{{Infobox television|
show_name=The Young Ones|

format=[[Comedy]] ([[sitcom]])|
runtime=35 minutes (approximate)|
creator=[[Rik Mayall]]<br />[[Lise Mayer]]<br />[[Ben Elton]]<br /> [[Alexei Sayle]]|
starring=[[Adrian Edmondson]]<br />[[Rik Mayall]]<br />[[Nigel Planer]]<br />[[Christopher Ryan]]<br />[[Alexei Sayle]]|
country=[[United Kingdom]]|
network=[[BBC Two]]|
first_aired=[[9 November]] [[1982]]|
last_aired= [[19 June]] [[1984]]|
num_episodes= 12
}}'''''The Young Ones''''' was a popular [[United Kingdom|British]] [[situation comedy|sitcom]], first seen in [[1982]], on [[BBC Two|BBC2]]. Its [[anarchy|anarchic]] sense of [[humour]], in the [[1980s]], made the actors famous in the UK. Soon after that, it was shown to [[Americans]] on [[MTV]], one of the first shows on the new channel that wasn't mostly about music.

The programme was about four [[college]] [[student]]s sharing a house: violent [[punk rock]]er Vyvyan ([[Adrian Edmondson]]), the stuck-up [[anarchy|anarchist]] Rick ([[Rik Mayall]]), the suffering [[hippy]] Neil ([[Nigel Planer]]), and the mysterious Mike ([[Christopher Ryan]]). It also starred [[Alexei Sayle]], who played their [[landlord]], Jerzei Balowski, and other members of the Balowski family.

The show was like a regular sitcom, with violent [[slapstick]], silly turns in the [[plot]], and [[surrealism]].

Although the series was set in [[North London]], many outdoors scenes were filmed in [[Bristol]]. All four characters went to the [[fiction]]al "Scumbag College", but they were never shown in a classroom, and were hardly ever seen studying.

The show was voted #31 in the BBC's [[Britain's Best Sitcom|Best Sitcom]] poll in 2004.

==History==
The series' beginnings were in [[London]]'s comedy clubs in the late 1970s. Most of the cast became popular at [[Comedy Store, London|The Comedy Store]]. [[Alexei Sayle]] was the main act, drawing attention as the manic, aggressive [[Master of ceremonies]]. Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall worked as a [[double act]], [[20th Century Coyote]], and later became [[The Dangerous Brothers]]). Nigel Planer was in a double act with [[Peter Richardson]] called "The Outer Limits."

As The Comedy Store became popular, Sayle, 20th Century Coyote and The Outer Limits, with [[French and Saunders]] and [[Arnold Brown (comedian)|Arnold Brown]], set up their own club called [[The Comic Strip]] in nearby [[Soho]]. The Comic Strip became one of the most popular comedy clubs in London, and one person who liked it a lot was [[Jeremy Isaacs]] of [[Channel 4]]. Peter Richardson then made a deal for six half-hour shows on Channel 4, using the group as comedy actors instead of stand-up performers.

The first of this series, ''[[The Comic Strip Presents...]]'', was on Channel 4 on [[2 November]] [[1982]]. After this, the BBC made a deal with Edmondson, Mayall, Richardson, Planer and Sayle to star in another sitcom in the same style. [[K. Paul Jackson|Paul Jackson]] was put in as a producer.

The series was written by Mayall with his girlfriend [[Lise Mayer]], and with Ben Elton (who went to [[Manchester University]] with Mayall and Edmondson). Richardson was first going to play Mike, but clashed with Jackson. He was replaced by Christopher Ryan, the only member of the group who wasn't a stand-up comedian.

==Synopsis==
The series was centered around the unclean house where the students lived during their time at Scumbag College.

When it was first on television, the show got attention for violent slapstick. Though new to [[mainstream]] audiences, Mayall and Edmondson had been using it in [[20th Century Coyote]] for some time. The show also had some very strange parts, such as [[puppet]]s playing [[talking animal]]s or objects. Confusion was added with pieces in the middle that were not part of the main plot.

Episodes in the second series sometimes had "[[Subliminal message|flash frames]]" (three frames, lasting 1/8 of a second), but these were cut out of some repeats. They were included to make fun of the British and American public's fear of subliminal messages in television and music. The images included the words ''[[Carry On Cowboy]]'' (the name of a 1965 film), a rusty dripping tap, a leaping frog, a dove in flight, a skier, and a hand making pottery.

The episodes ran 35 minutes, and many episodes were cut when repeated on the [[BBC]] or [[satellite television|satellite channels]].

In the United States, ''The Young Ones'' ran on [[PBS]], [[MTV]] and, in 1994, on [[Comedy Central]].

==Music==
The series' theme song featured the cast singing [[Cliff Richard]] and [[The Shadows]] UK #1 song "[[The Young Ones (song)|The Young Ones]]". Throughout the series there were many references to Richard, as Mayall's character was a fan.

