Rik Mayall

Englush actor, comedian and writer

Rik Mayall (7 March 1958 - 9 June 2014) was an English comedian, actor, and writer. He is best known for his roles in the television shows The Young Ones, Blackadder, and Bottom and in the film Drop Dead Fred.


  • On stage you can group 200 people together and scare them or embarrass them or whatever. You can't do that on TV. You have to use the conventions, that's why Kevin [Turvey] works so well.
    • New Musical Express, November 7, 1981 [1].
  • I was brought up to be a good boy and proud of myself so I suppress all the things about me that are bad.
    • TV Times, January 19 - 25, 1991 [2].
  • I once walked to school in my underpants and a soggy shoe because my shoe flew off into the river when I tried kicking a ball. My brother retrieved it, but then demanded my trousers, because his were soaked.
    • News of the World, November 1999 [3]
  • Luckily, I was spared bullying, although one kid at school, Dobson, always used to tease me about my surname. He’d say: “Look, it’s Fe-Mayall!” One time he wouldn’t stop and I thought “I’m going to have to hit him”. So I belted him and he lost his two front teeth, broke his nose and ended up in hospital. I was never picked on again after that!
    • News of the World, November 1999 [4]
  • [Ade Edmondson]’s a good and loyal friend. I adore him. It’s like a marriage. We chose each other in ’75 and we’ve been together ever since.
    • News of the World, November 1999 [5]
  • I can be gloriously stupid, but if it helps to divert peoples attentions from the grimness of life, I’m happy.
    • Daily Mail, September 2003 [6]
  • I feel proud to have turned that down. I wish I could remember what it was. Let’s say Hamlet. Yeah, I turned down Hamlet. Well who fucking wouldn’t? I mean how many gags are there in that?
    • The Stage, January 17, 2007 [7]
  • Insanity is a very high art form. If everyone was insane, I wouldn’t be here!
    • The Stage, January 2007 [8]
  • When I was a little boy, at Rashwood County Primary School near Droitwich in Worcestershire, all the little girls and boys were stood on the table and the parents came in to hear us sing Christmas carols. I was about three and a half, and I can still fucking remember this – the teacher came up and said to me before, “now Richard, don’t sing – I want all the children to sing, but not you, because you’ve got a horrible voice. So just move your mouth to look like you’re singing, but don’t sing, ok?” So in came the mums and dads, and while all the other kids were being good, I was being bad. Not technically bad, because I did what I was told and didn’t make any noise, but I was moving my mouth very stupidly and waving my bottom around, and I got big laughs – and they were good laughs as well. I thought I like this! Until the middle of the concert and in front of 40 parents, I was pulled off the table by my ear and taken into the corner of the room. I was still pulling faces and getting laughs and I wasn’t even onstage!
    • The Stage, January 2007 [9]

Quotes about Rik Mayall

  • [A]ll those tributes to him were right, he was a constantly creative comic mind and one of the best people to come out of that era, and a real tragedy that he's lost in many ways.
  • Rik Mayall was just pure wiry, energetic, unpredictable humour poured into the shape of a human. You couldn't not watch him.
  • He was a force of nature. His appetite was not blunted, and his enthusiasm and his ambition were huge. He often asked me: ‘What’s my motivation for this scene?’ ‘Why am I sitting on your toilet having a shit?’ was a question he genuinely asked me, and I had to say: ‘It’s … fun? There’s nothing deeper than that, I’m sorry’.
  • There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard.
  • I owe him so much. He changed my life utterly when he asked me to co-write The Young Ones with him, and he was with me on the day I met my wife... He always made me cry with laughter. Now he's just made me cry.
  • Simply distraught to hear of the death of Rik Mayall. An authentic comedy genius and a prince among men.
  • RIP Rik Mayall. An icon of modern British comedy.
  • I've never stopped missing Rik Mayall but thankful for his legacy of incomparable comedy!
  • Very sad to hear of the passing of Rik Mayall. Far too young. A very funny and talented man.
  • Very, very sad to learn of Rik Mayall's passing. Frank Oz and I saw him and Adrian Edmondson at the Comic Strip while I was in pre-production on An American Werewolf in London and they were extraordinary. He did not believe me at first when afterwards I offered him a part. I just remember how excited Rik was to be in a movie and how good he was even in such a small role. It was no surprise to me he went on to The Young Ones and a brilliant career. A great loss of a truly gifted man.
  • A young girl, stricken with terminal cancer, once asked Rik Mayall for an autograph. He wrote: "Young Ones are never afraid."
  • Rik Mayall is putrid – absolutely vile. He thinks nose-picking is funny and farting and all that. He is the arsehole of British comedy.
  • It is a terrible loss, he was true pioneer and an incredible force. His peers and him were as important to comedy as the Sex Pistols were to music. For me, The Young Ones will always be his signature performance. Rick was just a character for the ages.
  • Shocked & saddened that a comedy hero is gone; for those who grew up on The Young Ones, Rik Mayall was one of funniest performers ever.
Wikipedia has an article about: