I think I have become even more preposterous in my facial stage contortions and manioc delivery since Rik Mayall died. Did his death and all the thoughts that led to, the reminder that many people’s first experience of his performance derailed all other prospective career routes apart from comedy, reinvigorate the ludicrous in me? (not that I wasn’t ludicrous before, both as a performer and a human). He is a reminder of total bloody commitment to whatever or wherever you are performing.
On 26th October, at the Berkhamsted Rex, we’re putting on a night in memory of Rik Mayall, with profits going to headway, a charity that deals with brain injuries. I will be quizzing Alexei Sayle about alternative comedy, and the influence of Rik Mayall, as well as showing the alcoholic grotesquerie of Mr Jolly Lives Next door (the very act of typing that has released adrenaline of joy).
I am also putting together a compendium of clips. This is not a blog post, but a quiz.
What are your favourite moments of Rik Mayall?
Kevin Turvey – I have a soft spot for the one where Kevin investigates alcohol (I think that was what it was called) and wakes up in the park and believes that stranger has been sick on his sleeping face, but then there is him investigating sex too. What about you?
The Young Ones – bloody hell, bloody hell, what too choose – the people’s poet and the overdose of laxative pills, “Pollution, all round”, the yellow dungarees of Interesting, Neil testing him on the train to University Challenge, this isn’t going to be easy…what would you suggest?
Obviously a bit of George’s Marvellous Medicine…
Two great charity benefit performances come to mind – Do You Love Me! from Comic Relief Utterly Live and 20th Century Coyote at Fundamental Frolics, but I am sure you will tell me I have forgotten something magnificent.
It has been a long time since I watched The New Statesman, I am relying on you here.
The Comic Strip Presents… another tricky one. Colin the banker walking in dog shot from More Bad News is a cert, “Ow, I’m disabled” and more from Dirty Movie, the road rage meets Spandau Ballet from Four Men in a Car…
7. Bottom, always keen on the two of them up a Ferris wheel…
So, that is just for starters. There is no way I will be able to fit everything in. a snippet of Mickey Love, a little of Drop Dead Fred, do I not bother with Blackadder as it so familiar or would there be an outcry if there is no Flashheart, what about The Dangerous Brothers “How to get off with a lady”?
I thank you all for your help, anyway, it is a great alibi for spending the rest of the day watching Rik clips.
The Rik Mayall event goes on sale on 27th September. Details can be found at http://www.robinince.com
Profits to https://www.headway.org.uk
I remember when my cousin was a kid, he was really thrilled when Rik appeared on the Cannon and Ball show (as he liked both of their differing types of comedy).
Ahh! It’s on Youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NlAiMdR4JA
Hi Robin. I used to have an over-sized poster of Rik above my bed as a teenager. He was one of my first heroes. My personal favourite bits of his, apart from Mr Jolly, would be Rick in The Young Ones thinking a tampon was a toy mouse and Flasheart in Blackadder Goes IV. “You treat your plane like you treat your woman. You get inside her five times a night and take her to heaven and back” That and the Dangerous Brothers doing the gooseberry in a lift joke.
In addition to the Bottom tv show, have you also considered a few clips from the Bottom Live shows? (as these are Rik directly connecting with the audience). The first one is the best. As an example, the business with the inflatable doll from the 55.55 mark is one of many: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oFQTcluz8M
All the suggestions sound good ….. But I always felt that the Rick/Ade relationship was at its best in Filthy Rich & Catflap. Underrated and not often seen. Anything – apart from murdering milkmen (why?). The all night drinking ahead of reading the papers on TVAM would be good. The whole Tarby/Showbiz pals angle was always good too. I never found Bottom as funny – maybe it’s me …..
The Peter cook tribute show Rik and Ade did is one of my fave moments. Also never get tired of the scene in the young ones where they all come down stairs as each other’s characters! Like the young ones, the new statesman has SO many great moments! Interrogating Teddy,
The speech on poor and sick BUT my favorite has got to be inspecting his new conquest at the brothel, getting whipped and yelling ‘I’m a sadist not a masochist! I’m supposed to whip you!’ http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ss_-Ukgzr7k
Ok iv got started how can you choose a favorite Rik moment! Mitch the feminist is 3 minutes of gold. Keven turvey investigating sex is adorable! Any expression of Colin grigsons was hilarious. His small part (ooer) in private enterprise as the ‘pop star’ wasn’t anywhere near long enough. Of Cause you can’t forget poor Richard Richard bashing up a imaginary child in bottom. (What about the god damn jaffa cakes?!)
Ok Im stopping now and going off to watch a bit o’ Rik. (
Any one of the hilarious six episodes of his The Last Hurrah where he played the devious and devilish Elton the Snowman and his eternal search for a knob and the egregious Randy Hardy – oversexed egotistical showbiz horror. He is bloody amazing in it and proudly described it as wanting people to still be listening to it in 100 years from now. http://Www.thelasthurrah.co.uk
Hi Robin. Where to start indeed? What a task. So, so many spring to mind. My own favourite Comic Strip Presents is Fistful of Traveller’s Cheques, the “You start the row” clip being sublime in my opinion. Also, someone mentioned Filthy Rich….. this was indeed largely and unjustly ignored and if I had to choose it would be Richie caught in the ‘Noles’ shower then the ‘I’m In The Mood For Dancing’ routine. Gloriously funny and uncynical.
