"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!
Self-proclaimed 'pan-global phenomenon and sex god' Dr. The Richard Michael "Rik" Mayall
(7 March 1958 – 9 June 2014) was a British comedian, writer and actor who made a killing out of portraying complete and utter bastards.
Mayall grew up with two drama teachers for parents, and subsequently starred in some of their productions when he was a child. He later studied Drama at Manchester University, which is where he met his Heterosexual Life Partner
Adrian "Ade" Edmondson (the actor who played Vyvyan on The Young Ones
After performing various stand up routines, Mayall's first major role was in the British television series The Young Ones
, a British Comedy
about four students and their increasingly wild and whacky antics. Mayall co-wrote the sitcom with Ben Elton
and Lise Mayer, and played one of the students, Rick
, a character based on one of his stand up personas.
From there on, Mayall became a British household name. He would go on to star in Filthy Rich & Catflap
and The New Statesman
. He and Ade Edmondson then co-wrote and produced Bottom
, which later led on to them doing five live stage shows based on the sitcom, called 'Bottom Live'. Mayall then went on to play roles in various British television shows, including Midsomer Murders
and Jonathan Creek
, and also did a handful of films including Drop Dead Fred
, which made him a known name in America.
Mayall was also known for providing voice overs, mostly for children's films and shows, including a television series of Watership Down
, SpongeBob SquarePants
and the voice of the puppy in a series of Andrex commercials. Mayall also loaned his voice for a few video games, and he provided all
of the voices for Hogs Of War
. He also played the titular "Bombardier" William Charles Bedford in a long running series of adverts for Bombardier Real Ale.
In 1998, Mayall's career was momentarily put on hold after a nasty quad bike accident that left him in a coma for five days, one he wasn't expected to wake up from. While Mayall always made light of the accident, it left him with memory problems and various health issues, for which he had to take medication.
Mayall sadly passed away on the 9th of June 2014, at just 56 years old, from a heart attack.
Tropes associated with him:
- Ambiguously Bi: He was very Happily Married to his wife, and stated that he "couldn't call himself straight". He frequently wrote his characters to be bi-curious, too.
- The Character Died with Him: After his death the writers of The New Statesman wrote an obituary for Alan B'stard.
- The Danza: His characters Rick in The Young Ones, Richie in Bottom and Richie Rich in Filthy Rich & Catflap.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Adrian Edmondson.
- Large Ham: Oh, so very much. He's was like Britain's answer to Jim Carrey.
- Mean Character Nice Actor: He was nowhere as horrible and nasty as Rick or Richie. Simon Pegg explained in his book Nerd Do Well after working with him and Ade on Guest House Paradiso that "They were everything I thought of them to be, with no bad attitudes or super powers".
- He loved playing horrible people so he could make fun of them and have them put in their place, basically. Virtually all his characters were snobby, mean, conservative, homophobic and sexist, while Rik was quite affable, critical of conservative politicians, identified as a feminist, and was very much in favour of gay rights.
- Money, Dear Boy: Mayall starred in a series of at least eight adverts for Nintendo in the UK in the early 1990s (see them here and here). He spent his vast fee on a house in an expensive area of London, which he named Nintendo Towers.
- Pretty Boy: When he wasn't pulling faces, Rik was extremely pretty◊ as a young man. Even in his older years a lot of people still found him very attractive.
- Type Casting: He was always playing self centered, badly behaved and over the top characters. Even on the Region 2 Drop Dead Fred DVD cover it says "Rik Mayall gives a Bottom style performance."
- What Could Have Been: Almost played Peeves the Poltergeist in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but was cut.