Today would have been Rik Mayall’s 60th birthday and it got me thinking about his career and all the various characters he has played over the years.
So in honour of Rik and in no particular order my favourites are:-
Richard “Richie” Richard
Starring with Adrian Edmondson as Edward Elizabeth “Eddie” Hitler, Rik played Richie in Bottom. Bottom ran for three series from 17th September 1991 to 10th April 1995 and also produced five stage-show tours between 1993 and 2003. Not forgetting the feature film Guest House Paradiso in 1999.
Bottom is about two bachelors who live together in south London and spend most of their time trying to get women to sleep with them. Despite neither of them having a job, they are always dressed in a suit and tie even though they look awful!
I think that the stage shows are my favourite as they often go off script. In the second live tour, the guys end up in prison and Rik forgets to put his watch on.
Richie – “You know my great watch gag?”
Eddie – “Yes”
Richie – “I forgot to put my watch on!”
Cue laughter from the audience who appreciate this mistake, although it is funnier on-screen than I’ve described here.
There are a couple more of these lapses in character and, rather than spoiling the show, they add to them. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but it always made me laugh!
Also, may I say that’s a smashing blouse you have on.
Appearing in the first episode of the second series of Blackadder, Rik is Lord Flashheart. He is a cad, a bounder and all the ladies find him attractive. The men all admire him. What else is there to say? Woof!
Drop Dead Fred
Fred is the imaginary childhood friend of Elizabeth. When Elizabeth starts to have troubles in her adult life, Fred reappears. He makes her realise that she is worth something. Rik is brilliant in this film and it made me want him as my imaginary friend. His comic timing is spot on he also shows his sensitive side (well for a few seconds anyway), and he adds a certain magic to this film.
He has played several memorable characters over the years, but these are my favourites. I was too young when The Young Ones was first broadcast and The New Statesman didn’t appeal to me. Whatever character he played, he always seemed to give his all and he is much missed.
Who are your favourite Rik Mayall characters? Let me know in the comments.