Monday, June 9, 2014

Remember the Rik Mayall

I'm pretty bummed out about the passing of comedic actor Rik Mayall. (I just had a big marathon of his sitcoms a couple of months ago, too, and was just wondering if Ade Edmondson would finally come around to doing a new series of Bottom set in a retirement home as Rik had been hoping for.)

My introduction to Mayall's comedy madness was with Drop Dead Fred. (I'm sure British comedy fans roll their eyes that that movie is the introduction to Mayall for a lot of American fans, when Mayall played such an important part in England's comedy scene long before that box office disappointment.) Hey, the movie might not have been any great shakes, but Mayall's hilarious in it, and really makes it worthwhile. Through that, I got into The New Statesman (Mayall's character -- slimy politician Alan B'Stard -- is what inspired my handle. If you remember my "WTF Moments in Tokusatsu" videos on YouTube, his was the face that kicked off each video.) Then I went on to The Young Ones, Filthy Rich and Catflap, Bottom...

He was just such a hilarious and dedicated performer who you could tell always gave his all -- to be honest, I'd get sort of uncomfortable watching him in Bottom, because he would just go at it so hard that he'd sweat so heavily. I always thought he'd pass out! You'd always be guaranteed a laugh by him, whatever the project or episode. (To really prove the point, check out An American Werewolf in London. He's in the movie for about three seconds -- he's practically an extra -- but has the damned funniest spit-take in the history of comedy. "Remember the Alamo!")

To bring this around to pertaining to superheroes, as a big Batman fan, Mayall was always my number one choice to play the Joker. (I'll be a nerd and admit it: I once wrote some Batman fan-fics, and Mayall was always who I pictured when writing the Joker. Hell, it's his voice I imagine when reading Joker in the actual comics.)

I know some people roll their eyes at someone reacting over a celebrity death, but this is one that legitimately depresses me.


  1. Drop Dead Fred was my introduction as well when I was a kid. To be perfectly honest, I still watch that movie from time to time. Lines like "COBWEBS!" and the dog doo song are probably etched in my brain forever.

    I am also bummed out by his untimely passing. : [

    1. I watched Drop Dead Fred in honor of his passing. (On VHS -- the DVD goes for some crazy prices -- even used!) If the movie had been punched up, I feel like it could have been a classic like Beetlejuice, but Mayall just owns the movie. (I have a feeling pretty much everything he does in it was either written by him or ad-libbed.)

  2. I love Mayall, and have since I watched the Young Ones back on Comedy Central in the early 90s. He would have been a great Joker. Check out his role as Herod in Jesus Christ Superstar on youtube, its the closest we ever got sadly.