The Young Ones is a British sitcom broadcast on BBC Two for two series, first shown in 1982 and 1984. The show focused on the lives of four students and their landlord’s family on different plots that often included anarchic, offbeat humor. The show often included slapstick gags, visual humor and surreal jokes sometimes acted out by puppets, with each episode also featuring a notable selection of guest stars and a musical number from one of the noted performers during the program’s broadcast period.
The Young Ones helped bring alternative comedy to British television in the 1980s and made household names of its writers and performers. The show became a notable icon of 1980s British popular culture and received its own game and a home-media release while becoming the first non-music-related program to appear on MTV in 1985.
So, The Young Ones…Where Are They Now?
Rik Mayall -“Rick”
Rik starred in several sitcoms including, of course, The Young Ones, as well as The Comic Strip Presents…, Blackadder, Filthy Rich & Catflap, The New Statesman, Bottom, and Believe Nothing. He was known in the U.S. primarily for his role in The Young Ones which was shown in syndication on MTV. n 1986, Mayall played the private detective in the video of “Peter Gunn” by Art of Noise. He had a starring role in the movie Drop Dead Fred where he acted alongside Phoebe Cates in 1991. He had also contributed to voice roles in animated features like Eldorado and Valiant. Sadly, Mayall died suddenly and unexpectedly at his home in London on 9 June 2014 at the age of 56. His death was caused by a heart attack after jogging.
Adrian Edmondson – Vyvyan “Vyv” Basterd
The BBC signed Edmondson, Mayall, Planer, and Sayle to star in The Young Ones. His character of the metal punk anarchist Vyvyan was an integral part of the series with his role consisting of mostly creating chaos and hating the character of “Rik”. In 2013, Edmondson was the winner of Celebrity Masterchef. In 2017 he appeared in Star Wars: The Last Jedi as the character of Captain Peavey. Edmondson is currently still heavily involved in television and comedy. He recently appeared in EastEnders as Daniel Cook.
Nigel Planer – “Neil Pye”
Planer is best known for his role as Neil, the hippie housemate on The Young Ones. He was always stuck between “Rik” and “Vyvyan” who hated each other. The character of Neil was always trying to mediate between the two of them and often using the phrase “mellow out, man”. Leading roles on television include Shine on Harvey Moon, Filthy Rich, and Catflap, The Grimleys, King and Castle, Bonjour La Classe, and Roll Over Beethoven. In 2006 he voiced the character of Dr. Marmalade in the Spongebob Squarepants show. Planer is still acting on various television shows and has been seen as recently as 2019.
Christopher Ryan – “Mike”
The character of Mike was described as the “cool guy”. He typically tried to avoid most of the insanity that plagued the rest of the members of the house. However, his efforts to not get involved never seemed to work out and he was always dragged into whatever bizarre situation was happening on the particular episode. He appeared in a small role in Santa Clause: The Movie in 1985. Ryan hasn’t appeared on television since 2013, but most recently was in a direct to video movie called “Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor” reprising his role of Kiv from Doctor Who.
Alexei Sayle – Various Characters
On The Young Ones, Sayle portrayed several members of an Eastern European family; the Balowskis. In 1985, he appeared in an episode of Doctor Who. He appeared in several high-profile films including Gorky Park, The Bride, Whoops Apocalypse, and Solarbabies. In 1989, he appeared in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade as the character Sultan of the Hatay State. He hasn’t appeared on television regularly since 2017 and hasn’t been in any major motion pictures since 2006.