The theme song over the end credits was written by [[Peter Brewis]], who also created [[incidental music]] on many episodes.

In 1984, after the second season, Planer (in character as Neil) reached No. 2 in the [[UK]] charts with a version of [[Traffic (band)|Traffic]]'s "[[Hole In My Shoe]]". It went with ''[[Neil's Heavy Concept Album]]'', a loose collection of songs and spoken comedy with appearances by ''Young Ones'' actors Dawn French and Stephen Fry.

In 1986, the cast sang "[[Living Doll (song)|Living Doll]]" with Cliff Richard and [[Hank Marvin]] for [[Comic Relief (charity)|Comic Relief]]. The song, a reworking of his 1959 hit, reached the top of the UK Charts.

Most episodes had a musical guest performing in the house or street. By including the groups, the show could be called [[Variety show|variety]] rather than [[light entertainment]] by the BBC and was given a bigger [[budget]] than a sitcom. This also helped get several British bands to be more popular with American viewers, such as [[Dexys Midnight Runners]], [[Motörhead]], and [[Madness (band)|Madness]]. This last group was in two episodes.

Some of these performances were cut from the [[DVD]] for [[copyright]] reasons. Some musical acts were also cut out for similar reasons on some satellite reruns.

{| class="wikitable" style="text-align:center"
! Episode<br>number !! Episode<br>name !! Band !! Song
|-
| colspan="4" align="left" |''Season 1''
|-
| 1 || Demolition || [[Nine Below Zero]] || "Eleven Plus Eleven"
|-
| 2 || Oil || Radical Posture (with [[Alexei Sayle]]) || "Dr. Martens Boots"
|-
| 3 || Boring || [[Madness (band)|Madness]] || "[[House of Fun]]"
|-
| 4 || Bomb || [[Dexys Midnight Runners]] || "[[Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)|Jackie Wilson Said]]"
|-
| 5 || Interesting|| [[Rip, Rig and Panic]] (with [[Neneh Cherry]]) || "You're My Kind Of Climate"
|-
| 6 || Flood ||colspan="2"| no band
|-
| colspan="4" align="left" |''Season 2''
|-
| 1 || Bambi || [[Motörhead]] || "[[Ace of Spades (song)|Ace of Spades]]"
|-
| 2 || Cash || Ken Bishop's Nice Twelve || "[[Subterranean Homesick Blues]]"
|-
| 3 || Nasty || [[The Damned]] || "Nasty"
|-
| 4 || Time || [[Amazulu (band)|Amazulu]] || "Moonlight Romance"
|-
| 5 || Sick || [[Madness (band)|Madness]] || "[[Our House (Madness song)|Our House]]"
|-
| 6 || Summer Holiday || [[John Otway]] || "Body Talk"
|}

==Characters==
===Neil Pye===
Played by [[Nigel Planer]], Neil Pye, the [[hippy]], is a [[clinical depression|clinically depressed]], suicidal [[pacifism|pacifist]], [[vegetarian]] and [[environmentalism|environmentalist]] working towards a [[Peace Studies]] degree. He is victimised by other housemates (especially Rick and Vyvyan) and forced to do the housework, including shopping, cleaning and cooking. He is never acknowledged for it (unless it goes wrong).

Neil is [[pessimistic]] and believes everyone and everything hates him, which is mostly true, though he does have some friends, two hippys, one also named Neil and one named Warlock. He doesn't like [[technology]] except for videos, and he speaks out for Vegetable Rights and Peace. He is also an [[insomnia]]c, believing that "sleep gives you cancer".

Neil wants the others to feel sorry for him, or just acknowledge his presence. To get attention, he tries anything from repeatedly banging himself on the head with a [[frying pan]] to attempting [[suicide]]. He claims "the most interesting thing that ever happens to me is [[sneezing]]".

In the second series, his parents - who appear in the episode "[[Sick (Young Ones episode)|Sick]]" - are revealed to be [[upper middle class]]. They are conservative [[Tory|Tories]] who look down on Neil for starring in such a bad comedy series.

Neil also says 'heavy' a lot.

===Rick===
Played by [[Rik Mayall]], Rick is an [[anarchist]] who is studying [[sociology]] and/or domestic sciences (depending on the episode). Rick writes poetry and calls himself "The People's Poet".

Rick is a [[hypocrite|hypocritical]], [[tantrum]]-throwing attention-seeker who loves [[Cliff Richard]]. Rick tries to impress the others with what he thinks is his [[wit]], talent and humour, but is really none of these. He insults and often physically assaults Neil. He fights and bickers with Vyvyan, and attempts to impress Mike.

Rick is a vegetarian, and says he wishes everyone to love each other like brothers. However, he rarely does anything that can be called [[brotherly love]].

