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The Young Ones (TV Series 1982–1984) Poster

(1982–1984)

Trivia

The reason for including a performance by a live band in each episode was that this caused the BBC to categorize the show as "Light Entertainment" rather than "Situation Comedy", which meant it got a budget, as no budget was available for further sitcoms.
None of the writers had ever done anything for television before and simply wrote what they thought would be funny, not giving any thought to how it would actually be filmed. When they arrived on set the first day they realized how much work the crew had gone to for what were, in a lot of cases, throw-away jokes with no real connection to the plot. They apologized and promised to write things that would be easier to film, but the crew told them they had enjoyed the challenge and to keep writing as they had and they would find a way to film it.
Rik Mayall once remarked in an interview that The Young Ones were designed to be a nuclear family, with Neil as the mother, Mike as the father figure, Vyvyan as the rebellious young son and Rick as the daughter (complete with pigtails).
Many then-current and future BBC comedy stars made appearances in this program. Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (French and Saunders, Absolutely Fabulous), Hugh Laurie (most recently of House), Emma Thompson (dramatic star), Stephen Fry (intellectual & comedian), Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones (of Alas Smith and Jones), Robbie Coltrane (most recently of Harry Potter's Hagrid fame), Lenny Henry (comedian), Ben Elton (playwright and comedian), and countless others.
According to Ed Bye, the show was surprisingly popular with policemen, a fact which upset Rik Mayall greatly.
Despite being set in North London, the external scenes were actually filmed in Bristol, just over 100 miles away; the show's producer, Paul Jackson, lived in Bristol at the time. The house used for the external scenes is in Codrington Road, Bristol.
The principal characters were all derived from characters performed by the actors at The Comic Strip club in London in the early-1980s. Rik, the People's Poet was a solo act by Rik Mayall; Vyvyan was a development of Adrian Edmondson's half of Twentieth Century Coyote (with Mayall); Neil was originally Nigel Planer's inept (and depressed) folk singer; while Mike was based on Peter Richardson's performance as half of The Outer Limits (with Planer). It was originally intended that Richardson should join the show, but when he declined, the role was offered to Christopher Ryan.
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Unusually for a BBC sitcom at the time, most of the location scenes were recorded on video using Outside Broadcast facilities instead of 16mm film.
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Jennifer Saunders made two guest roles in the show as two different characters. Saunders and Adrian Edmondson were later married on 24 January 1985.
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Madness made two guest appearances in the sitcom performing two of their hit songs. "House of Fun" in The Young Ones: Boring (1982) and "Our House" in The Young Ones: Sick (1984). The reason they made two appearances was that the BBC was considering giving them a series in the same vein as _The Monkees_. This never happened.
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In The Young Ones: Sick (1984), We meet Neil's parents. But in the following show The Young Ones: Summer Holiday (1984), Neil mentions that his parents are dead. Neil's parents died sometime between episodes.
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A pilot for an American version of the sitcom which was called Oh, No! Not THEM! (1990) featured Nigel Planer returning in the role of Neil and Jackie Earle Haley and the show had a Claymation opening credit sequence. But the show was not picked up.
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The theme song "The Young Ones" by Cliff Richard and The Shadows is performed by Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer and Christopher Ryan.
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Rik Mayall, Ben Elton and Lise Mayer decided to discontinue the sitcom after 2 seasons. Although the characters Vivian, Rik, Neil and Mike had been killed off in a fatal bus explosion. The characters would return for "Comic Relief" in 1986 and they would also appear in a music video of "Living Doll" by Cliff Richard.
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Adrian Edmondson would appear as Vivian in a NatWest bank account advert, which Vivian had a Mohawk. The advert itself was parodied in the bank robbery scene in The Young Ones: Summer Holiday (1984).
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Rik Mayall provided the voice of Special Patrol Group.
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Rik Mayall stated in a interview on why the sitcom ended after 2 seasons, was because himself, Lise Mayer and Ben Elton could not think of anymore original jokes and decided to kill off the characters.
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Adrian Edmondson performed some stunts in the show himself without the use of a stunt double.
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The sitcom is called "The Young Ones" because Rick (Rik Mayall) is a fan of Cliff Richard. The theme song "The Young Ones" was a song by Cliff Richard and The Shadows.
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There was a fifth flatmate, of indeterminate gender, who never spoke. Ben Elton has denied his/her existence, however Geoff Posner and Paul Jackson admit that they thought it would be funny to have an unexplained character appearing in some episodes.
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Griff Rhys Jones, whom played Bamber Gascoigne in The Young Ones: Bambi (1984) had played Gascoigne in a University Challenge (1962) parody in Not the Nine O'Clock News (1979).
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In The Young Ones: Flood (1982) Vivian finds himself in Narnia and encounters The White Witch and her dwarf servant. A parody of "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" by C.S. Lewis. Someone in the studio audience even says, "It's Narnia".
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Pauline Melville, who played Vivian's mother, who works as a barmaid in The Young Ones: Boring (1982) later played a barmaid in Red Dwarf: Backwards (1989) but was uncredited.
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The final show The Young Ones: Summer Holiday (1984) was broadcast 30 years and 10 days before the death of Rik Mayall on June 18th 2014.
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In The Young Ones: Flood (1982), the last show of the 1st season. Mr. Balowski is eaten alive by lions. But, in The Young Ones: Summer Holiday (1984), the final show of the series, he is alive and well.
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The closing credits theme was written and composed by Peter Brewis.
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In The Young Ones: Bomb (1982), when Reggie Balowski is talking to Mike about the atom bomb, he quotes "Did you kill my brother?". This foreshadowed later in 1985, when Alexei Sayle released a single called "Did You Kill My Brother?" which was a song he performed in The Comic Strip Presents... (1982).
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In The Young Ones: Nasty (1984) there was a scene that was filmed but deleted, which was deemed "Too naughty", which two teddy bears are seen having sex.
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The series was highly controversial for its content and was described by David Croft as the beginning of "vomit comedy". He said it was "an innovation but it wasn't progress".
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Colin Baker taped a sketch portraying the evil Count Dustbug, which was deleted from the finished edition.
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Christopher Ryan would later work with Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson in their popular sitcom Bottom (1991), which he played Eddie Hitler's gormless friend Dave Hedgehog.
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After the show ended in 1984. Alexei Sayle and Christopher Ryan would go on to appear opposite Colin Baker in Doctor Who (1963). Sayle played DJ in 1985's Revelation of the Daleks and Ryan played Lord Kiv in 1986's The Trial of a Time Lord: Mindwarp.
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In The Young Ones: Boring (1982), Billy Balowski pretends to be a Dalek, quoting their famous catchphrase "Exterminate!". This foreshadowed Alexei Sayle's guest role as DJ in the 1985 story Revelation of the Daleks, in which Sayle's character got exterminated by the Daleks.
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Mike's surname is ambiguous, The Bachelor Boys book refers to him as "The Cool Person" several times, but in different styles including quotes.
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Guest actor David Rappaport whom appeared in two shows in Series 1 as two different characters later appeared opposite Mark Hamill in Amazing Stories: Gather ye Accorns (1986). Adrian Edmondson would later star in Star Wars: Episode VIII (2017). Mark Hamill played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars films.
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During the show, Alexei Sayle would go out of character and play himself and would rant and talk about something from the comedian's own life, which he is known for in his sketch comedy shows and stand up acts.
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Rik Mayall never considered giving his character Kevin Turvey from the BBC sketch show A Kick Up the Eighties (1981), a cameo in an episode of the sitcom.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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