Rik Mayall Interview
by Rik Mayall Interviews And Articles Archive Blog
Radio Undercover, August 2000
Rik Mayall is a very funny man. Well he should be because that’s his job. You might know him from such shows as The Young Ones and Bottom and you might get to know him from his new movie Guest House Paradiso. He popped by Undercover to talk to Paul Cashmere
Rik Mayall (RM): You don’t know who I am… well, you do, but I don’t know who you are… but I might? I’m not going to tell you when this is recording, but you might know? Perhaps what I’m trying to say is… I know you. Something may have been invented in the future, in order for me to be recreated from the past, and then to be pushed back particularly to where you are now. You may not understand, but you will perhaps one day, as long as you’re a good boy, or girl, and you play the game. Now the way to play the game, is to go and get information from the source, and the source is Guest House Paradiso, my film. Paul is here to talk to me…
Paul (PC): Rik Mayall. It’s a pleasure to have you along, and welcome back to the year 2000.
RM: Oh thank you. Oh fucking hell, you’ve given the fucking time away! It’s 2004.
PC: 2004, yes… ahhh… the video’s been out for a couple of years now…
RM: Yeah, don’t try and hush it up, use their imagination. Right, we’ll start again. Paul!
PC: We’d like to welcome Rik Mayall, star of Guest House Paradiso, which is currently doing the rounds at the cinema’s, or on video right now if you’re looking at this a couple of years into the future.
RM: The old movie from ten years ago! What would you like to know Paul? I’ll tell you practically anything!
PC: Well tell us about your old sparring partner Ade Edmonson, he’s been your partner for around 25 years now, that’s a long time to be around anyone isn’t it?
RM: Well, I’ve tried to get him into bed now for twenty five years, but I still haven’t, but in Guest House Paradiso, nothing could be further from the truth. There’s a nude scene in it. I guarantee if you buy a ticket and keep your eyes open, you will see Ade Edmonson’s arse. You will also see Eddy’s arse, and you will also see my penis. Yes you will! It doesn’t matter if you’re young, because there’s not much to be scared of.
PC: Now that was a stand in thing wasn’t it ?
RM: No! It’s all covered up in a chef’s hat! Well, Eddy has a full chef’s hat, and I have, you know that thing that they call a rack of lamb? They have it in really posh restaurants, and it’s basically the rib cage of a sheep, and they put little chef’s hats on the top here, and that’s what I have to cover up my penis.
PC: Let’s get straight to the vomit scene shall we? There are two movies that spring to mind, one is The Exorcist, and the other is now Guest House Paradiso.
RM: Oh yeah, I’ve thought of another one…
PC: Oh? There’s another one? Fill me in!
RM: Mr Creosote.
PC: I’m not familiar with that one.
RM: Mr Creosote exploded because he ate too much in the Python movie. Ade actually went to Terry Jones and discussed vomit with him, yes he did! Because he was a Python, and we were very honoured to be able to talk to a Python. He said colour was the problem, some people may laugh, some may not laugh, but Ade decided he’s the director, so green is the colour. We have not been able to work with vomit in twenty five years! You can’t do it on stage, because it’s practically impossible. Unless you want to make a big mess, and then work on the same set, you can’t do it on telly, because of the BBC, the BBC would not let us. In The Young Ones, you could be sick but you could not see the sick. In Basil, there’s a scene with me and Addy and I’m heaving but I have to heave behind him. It’s very important, because you could slip over later, as a feed line for a related joke. There was a very funny scene when I was going to be sick all over Eddy but I couldn’t. I had to go into a toilet and be sick on my own. The BBC do not like sick, so we supplemented so many vomit jokes. Finally we got control of our art form, which is directing and writing and not having these bloody suits and tie telling us what to do. Fuck them! We just did our thing, and so these vomit gags became a week long vomit sequence that was shot.
PC: Twenty five years in the making?
RM: Which is why there is so much of it, but believe it or not, it was cut down a little bit.
PC: What’s the recipe for the vomit?
