By James Robert Shaw (The Wind up Geek)
Rik Mayall, comic actor and Primetime Emmy Award winner, has sadly passed away early this morning in his home, in the district of Barnes at south-west London. He was 56 years old.
The Metropolitan Police was called in 13:19 BST on Monday. They ruled out that his death is not suspicious.
The London Ambulance Service said, “a man, aged in his 50s, was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Rik Mayall was a student at Manchester University where he met his friend and comedy partner, Adrian Edmondson. Together they would form 20th Century Coyote and perform at such venues as London’s The Comedy Store. It was at the Comedy Store where Coyote along with other talented performers brought alternative comedy to a larger audience under the group’s name The Comic Strip.
The year 1982 would bring Mayall to a wider audience on television in such series as The Comic Strip Presents, a series created to showcase the talents of The Comic Strip performers in hour-long plays. He would also create the character of Rick in the sitcom The Young Ones written by himself, Lise Mayer and Ben Elton. Mayall would portray Rick, a pompous would-be anarchist who saw himself as the people’s poet, who would lead a people’s revolution against the pigs (police) and Margaret Thatcher’s government.
Mayall’s anarchic comedy style would be applied to such characters as the lecherous loud-mouthed Lord Flashheart from the Blackadder series, Sir Richard Dangerous from The Dangerous Brothers sketches (the other played by Adrian Edmondson) on Saturday Live, and as Sir Richard Richard, the sad and pathetically lonely flatmate to Edmondson’s drink-obsessed Eddie Hitler in the hit comedy series Bottom.
So sad to hear Rik Mayall has died. The best of his generation. A truly funny man and a wonderful gentleman. Blessed to have known him. BB x
— Beecake (@OfficialBeecake) June 9, 2014
Oh Rik Mayall. So sorry. You were my first comedy hero. I agree with Alexei > http://t.co/2kn9kzxWYs
— Alison McGovern (@Alison_McGovern) June 9, 2014
Very sad to hear of the death of Rik Mayall. He did some genius work, particularly in The Young Ones & Blackadder http://t.co/U2f0DE7ssN
— Eddie Izzard (@eddieizzard) June 9, 2014
When you wish you had the power to undo something #RikMayall #LordFlashheart :-( lovely, funny, talented, handsome man.
— suzi perry (@suziperry) June 9, 2014
Genuinely sad about Rik Mayall’s death. Through The Young Ones and Bottom, he created some of my earliest memories of being a fan of comedy.
— Catherine Bray (@catherinebray) June 9, 2014
Oh, alas, Rik Mayall. Thank you.
— John Hodgman (@hodgman) June 9, 2014
one of main reasons I became a comedian has died.Rik Mayall was fantastic. “Never ever bloody anything ever. I’ve lived my life by that one”
— Robin Ince (@robinince) June 9, 2014
So sad to hear about Rik Mayall.He was so great to be around on Jonathan Creek. Funny, funny man and a comic hero in my teens.Terrible news.
— Alan Davies (@alandavies1) June 9, 2014
Such awful news about Rik Mayall. Heartbroken
— Peter Serafinowicz (@serafinowicz) June 9, 2014
Half of the fake moustache I’m currently wearing has just come off in tribute to Lord Flasheart. So long, Rik Mayall.
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) June 9, 2014
Absolutely gutted about Rik Mayall. Comedy legend. RIP
— Chris Ramsey (@IAmChrisRamsey) June 9, 2014
Very sad news that Rik Mayall has died. A comic hero of mine. A HP highlight for me was when I sat next to him at the 1st cast read through
— James Phelps (@James_Phelps) June 9, 2014
RIP #rikmayall Best live comedy show I ever saw.
— Sean Phillips (@seanpphillips) June 9, 2014
r.i.p. rik mayall – probably the person who has inspired me most in my life.
— thom tuck (@turlygod) June 9, 2014
So sad to hear about the great #RikMayall such a fun man to be around. A great loss and will be sorely missed. #RIP
— Devon Murray (@DevonMMurray) June 9, 2014
Tragic news about the untimely passing of Rik Mayall. Although I never worked with him our paths had crossed & he was always a delight. RIP
— Johnny Vegas (@JohnnyVegasReal) June 9, 2014
Very very sad news about Rik Mayall. He made me laugh so much. RIP
— Luke Evans (@TheRealLukevans) June 9, 2014
Sad news about Rik Mayall He will be remembered as one of the comics that moved comedy on from what it had been for so long. A funny man
— Jim Davidson (@JimDOfficial) June 9, 2014
For Gawd’s sake,what the hell’s going on.Not Rik Mayall.56 year’s old.Very upsetting. I did an episode of New Statesman and he was charming.
