Self-proclaimed 'pan-global phenomenon and sex god', 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, Blackadder 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, The Wind in the Willows (1995) (as the hammier-than-a-sandwich Mr. Toad), Spongebob Squarepants and the voice of the puppy in a series of Andrex commercials. Mayall also loaned his voice for a few video games, he and Marc Silk 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 addition, Mayall also starred in a series of commercials for Nintendo consoles during the 90s aimed at the UK market, advertising such games as Super Mario All-Stars, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, Star Fox, Kirby's Dream Land, Street Fighter II, and Tetris, among others. These commercials mainly riffed on his public persona and the kinds of characters he was known for playing at the time, and earned him a big enough payday for him to pay for his house in London, which he then dubbed "Nintendo Towers".
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 for life and had to give up alcohol. Ade Edmondson refused to abandon his friend although he would report after Mayall died that Rik was never the same.
Mayall died on the 9th of June 2014, at just 56 years old, from a heart attack.
- The Dangerous Brothers
- The Young Ones
- Filthy Rich & Catflap
- The New Statesman
- Drop Dead Fred
- Guest House Paradiso
- Shock Treatment
- Carry On Columbus
- Jonathan Creek
- Oscar's Orchestra- William Tell Jr. (voice role)
- An American Werewolf in London
- The Comic Strip Presents
- Jackanory (as well as its grown-up counterpart Crackanory)
- Jellabies (a.k.a. Jellikins)
- Spongebob Squarepants
- Hogs of War
- Midsomer Murders
- The Princess and the Goblin
- Jesus Christ Superstar (the 2000 Great Performances recording, where Mayall played King Herod)
- Man Down (his final work)
Tropes associated with him:
- Beauty Inversion: Frequently covered up his Pretty Boy good looks with grotesque costumes, make-up, and exaggerated expressions for his roles in The Young Ones, The Comic Strip Presents and Bottom. Fellow comedian Andy de la Tour even commented "Rik was a very beautiful man, but in all his comedy, he made himself ugly."
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: He and Adrian Edmondson were inseparable throughout their adult life.
- Large Ham: Oh, so very much. He was like Britain's answer to Jim Carrey.
- Self-Deprecation: It's noticeable that whilst most of the characters other people created for him (Lord Flasheart, Alan B'stard, Gideon Pryke from Jonathan Creek) were generally successful dashing rogues, the characters he wrote for himself (Rick from The Young Ones, Richie from Bottom, Kevin Turvey) all tended to be miserable unpopular losers.
- The Danza: Between The Young Ones, Shock Treatment, Filthy Rich and Catflap, and Bottom, Rik did tend a lot of the time to play a character whose name is some variation of "Richard".
- Wag the Director: Rik agreed to appear in Blackadder as Lord Flasheart on the condition that every single thing he had to say was funnier than Rowan Atkinson's lines.
- What Could Have Been: He was set to appear in the Harry Potter movie adaptations as Peeves the trickster ghost, starting with the first movie, he even had a few scenes recorded, but his character ended up being cut. Apparently the director, Chris Columbus, wasn't satisfied with his design, and never got to fix it.