RM: Trade secret mate! Trade secret. There’s a lot… Well the technicians went away to start on the colour, inspired by Terry Jones. They sent a tape of the poor little lad who was the assistant to the special effects bloke, with this tube next to him so he could be sick. They made this tape and Ade and a couple of the special effects boys were standing around very seriously, watching this tape saying “Yeah, this is good here…” and the little kid comes out and goes “ARGH!!!” like that, and they’re going, “…yeah that’s good, that’s good, wind it up… and this is good this next scene, this is more orange.” They called it Tandoori Special, that’s what they actually called it and this kid came up and was sick all over the wall! It should be on the fucking Internet because this tape is just so funny and what was even more funny was that these guys were there going “Yes, that’s good, that’s good” like all these grown ups, with me at the back of the room pissing myself laughing!
PC: Is he different as a director?
RM: Well, he’s not Addy, he’s Adrian!
PC: So is he in serious mode when he’s in director mode?
RM: He’s in command. He’s a good leader, but he doesn’t lead emotionally, he leads in command and inspires confidence. He gets things arranged, and they are arranged and they are done, but we’re not exactly the same, because Ade would go off and organise stuff while I go off masturbating.
PC: What about you guys as a business relationship? Do you hang out on the weekend together or is it very much a go to work thing and that’s where you guys hang out?
RM: Well we used to hang out together but we got married, had a few kids. Basically the weekends are that we’re allowed to watch our wives shopping. We take our money home and give it to them and then our wives let us go out and get more money. Sometimes they put the kids in the same room as us.
PC: So yo u’re a great baby-sitter as well then?
RM: Yes of course…
PC: Now Guest House, it sort of reminded me of Three Stooges, meets Fawlty Towers.
RM: How dare you! Are you suggesting we stole the Three Stooges? Are you suggesting that just because there was a rather dull sitcom twenty five years ago, are you suggesting we stole it?
PC: Well yeah…
RM: Oh. Well you’re right, sorry go on. John Cleese is a very good and dear friend of mine.
PC: Are you fans of all those shows though?
RM: Of course, John is my dearest friend, and he loves me very much, don’t you John? And I love him! And that’s why we didn’t steal anything from Guest House Paradiso, I mean… Fawlty Towers. It’s Fawlty Towers Paradiso… Guest House Towers… okay look, when the nipple ring comes in, my very good friend and dear lover, Simon Peg, had his nipple pierced for him to have his nipple ring pulled off. It was very painful for him but he did it because he’s a good boy.
PC: That was some amazing photography of the flesh tearing…
RM: Yeah, it’s very good, very good work, and Simon was very brave. Okay, there was a bit of a dummy nipple, I don’t know if I should be giving this away.
PC: I didn’t know i t was a dummy nipple?
RM: This should go down in comedy history because there was a bit where the body of the character Simon was playing was drawn up and banged on the ceiling. Ade kept saying “Simon, you’re going to have to do it again, I need to see your face really get hit, you don’t mind do you?” and he said “No, no no!” Because Simon was a bit of a fan you see? So there was this one plank behind his back, and a sheet covering it, and these three or four techies pulling him up and banging his face on the ceiling.
PC: Well that scene brought a tear to my eye, and so did the nutcrack er scene.
RM: The nutcracker scene, yes those were my testicles. I’m not joking, they really were!
PC: I bet you weren’t laughing!
RM: No, I had testicle protection. I had invented a sort of testicle bra, which sort of hung my testicles in a rather revealing way. I’m thinking of marketing it because I think it’s a new fashion thing, the testicle bra. They sort of enhance your testicles. Ladies have enhanced their breasts for centuries. Why can’t we enhance our testicles and walk around like that? Have a little cleavage on the edge of your knob with a couple of bollocks hanging out the side. I think it would be rather sexy but as you get fatter and older, the one thing you don’t get is that your balls don’t shrink — in fact, they get bigger. So, if you want to shag an old man, come my way, unless you’re a psychopath. If you’re a psychopath using your computer, fuck off, for anyone else, come and get a shag. Oh and Barbara, if it’s you watching, I’m only joking!
PC: Everyone gets to see it. There are no secrets.
RM: Aren’t there? Oh… let’s do the blowjob now then!
PC: The marvelous violent scenes in the movie, Adrian getting his head run over by the truck, we talked about the testicle…
RM: The least one you expect is the pants exploding. Addy comes to pop the pants and it blows him through the side of the hotel, it’s brilliant.
PC: And I guess rubber underwear is some thing that’s very very dear to any Australian, so that was obviously a very funny scene to anyone in this hemisphere.
