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The show's title relates to the song of the same name , written by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Producer Paul Jackson in . The Young Ones originated on London 's comedy club circuit in the early s, where most of the show's cast had gained popularity at The Comedy Store. Peter Richardson then negotiated a deal for six self-contained half-hour films, using the group as comedy actors rather than stand-up performers.
Paul Jackson was installed as a producer. Richardson was originally set to play Mike, but clashed with Jackson. The main characters were four undergraduate students who were sharing a house : aggressive punk medical student Vyvyan Basterd Adrian Edmondson , conceited wannabe anarchist sociology student Rick Rik Mayall , oppressed paranoid hippie peace studies student Neil Wheedon Watkins Pye Nigel Planer , and the suave, charming would-be underground mob boss, Mike The-Cool-Person Christopher Ryan.
It also featured Alexei Sayle , who played various members of the Balowski family—most often Jerzei Balowski, the quartet's landlord —and occasional independent characters, such as the train driver in " Bambi " and the Mussolini -lookalike Police Chief in " Cash ". The show combined traditional sitcom style with violent slapstick , non-sequitur plot turns, and surrealism.
These older styles were mixed with the working and lower-middle class attitudes of the growing s alternative comedy boom, in which all the principal performers except Ryan had been involved. This was a device used to qualify the series for a larger budget, as "variety" shows attracted higher fees than "comedy".
Stories were set in a squalid house where the four students lived during their time at the fictional Scumbag College. When it was first broadcast, the show gained attention for its violent slapstick, which Edmondson and Mayall had been using in 20th Century Coyote for some time. The show, much like The Goodies before it, also featured surreal elements , such as puppets playing talking animals or objects. Confusion was added with lengthy cutaways with no relation to the main plot. The wall was usually broken as either a punchline to a joke or to make a plot point more obvious.
On several occasions, Alexei Sayle broke both the fourth wall and character to address the audience in his real-life Liverpudlian accent. Episodes in the second series sometimes included " flash frames " three frames, equivalent to one eighth of a second , but these were edited out of some repeats. These were included as a mockery of the public's fear of subliminal messages in television and music.
Unlike original flash frames, which lasted only one frame, these were long enough to be noticeable without being identifiable. The images included the end caption of Carry On Cowboy , a rusty dripping tap, a leaping frog, a dove in flight, a skier, and a hand making pottery. In Catalonia , public broadcaster TV3 began airing the show in February on a Sunday evening slot.
The show became very popular and got several re-runs in successive years. Indeed, in , Nigel Planer appeared in a show involving foreign travellers visiting Catalonia. One of the characteristics of the Catalan dubbing is that Vyvyan speaks with a thick Catalan rural accent, totally opposed to his urban environment in the series. Throughout the series there are many references to Richard, as Mayall's character is a devout fan.
The theme over the end credits was written by Peter Brewis , who also created the incidental music on many episodes.
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In , after the second series, Planer in character as Neil reached No. Eleven of the twelve episodes had a musical guest performing in the house or street. By including the groups, the show qualified as variety rather than light entertainment by the BBC and was allocated a bigger budget than a sitcom. The one episode that featured no musical act still fulfilled the variety criteria by including a lion tamer whose presence also directly contributed to the plot. Some of these performances were omitted from DVD release for copyright reasons. Some musical acts were also edited out for similar reasons on some satellite reruns.
On the DVD release, all the music acts are restored uncut. Mike is the assumed leader of the group within which Vyvyan is his enforcer who frequently makes puns, which are either deliberately cheap or humorous. These confusing, profound-sounding phrases baffle the others for example, when asked by Rick if he stole his half an apple, Mike replies; "Well, if you're gonna sin you might as well be original. He makes every attempt at wooing the opposite sex, being both forward and unsuccessful. During " Boring ", however, he has an encounter with and also instigated by Vyvyan's mother, where until after a comment made by Rick , he makes progress, although her direct approach initially worries Mike.
Mike is a con artist : he always has some kind of plan to make quick money such as renting out Rick's bedroom as a roller disco and taking bids for the unexploded atomic bomb that fell into the house. He also fancies himself to be a rising underground mob boss. Mike attends Scumbag College only nominally as he has blackmailed his tutor and the Dean of the school for grants and successful grades. This is shown in the title sequence of series 1 in which he is seen to pay a bribe in exchange for a qualification.
Wheedon Watkins Pye when Neil was introducing him, he answers her, " I'm in, what you'd call, a school of life , Mrs. Pye " before groping her. While Mike often does things at the expense of, or to the detriment of, his housemates, he rarely expresses the sort of open hostility that Rick and Vyvyan do, and seems to cause his housemates trouble only when it benefits him, rather than out of sadistic joy.
