comedy, tv

Rik Mayall, the people’s poet

The death of Rik Mayall is profoundly sad news for those of us who grew up as fans of The Young Ones and were always sorry that they only ever made 12 episodes. I was actually planning to start a movement to have the guys reunite for a short series called The Old Ones, in which Rick, Vyvyan, Neil and Mike were thrown together in a retirement home.

I believe it’s proper English comedy etiquette to mourn such a loss by keeping a sense of humor about it. With that in mind, here’s a classic moment from The Young Ones:

I feel sorry for you, you zeroes. You nobodies. What’s going to live on after you die. I’ll tell you — nothing! That’s what!

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 grownups 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!”

Then one particularly sensitive and articulate teenager will say, “Why kids? Do you understand nothing? How can Rick be dead when we still have his poems?!”

Then another kid will say …

Couldn’t say it any better myself.


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