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Young Ones, The (BBC-2 1982-1984, Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson)



Off the wall comedy programme about a group of students, The Young Ones was more than a showcase for the emerging ‘alternative’ comedy scene. The Young Ones was a variety show in many ways, consisting of sketches, stand-up routines, and music, but also with a very general story/situation for the guys.

Rick, a sociology student is a massive Cliff Richard Fan, a self-styled anarchist and poet. Heavy Metal Fan Vyvyan studies Biology, when he is not decorating his car with various body parts. Mike TheCoolPerson is the coolest of the bunch, or at least that�s the impression he tries to give, by decorating his room with various pieces of female underwear. Neil is a hippy.

To say that the stories in The Young Ones were surreal is an understatement.. Not many students have to deal with floods that cover the house, unexploded bombs in the kitchen or finding an oil well in the basement (actually a joke by Vyvyan which leaves him with a pickaxe in his head). However, some of the themes covered by the programme were not that far from the truth: childish TV programmes aimed at The Student Audience, boring parties and psychotic TV licence people, who will even be willing to wait until Vyvyan needs the toilet to prove that he has, in fact, eaten the TV!

production details
UK | BBC Two | 12×35 minutes | 1982 and 1984

Writers: Ben Elton, Rik Mayall, Lise Mayer
Producer: Paul Jackson

Rik Mayall as Rick
Adrian Edmondson as Vyvyan Bastard
Nigel Planer as Nigel Planer
Christopher Ryan as Mike Thecoolperson
Alexei Sayle as Jerzy Balowski