 favorites]


"If only my life had been just....COMPLETELY DIFFERENT."

Goddammit what the fuck happened? A fucking quad bike couldn't kill him? What the fuck is this? I am just filled with impotent rage right now and I'm at work so I can't go have a good cry and fuck fuck fuck
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:28 AM on June 9 [3 favorites]


The first time I saw The Young Ones, I simply couldn't believe such magnificent derangement existed in the world.

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posted by gwint at 10:30 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


The Rik Mayall really had a knack for egotism in all its forms, and was especially great at playing people who were arrogant for no reason. He was very, very good at playing absolutely pathetic assholes who thought themselves the king of the world, and Filthy, Rich and Catflap is really the peak of that. (His autobiography is written from that perspective.)

Meanwhile, for those unfamiliar: Bottom Live. Dude could keep it up.

My comedy hero, bar none.

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posted by Sys Rq at 10:30 AM on June 9 [5 favorites]


He also hosted a series of surreal children's stories.

Grim Tales.
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:31 AM on June 9 [9 favorites]


Well, this sucks.

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posted by tzikeh at 10:31 AM on June 9


That was BRILLIANT!

Shame about Cliff Richard Rik Mayall.


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posted by Herodios at 10:31 AM on June 9 [5 favorites]


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posted by MexicanYenta at 10:34 AM on June 9


I'm gluing stars to my bike helmet in memoriam.
posted by buzzman at 10:34 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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double super NOOOOOOOOOO.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:34 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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posted by smoothvirus at 10:34 AM on June 9


Alexei Sayle on Rik
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:36 AM on June 9 [7 favorites]


Bollocks.
posted by Thing at 10:36 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


I'll never forget the camera beginning on the first page of Das Kapital, and pulling back to reveal Rick snoring.
posted by Beardman at 10:37 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


Ah, crap. For a comedian, he was AS HOT AS MY PANTS!
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:42 AM on June 9 [6 favorites]


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posted by peacay at 10:45 AM on June 9


Death, you B'stard.
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posted by droplet at 10:45 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


My first exposure to Rik Mayall was The Big One. Fucking brilliant.

🙏
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:47 AM on June 9


Lentrohamsanin: "Alexei Sayle on Rik"

"The first time I met Rik Mayall was at the original Comedy Store above a strip club in Soho in the early 1980s. I had just performed a new routine which involved me pointing a gun at the audience and which had gone down incredibly badly. "

Whaaaat. Man, the 80s were a different country entirely.
posted by boo_radley at 10:48 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Adrian Edmondson: "And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard."
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:49 AM on June 9 [13 favorites]


I was apparently rocked to sleep over episodes of The Young Ones.

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posted by Sara C. at 10:50 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Alan B'Stard, in retrospect, was such a chilling premonition of Tony Blair. The guy was a comic genius and Britain should have heeded his dire warnings. Also: no one should ever, ever get on a quadbike. No good comes of those things.
posted by Sonny Jim at 10:54 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Bob Mortimer: Last time I saw him he grabbed my crotch and said 'Not eaten yet then?'
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:55 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


NO! Rik Mayall made me want to run into the Winter Palace, stand on a table, and wave bits of paper around!

Death, you B'Stard, indeed.
posted by scody at 10:56 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


This is so sad. He was too young!

He was a truly great character comedian.

Rest in peace, People's Poet. The bus has gone over the cliff.
posted by winna at 10:56 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Ben Elton: 'This is a wake-up call. I'm going to stop wasting my life with this poncy jukebox musical shit and go back to doing something that fucking matters.'

Technically he hasn't said that out loud yet, but I hope that's what he's thinking today, anyway.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:58 AM on June 9 [13 favorites]


I only screwed up his role on The Young Ones twice. On twitter.

Obviously, that means I need to rewatch it. It's been over a decade.

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posted by eriko at 11:11 AM on June 9


I missed the MTV Young Ones, but I saw the Comedy Central(?) airings. The Young Ones was one of the first things I looked up on the internet. Shortly after, the tapes came out.

