Why Watch? For many of us, Rik Mayall was Drop Dead Fred — the magic man who brought an eight ball’s worth of energy and mom-defying brilliance to a movie about growing up after you’ve already grown up. Not to sound schmaltzy, but he was an imaginary friend who believed in us.
His resume, of course, extends far beyond that 1991 non-fantasy film. It’s dominated by television shows — particularly the public dole celebration of Bottom and his early breakout The Young Ones — and an ever-present sense of smart, cutting edge work.
Mayall died today, leaving behind loads of comedic offerings and countless people inspired by what he brought to the creative world. Name a favorite modern comedian, and they’ve most likely publicly offered their Mayall fandom and remembrances already. He was a titan against the status quo.
His last credited work is a short film from Louis Hudson called Don’t Fear Death. It’s a cruelly funny piece of black humor that feels inappropriately appropriate for today. Mayall acts as narrator, explaining all the wonderful things about being dead, from conveniences to existential freedom. Naturally, the short benefits wholly from his unique delivery and the angry joy that pervades the shouting climax of his speech. It’s one last reminder that he will be impossible to replace.
What Will It Cost? About 3 minutes.