It’s a sad situation here folks, as we mourn the loss of Rik Mayall. He was such an important part of my teen years that it would be remiss of me to let this moment pass by without doing what I do best: quoting his ridiculously funny lines ad nauseam.
While Drop Dead Fred and Grim Tales and all his works were big parts of my life, it was The Young Ones that was far and away my favourite. I used to borrow the series on VHS from my local video shop and watch them until they nearly ran thin. In high school English, we explored the surreal, and so I volunteered my trusty copy of “Boring” for the class to watch and discuss.
At Tafe, once I finished being a high school dropout, I used this sketch in a speech to illustrate how teenagers get a bad name without necessarily deserving it (the sketch was Rik walking past three grannies graffiting and destroying a phone booth. He stops and says “You know who’ll get blamed for this! The Kids!”). I think I was the only one who laughed.
So without further ado (and in no particular order, though I’m fond of the Thatcher phone book bit), I present to you my favourite quotes:
Rik Mayall Young Ones Quotes
“Neil, the bathroom’s free. Unlike the country under the Thatcherite junta.”
“Well, I’m going to tell Thatcher that we’ve got a bomb. And if she doesn’t do something to help “the kids” by this afternoon, we’re going to blow up England.”
” Pollution, all around. Sometimes up, sometimes down. But always around. Pollution are you coming to my town? Or am I coming to yours? Ha! We’re on different buses, pollution, but we’re both using petrol… bombs.”
“Anyone here like the Human League?”
“That’s just typical. Five minutes before the most important party of my life and the house is destroyed by a giant sandwich.”
“Oh, I think that would be very fine behaviour for a Cliff Richard fan!”
[flipping through the phone book] “Thatcher, Thatcher. Ah, Thatcher. Typical, she’s got about four hundred different phone numbers.”
[Cut to an office. several people are queued up to speak to lady behind a window. Rick enters and stares at the queue angrily. An elderly man enters behind him]
RICK: [shouting] COME ON! COME ON! THERE’S OTHER PEOPLE IN THIS QUEUE BESIDES YOURSELVES YOU KNOW! [To man] I dont know, the service in this place seems to get worse and worse, dont you think?
MAN: Aye lad, things certainly were different before these new fangled changes.
RICK: Well of course they were you senile old git, or they wouldn’t be changes, would they?
MAN: I was only agreeing with you!
RICK: Oh, yes! I suppose things were pretty marvellous in ‘the good old days’. Four year old kiddies digging coal! Three year old kiddies [pauses] er, digging coal as well as the four year old kiddies. I suppose you think that was the limit, don’t you? Well Ive got news for you. I think old people are really boring. And the only reason you don’t understand our music is because you don’t like it!
[fade to office at a later time. Rick, the elderly man, and one customer in front of Rick are the only people left]
RICK: I mean, its no wonder the country is in such a state. I dont know why they dont just be honest and hand the whole place over to OxFam. Nothing but scroungers and horrid old people and workshy layabouts all wandering around clutching their Giros’ and trying to get something for nothing. Oh yes, the Post Office seems to be very good at handing out other peoples money, doesn’t it? No wonder my grant’s so small. I suppose next thing there will be rows and rows of little Biafran children, all queing up for a bowl of millet before they become Communists. [shoves man in front out of the way] Excuse me, I was first.”
Ok and this is probably the funniest back-and-forth I’ve ever seen. I still laugh, every single time I watch it:
NEIL: Alright, alright, don’t get uncool and heavy. “Crop rotation in the 14th century…”
RICK: Right. [reciting] “Crop rotation in the 14th century was much more widespread…”
NEIL: It’s “considerably more widespread”, not “much more”.
NEIL: Well, you said, “do it properly.”
RICK: Well, not that much, you stupid bloody hippie!
NEIL: You said, “do it properly and don’t skip bits!” How was I to know that wasn’t important?
RICK: Well it wasn’t important, alright? Shall we just get on and stop wasting time like this? Right. “Crop rotation in the 14th century was _considerably_ more widespread…after…” God, I know this…don’t tell me…”after 1172.” [Neil is s ilent] Well, was I right?
NEIL: No, but I didn’t think it was important.
RICK: Well, what was it, then?
NEIL: You just said not to tell you.
RICK: I bloody well did not!
NEIL: Yes you did! You said, “Don’t tell me” just before you said, “1172.”
RICK: But I only meant for a minute!
NEIL: What, a minute from now, or a minute from then?
RICK: Look, just shut up and tell me the answer!
NEIL: Shut up AND tell you the answer?
RICK: JUST TELL ME THE ANSWER!
RICK: Thank you…”John”?
NEIL: Yeah, “John” is the answer.
RICK: “Crop rotation in the 14th century was considerably more widespread after John?
NEIL: “…Lloyd invented the patent crop rotator.”
RICK: Oh, yes, I knew it, I bloody knew it!
NEIL: You didn’t, you didn’t, you said “1172”! That’s not a bit like “John”.
RICK: [hysterical] You spiteful bastard, Neil! Just because you’ve done loads and loads of work for this, just because you’re a creepy little swot you’ve done about 15 million tons of work for this, like a girl, and I’m so hard and street and cool that I’ve done absolutely bugger all, and you’ve done loads, look at it, loads and loads, loads and loads… [he starts making a mess of Neil’s papers]
What about you? What’s your favourite?