While it is rare for him to be victim to violence, he has been on a few occasions; such as when he was flirting with a Christian, this resulted in her repeatedly kneeing Mike in the crotch. At the end of the "Living Doll" song with Cliff Richard, Vyvyan hit Mike and everyone else over the head with a hammer, knocking them out. Also when Mike was trying to nail plates to the dining table, he managed to nail his own legs to the table in the process.
On another occasion, Mike accidentally knocked Neil out during a game of cricket. Mike has been shown to be helpful to the others on occasion; if any situation becomes problematic he does what he can to try and restore calm. He also tried to teach Vyvyan how to tell time in " Bambi " and in the final episode " Summer Holiday ", he comforts Vyvyan when he bursts into tears after crashing his car and when SPG dies.
He also appears to have more sense than the others; while he frequently says odd things and does little to stop his housemates causing chaos, he can be very rational if his own life is at risk or if he feels it's gone too far. Examples of this include trying to stop Vyvyan detonating the bomb, being concerned that Neil might suffocate when sick, forcing Vyvyan to stop using the dangerously modified vacuum cleaner and being the only one to have a not very good plan thought out when they rob the bank.
Perversely, when it is not of personal interest, he often pretends to misunderstand things that people say or make up nonsense for his own amusement or convenience. Although generally aloof and laid back, Mike loses his cool when his authority is questioned, however small.
For example, in "Summer Holiday" when Vyvyan tells everyone to shut up he was very indignant that this included him. Mike is the shortest member of the four, and the best-dressed and groomed of all of them. In the final episode, Summer Holiday , Mike admits that he came from very poor beginnings out on the streets, and had sworn that he would never again go back to that life, thus his leap into a con artist's life in the first place.
Mike's surname is ambiguous , The Bachelor Boys book refers to him as "The Cool Person" several times, but in different styles including quotes. Rick writes bad poetry,  and styles himself "The People's Poet", believing himself to be the "spokesperson for a generation"; he is in fact a hypocritical , tantrum -throwing, attention-seeking prima donna and Cliff Richard fan, or, as Vyvyan describes him, "The classic example of an only child! The only time he comes close to succeeding is when it seems like he has wooed a girl; this turns out to be a lie, however, and he is exposed and punished beset by Vyvyan almost immediately.
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He insults Neil at every opportunity, using Neil as a target and an outlet, picks fights and bickers with Vyvyan and attempts to impress Mike. He is portrayed as being so self-absorbed that he believes he is the "most popular member of the flat" despite being disliked by virtually everyone he knows; even though his housemates hate him, he claims that they all "really are terrific friends".
Walls to kick and hills to sing from : a comedy with interruptions, Murray Edmond
This is further emphasised in the episode "Bambi" when Neil reads graffiti aloud from Rick's History 'O' Level text book; "Prick is a wonker- signed, The Rest of the Class" which Rick dismisses as banter until Neil further reads "I agree with the rest of the class — signed, Teacher. He can't say the "R" sound correctly and instead enunciates a mixture of a "W" and a "R" sound. In the episode " Bomb ", he dictates his name to a woman who looks up in confusion and repeats it back as "Wick?
Vyvyan, for his own amusement, describes Rick's name as being spelled "with a silent P", as he wrote it on Rick's name card "PRick" during the University Challenge against Footlights College in the episode " Bambi ". Rick's political beliefs vary, depending on how they benefit his particular situation, but can usually be categorised as radical.
While Rick sees himself as both a revolutionary and follower of Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky , in reality he has little understanding of the political ideals he purports to follow, and aspirations that far exceeds his reach. During "Cash" he is shown with a copy of Marx's Das Kapital , seemingly having fallen asleep while trying to read it.
He greatly dislikes Margaret Thatcher , as is noted by his threatening to blow up England with an atomic bomb in the episode "Bomb" if she "doesn't do something to help the kids, by this afternoon", and from negative references to Thatcher and the Conservative Party mentioned in The Young Ones book Bachelor Boys.
However, Rick sometimes displays a markedly conservative mindset, contrary to the image he has adopted, as again in "Bomb" while talking to an old man at the DHSS office which he has mistaken for a post office , and in Summer Holiday comments "That's one thing I'll say for Thatcher, she definitely has put this country back on its feet". Rick is vegetarian , agnostic ,  and wishes all men to love each other like brothers, except for Neil, whom he hates.
This hatred is ironic as in theory he and Neil share many values, such as a longing for a peaceful world and a hatred for meat and alcohol. However unlike Neil, Rick has been known to both drink see time sbd interesting [ clarification needed ] and is occasionally physically violent, therefore his hatred of Neil merely shows his hypocrisy.
