In 33 years of late-night replays, I have never seen this person before
June 18, 2016 10:31 AM   Subscribe

"As a replicant which appeared in slightly different situations in at least five episodes in the first series, it could arguably be described as one of the first popular culture memes." Did you know The Young Ones had a fifth housemate? Neither did anyone else.
posted by jessamyn (60 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
 
THAT WAS THE FASCIST!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:37 AM on June 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


It always blows my mind that anything like this could have actually been produced by a national broadcaster, let alone transmitted. There are Vines and Instagrams more focus-grouped and market-researched than The Young Ones.
posted by infinitewindow at 10:39 AM on June 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


Time to watch all of the episodes again.
posted by Splunge at 10:58 AM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've always appreciated how well The Young Ones taught me what roommates are supposed to be like.
posted by oddman at 10:59 AM on June 18, 2016 [24 favorites]


I videoed all the episodes as they were broadcast and watched them so many times I was word perfect on them and I've never seen that before. Mind completely blown. There's bits of mind all over my living room carpet.
posted by Grangousier at 11:00 AM on June 18, 2016 [9 favorites]




That this has got unnoticed until now makes this the comic equivalent of the Invisible Gorilla Experiment.
posted by Doktor Zed at 11:10 AM on June 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!

IT'S LIKE "DEVIL WOMAN" WAS NEVER EVEN WRITTEN!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:22 AM on June 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


There's also a rumour--a terrifying but unverified rumour--that The Young Ones launched the careers of Hale and Pace. I'm not going to say that the rumour's true, but if you carefully rewatch early episodes and pay special attention to the unfunny bits, they say you can catch a glimpse of something that will give you nightmares until 1998. Don't say I didn't warn you.
posted by Emma May Smith at 11:28 AM on June 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Great show. It felt like around that time lots of people were living in rubble-strewn squats and you actually did regularly get a totally silent person in the corner who nobody knew, but you didn't lay any bad hassle on them or anything.
posted by Coda Tronca at 11:30 AM on June 18, 2016 [22 favorites]


The only conclusion is that the 5th roommate wasn't in the original aired episode and has been added to all subsequent versions of the show via sinister and supernatural means.
posted by The Whelk at 11:38 AM on June 18, 2016 [6 favorites]


I actually noticed the background figure occasionally, but didn't think too much about it. I mean, this is a show with talking electrical outlets and singing ketchup bottles.
posted by jabah at 11:57 AM on June 18, 2016 [18 favorites]


Talking electrical sockets and singing ketchup bottles? Wow, the internet of things was far more sophisticated than I realised back in the 1980s.
posted by ambrosen at 12:08 PM on June 18, 2016 [23 favorites]


"Don't look at me, I'm irrelevant."
posted by mykescipark at 12:14 PM on June 18, 2016 [11 favorites]


Seven days later.... your computer turns on by itself, displaying static, and the 5th housemate silently crawls out in black and white. As it is almost upon you another hand shoots out with a spiked leather bracelet. "Oy! Where do you think YOU'RE going! You're making supper or I'm kicking your teeth in! Come back here!"
posted by benzenedream at 12:36 PM on June 18, 2016 [20 favorites]


This is weirdly creepy. I'm creeped out.
posted by moons in june at 12:58 PM on June 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


I've seen that show so many times and never noticed. Weird!! And cool.
posted by gemmy at 1:01 PM on June 18, 2016


oh shit


that was me


sorry.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:09 PM on June 18, 2016 [12 favorites]


singing ketchup bottles

Oops, singing tomatoes.
posted by jabah at 1:09 PM on June 18, 2016


One of the reasons we all never noticed him/her/them* in the background is probably that we considered Nigel Planer's Neil to be the Ultimate Long-Haired Stoned Indifferent Non-Entity and couldn't imagine anybody or anything more so.

*and who's to say it was the same person every episode? The 6th Roommate. Add that to your Conspiracies List.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:32 PM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Boom Shanka!