--------

I've probably told this story here before. I don't care, it's a good one.

My band had the honor to open for the Damned once at a small little bar. This was several years into my Young Ones obsession and after their soundcheck, Captain Sensible came over to talk to us.

"Are you doing 'Nasty'?" I immediately asked, wishing we'd prepped a cover of it in case he said no.

"Oh you like that one, do you?" he asked back.

"Yeah that episode where you do it on the Young Ones is so good".

"The funny thing about that is, after we taped it, a reporter was supposed to meet us at a restaurant to talk to us and the actors about it. But when he got there, we weren't there anymore because we'd been kicked out for walking up and down the tables kicking food off of it."

Thats how I want to remember Rik.

-----

No one has mentioned Bad News though, and even though I'm not amazingly educated let me ask you now to go find it. The two videos are good, but the album is my favorite. Imagine Vyv, Rik and Neil as a pompous heavy metal band fighting over who makes the better sound effects for the spooky country side. It's practically improv with Rik stammering through a defense of why he chose to say "Clang." for a bell, when not-Neil says it's clearly "Dunnnnnnnnnnnnggg" for a song called "Excalibur My Nightmare"
posted by Brainy at 11:16 AM on June 9 [10 favorites]


Well this sucks. Bummer...
posted by Pudhoho at 11:16 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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In your honour, sir, I shall watch The Comic Strip's Five go [fill in blank] episodes. Bittersweet now, though.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 11:20 AM on June 9


Meanwhile, for those unfamiliar: Bottom Live.

One of the best things about Bottom Live is just seeing the sheer joy Rik and Ade had working with each other. You can't fake that kind of love and chemistry. It's truly life-affirming.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:20 AM on June 9 [3 favorites]


First obit post that's drawn an audible "what.. NOOOOO" reaction from me. Goddamnit.

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I saw the Bottom Live tour at the Hammersmith Odeon, although not the show that was filmed for the video release. I'm pretty sure that the "corpsing" bit was part of the show, but their timing and showmanship -- and their obvious affection for each other -- really sold it. (Both Rik and Ade were very good at quick character-breaking expressions towards the camera; Bottom used that a lot, and of course The Young Ones often totally broke the fourth wall and addressed the audience directly.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:21 AM on June 9 [3 favorites]


Rik "crashes" Ade's performance at Let's Dance for Comic Relief
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:24 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


Oh no! Not the People's Poet!

This news makes me so sad.
posted by valetta at 11:25 AM on June 9


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posted by trip and a half at 11:29 AM on June 9


. . .
posted by cookie-k at 11:29 AM on June 9


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Wrote an entry in my diary today. It just says... bugger.

(Okay I know that's not one of Rik's lines but it seems fitting.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:30 AM on June 9 [3 favorites]


"Oh hello, Mrs Vyvian, can I ask you why you gave your son a girls name?"

Oh my god, 56?

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Also nthing Bad News - Its a spoof rockumentary about a budding yet crap rock band travelling round in a transit van. Very funny if you like muso jokes and humour,
posted by marienbad at 11:30 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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posted by mkim at 11:30 AM on June 9


Here's Bad News doing Bohemian Rhapsody.

It's more focused on Ade, but still everything that made their partnership great.
posted by lumpenprole at 11:33 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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posted by whuppy at 11:37 AM on June 9


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posted by gonzo_ID at 11:37 AM on June 9


RIP, World's stupidest bottom-burp.
posted by Foaf at 11:38 AM on June 9 [8 favorites]


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posted by JoeZydeco at 11:38 AM on June 9


Rik "crashes" Ade's performance at Let's Dance for Comic Relief yt
Rik was practically unrecognizable in that…until he made that face where only his top teeth showed.
posted by Brainy at 11:39 AM on June 9


I could never quite get into Bad News -- it always seemed too much to me like a rip off of This Is Spinal Tap.

I'll throw in my lot for Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door as the superlative Rik+Ade Comic Strip episode.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:40 AM on June 9 [7 favorites]


OMG I think Rik Mayall may be responsible for my childhood notion that people in restaurants totally called out "WAITER! WAITER!" all the time and it was totally a thing.