Rick is unlikeable, and so selfish that he believes he is the "most popular member of the flat" even though his housemates really hate him. Vyvyan describes Rick's name as being spelled "with a silent [[prick|P]]". Although the other members dislike and ignore Rick, he is heard to say that they "really are terrific friends".

Believing himself the 'People's Poet' or the "spokesperson for a generation", Rick exaggerates or lies about his [[political activism]] and [[working class]] background, and in the last episode "[[Summer Holiday (Young Ones episode)|Summer Holiday]]", it is suggested he really comes from an [[upper class]], [[Conservative Party (UK)|Conservative]] background.

While he sees himself as an anarchist, he likes the ideas of [[Vladimir Lenin]] and [[Leon Trotsky]] and states his interest in them in several episodes. However, he claims to dislike [[Margaret Thatcher]], as is noted by his efforts threatening to blow up England with a [[bomb]] in the episode "Bomb" if she doesn't do something "to help the kids, by this afternoon." This is also noticed in "The Young Ones Book," first published by [[Sphere Books]], where negative references are made to Thatcher and the Conservative Party.<blockquote>
</blockquote>

Rick speaks loudly and cannot pronounce his "r"s sometimes.

===Vyvyan===
Played by [[Adrian Edmondson]], Vyvyan is an orange-haired, [[mohawk hairstyle|mohican]] [[punk (music)|punk rocker]] and [[medicine|medical]] [[student]]. He is extremely violent and regularly attacks Neil and Rick with pieces of wood, cricket bats and other large objects. He never hurts Mike, whom he respects. He hates Rick more than he does Neil, taking every chance to insult and attack him. For example, when Rick, Mike and Neil meet his mother at a bar in the episode "[[Boring (Young Ones episode)|Boring]]", he calls both Neil and Mike his friends, but not Rick, whom he calls "a complete bastard." Although Rick and Vyvyan hate each other, this makes them all but inseparable; the two spend more time together than apart, or with the other housemates.

Vyvyan owns a yellow [[Ford Anglia]], with red flames painted along the sides, and a [[Glaswegian]] hamster named [[Special Patrol Group]] ("SPG" for short) which he is very fond of, even though SPG is also often subjected to Vyvyan's extreme violence. His mother is a barmaid and former shoplifter, who before "Boring" had not seen Vyvyan in ten years and has no idea who his father is.

Vyvyan has inhuman strength on occasion (moving entire walls with his bare hands, lifting Neil above his head in a fight with Rick, biting through a brick and even re-attaching his own head after it was cut off), surviving a pick-axe through the head, and he eats just about anything; televisions, dead rats, cornflakes, or cornflakes with [[ketchup]].

Although he is a [[homicide|homicidal]] maniac, Vyvyan can be friendly and creative; in one episode ("Flood"), he made his own [[potion]] to change a person into an axe-wielding homicidal maniac. He has more friends than the others but "he doesn't like any of them." He often causes damage such as wiring the doorbell to a [[bomb]], and adding a 289 CID Ford V-8 engine to the [[vacuum cleaner]], which proceeds to suck up the carpet, the floorboards and a friend of Neil's. Vyvyan also seems to be the only member of the group with a driving licence.

===Mike The Cool Person===
Played by [[Christopher Ryan]], Mike was the oddest of the four. He is the assumed leader of the group, despite being rather shorter than the others, and does not involve himself in the battles between the other three. He makes puns, which are either deliberately cheap or humorous.

He often uses deep-sounding phrases that confuse the others (for example, when asked by Rick if he stole his apple, Mike replies "Well, if you're gonna sin you might as well be [[Original sin|original]]."). Mike is supposedly the ladies' man of the bunch, and brags about his [[prowess]] with women, although he is eventually forced to admit his [[virginity]] to the others in "[[Nasty (Young Ones episode)|Nasty]]." Though he is a virgin, as are the rest of the housemates, he always tries to get a date with the opposite sex, being quite forward and unsuccessful.

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 trying to [[auction]] off the unexploded [[atom bomb]] that fell into the house. Mike attends Scumbag College only in name, as he has [[blackmail]]ed his tutor and the Dean of the school for grants, and apparently passing grades. In "Summer Holiday" he says "I think I'll ask for one of those [[Ph.D.]]s next year."

While Mike often does things at the expense of his housemates, he usually doesn't show the sort of open hostility that the others do, and seems to cause them trouble only when it benefits him. He has, however, managed to nail his own legs to a table, and accidentally knocked Neil out during a game of cricket. We only see violence done to him once or twice (at the end of the "Living Doll" video, when Vyvyan knocks him unconscious with a hammer and in "[[Summer Holiday]]", when Neil transforms into the [[Incredible Hulk]], who picks up Mike and throws him to the ground, however it turns out it was only Neil's imagination).