Despite this he claims to care for the people but nearly everything he does is hypocritical and self-serving. Rick exaggerates or lies about his political activism and class background, which is exposed in the final episode, " Summer Holiday ", when it is suggested he comes from a well-off family with Conservative beliefs.
He is a closet- transvestite , as during " Nasty " Neil finds a dress in Rick's wardrobe with his name stitched in it. In the episode " Cash ", Rick admits to Mike that he is unable to tell the time, a trait that he shares with Vyvyan. Vyvyan, often referred to as "Vyv", is a psychopathic , sociopathic , sadistic , misanthropic punk medical student.
He has spiked red hair and four metal stars seemingly embedded into his forehead. He wears a denim waistcoat over a black T-shirt, a black studded belt across his denim jeans and bovver boots. He is extremely violent and regularly attacks Neil and Rick with pieces of wood, cricket bats, other large objects or simply his fists. For some reason he looks up to Mike, whom he never attacks and often addresses as "Michael".
He despises Rick more than he does Neil; for example when Rick, Mike and Neil meet his mother at a bar in the episode " Boring ", he calls both Neil and Mike his friends, but refers to Rick as "a complete bastard. This is usually provoked, such as when SPG bit Vyvyan and made him destroy his cardboard submarine in " Flood " or plugging in the TV after Vyvyan swallowed it in " Bomb ". Vyvyan's mother is a barmaid and former shoplifter, who named him a girls name "Vyvyan", gave him his first gift a box of matches at 8-weeks-old, and before the events of "Boring" had not seen Vyvyan in ten years and still has no idea who his father is.
Neil revealed that Vyvyan has more friends than the other housemates but " Vyvyan occasionally displays feats of superhuman strength and resilience, such as surviving a pickaxe through his head, moving entire walls with his bare hands, lifting Neil above his head in a fight with Rick, biting through a brick making the comment that some of the house's bricks explode , using dynamite to try and cure his hangover, and even being decapitated and re-attaching his own head.
He eats just about anything from televisions and dead rats to caviar and cornflakes with ketchup. Regardless of his violent and mostly simple-minded nature, Vyvyan seems to be the smartest of the group though Neil does better in exams than him , and he has on a couple of occasions demonstrated his talent as a medical student. In the episode " Flood ", he develops a potion to transform a person into an "axe-wielding homicidal maniac" , claiming that "it's basically a cure On occasion, he has made several eloquent statements regarding subjects ranging from Rick's manifest personality problems to the inherent dullness of The Good Life , and the end of "Oil" implies he manipulated the rest of the household, possibly for amusement.
Vyvyan also appears to have good knowledge of electrics and technology; on one occasion he wired the doorbell to a bomb "to pep it up a bit" so the housemates would be able to hear it, and he also added a small car engine to the vacuum cleaner as previously it "looked a bit on the tentative side" which then proceeds to suck up the carpet, the floorboards and a friend of Neil's. The vacuum also prompted one of the few clashes between Vyvyan and Mike; when Mike admonished Vyvyan and told him not to use it any more, Vyvyan replied by calling him a "poof". In the episode "Nasty", the boys trap a vampire in their bathroom, and when he denies being a vampire, Vyvyan successfully tricks him into admitting that he is.
In " Bambi " Vyvyan displays impressive mathematical talent as he worked out instantly that he has worn his three pairs of knickers times each since their last wash. However, like Rick, he cannot tell the time from a watch. Although Vyvyan is constantly unruly, he does possess a compassionate side; primarily in the episode " Cash ", when he thought he was pregnant he was considering names to call his baby and he also patted his "bump" saying "that's my boy!
Also when Vyvyan began having "contractions" he appealed to the other housemates for help, this led to Neil getting a job in the police force it was later revealed that he just had a really bad case of built-up gas. On another occasion, in the last episode " Summer Holiday " Vyvyan dissolved into tears because he crashed his car and also because it caused SPG's death while he was asleep on the car's radiator. Vyvyan is the only member of the group who owns a car, a yellow Ford Anglia with red flames painted along the sides and has "Vyv" written across the back window.
Neil is forbidden from touching his car, as when he suggested using it to listen to a tape, Vyvyan cheerfully reminded him that he would be killed if he even touched the car. He also appears to have exceptional knowledge of driving and road awareness, as he demonstrated when he tricked the vampire in "Nasty" to admitting he was really a vampire rather than a driving instructor as he had initially said. Vyvyan is not the only house member who can drive, however, during the last episode Rick is briefly seen driving the stolen AEC Routemaster double-decker bus.