And this has been another installment of "Why The Young Ones Is Not Baby Einstein".
posted by Sara C. at 11:40 AM on June 9 [6 favorites]


Oh my god. I am floored. I am gutted.

I've loved him in everything ever, from Young Ones to his guest role on Midsomer Murders.

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posted by dotgirl at 11:42 AM on June 9 [3 favorites]


I could never quite get into Bad News -- it always seemed too much to me like a rip off of This Is Spinal Tap.

Bad News preceded This Is Spinal Tap.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:43 AM on June 9 [8 favorites]


:(
We used to commandeer a corner of the high school library and watch the young ones. Best ever student activism spoof.
posted by chapps at 11:43 AM on June 9


Bad News preceded Spinal Tap.

Holy crap, it did? My entire worldview is upended.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:44 AM on June 9


Here's a bit of Rik and Ade in Waiting for Godot, if you ever wondered where the characters of Richard Richard and Edward Elizabeth Hitler sprang from.
posted by permafrost at 11:46 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


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posted by PippinJack at 11:50 AM on June 9


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posted by kewb at 11:51 AM on June 9


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posted by gudrun at 11:57 AM on June 9


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I would watch DDF when I lived in Portland and was missing the Twin Cities. :( Off to check out Grim Tales.
posted by Bacon Bit at 11:57 AM on June 9


Farewell, People's Poet.

There was nothing funnier than The Young Ones, when I was in high school. Even my grandfather used to watch it with me and we laughed our butts off.
posted by ephemerae at 12:00 PM on June 9


I saw their Waiting for Godot! Christopher Ryan as Lucky, too.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:01 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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posted by ewan at 12:04 PM on June 9


Every time I read the term "binge watching", I flash back to 2001 when a friend of mine lent me her complete VHS collection of "The Young Ones". I ripped through all of it in a weekend. Such a brilliant show with such an impeccable cast.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:05 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


Way too young to go.

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posted by cazoo at 12:06 PM on June 9


I'm so gutted. Like dotgirl I've loved him in everything I've ever seen him in. I really loved Bottom, even though I'm not usually a big fan of gross-out comedy, because he was just so good at it and took such obvious pleasure in being as disgusting as possible while still being really clever. And of course, Lord Flashheart - woof! The world just got a little drabber.

(_._)
posted by billiebee at 12:07 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


GOD, YOU'D THINK 'DEVIL WOMAN' HAD NEVER EVEN BEEN WRITTEN!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:10 PM on June 9 [8 favorites]


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posted by shmegegge at 12:14 PM on June 9


I want to say something appropriately tasteless, but I'm gutted. This is just such unexpected bad news... not to be confused with his terrific turn in Bad News Tour.
posted by Doktor Zed at 12:23 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


When Cliff Richard was writing Wired for Sound, no way he was doing it on a clean lavy!
posted by MartinWisse at 12:24 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Too. Young. Too young.
posted by Faintdreams at 12:28 PM on June 9


Do we know cause of death? It seems undisclosed or undetermined at this point.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:29 PM on June 9


Gutted. RIP, Rik.
posted by carter at 12:30 PM on June 9


Need an excuse to watch a Rik Mayall performance with the kids? Track down this lovely version of "The Wind in the Willows". He is *perfect* as Mr. Toad.
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:32 PM on June 9


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posted by saulgoodman at 12:32 PM on June 9


The Story of The Young Ones (Docu)
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 12:41 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


Way too young. The Young Ones was the first comedy I recall taking note of - I saw it when it first aired in Australia so I must have been only seven or eight. They were so outrageous and weird, really the edgy new wave of British comedy and that's still, lo these decades later, how I think of them. They can't start dying yet! I was sure Alexei would be first, the enormous bastard.

Good lord Drop Dead Fred was awful though.

