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‘The Young Ones” Rik Mayall Dies at Age 56

Reg Lancaster, Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Rik Mayall, who starred in the cult ’80s TV show ‘The Young Ones,’ has died. The actor and comedian was 56 years old.

Even though ‘The Young Ones’ was a British sitcom that ran for only two years, it was a huge hit on the fledgling MTV network back in the day. Many music fans were exposed to the show, and to Mayall’s popular character, through late-night showings of the program.

‘The Young Ones’ centered on four roommates, including a punk, a hippie and a pretentious poetry-writing anarchist played by Mayall. The show was known for its music in-jokes and surrealist humor, which combined both Monty Python-style bits of comedy and punk-rock attitude.

The BBC reports that Mayall’s manager confirmed the actor’s death. No cause was given, but Mayall spent several days in a coma in 1998 after a bike accident.

After ‘The Young Ones,’ Mayall starred in another hit British series, ‘Bottom.’ He also had roles in the movies ‘An American Werewolf in London’ and ‘Drop Dead Fred.’ His most recent appearance was in a recurring role on the TV show ‘Man Down’ last year.

Here’s one of our favorite ‘Young Ones’ clips, featuring Monty Python’s Terry Jones and Mayall quoting a David Bowie song at a funeral:

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