RM: But the English as well, the family that we call the ‘nice’ family. They’re nice and they’ve got the kids. Because it’s the wedding anniversary and it’s all they can afford, they’ve brought their rubber underwear. He’s got his little nipple ring and you know, there’s nothing wrong with it…it can be sexy…but Richard had to corrupt his little pleasure and when he puts them on he can’t get them off. Once again he can’t get them off! Yeah actually, that was really good I had serious balls, good for me! I was crawling around in the walls between the rooms in the bra for a long time and I wasn’t allowed knee pads. Oh, and the candle in the eye was good.
PC: Yes, there was no disclaimer at the end of the movie, “No English comedians were injured during the making of this movie”. Why was that?
RM: Well, because they didn’t want it on, because it would make them look l ike the worst actor.
PC: Did anything hurt?
RM: Yeah, a lot but we’re not allowed to say it. The bollocks hurt a lot but I did have a bollock protector. I remember at the rehearsal, it’d be like ” Now honestly guys, I just want you to tell me if this hurts” *crunch* and I was like, “Honestly, it hurts Adrian” I shouted.
PC: There’s some very nice scenery in the movie too, made in the Isle Of Wright…
RM: Well, let’s be sexist about it. It was beautiful.
PC: Now, Mr Twat…
PC: How does that go down in America though, because they wouldn’t know what a twat was would they?
RM: Twat no, twat (pronounced differently) yes.
PC: We’d say Twat…
RM: Oh do you? We say twat. Twat is pussy. They say pussy.
PC: We say twat.
RM: We say cunt. Do you say can’t? We say that because we do shag and drink beer…
PC: We hear a lot of you can’t.
RM: We can’t? We don’t get the opportunity and even if we did we wouldn’t! We’re so fucked up, erection is a word unheard of in my country. How we breed, I don’t know.
PC: What about the United States?
RM: The film hasn’t been released.
PC: Is it going to be released over there? Because the twat joke would go right over their heads .
RM: Well, we use twat. There’s the word twit for instance, meaning “You silly nilly”. A harder word is twat, which incidentally also means a ladies vagina. Because we’re post P.C. (politically correct) it’s kind of acceptable to say it now but it’s not really. I come f rom a generation that said cunt and then we were told that it’s not politically correct to say cunt, so we didn’t say cunt. Then they were more relaxed so we could say cunt again. So, we said cunt but we couldn’t say cunt because it was on television so we said let’s get a picture together. We got a picture together and finally we could say cunt, so we said cunt and now it’s so fucking stupid and unnecessary, I put this whole film together just so I could say the word cunt. Now this fucking computer thing has changed the world so I can say cunt anyway! My whole life just so I could say cunt and now I can say it! So let’s just say “cunt” and have it done with.
PC: I was a bit disappointed to see that Cliff wasn’t in the movie, was he invited into the movie?
RM: That’s a dark area…
PC: Because you’re the man who made him famous all over again. That was my idea before he was Sir Cliff.
RM: Yes, it was Sir Cliff.
PC: Can you still mix in the same circles?
RM: That’s a grey area, I don’t want to go to… far into it… what’s the next question?
PC: Well I was going to ask another Cliff question, but I don’t think I should now!
RM: No, no… Sir Cliff’s life is his. Why should I intrude?
PC: You haven’t been offered a knighthood or anything have you?
RM: I’ll tell you something that is good and lordable that makes me rather proud, when the fuck was it? I think it was last Autumn, I can’t remember very well, this I can’t remember specifically. Okay! So Tony Blair, who is currently the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Tony Blair who’s daughter was in The Exorcist and we used her also for the vomit scene in Guest House Paradiso and she did a very good job. She didn’t need to be on camera, she could just fill the place any time she wanted. She asked all the hot groovy, groovy comedians, to number 10 Downing St, which is the address of the British Prime Minister. She asked Ben E lton, a very talented man, Harry Enfield, and all these comedians who were all happy and middle aged and groovy. We were not invited to number 10 Downing St. We weren’t! Everyone else was! It was a happening event, so we were thoroughly disapproved of, as always by any British establishment. I brought down Thatcher single handedly to let Tony Blair in. Did he thank me? Did he invite me? No! So the last part of labour tradition in Britain is Linda Blair, his daughter. I asked her to come and be in my film, and she puked all over the set brilliantly.
PC: Fabulous, and I think that just abo ut wraps us up with Rik Mayall. Guest House Paradiso is the new movie…
RM: The most happening movie from ten years ago or fifteen or whatever. Remember, you want to see it all? Go see the movie.