I am shocked. I hope he wasn't in pain.
posted by goo at 12:42 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Rik in American Werewolf in London (from about 30 seconds in). He was an unknown extra when they filmed it, but famous for Kevin Turvey by the time it was released.

RIP
posted by DanCall at 12:49 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


I guess you really can overdose on laxative pills.

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posted by dr_dank at 12:54 PM on June 9 [6 favorites]


Mayall was cast and filmed as Peeves for the first Harry Potter film, but the character was cut completely in editing and most of the house ghosts got written out of the film series anyway. I don't think I'll forgive Chris Columbus for that. I bet he made a great poltergeist.

I hope Cliff Richard performs a re-written version of "Living Doll" or "We Don't Talk Anymore" at his memorial service and cleans up.
posted by Spatch at 12:56 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


A fucking quad bike couldn't kill him?

My guess is that it'll turn out the 1998 quad bike accident did kill him. It just took 16 years to do so.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:56 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


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posted by ewok and chips at 1:08 PM on June 9


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Neil, Neil, orange peel
If only I could see you again!

Man. Rik and the Young Ones practically defined my youth. The day at school after the first Young Ones aired, in Kenny Everett's 9pm BBC2 slot (on a Monday I think), we were lined up outside the sports hall whispering, 'He called him a rubber johnny!!'. I can probably spout 30 min or his material verbatim, like the worst Monty Python fan.

Glad to see mentions of Kevin Turvey (I have his special 'Through the Green Door' somewhere), the Dangerous Brothers, Comic Strip -- particularly the two Bad News episodes and BRILLIANT follow-up albums. (I think there were two Bad News cassettes originally, eventually merged into one CD.)

No mention yet though of the three Rik Mayall Presents dark comedies he did for Granada. E.g. Dancing Queen.

British Twitter is full of Young Ones/Bottom quotes at the moment. But no love for Filthy, Rich and Catflap.
There's love from me. I see it as the precursor to Bottom.
posted by NailsTheCat at 1:08 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


RIP. A master of British comedy.

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posted by waraw at 1:09 PM on June 9


This makes me very sad. I get that people die all the time, good people to and often far too early. But I grew up laughing with Mr Mayall. Laughing is often as good as, if not better than sex. It is as necessary as breathing. Mr Mayall made me laugh for nearly thirty years. We are about the same age - he is a contemporary of mine. And now he is gone and I am just plain sad. Very sad.

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Edit:minor typos.
posted by vac2003 at 1:20 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


I remember Rik Mayall Presents. Briefest Encounter was grand guignol by the end. The bit with his hand is still hard to watch.
posted by permafrost at 1:23 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


I have his autograph on his headshot somewhere at home, and I will now get it framed.

Like many here, I grew up with the Young Ones and the Comic Strip Presents, and I am totally gutted by this news.

But what's the difference? There'll be plenty of chicks for these tigers on the road to the promised land. This is it. It's really happening. Who needs qualifications? Who cares about Thatcher and unemployment? We can do just exactly whatever we want to do. And you know why? Because we're Young Ones. Bachelor boys. Crazy, mad, wild-eyed, big-bottomed anarchists!

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posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:25 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


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posted by AFII at 1:31 PM on June 9


Oh man! This one really hurts. I'm stunned.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 1:33 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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Drop Dead Fred was hilarious, yet strangely poignant to me, since I saw it with my then-borderline-psychotic ex-wife who was forced to confront her sincere belief that her multiple personalities were childhood imaginary friends who just never went away. A definitely emotional scene resulted, and one that should have made me realize (which I did years later) that her relationship with this goofy guy was not making her better...

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posted by oneswellfoop at 1:44 PM on June 9


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posted by Jimbob at 2:11 PM on June 9


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posted by andraste at 2:12 PM on June 9


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posted by motty at 2:13 PM on June 9


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posted by dannyboybell at 2:14 PM on June 9


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I grew up with Drop Dead Fred - literally & metaphorically. Any critic who didn't understand the deep heart in that film has only a simple, surface level understanding of film.
posted by jb at 2:22 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


I was of the MTV-Young Ones generation. The Sunday night combo of Young Ones, Monty Python, and 120 Minutes was responsible for dozens of groggy Monday mornings. I regret nothing.