Wow. And fun fact: the same character appears in every track of the Monty Python album, "Matching Tie and Handkerchief". (Although they looked a lot like Mussolini, conqueror of Abyssinia and former dictator of Italy, then.)

Doon't tell'em yer a pacifist!!
posted by petebest at 1:36 PM on June 18, 2016


Watch out for the Special Branch!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:51 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


LENIN!
posted by mintcake! at 2:03 PM on June 18, 2016


As it is almost upon you another hand shoots out with a spiked leather bracelet.


Actually, it's worse than that- as the thing emerges from your monitor, someone slides up beside you and says, "Ooo! Have we got a video?"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:30 PM on June 18, 2016 [10 favorites]


petebest: "Boom Shanka!

Wow. And fun fact: the same character appears in every track of the Monty Python album, "Matching Tie and Handkerchief". (Although they looked a lot like Mussolini, conqueror of Abyssinia and former dictator of Italy, then.)

Doon't tell'em yer a pacifist!!
"

The Background to History, Part IV
PROF. JONES: Good evening. One of the main elements in any assessment of the medieval open-field farming system is the availability of plough teams for the winter plowing. Professor Tofts of the University of Manchester puts it like this:
(A rocking beat starts and a 60s-style folk rock song with some heavy caribbean influence begins.)
To plough once in the winter Sowing, and again in Lent,
Sowing with as many oxen
Sowing with as many oxen
As he shall have yoked in the plough
Oh yes
Oh yes
As he shall have yoked in the plough.
Oh yes
Oh yes
PROF. JONES: But of course there is considerable evidence of open-field villages as far back as the tenth century. Professor Moorhead: (Dramatic metal chords, reminiscent of British punk or perhaps groups like Black Sabbath.)
Theeeeeere's ev-i-de-ence
Theeeeeere's ev-i-de-ence
There's evidence (evidence)
posted by Splunge at 2:56 PM on June 18, 2016


Neat video. Thanks for posting this. I'm with jabah. I saw this character a few times, but just assumed it was another one of the quirks of the show.

And, they took out the "white man's electricity" thing on the DVDs? Damn! I had never noticed. Time to drag out my VHS Pal/NTSC converter player and watch my original VHS tapes I ordered all the way from the UK. (I wasn't gonna let "unreleased in the USA" get in the way of my enjoyment of "The Young Ones.")

One of the few things I will praise MTV for is introducing me to "The Young Ones."
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 3:49 PM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


they took out the "white man's electricity" thing on the DVDs?
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 5:49 PM


Once again, youtube to the rescue
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 4:03 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


I never knew about this.

I hope you're happy, Thatcher.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:25 PM on June 18, 2016 [4 favorites]


Holy Shit - this is amazing! Post of the Day!
posted by marienbad at 4:28 PM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think it's Bobby Gillespie
posted by Flashman at 4:49 PM on June 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


(ctrl+f mr poopy butthole)

(yes, he's real. there just haven't been any stories with him.)
posted by effbot at 5:14 PM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


What's a Ftumch?
posted by Catblack at 5:14 PM on June 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Sitting in the shadows, for the most part. No wonder no-one noticed them.
posted by Coaticass at 6:06 PM on June 18, 2016


I videoed all the episodes

Oh, so you had a video?
posted by mwhybark at 7:13 PM on June 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


A Ftumch? Not sure. Maybe some else will chime in.
posted by quinndexter at 7:33 PM on June 18, 2016


What's a Ftumch?


I'm not sure- I could look it up, or go and just get another beer.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:44 PM on June 18, 2016


for anyone else wondering what happened to alexei sayle.
posted by andrewcooke at 8:06 PM on June 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh this is, like, really heavy, man. I'm going to have to meditate really hard, you know, to get over it.
posted by Spatch at 8:16 PM on June 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


