Hard to Keep a Good Comic Down

by Rik Mayall Interviews And Articles Archive Blog

By Des Partridge for Courier Mail, 27th July 2000

A tidal wave of projectile vomiting provides the climax of former Young Ones comics Rik Mayan and Adrian Edmondson’s new movie, Guest House Paradiso.

“Did you know you can get vomit in seven different flavours and colours?” Rik Mayall asks.

“The special effects people offered us lots of samples to look at before we decided on something in a sickening shade of green. We passed on the one that looked like tandoori chicken,” he laughs.

Obviously, the boys are up to their old tricks.

Yet it hasn’t been laughs all the way. Guest House Paradiso was in the preparatory stages when Mayall, 42, was involved in a near fatal accident, crashing a quad bike on his 4ha property at his home in Devon.

He spent five days unconscious in hospital, and there were fears he might not survive.

Mayall and Edmondson (married to comedienne Jennifer Saunders) have been writing together since they met at university in Manchester more than 20 years ago. They had done a couple of drafts of the screenplay which became Guest House Paradiso before the accident, and it was six months before Mayall was able to resume work.

“I think we probably got a few more ideas for the screenplay because of the delay,” he says. “It was about 3 ½ hours long before, and we managed to trim half that.”

Guest House Paradiso, which also was directed by Edmondson, features the two maniacal comics as the operators of the world’s worst tourist hotel — located on the coast next door to a nuclear plant.

(The guests start their tsunami of projectile vomiting due to radioactive fish sewed at dinner.) “The vomiting was very cleverly filmed as there were little pipes around the place. The stuff that spewed out was like pudding mixture. We laughed for days.”

After shows such as The Young Ones and Bottom, Mayall promises “no vomit jokes” in the team’s next film.