Bombs.
posted by schoolgirl report at 2:26 PM on June 9 [11 favorites]


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posted by Lukenlogs at 2:26 PM on June 9


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posted by Gelatin at 2:34 PM on June 9


I've just spent the morning ranting to my Canadian colleagues about why Rik Mayall was a comic genius. They are somewhat scared now, which seems totally appropriate. I loved everything that he did, he'll be sorely missed.

I leave you with the BEST NATIVITY SCENE IN THE HISTORY OF EVERYTHING.

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posted by arcticseal at 2:35 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


.

"So, have we got a video?"
posted by porn in the woods at 2:39 PM on June 9 [7 favorites]


When The Young Ones started airing on MTV in 1985(ish), I was 13. I had a TV in my room and was allowed to stay up and watch 120 Minutes (so long as I got up for school without complaint the next day.). The Young Ones blew my malleable adolescent mind.

I wouldn't be the weirdo I am today without them. (p)Rik will be missed.
posted by bibliogrrl at 2:40 PM on June 9 [8 favorites]


The shittiest of shitty, shit news to wake up to. He was a comedy idol to me and I devoured everything he did growing up.

I still think the best thing he ever did was Grimm Tales. They need to release the lot of them in high quality now please- I want my future kids to see them

Until then, here is a playlist with all of them in dubious and inconsistent quality.

posted by AzzaMcKazza at 2:59 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Kevin Turvey Investigates

This is the first thing of his I remember watching. I think it belonged to a cousin but I remember sitting and watching them again and again on VHS.
posted by Reggie Knoble at 3:00 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


I actually got to "meet" Rik Mayall in 1990. They shot the interior of Drop Dead Fred about a block and a half away from my parents house.

Dad had an in with the local film/video rental equipment guys, so I got to carry a couple of c-stands and some blackfoil up, sheepishly tell him that I erm fucking loved The Young Ones, and then he gives me the "V". I almost fainted. None of my friends believed me. I had to get my dad to confirm the story.

Goddamnit, we lost a real genius today.

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posted by Sphinx at 3:01 PM on June 9 [16 favorites]


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posted by fido~depravo at 3:04 PM on June 9


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"Hands up who likes me!"
posted by spinifex23 at 3:13 PM on June 9 [9 favorites]


Fuck. And he was only 56.

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posted by homunculus at 3:14 PM on June 9


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posted by Renoroc at 3:25 PM on June 9


Please, please, please do yourself a favor and watch the Grim Tales videos that AzzaMcKazza just shared. You will be so glad you did.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:29 PM on June 9


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posted by drnick at 3:40 PM on June 9


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posted by UbuRoivas at 3:40 PM on June 9


We loved him! (Yeah, yeah!)
We thought he was great! (Yeah, yeah!)
We really liked him! (Yeah, yeah!)
We wanted to see his pants! (Yes!)

posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:41 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


You have won fifty dollars in a beauty contest. You may set fire to Rick's bed.
posted by dr_dank at 3:48 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


"I removed Thatcher for the British people... and now I am removing Tony Blair, for good."
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:51 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


British Twitter is full of Young Ones/Bottom quotes at the moment. But no love for Filthy, Rich and Catflap.

Plenty of love here. I watched it much more than either The Young Ones or Bottom, and quoted it endlessly (much to everybody's annoyance).

I think that after TYO people expected more of the same, so a show about washed-up old British B or C grade game show celebrities & talk show hosts didn't quite meet expectations, but there was plenty of humour in there.

How can you not love a scene where Rik (Richie) breaks into the Nolan Sisters' dressing room ("My all time favourite four-tissue fantasy!"), and is caught by the Nolans in their shower, wearing one of their dresses & smearing himself with lipstick? Then the Nolan sisters blackmail him.