— John Challis (@BeingBoycie) June 9, 2014
Very sad to hear of the passing of Rik Mayall. Far too young. A very funny and talented man.
— Eric Idle (@EricIdle) June 9, 2014
So shocked to hear about Rik Mayall. A wonderfully funny icon of British comedy.
— Jack Dee (@TheRealJackDee) June 9, 2014
Deeply deeply saddened to hear of the death of Rik Mayall. He was a lovely man, and was the best Peeves The Poltergeist we never saw. #RIP
— Chris Rankin (@chrisrankin) June 9, 2014
She’s got a tongue like an electric eel, and she likes the taste of a man’s tonsils. Good-bye, Rik Mayall, you were amazing. #woof”
— Amanda Lamb (@missamandalamb) June 9, 2014
When I was 15 me and my bro saw Rik Mayall Live. Afterwards Rik signed my hand. I didn’t wash it off for ages. I was a huge fan. RIP.
— Tim Vine (@RealTimVine) June 9, 2014
Saddened by the news of the great Rik Mayall’s death pic.twitter.com/AiTNZX628y
— Ryan Gage (@RyanGage) June 9, 2014
RIP Rik Mayall. A true comic genius and gone far before his time.
— Luke Romyn (@LukeRomyn) June 9, 2014
Ohhhh, Rik Mayall. What a shock. Way too young. True original. That’s heartbreaking.
— Chris Chibnall (@ChrisChibnall) June 9, 2014
The saddest news about Rik Mayall. Had the happiest summer working with him on ‘King Arthur’s Disasters’. A real gent and an inspiration.
— Tony Smattery (@RealMattLucas) June 9, 2014
I’m rocked by Rik Mayall’s passing. Was so lucky to have worked with him. Was such a hero and influence for me. Don’t really no what to say
— James Buckley (@James_Buckley) June 9, 2014
Rik Mayall Rest In Peace, my favorite anarchist
— Gerard Way (@gerardway) June 9, 2014
Very sad news about rik mayall. Was kind enough to have signed an autograph for me when I was 11 years old. Comedic genius .RIP
— Sam Strike (@SamStrike) June 9, 2014
Rik Mayall was just pure wiry, energetic, unpredictable humour poured into the shape of a human. You couldn’t not watch him.
— Charlie Brooker (@charltonbrooker) June 9, 2014
RIP Rik Mayall. Thank you for making me laugh a million times. Woof.
— Chris Moyles (@ChrisMoyles) June 9, 2014
Rik Mayall? Seriously? Awful news; hate to lose the funny ones.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) June 9, 2014
Very sad to hear about Rik Mayall’s passing. ‘Bottom’ was a huge part of my youth. Even his single tweet was funny. pic.twitter.com/iNePxzCy6X
— chris o’dowd (@BigBoyler) June 9, 2014
Such upsetting news about Rik Mayall. The Young Ones kept our family sane in the 80s. #RIP
— Lauren Laverne (@laurenlaverne) June 9, 2014
RIP Rik Mayall. Hard to believe we’ve been robbed of such flair and comic force.
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) June 9, 2014
Very sad to hear Rik Mayall has died. One of my favourite comedic actors.
— Oliver Phelps (@OliverPhelps) June 9, 2014
Absolutely gutted. For my generation nothing beat the next morning geek out in school about the latest episode of Bottom. RIP Rik Mayall.
— Gareth Evans (@ghuwevans) June 9, 2014
Shocked & saddened that a comedy hero is gone; for those who grew up on ‘The Young Ones’, Rik Mayall was one of funniest performers ever.
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) June 9, 2014
#RikMayall #RIP ‘New Statesman’ & ‘Flasheart’ in ‘Blackadder’ among the most brilliant comedy creations. Sad loss of a funny, lovely man.
— Alastair Stewart (@alstewitn) June 9, 2014