The Young Ones helped save my sanity, contrary as that sounds. One of the shitty, low-paying jobs that I had in between graduating college and deciding what I really wanted to do with myself was as a live-in aide for an elderly man who needed assistance with practically all of his personal care tasks, and whose sole preferred entertainment was watching professional wrestling, which I've never been able to get into, despite it somewhat resembling superhero slugfests. I mean, he didn't even get into particular wrestlers or their kayfabe or whatever, he just wanted wrestling all the time as his background noise, so I had to tape matches to play when there weren't any that were actually on. When he wasn't up, though, I could watch anything that I wanted, and this was the first household that I lived in that had cable, so The Young Ones and The Comic Strip Presents... (basically most of TYO plus French and Saunders) were part of my jam.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:47 PM on June 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


...but guys, like, I've been trying to tell you this all along, there's, like, this guy, right?, he's really quiet and he's been living h—
SHUT UP NEIL!
posted by not_on_display at 8:55 PM on June 18, 2016 [9 favorites]


*Backs away from computer*
"“Oh, wow! Techno-fear! It's happening again, all the machines are ganging up on me!”
posted by BinaryApe at 9:40 PM on June 18, 2016 [5 favorites]


Nothing can convince me this was a real show.
posted by maryr at 9:46 PM on June 18, 2016 [7 favorites]


How could this have never come up in the thirty years I've known and loved the Young Ones? Not a mention.
posted by Foaf at 9:59 PM on June 18, 2016


I videoed all the episodes

Oh, so you had a video?


YES, WE HAD A VIDEO!
posted by Grangousier at 4:01 AM on June 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


No waaay! Now I'm going to have to dig out my copy of Bachelor Boys and see if she appears...
posted by penguin pie at 6:09 AM on June 19, 2016


Man this makes me feel old. Not (just) because I used to watch The Young Ones, but because this is what the Internet used to be for me. Pre-2000, when it was all fan sites and FAQs and mailing lists. There with no hot takes, listicles or mildly rewritten content to be seen and you could leave your door open and play in the street etc.

Here's that Internet on the fifth housemate.
posted by Hartster at 6:17 AM on June 19, 2016 [7 favorites]


...and he's starting to feel a bit like a Leonard Cohen album... BECAUSE NO ONE EVER LISTENS TO HIM!!!
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:34 AM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: The only conclusion is that the 5th roommate wasn't in the original aired episode and has been added to all subsequent versions of the show via sinister and supernatural means.

According to the giant timeline made of yellowed newspaper clippings and multiple strings of yarn on my garage wall, this was probably the same fork in time that changed those bears from Berenstein to Berenstain.
posted by dr_dank at 7:51 AM on June 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


I totally noticed this person back in the day, but assumed they were just leftover from a party or some derelict come in off the street. But if they were living there the whole time without paying rent (or even being noticed) then they are definitely the smartest of the lot...
posted by sexyrobot at 9:05 AM on June 19, 2016


not that this has anything to do with the fifth roommate, but heeeeere's Neil!
posted by mwhybark at 9:31 AM on June 19, 2016


Oh, so now I get that running missing flatmate joke in Fresh Meat.
posted by Sonny Jim at 9:31 AM on June 19, 2016


one step on from the neil link above, this is glorious.
posted by andrewcooke at 9:51 AM on June 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


andrewcooke, I don't know I've laughed so hard at anything before.
posted by Imperfect at 10:32 AM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]




Alexei Sayle interviewed by Stewart Lee. It's so nice to watch Stew just fanboy out. And why not?*

*(Yes, I know, that was Arnold Brown's catchphrase, not Alexei.)
posted by Grangousier at 11:14 AM on June 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


“Oh, is that right? I'm a Glaswegian.”
posted by scruss at 12:31 PM on June 19, 2016


The only conclusion is that the 5th roommate wasn't in the original aired episode and has been added to all subsequent versions of the show via sinister and supernatural means.

The fifth roommate is the Street Shark that becomes Roxie.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:45 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I guarantee this is the dude who started the band Ulver.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:38 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


fucking hell, andrewcooke, thank you! crying with laughter.
posted by mwhybark at 11:19 PM on June 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


for anyone else wondering what happened to alexei sayle.

Even listening to it, I somehow can't believe those two people were in the same room together. Thank you for that link.
posted by lumpenprole at 3:21 PM on June 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


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