This was after a perfect piece of cringe comedy, where he completely missed the point of the quintessentially English innuendo-based game show "Ooo-er, Sounds a Bit Rude". Just great. So much fast-paced comedy action in every episode.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:52 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


Aww, and here's another one, a "best of" video:

Rik is Golden!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:54 PM on June 9


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posted by jason_steakums at 3:56 PM on June 9


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posted by acb at 4:06 PM on June 9


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posted by arha at 4:14 PM on June 9


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posted by 0127661 at 4:44 PM on June 9


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posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:52 PM on June 9


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posted by litlnemo at 4:53 PM on June 9


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posted by mike3k at 5:04 PM on June 9


I was watching The Young Ones only last night. "Bambi" one of my favorite episodes of anything ever. Anyway, I'm not sure how it went down, but I'm hoping it was something like this: "Phew, that was close!"

And Ade's tribute to his friend and partner is classic:

"There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing.

"They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him.

"And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard."
posted by the christopher hundreds at 5:04 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


"Has anyone told the stiffy joke yet?"

RIP
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 5:51 PM on June 9 [8 favorites]


Damn it.

We lived in a house with a bunch of other mad college students. The Young Ones was nearly a holy text for us. We wore out the VHS tapes.

Years later, we introduced TYO to our children on YouTube.

My daughter and wife are really fond of Rik's King Herod:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnErvJbov6I

Damn.
posted by doctornemo at 6:27 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Don't Fear Death, apparently one of Mayall's final works.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:39 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


Here's a blast from the past: Rik Mayall on Letterman (promoting Drop Dead Fred). It's interesting to see these two comic sensibilities clash (e.g., Letterman obviously didn't appreciate the "fire in the orphanage" gag), and Rik being quite nervous.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:49 PM on June 9


Waking up to this news this morning... it was like a huge piece of my generation just died.

I can still remember watching my first episode of The Young Ones (Bomb) as a kid in '83 and loving it as a spiritual successor to The Goodies. It's hard to believe there are only 12 episodes of that one.

Didn't really get into some of the other stuff he did (Filthy Rich and Catflap), but I still love The Comic Strip when they trot it out.

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posted by Mezentian at 7:15 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Pollution, all around.
Sometimes up, sometimes down.
But always around.
Pollution are you coming to my town? Or am I coming to yours?
Ha! We're on different buses, pollution, but we're both using petrol... bombs.

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posted by gaspode at 7:33 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


Woof. Damn.

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posted by Artful Codger at 7:47 PM on June 9


How does it feel, Neil
To make a meal, Neil
Out of totalitarian vegetables?

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posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:37 PM on June 9 [10 favorites]


A complete and utter bastard.

How dare he die so young?
posted by taff at 8:51 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


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posted by misterbee at 9:19 PM on June 9


Holy shit, no way.
Dammit.
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posted by detachd at 10:31 PM on June 9


No mention yet though of the three Rik Mayall Presents dark comedies he did

There were six. Mickey Love, Briefest Encounter, Dancing Queen, The Big One, Dirty Old Town, Clair de Lune. They were amazing.

My hands are up because I like Rik. Stop being dead you bastard.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:52 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


The BBC choose several of their favourite Rik Mayal lines. This one is particularly prophetic:

Alan B'Stard: You know the really great thing about a fudged coalition is that neither of us need to carry out a single promise of our election manifestos.
posted by marienbad at 1:19 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]


I think you're all saying he's dead on purpose because you know he's got a runny bottom.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:20 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


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posted by monkey closet at 1:31 AM on June 10


We watched the Young Ones a couple of months ago for the first time in years, after wearing the tapes out as teens. My kids 8,10 & 13 practically wet themselves even if they were largely oblivious to the 80s political jokes.
Just outstanding stuff.
I think I'll have to try Black Adder on them next.
A sad day.
posted by bystander at 1:34 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


The front pages of several of today's newspapers feature stories about Tory fanatic Michael Gove sharing space with pictures of the man who played Alan B'Stard. I think Rik would have appreciated the joke.
posted by permafrost at 2:36 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


I was watching The Young Ones only last night. "Bambi" one of my favorite episodes of anything ever.

