With the unexpected death of actor Rik Mayall this week, I think our traditio needs to be related to one of my all-time favorite television shows, which aired on MTV in the 1980s- The Young Ones. Mayall was one of the show's creators and writers. For those who are unfamiliar with this program, there is plenty you can find on the internet, which will spare me the effort of exhaustively explaining it.
The basic concept is four ostensible and very disparate university students living together in London. Mayall played Rik the thoroughly bourgeois anarcho-socialist who is studying sociology and domestic studies. Rik is a bit of a walking contradiction, who fancies himself "the People's Poet," the voice of his generation, but who absolutely idolizes Cliff Richard, about whom my friend Patrick wrote, "No one rocked a center-part, white man overbite, and bulging crotch pants like Cliff Richard!" In short, Rik is a poseur.
The brilliance of the show was its ham-fisted, silly, highly exaggerated, and frentic nature. Oh, and it was just straight up funny, but certainly with some depth. In addition to The Young Ones theme, our traditio will feature a poem "Cliff," by the People's Poet, and a "Best of Rik" compilation:
Mayall went on to do other things, most particularly The New Statesmen, in which he played a MP, the Right Honorable Alan B'stard. You may read Rik Mayall's obituary in the Telegraph.