Oh, and the ‘Dog’s bottom’ aside from Jackanory. Pure Rik at his gleeful naughtiest.
PS thanks for doing this. Seeing the words ‘The late Rik Mayall….’ still hits me square in the gut every single time. I miss him dearly.
Off the top of my head with The New Statesman – Piers’ teddy; the restaurant scene with Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie; the whipping scene. There are many more!. I’m currently in the queue at the Rex, so I will be there!
First of all let me say what a wonderful thing you are doing here and I really wish I could be there.
Flasheart would be a must as he’s such a beloved character(s).
He had so many chsracters, all of then memorable. I wouldn’t know where to start really.
I love the comic relief do you love me song and all his comic strip characters too, danger vision, Turvey, Alan bstard, Richie, Fred…the list is endless.
I think grim tales and Jackanory – jack in the beanstalk should be shown in the clips too and of course…Riks proudest work..The Last hurrah!
I remember seeing Rik as Rick when I was little, then Kevin, Richard dangerous, flasheart and various comic strip characters. I only wish Id seen grim tales and his Jackanory work back then. He was my first crush and I got to meet him back in ’06 after the new statesman stage show. Got his autograph and a photo together. Such a wonderful moment.
He will live on, especially thanks to people like you who set out tributes for him. Such a waste as Ade said. Such a young and energetic pan global phenomonon who will be sadly missed.
At least we get to keep leaving tributes for him at the Hammersmith memorial.
Will there be any chance for people who can’t travel to your tribute to see it or part of it?
Oh and of course filthy rich and catflap! Nintendo ads and out of my head
Would like to second the suggestion of “Filthy Rich and Catflap”. That show made a point of stretching innuendo to the point where erotic suggestion exploded in the extremity of effort expended. As it happens, the very last exam I ever sat, I chose to write an essay on “Filthy Rich and Catflap – a bold strategy and, in hindsight, a wrong one.
The guest appearance of The Nolan Sisters on Filthy Rich and Catflap was one of the few unreservedly good things to happen in the 1980s. There. I said it.
I adore Kevin Turvey…my absolute favourite being Depression…just pure joy from start to finish! You can’t beat lines like “Anyway, as luck would have it…bad luck, mainly….one day, Dave got killed. By a launderette.” and the brilliant “Anyway, to cut a long story short. The end. No. No, that’s cutting it a bit too short really. To cut a very short story a little bit longer….” I could talk Turvey all day…he is just a delicious creature!! I am also passionate about The Last Hurrah….a veritable feast for the old eardrums…Rik at his storytelling best! As with Kevin Turvey, TLH is completely and utterly mesmerizing throughout, blindly flick through the scripts, stop, stick your finger on a line and you have a quote that will make even the most dried up of your naughty bits tingle. Add in Rik at his intoxicating best and, I swear, your ears will be begging you for more.
Another great New Staresman clip. It’s from the Comic Relief special, and he suddenly morphs into Young Ones Rick. Magical.
So many great suggestions already! For The New Statesman, the whipping scene at the start of “Three Line Whipping” came first to mind, but the scene where he’s on the TVam sofa in the same episode is also very funny. Agree also with the speech about the NHS that he gives to his old school in Friends of St. James.
The Young Ones is what got me into Rik. Boring is my favorite episode although I love them all. Nasty and Bambi are so fantastic.
The Dangerous Brothers on Saturday Night. So brilliant.
Filthy Rich & Catflap is fantastic series. Funny from start to finish. Rik, Ade and Nigel are so great together. Oo-er Sounds A Bit Rude game show sequence in the 2nd episode makes me laugh every time and later when the Nolan Sisters show up, love it.
The Bottom where they play chess is my all time favourite. The entire build up is genius.
For an unconventional approach to showing Bottom and Flash heart:
Oooo, and any Turvey – I like Death, and Depression, but also the clip where he sings ‘Downtown’ – it’s on you tube and is brilliant 🙂
The scene from GAS in Bottom when the poor unsuspecting meter reader makes a terrible mistake in reading Richie and Eddie’s meter…
There would certainly be an outcry from me if you didn’t include Flashheart. It takes phenomenal talent and charisma to steal a scene from the regular Blackadder cast, but Mayall had it in spades.
One of my fave Rik shows was George’s Marvellous Medicine too. I ran home from school each day it was on to make sure I didn’t miss it. He made such a glorious mess.
Another show of his I love is a radio play he was in called A Higher Education. He was a uni lecturer in drama and he was a very highly strung and over dramatic character in it called Don Crookfield. Very highly recommended.
A film he made, which was quite low budget but good low budget, is called Oh Marbella. He plays a smarmy timeshare salesman called Greg Dubois who could sell snow to eskimos and is outrageously brilliant in it. His sex scene in particular is hilarious. It was kind of overlooked when it was released and its a shame because it is really very funny.
There is a Youtube channel out there called RikMayallFanpage. It is mine. Please feel free to use any clips/shows from it on the night.
I know it’s only fleeting but his minor role in An American Werewolf In London. Just the split second flash of him struggling to play chess is priceless.
“Remember the Alamo – hahahahahahahahah!”