Bambi is the best single episode of any comedy show ever. And the revision scene in the train is the best scene in any comedy show ever. Brilliant timing on the parts of Mayall and Planer both.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:45 AM on June 10 [6 favorites]


"Brilliant timing on the parts of Mayall and Planer both."

Ade Edmonson's entrance in The Young Ones and the argument between him and Rik immediately after is similarly fantastic.
posted by marienbad at 3:33 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Someone's put this on a bench in Hammersmith Broadway
posted by DanCall at 4:05 AM on June 10 [18 favorites]


I was 15 when The Young Ones first aired in Australia, and it dominated Grade 10 culture like nothing else on television at the time. Rik Mayall has been comedy royalty to me ever since.

Death, you utter, utter, utter bastard.
posted by rory at 4:50 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


This has hit me hard.

I'm in Germany with some friends right now. Yesterday morning, before the news had even broken, I blearily opened my hotel room door to two of my asshole friends going "Escorts? Bestcorts!!" Then they bounced into the room quoting Mr Jolly Lives Next Door, and that was how I woke up yesterday; and that afternoon we learnt that the great Mayall was dead.

Great Britain is my adopted country, and one major way I have learnt her ways is through comedy. It's stunning how many of the works that taught me the most Mayall was involved in, whether closely or peripherally. I also had the luck to see his and Edmondson's Waiting For Godot during my first year in Britain.

For my current herd of friends in particular, the world is divided into those who really shouldn't see Mr Jolly [i.e. most people], those who should, and those unfortunates who have.

It aches like a splenectomy to say farewell to Mayall and to all the characters he wrote and played who've gone with him into the grave. So I'll just say:
"NEVER EVER... BLOODY... ANYTHING! EVER!
I've lived my life by that rule."
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:59 AM on June 10 [10 favorites]


The Young Ones was a great unifying experience at school. No matter what the home background, everyone watched it.

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posted by asok at 7:30 AM on June 10


Drop Dead Fred was my favourite movie as a child. The scene in the restaurant never failed to make me laugh hysterically (and still brings a smile to my face thinking about it). It's the only movie I still own on VHS. Maybe this is the year I finally dress up as DDF for Halloween.

Rik was also cast as Peeves in the Harry Potter movies, though his scenes were deleted. Too bad, as I always thought he would be perfect for the part.
posted by urbanlenny at 8:37 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


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a sad f***ing day for anarchy, or I guess it's yesterday by now, or maybe the day before.
posted by philip-random at 8:51 AM on June 10


I am seriously uninterested in famous people but when I heard the news yesterday, I cried. It sounds so cheesy (and maybe slightly psycho) to say, but Rik Mayall was such a part of my identity growing up.

I discovered him and the Young Ones through Drop Dead Fred when I was a young teenager. I remember the movie was critically panned but Rik was amazing in it. The Young Ones weren't very well known in the U.S. and when I met people who were also fans (or I introduced them to it and they sufficiently appreciated it) it was instant friendship for life.

My BFF and I used to trade off on who would marry Rik and who would marry Vyvyan. I guess that particular snot-encrusted dreamboat has sailed. Sigh.
posted by Jess the Mess at 9:11 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


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posted by Halloween Jack at 12:53 PM on June 10


Bambi is the best single episode of any comedy show ever. And the revision scene in the train is the best scene in any comedy show ever.

I was lying in bed, trying to get back to sleep around 5am this morning and started recalling the revision scene in my mind. I got to the part where, after first being corrected by Neil, Rik says, "..was CONSIDERABLY more widespread..." and laughed out loud. Genius, genius, genius.
posted by NailsTheCat at 1:27 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


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posted by ob at 1:59 PM on June 10


Rik Mayall and board games at RPS.
posted by curious nu at 5:44 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Damn, NailsTheCat, I was just thinking of the patent crop rotator.

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posted by jet_silver at 8:19 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Ok, this feels like an appropriate venue to ask "What's up with the accent that makes it sound to my American ear like his name is Wik?"

