The Young Ones was one of the weirdest, strangest, oddest, yet funniest comedy shows of the 1980s. To say that it had a unique sense of humour was an understatement and it really did know no boundaries, as one minute it would be fairly normal, then a devil would appear, or an alien spaceship, with no explanation!
It had a wonderful cast, including the amazing Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson, and they realised their student characters perfectly, injecting humour, wit and real charisma in to them all! Let’s take a look back at this classic show with some amazing facts…
1. It wasn’t a sit-com!
In spite of what you may think, the show was not a Sit-com! Why not I hear you cry, well have you ever wondered why there would be random segments with music played by top bands of the time? This was to get the show classified as “Light Entertainment” as the BBC had no remaining budget for a new Sit-com!
2. Rik Mayall was upset by some of the fans
As you will know if you have seen the program, it has some jokes that poke direct fun at 1980s police men and their sterotypes, who are often either stupid, overly violent or racist. The fact that police men actually loved The Young Ones is said to have upset Rik Mayall greatly!
3. The Young Ones were a family… kind of!
Rik Mayall once said that the Young Ones were actually the definition of the Nuclear Family, with Mike as the father figure, Neil as the mother, Vyvyan as the rebellious teenage son and Rik as the daughter (hence the pig tails!).
4. Madness nearly had their own series!
There were many hit pop acts that appeared in The Young Ones over the series’ run, but Madness appeared twice, performing both Our House and House of Fun. The reason they appeared twice was that the BBC were thinking of giving Madness their own TV show in the same vein as the Monkees, but this never ended up happening.
5. Rik Mayall had more than one role
Remember Vyvyan’s pet hamster, Special Patrol Group? He ended up badly when Vyvyan crashed his car in to a lamp post and SPG had been asleep on the bumper, but did you know that SPG was actually voiced by none other than Rik Mayall?
6. This London show was not filmed in London
In spite of the fact that The Young Ones was set in London, most of the outdoor shots were not filmed in London at all, but were filmed in Bristol as that was where the show’s producer, Paul Jackson, was living at the time. Even the house used in the external scenes was Bristol, on Codrington Road to be precise!
7. It had many up and coming famous TV faces
The Young Ones gave many opportunities for up and coming stars to appear in guest cameo roles, and some of these would go on to have glittering TV careers of their own. The likes of Lenny Henry, Hugh Laurie, Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones all appeared on the show.
8. It also had some people who became huge hits in Hollywood
As well as many future TV faces, The Young Ones gave cameos to some stars who would make it big in Hollywood, including Emma Thompson and Robbie Coltrane who would both go on to star in the Harry Potter series of movies!
9. It was ended so it didn’t go stale
Rik Mayall, Ben Elton and Lise Mayer could not think of enough new jokes and material in the vein needed for The Young Ones’ unique sense of humour, and so they decided to end the show after its second series by killing off the whole of the main cast of characters instead.
10. One episode had to be cut
There are some very dodgy moments in the Young Ones, we see people in the bath, on the toilet, in some very strange situations and some fairly graphic (but very silly) violence for the time, yet one scene in the episode “Nasty” had to be cut, when they included a sequence in which two teddy bears are seen having sex!
The Young Ones was a true classic and redefined a genre by daring to do something very different, and very few series have ever managed to create the same kind of unique feel. Has this brought back loads of memories and made you want to re-watch the show? I know I’m now off to my DVD room to get the two boxsets and watch both series back to back, so I’ll see you soon! In the meantime make sure to leave us plenty of comments on your favourite shows, characters and scenes from the series, there are plenty to choose from!