===Balowski Family===
Throughout the two series, [[Alexei Sayle]] regularly appeared as many different characters, putting his own material into the programme in ways that copied his [[stand up comedy]] routines. His main role was that of the flat's landlord Jerzy (Jeremy) Balowski, appearing in "[[Demolition (Young Ones episode)|Demolition]]", "[[Flood (Young Ones episode)|Flood]]" and "[[Summer Holiday (Young Ones episode)|Summer Holiday]]". The rest of the time, he played various male members of "The Balowski Family", including nephew Alexei Balowski (a protest singer), son Reggie Balowski (an international arms dealer), brother Billy Balowski (a lunatic who believed he was a taxi driver), cousin Tommy Balowski (a drunk), escaped [[convict]] Brian Damage Balowski, and a [[medieval]] [[jester]] "Jester Balowski" (with [[Helen Lederer]] as his sidekick).

In the second series, Sayle's characters also included a
[[Railway|train]] driver, a [[Mussolini]] look-alike (by day the head of the local police force, by night an entrant in the [[Eurovision Song Contest]]), and "Harry the Bastard" (manager of the local [[Rumbelows]] store, disguised as a South African vampire).

==In-house relations==
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]]" commercial in "Bambi"). He gets little hostility from the other members of the house. If there is any good or friendly relationship in the house it is between Mike and Vyvyan. Vyvyan accepts Mike's role as the house leader, whereas Mike sometimes uses Vyvyan's muscles and willingness to act forcibly, to enforce his own authority.

Neil is the second least liked of the four, although he is the only one who does any kind of household chores and is therefore needed by the other three.

Rick is the least liked. Rick thinks very highly of himself. He tells poor jokes and stories (but finds them hilarious himself), is a [[wanna-be]] anarchist (although deep-down he is quite conservative) and frequently acts like a child when he doesn't get his way. He generally takes out his frustration (when trying to impress the others) on Neil, since Neil never sticks up for himself and is ignored by the others. However, the one time when Neil looked as if he was going to retaliate, Rick fled. Most of his anger comes up in his endless battles with Vyvyan, which he always loses.

==Finale==
In the final episode, the four students steal a red [[AEC Routemaster]] after robbing a bank, only to drive it over a cliff, and it explodes into flames at the bottom of a [[quarry]].

==After the series==
The end of the series was not the last appearance of ''The Young Ones''. For the British
[[Charitable organization|charity]] television appeal [[Comic Relief (charity)|Comic Relief]], the four recorded a song and video for Cliff Richard's "[[Living Doll (song)|Living Doll]]", along with Richard and [[The Shadows|Shadows]] guitarist [[Hank B. Marvin]]. (Alexei Sayle was not involved, but had already achieved chart success in 1984 with "'Ullo John, Gotta New Motor?".) At the 1986 Comic Relief stage show, they performed the song live.

Mayall, Planer and Edmondson reunited in 1986 for the Elton-written ''[[Filthy Rich & Catflap]]''. The series had many of the same characteristics as ''The Young Ones'' as did Mayall and Edmondson's next sitcom ''[[Bottom (TV series)|Bottom]]''. Ryan, for his part, was regularly recruited to play roles on associated series (such as ''[[Happy Families (TV series)|Happy Families]]'', ''[[Bottom (TV series)|Bottom]]'' and ''[[Absolutely Fabulous]]'').

DVD releases have been somewhat basic: only the U.S. "Every Stoopid Episode" edition featured documentaries, and no extra footage was included. Musical references proved difficult to clear, so "[[The Sound of Silence]]" and "[[Subterranean Homesick Blues]]" were cut from the U.S. editions.

A new DVD release of all episodes ("Extra Stoopid Edition") came out in November of 2007, with new documentaries and two commentary tracks.<ref>[http://www.zetaminor.com/roobarb/showthread.php?t=17483 Roobarb's DVD Forum]</ref> . This edition restores "[[The Sound of Silence]]" and "[[Subterranean Homesick Blues]]," but is missing other scenes.

In 1986 MTV bought half the episodes to run on their cable systems during 1987.

==References==
{{reflist}}
* {{ cite book | id = ISBN 0-7221-5765-7 | title = Bachelor Boys: The Young Ones Book | author = [[Ben Elton]], [[Rik Mayall]] & [[Lise Mayer]] |date=1984 | publisher = Sphere Books ltd
}}

== Other websites ==
* {{imdb title|id=0083505|title=The Young Ones}}
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/y/youngonesthe_1299003473.shtml The bbc.co.uk Guide To Comedy: The Young Ones]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/ilove/years/1982/tv1.shtml BBC: I Love 1982: The Young Ones]
* [http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/476396/index.html British Film Institute Screen Online]
* [http://www.flickr.com/photos/89492733@N00/sets/72157601772650455/ Flickr - BBC's 'The Young Ones' Filming Locations]

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