ONCE UPON A TIME.....In the 60's and 70's comedy was MORECOMBE AND WISE; DICK EMERY ;BENNY HILL and MIKE YARWOOD....All of which i am quite happy to admit to quite liking even as it is very un P>C. to admit it to a certain finger on the pulse age range who are currently under the age of 50. The night clubs were full of comedians in dinner suits ,telling 'mother in law jokes' and 'Irish' jokes ,oddly enough mostly irishmen(?)...And many whom i saw in pokey little pubs and clubs were great and funny. They didn't fill arenas and sit on panel shows being clever and smart arsed , they were out every night playing to some rough audiences and making their living for a relative pittance before the bingo!
In the 80's education (students) decided they were funnier than the old farts of the previous generation ,they could come up with clever 'on the edge ' stuff not relying on 'Stereotypical comedy....Ho-hum!'...The 'COMEDY CLUB' was formed and a new set of comedians evolved under the mantle of ALTERNATIVE HUMOUR....The old joke was ,that it was an alternative to humour ,and, in a lot of cases it was true. I remember being up in Edinburgh during the festival and my girlfriend at the time and some of her friends went to a comedy show .....God it was awful!
A few faces appeared on telly . One i liked was a character called KEVIN TURVEY and he would rant about what had got his 'gander up' ,a very odd character indeed! played by a certain RIK MAYALL. H disappeared for a while to explode back with his performing partner and co writer ADE EDMONDSON and a few others in an explosion of anarchic violence, slapstick and bad taste in something called 'THE YOUNG ONES.' Rik layed 'RIK' ,the 'peoples poet and mad CLIFF RICHARD fan; NEIL, the hippy and Ade Edmondson , Rik's fellow 'DANGEROUS BROTHER' from their insane violent stage act carrying on their violence as ADE played the psycopathic punk VYVIAN . Even today as they carry on showing the 'shows' , i defy anybody not to cringe at some of the 'hits that ADE,RIK and NEIL inflict and have inflicted on each other.
The show was a good springboard for many of their fellow 'ALTERNATIVES' at the time ;ALEXEI SAYLE, FRENCH and SAUNDERS; RUBY WAX and a heap of bands from the 80's who would perform from the bombsite that was their house.
All went their seperate ways ,but would all turn up occassionally on various shows through the years ,the main constant in it all was RIK and ADE. Their constant arguing and violence was a constant under the guise of different characters, a few were made ,but the most popular was 'BOTTOM'. RIK played a number of 'way over the top roles in series such as 'BLACK ADDER.' But got his own smash hit as the totally rotten MP ,ALAN B'STARD in 'THE NEW STATESMAN.' He had some acting work and appeared in various dramas and even films. And life seemed sweet.
An accident on a Quad -Bike put him in a coma for a good while and left him with EPILEPSY afterwards and having to heap piles of medication as sufferers do! The ADE and RIK partnership split due to reasons around this ,but they both seemed to prosper and seemed almost respectable. ADE ,once VYVIAN is now a country traveller and presenter, DOC MARTENS replaced by WELLIES!
But that dark spectre of EPILEPSY which can strike anytime hit RIK MAYALL but he wasn't going to wake exhausted, sore with a chewed tongue this time ,the heart gave out and R.I.P. RIK MAYALL, Not the only good thing to come out of the ALTERNATIVE COMEDY stuff ,but the best with ADE ,who said how they laughed so much working together and now :"HE'S GONE AND DIED ,LEAVING ME BEHIND ,THE BASTARD!"....Or words to that effect!
RIK MAYALL (R.I.P.)