8 December 2009

"It's very hard to even say 'bum'"

Somebody whom I shall love forever has uploaded this to youtube. Embedding is sadly disabled but it enhances the surprise (or disappointment) when you click it, I suppose...

Rik Mayall was a massive hero of mine when I was nine and remains a massive hero of mine now I'm 36. I saw this interview at the time and couldn't believe it was the same guy, as I'd never seen him just sit down and chat as himself before; used as we all were to the grotesque character he was playing in The Young Ones, the second and final series of which had just been screened when he went to see Terry Wogan.

This remains the straightest interview about his career I've ever seen him give. He appeared on Wogan one more time, to my knowledge, but was there solely to promote Comic Relief and so could just goof around - indeed, I seem to recall the interview was truncated by Mayall claiming Wogan had farted and protesting to the audience about it.

Subsequent interviews to hacks and talk shows have done what he refers to in this clip - people expect him to be funny all the time and and seem disappointed that he is relatively normal and nice to them. When he appeared in the stage play of The New Statesman all of the publicity interviews he gave to TV and radio were in character as Alan B'Stard. Even his autobiography was semi-fictionalised, hiding a little behind a character.

I think this is still a genuinely enjoyable interview, a thoughtful response to the questions with a few extra asides for the audience. And to think my mum thought his "type" were a bad influence...

1 comment:

Mark X said...

Nice find! That interview really does show how far British comedy has come since then, with Rik's use of the words "crap" and "bum" eliciting a ripple of laughter from the audience, and that from a period when Wogan was a post-watershed show.

Interesting to see Rik say how he'd like to come up with something like Hancock - something you can see coming through quite clearly in certain moments of Bottom, I think. In fact, I think there might be a case for describing Bottom as "if Chuck Jones had directed Bancock's Half Hour".