Neil Pye is a morose , pacifist , vegetarian hippie working toward a Peace Studies degree. He is frequently victimised by the other housemates and forced to do the housework, shopping, cleaning and cooking. He is never acknowledged for it unless it goes wrong. He normally provides tea to drink and cornflakes or lentils for his housemates to eat. Neil is a pessimist and believes everyone and everything hates him, although he does have three hippie friends; one also named Neil, one named Warlock and a female hippie named Stonehenge. He dislikes most forms of technology except for televisions and video recorders.
He appears to be a fan of cartoon series Scooby-Doo; the possibility of missing an episode is his major concern when the house is transported back to the Middle Ages in 'Time'. He avoids sleep, believing that it causes cancer, and in the episode "Boring" he is shown to merely be standing at his window waiting for dawn. Neil frequently demonstrates a very literal interpretation of terms and phrases. For example, when Vyvyan says that his mother used to be a shoplifter, Neil responds "She doesn't look strong enough Neil wants the others to feel sorry for him, or just acknowledge his presence.
He claims "the most interesting thing that ever happens to me is sneezing ", the force of which is sufficient to blow a door off its hinges. In the pilot episode " Demolition ", Neil is shown to have suicidal tendencies , attempting to kill himself at least three times. However, this was not carried through for the rest of the series, with the exception of the episode "Boring", in which he attempts to kill himself in a desperate attempt at relieving boredom. On only two occasions has Neil shown any form of aggression; this was when Rick insulted Neil's flared trousers in the episode 'Nasty'.
He also seemed to enjoy hitting people with his truncheon when he became a police officer in "Cash" and did the same to his housemates when he thought they had committed a robbery. In the episode " Sick " in the second series, Neil's parents are introduced as upper middle class Tories who look down on Neil for starring in such a disreputable comedy series. His father wonders why his son cannot be in a nice comedy, such as the ones Neil's mother likes e. The Good Life. This provokes an angry tirade from Vyvyan, on his hatred of that show, followed by a parody episode of The Good Life where Neil is killed by Rick and covered with garden fertiliser only for several of him to emerge from the ground later on.
He is a fan of Hawkwind , Marillion , and Steve Hillage. More information about his musical tastes was revealed when the character 'guest v-jayed' on the still young MTV network in ca. Throughout the two series, Alexei Sayle routinely appeared as many different characters, interjecting his own material into the programme in ways that emulated his comedy routines.
His main role was that of the flat's landlord Jerzei Jeremy Balowski, which was the only character he reprised, appearing in " Demolition ", " Flood " and " Summer Holiday ". Jerzei was apparently Russian; however, several times during the series he would break character, or in one case the fourth wall and declare directly to the camera "I'm not really foreign, you know — I just do it to appear more sophisticated! In the second series, Sayle's characters also included a train driver, a Benito Mussolini look-alike by day the head of the local police force, by night an entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest , "Harry the Bastard" manager of the local Rumbelows electrical goods store, disguised as a South African vampire and, very briefly in an aside sketch that deliberately bore no relevance to the plot, a man in a bowler hat asking if he was in a cheese shop a reference to the Monty Python Cheese Shop sketch.
Mike is the natural "leader" of the house. Always trying to make himself appear more important and exciting than he really is, he does appear to have done some of the things he claims to have done such as getting Bambi the " Babycham " Advert in "Bambi".
Free monologues for high-school students
He experiences little hostility from the other members of the house. If there is any "fruitful" or amicable relationship in the house it is between Mike and Vyvyan. Vyvyan accepts Mike's role as the house leader whereas Mike needs Vyvyan's physique and willingness to act forcibly to enforce his own authority as was literally shown in " Oil " when Vyvyan became 'Col. Vyvyan', the right-hand-man to Mike's 'El Presidente'. Neil is unpopular, although he is the only one who performs any kind of household chores and is therefore needed by the other three.
Rick is the most disliked although he thinks very highly of himself. He tells poor jokes and stories but finds them hilarious himself , is a would-be anarchist although deep-down he is quite conservative , and frequently acts like a child when he does not get his way. He generally vents his frustration when trying to impress the others on Neil, since Neil never sticks up for himself and is ignored by the others.
The majority of his anger is generated in endless battles with Vyvyan, which he invariably loses. Rik Mayall once opined that the characters in The Young Ones form the basis of a classic nuclear family , comprising Neil as the mother figure, Mike as the father figure and Vyvyan and Rick as the children, Vyvyan the boy and Rick the girl.
In the first six episodes of the series, a person whose hair covers their face appears in the background of some scenes, such as to the left when Neil gets hit by Vyvyan with a kettle in " Bomb ". In the episode Demolition he appears slumped against the back wall when Rick is watching TV. In journalist Peter Farquhar sent members of the cast and crew email enquiries about this unnamed character.
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