"Answer the phone Neil."

One of the greatest 80's TV comedies. A classic show that had more comedy guests then it had episodes. Students Rick, Neil, Vyvyan and Mike live in squalor in a decrepit house. Their frequent outbursts of mindless violence were so extreme and ridiculous that it made it one of the most enjoyable and memorable shows of the time.

The Young Ones started life as a bunch of British stand up comedians who were working on an 'alternative comedy' movement. Some of them were already beginning to turn up on television shows like Boom Boom...Out Go The Lights and a few other small productions. Rik Mayall played Rik, a pompous, radical wannabe. Ade Edmondson portrayed heavy metal freak Vivian. Then there was Nigel Planer's brainless, hippy 'Neil' and finally, Mike a slightly mysterious and overwhelmingly 'normal' character played by Christopher Ryan. Alexi Sayle also appeared regularly as their Russian landlord Jerzy Balowski and most of his family.

The amount of established and up and coming comedy guest stars was incredible. To name a few, they included. Mark Arden, Keith Allen, Helen Atkinson Wood, Jim Barclay, Chris Barrie, Arnold Brown, Robbie Coltrane, Lee Cornes, Andy de la Tour, Ben Elton, Dawn French, Stephen Frost, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Gareth Hale, Terry Jones, Norman Pace, Lenny Henry, Helen Lederer, Norman Lovett, Pauline Melville, Paul Merton, Daniel Peacock, David Rappaport, Tony Robinson, Griff Rhys Jones, Jennifer Saunders, Mel Smith and Emma Thompson.

Rik Mayall, Lisa Mayer and Ben Elton wrote the scripts, with Mayall and Mayer working as a team and Elton alone; the two elements had to be combined for every script, Elton later saying that this method accounted for the show's lack of discipline which, perversely, greatly added to its appeal. Like most great British comedies, The Young Ones certainly owes a lot to Monty Python, but rather then coping its content, it used the Python style to take the sit-com in a whole new direction.

The Young Ones fast became a cult classic and remains a firm British favorite to this day. A classic sit-com that definitely should not be missed.

 

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