Life Lessons From Rik Mayall

Sad news this morning, as British comedy legend Rik Mayall has passed away. For Lifehacker readers of a certain age, The Young Ones provided all sorts of inspiration — some of it more practical than others.

Picture: Getty Images

Like most people my age, I was particularly obsessed with The Young Ones, which Mayall co-wrote with Ben Elton and Lise Mayer. The Young Ones is still my go-to quote source (sure, other people have The Simpsons, but it lacks The People's Poet) — and it's one that's rich in Lifehacker-esque lessons for us all, especially given Rick's general position as the straight man prior to the punchlines. (Note for pedant newbies: on the show, Rik played a character called Rick.)

On the importance of accuracy Rick: What are you doing, Vyvyan? Vyvyan: I'm entering a contest to win a Ford Tippex. You have to say what Cornflakes mean to you in 10 words. So I said: Cornflakes. Cornflakes. Cornflakes. Cornflakes. Cornflakes. Cornflakes. Cornflakes. Cornflakes. Cornflakes. Rick: Pathetic! You'll never win, Vyvyan. Vyvyan: Why not? Rick: It's only nine words.

On why you should never play Monopoly Rick: Hey, wouldn't it be amazing if all this money was real? Vyvyan: That is the single most predictable and BORING thing that anyone could ever say whilst playing Monopoly.

On the importance of "improvisation" Rick: We're getting thrashed, we're getting completely thrashed. Isn't there some way we can cheat?

On tenancy negotiations Rick: Why did you throw the toilet out of the window? Vyvyan: To lower the rent. Rick: Of course, stupid old me. Just one other thing, what are you talking about? Vyvyan: Now we can go to the rent tribunal, you don't have to pay as much for a house with an outside lavvy.

On why good poetry matters Sometimes it must be difficult, not to feel as if You really are a cliff When fascists keeping trying to push you over it Are they the lemmings, or are you Cliff? Or are you, Cliff?


    Oh no.. not Rik.. Cliff Richards will be devastated.

    Edit: Ade Edmondson called Rik a selfish bastard for dying without him. That's just like him!

    Last edited 10/06/14 9:37 am

    This was a surprise, I didn't expect to hear this news for another couple of decades.
    Loved hearing his acerbic humour as Stewie in Family Guy.

    Here's the full statement from Ade Edmunson on his death, showing how they were not going to let death steal the opportunity to make everyone have one good last laugh.
    Good luck trying to read the last two words of the statement in your own voice.

    "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!"

    RIP Lord Flasheart

      Rik Mayall didn't voice Stewie, that's Seth MacFarlane.

        My bad. Genuinely thought it was Rik Mayall. Such is his influence on modern comedy.

    And don't forget that Rik is spelt with a silent P.
    Sad to see this man gone.

    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 grown-ups 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!

    And then one particularly sensitive and articulate teenager will say, "Other kids, do you understand nothing? How can Rick be dead when we still have his poems?" And then another kid will say..

      Can you actually, like, kill yourself with laxatives?

    As a fan used to also love another character he did called Kevin Turvey.

    Let's not forget the "nasty little spelling error," Quadruple Professor Adonis Cnut, the cleverest man in England and Oxford's leading moral philosopher in Believe Nothing!

    Yes, very sad indeed. The world has lost a brilliant comedian.

    The Nolan sisters will be devistated.

    I will never forget rolling on the floor laughing at his act in the first 'Comic Relief" videoI saw.

    " Well do you love me? Do think I'm Great? Would you like to see my nipples?"

    So many good things, so many manic moments, so much laughter.

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