ByCraig Whyel, writer at
Film & TV news, previews and commentary
Craig Whyel

British comedy legend Rik Mayall died last year of a heart attack at age 56.

While he was known around most of the world, much of the United States only knew him from his appearances in the films, Drop Dead Fred and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

He was well-known figure in the early 1980’s alternative UK comedy scene, also known as Punk Comedy.

Like many in the comedy business, he successfully transitioned into situation comedy acting, appearing in a number of shows that still enjoy cult levels of popularity.

Mayall performances were distinguished by his manic energy levels and, despite being handsome enough to be a leading man, his ability to effortlessly play buffoons, goofballs, morons and downright scumbags.

He was something of a renaissance man, in addition to acting on TV and films, he also wrote many of the shows where he acted and acted in a number of successful theatrical productions in London’s West End.

What follows are four video clips of his best and funniest roles.

Hope they make you laugh.

Playing “Rik” in The Young Ones (1982-1994):

Lord Flashheart in Black Adder (1989):

Alan B’Stard from The New Statesman (1987-1994):

Richie Rich from Bottom (1991-1995):


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