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Predictable Trot Through the Life of the Comedy Actor
With portentous narration by Simon Callow, RICK MAYALL - LORD OF MISRULE tells a familiar tale of the life of the comedian and star of such groundbreaking series as THE YOUNG ONES, THE NEW STATESMAN and BOTTOM. With the help of friends and colleagues such as Ben Elton, Ruby Wax and others (but interestingly not Ade Edmondson - Mayall's longtime partner) we learn about Mayall's supreme self- confidence on stage, as well as his belief in himself. Even while a student at Manchester University, he was convinced that he was going to be a great comedy star. At the same time - perhaps conventionally - we learn that he was a warmhearted person offstage, free of the kind of neuroses that plagued the lives of other great comics of the past.
The program includes clips of all Mayall's famous television series, as well as fascinating examples of his early work as a stand-up comedian. He possessed a unique capacity to make people laugh, even when he wasn't actually saying anything funny. But there is a lingering sense that director Andy Humphries hasn't got too much to say in this program (the ubiquitous Michael Palin turns up to offer his thoughts, even though he has little or nothing to do with the development of Mayall's professional career). Perhaps a half-hour format might have been better suited to the material.
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