Is turning Rs into Ws a regional thing?
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:11 PM on June 10


"What's up with the accent that makes it sound to my American ear like his name is Wik?"

I wouldn't say it's an accent per se. I think it's pretty much how his natural voice but perhaps exaggerated with Rik and a few other characters. Alan B'stard probably isn't that much different from Rik, while it's less obvious with, say, Colin Grigson - listen to Excaliber from the bad news album for instance.

Perhaps related, but note that Rik Mayall's accent 'setting' years were in Worcestershire and Manchester (assuming it locks in around 20 years old), far from Kent.
posted by NailsTheCat at 10:31 PM on June 10


For the non Brits / younger Brits, the reference in Excaliber to 'beast that's in the Lager of Lamot' commercials is this: image / commercial.
posted by NailsTheCat at 10:39 PM on June 10


Ok, this feels like an appropriate venue to ask "What's up with the accent that makes it sound to my American ear like his name is Wik?"

Is turning Rs into Ws a regional thing?


I think he only did that as Rick, the people's poet, who went on to The Young Ones.

Rhotacism isn't a regional thing; it's a speech impediment. (Barbara Walters has it.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:58 PM on June 10






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posted by doogyrev at 3:16 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Here's an an old AskMe thread on the r/w topic. The consensus there and elsewhere seems to be that it's usually a speech impediment, but that it's also become a sort of affectation of some upper-middle-class types on TV and in the movies.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:52 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


jet_silver: "Damn, NailsTheCat, I was just thinking of the patent crop rotator. "

What the hell was the "patent crop rotator?" That had to be an inside joke that I didn't get, right? I mean there's no way they had some device in the middle ages that was patented and also dictated how the farmers of the time should rotate their crops. Right?

I'm so clueless!
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:10 PM on June 11


Rik Mayall's unofficial 2010 World Cup anthem has soared to #11 on the UK music charts in a social media campaign to boost it to the top of the pops in the wake of his death.

It's entitled "Noble England", and Mayall's tongue is so firmly in his cheek, it's a wonder he could articulate such mock-heroic verses: "Once more onto the pitch dear friends, once more/To raise up these walls with our English cheer/When the whistle blast blows in our ears".
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:44 AM on June 12 [4 favorites]


So the word for people who have trouble pronouncing their R's is called Rhotacism ? Whotacism ftw!
posted by marienbad at 12:17 PM on June 12


Good to know. Honestly, between that Mayall character, Lucy Worsley, Jonathan Ross, and Michael Palin's Pontius Pilate, I though "Ok, Britain is a big place, they have multiple accents, and are riddled with overt class distinctions. This must fit in somewhere in there."

Never actually occurred to me that it was a speech impediment. I think I was just assuming there was a small, posh county somewhere in the Midlands known for comedy and historians. Kinda like a neat local detail, like the Corsican Mafia being particularly known as art thieves.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:32 AM on June 13


So the word for people who have trouble pronouncing their R's is called Rhotacism ? Whotacism ftw!

Between that and "lisp" having an S in it, I'd say there's a pretty good case that linguists are just assholes.
posted by Etrigan at 3:05 PM on June 13 [7 favorites]


I'm a bit shocked that people loved Drop Dead Fred.
But, I supposed, if it was his big breakthrough in the US that makes sense.

And here is him reflecting on being cut as Peeves in the Potter films.

Honestly, if you asked me, I'd have sworn he was in the first few.

And here is the Nolan Sisters in Filthy Rich and Catflap. A show I hated, but I have always loved this bit.
"The water's lovely and so am I"
posted by Mezentian at 4:42 AM on June 14


Looks like it was a sudden heart attack.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:14 PM on June 14


Rik's role as a Nintendo UK pitchman.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:04 PM on June 19 [1 favorite]


"After my quad-bike accident I was dead for five days. Jesus was only dead for three, so I beat him - 17 April 1998 was the day I was sent back from heaven." - Rik in 2006.

R.I.P., man. You were a legend.
posted by cobwebberies at 1:49 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


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