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Rik Mayall’s hilariously rude correspondence to fans
09:42 am


Rik Mayall

Rik Mayall’s untimely death has brought to light some of the late, great actor/comedian’s small acts of comedy kindness.

When a fan emailed him for an autograph in 2008, Mayall sent this hilariously rude reply:

Here you are you cheapskate money-grabbing Welsh c*nt — where’s the f*cking envelope you deformity??

Here you are Daniel, thank you so much for writing. I hope you like the picture.

Best wishes my dear friend.

Rik Mayall

It would appear Mr. Mayall liked to spread a little good will and happiness whenever he could, as he did in this response to a fan who asked for a signed birthday card for her father:

John, the whole world knows you have always been a complete and utter, utter, utter twat, but now you are an old complete and utter, utter, utter incontinent, deaf, blind, doddering, dribbling, toothless, brainless, insane old twat.

So I just thought, as we are both dangerous old bastards, that I’d wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! you sad senile old git.

With love and violence,

Rik Mayall


The card was sealed, so no one knew what Mayall had written, but it had the desired effect when it was opened, as the recipient’s daughter wrote on her Facebook page:

“The look on dad’s face (well ALL of our faces) was priceless.

“I’m opening up the privacy on this so if you want to share it as an example of what a lovely guy rik was, feel free to do so. Xx”

Who wouldn’t be tickled to receive that on their birthday? Here’s Rik Mayall performing some of his “poetry,” pre-The Young Ones, from way-back-when.

Via the Independent

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Rik Mayall in ‘Don’t Fear Death,’ one of his final works
01:03 pm


Rik Mayall

You know how we’re all affected by certain celebrity deaths that shock and sadden, and knock the wind from you, making the world seem that little less exciting? Like the end of the summer holidays, or clearing up after that great party, when all the presents have been opened, the guests have all gone, the food and drink taken, and there’s only the clearing up and hangover to be faced. That’s kinda how I feel about Rik Mayall, who died today at the age of 56.

Some of you will say Elvis or Lennon or Cobain, or maybe Tupac or Winehouse or Hoffman, and of course I’ll agree, but they didn’t sink as deeply or sting as much as Mayall’s death did today. I thought him the funniest, most joyous and fearless comic I’d ever seen, and someone who was admirable because of that. He never stuck with the “a man walked into a bar” jokes,” or easy targets of politics that many of his contemporaries did, or even tried to win over the audience and pick on people for a cheap laugh, no. Rather, Mayall made himself the focus of the comedy, he was his own punchline, and as such was exuberant, joyful, yes often juvenile, and daft, but never, ever dull.

One of the last things Rik Mayall did for TV before his untimely death was to voice an animation for Channel 4 called Don’t Fear Death. Written and produced by Louis Hudson and Ian Ravenscroft, this three-minute animation explores the “benefits” of being dead, ironically suggesting that death “is your passport to complete and utter freedom. No pulse, no responsibilities. Carpe mortem – seize death.”

RIP Rik Mayall comedy genius 1958-2014.

Via Daily Telegraph, with thanks to Michael Gallagher

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Before the punk rock comedy of ‘The Young Ones’ Rik Mayall was investigative reporter ‘Kevin Turvey’
07:24 am


The Young Ones
Rik Mayall

Rik Mayall was fearless. In the early 1980s, when British stand-up comedy was chubby blokes in too tight dinner jackets telling jokes about wives, mother-in-laws and ethnic groups, Rik Mayall would walk on stage, looking like a Bowie-fan circa Heroes and recite poetry about his love for Vanessa Redgrave and the theater. Audiences were aghast and unsure whether Mayall was genuinely an angry socialist poet ranting about theater or some kind of bizarre amateur stand-up comic taking time out from his sociology degree.

Mayall was part of the disparate group of comics who were filed under “A” for “Alternative Comedy.” Ye olde comics didn’t like these cheeky young comics, because they didn’t have punchlines, and couldn’t understand why younger audiences found them funny.

From the Comedy Store in London, these Alternative comics made their early appearances on shows such as the rather excellent Boom Boom Out Go The Lights, which launched Mayall, Ade Edmondson, Keith Allen, Alexei Sayle, Nigel Planer and Peter Richardson, and (the sadly forgotten) late-nite-live entertainment series, Friday Night, Saturday Morning, hosted by amongst others, the avuncular Ned Sherrin, the man responsible for That Was The Week That Was and producing musicals like Side-by_Side by Sondheim. Friday Night, Saturday Morning gave air time to Mayall and Edmondson (as Twentieth Century Coyote) and The Outer Limits (Planer and Richardson). These four would later regroup with Keith Allen, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, and Robbie Coltrane as The Comic Strip Presents… for Channel 4 in 1982.

Yet, before all that, and even before Rik and co. “kicked in the doors of British comedy” with The Young Ones in 1982, Mayall starred as intrepid investigative Redditch reporter Kevin Turvey on A Kick Up The Eighties—the show which launched Tracy Ullman, Robbie Coltrane, and Mayall, alongside more established actors/performers Miriam Margolyes, Roger Sloman, Ron Bain and Richard Stilgoe. Produced by comedy supremo, Colin Gilbert for BBC Scotland, A Kick Up The Eighties was a mix of Alternative and traditional comedy, which set the tone for other sketch shows such as Naked Video, and (to an extent) even Ben Elton’s Alfresco (with Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Siobhan Redmond and Robbie Coltrane).

The stand-out segment of A Kick Up The Eighties was Mayall’s superb “Kevin Turvey Investigates” which presented one of the most brilliant, original and hilarious comic creations of the 1980s. The character’s success led to a one-off “mockumentary” The Man Behind the Green Door in 1982, which starred, Mayall as Turvey, with Coltrane as Mick the lodger, Ade Edmondson as Keith Marshall, and Roger Sloman as the park keeper. The story-line is simple: Kevin investigates what’s going on around in his hometown, Redditch. The answer is “not a lot.”

It’s an astonishingly original piece of television that prefigures the style of shows like The Office, and it still retains its comic brilliance more than 30-years later. Enjoy!

Bonus clip of Rik reading his angry poetry, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment