Below is the transcript. Enjoy....
RIK: I think we should say let’s squirt the mother.
CHRIS: Squirt the mother?
RIK: Yeah. We funky men, like me, who are totally cool and obviously have large penises, when you’re shooting a film or shooting a child in the back garden, always say “Shoot the motherfucker” and as this is an audio recorded interview I am saying “Squirt the mother.” Or perhaps it should be “touch up the mother?” Wait, this interview is going to be in print isn’t it?
CHRIS: A huh.
RIK: Fist the mother!
CHRIS: How does it feel to be back where it all began Rik, in the room we recorded Cutey?
RIK: Well, it’s always difficult to… oh fucking hell that’s a shit question, why don’t you go eat your own dung you cunt hole? You’re about as good a journo as Adolf. Mind you, he was a good journo. I just wanna put down in print that I think Chris Wade is one of the greatest writers there is. Oh wait, that’s you isn’t it?
CHRIS: Yes that’s me.
RIK: I think you’re one of the great writers of all time. So why haven’t I been fucking paid? Come on, where’s my fucking money? Cough up!
CHRIS: I thought you wanted me to swallow.
RIK: No, where’s my money?
CHRIS: Didn’t you read the small print in the contract? There is no money.
RIK: (Laughs) I was going to say something else then.
CHRIS: About coughing up?
RIK: Oh no it was something much worse. I won’t even give you a hint. Anyway, I got sent this book. Now listen reader, the important thing here is that I am being interviewed by Chris Wade who is the man who wrote Cutey and the Sofaguard, It just came out of the blue, this book, which really suits my style. I took it for three reasons. One, for the cash. Oh no, that’s the third reason. Reason two, for the cash. No I didn’t do this for money. I did this for my public. I love my public all over the place; in toilets, in alleys, I love my public in group sessions. No, seriously, I just read the book and I thought it was just magnificent. It’s very funny yes but it’s also very weird. There’s an area touched here, that is an area in great comedy, which is that moment, that spilt second of silence before the punch line comes, where you set up a joke like “What’s the great thing about twenty eight year olds? There’s twenty of them!” It might not be that joke that was just the first thing that came into my mouth. What I mean is there’s a beautiful moment of silence and slight fear. I hate to repeat myself in interviews, but as I once said, a laugh is a civilized snarl, like when an animal snarls to get rid of something near him that’s a threat, whether it is a disease or a member of another herd. That’s what this is. Because we’re humans and we’re civilized, rather than going GRRR, we bear our teeth and laugh. So there is an element of fear and confusion, also fascination, but when you come to the realisation that it’s a joke, that’s when you bare your teeth and you laugh at it. That area, between the feed line and the realisation is where Chris Wade – I am being interviewed by Chris Wade but I’m gonna talk about him as a writer now. I don’t know where he got his imagination from. It’s very awkward talking about Chris to Chris but he has a fantastic imagination. It suits my style perfectly so that it’s not all HA HA funny. Some of it is weird and quite often it’s funny. But it’s that strange weirdness that I love and it’s so unlike anything else. The fascination of the moment. Chris offers me so much, well you do Chris I should say. I’m not here to suck Chris’s cock; that’s why I can speak clearly. But the fact of the matter is, it’s just a beautiful piece of writing that fascinated me and made me laugh.
CHRIS: So it’s the difference of the book that attracted you?
RIK: Yes. I mean, I was looking back… When Tony Blair tried to assassinate me and failed so badly, and tried to destroy my career. The labour party, I mean the Nazi party, not the full on SS which is the Conservative party and the Gestapo which is the Liberal party.
CHRIS: You mean the plain, regular Nazis don’t you? Not the far fetched ones.
RIK: Yeah the Labour party. At the end of the last century and when I was in my prime, when he tried to assassinate me, Blair had a big party and he didn’t invite me and Ade. All the other cool people, the utterly great people like Harry Enfield were invited, but not me. And then he tried to assassinate me. I met God, as everyone knows.
CHRIS: Didn’t he ask for your autograph?
RIK: No that was Jesus.
CHRIS: Are you sure Jesus wasn’t just asking for his dad, like God was a bit too shy to ask?
RIK: Well as far as I know, it was Jesus that wanted it, but he got God to ask for it… I think so anyway. But the point is God sent me back down because I hadn’t finished my work. As you know I am the fifth coming. I can heal all sorts of wounds, especially female genital wounds. It’s not so much healing as preventing, so I don’t want any one coming to me with genital warts.
CHRIS: Oh god no. You just want to make sure they don’t get poorly?
RIK: Oh yes. I want them to know this.
RIK: Very much so, yes. I think I might call you Saint Chris.
CHRIS: Well thanks.
RIK: But this was just a past time until you had finished writing your book.
CHRIS: Yeah. As long as I know this.
RIK: Yeah, I have achieved my destiny now. Does that sort out the first question?
CHRIS: Definitely. So it isn’t just the humour, it’s the weirdness too? Is that what might attract you to a script like Cutey and the Sofaguard?
RIK: Well I had never seen a script like Cutey and the Sofaguard before. I was fascinated with the story. But I think it’s because you were attracted to my skills, and what you said about wanting someone to manifest these characters. I think there are 24 characters. There are so many. For example viewers – I do like that, for example viewers- we can have a poll in the magazine. People could e mail you Chris with their favourite character and you could put up your most voted for character. I can sit here with my hand on my knob, with my heart on my knob; I mean my hand on my heart… No what’s the point in that? Of course I’m telling the truth. The Wisdom Twins, within Cutey and the Sofaguard are my absolute favourite characters. They play so well. I tell you what is really interesting. I was listening to the tapes the other day and I was thinking ‘Is this a development?’ Writing for me has been pretty quiet lately. But you are always searching as a comedian- no don’t call me a comedian, call me a comedy actor. A pan global phenomenon. You finish a decade and then you ridicule that decade, as in I finished my teens and ridiculed them in The Young Ones. I ridiculed my twenties in Bottom, well a kind of a grey area. In my late thirties I did the Statesman. But when suddenly the BBC- this is the point I want to get to. Ade and I got to write a new television idea that we wanted to go forward with. But TV had changed and they wouldn’t allow me and Ade on it again. I thought ‘that’s fucking weird’. I mean for 20 years we’d been rocking along and having a good time but telly suddenly says ‘you’re too violent. You’re too rude.’ (Rik and I suddenly adopt cool American accents) WHAT THE FUCK?
CHRIS: AINT THAT A BITCH?
RIK: YOU GOT SOMETHING DRIBBLING OUT OF YOUR PUSSY? Anyway, so me and Ade were banned from the telly so we went back on the road for a couple of years. So we thought, come one, we’d done Richie and Eddie. As in The Young Ones, you got to stop at the right time.
CHRIS: It did stop at the right point I think.
RIK: Yeah. So I took the Statesman on the road and that ended Tony Blair’s career. I am very proud of being responsible for the demise of two of the biggest fascists of the 20th century. I am very proud of that.
CHRIS: Thatcher too, right?
RIK: Yep. Destroying the career of Thatcher and the career of Blair.
CHRIS: Do you put that on your CV?
RIK: Of course. But the point I am coming to is television is a dying format. People come to me and say ‘You’re not on telly much these days.’ A woman the other day said ‘Rik, you’re not on telly much these days.’ So I said ‘Well that’s because they don’t like to make the stuff that Ade and I do anymore.’ This woman says ‘Well yeah, everything on telly now is such shit.’ This is coming from an old lady, a perfectly nice member of the public. I mean television used to be the theatre of dreams. Now it’s….
CHRIS: Talent shows and people putting other people down.
RIK: Yeah. And it’s a combination of a disused bus stop and the police state. So that’s another wonderful thing about Cutey and the Sofaguard being released on the internet. So there is no censorship at all. I have this opportunity to open up completely. Chris Wade wrote me, I can’t keep the count, 24 or 25 characters. On to the main character. He doesn’t really have a name you hero does he, why is that?
CHRIS: I don’t think a name is important. He’s a kind of no name that sinks into this surreal world. I don’t think he needs a name, because his individuality is not that important in the scheme of things. He is kind of like the every man.
RIK: Yes, don’t take this the wrong way readers but there is a vague Clint in High Plains Drifter feel to it. Although our hero talks a lot, there is that element, the stranger, or the every man as you said. In some respects. That’s what is so encouraging about the end. I am not gonna give any clues away viewer, but there is something about the end that leans towards a next book. There could be ten books in this whole series.
CHRIS: In this world, this surreal landscape, endings don’t have to be endings at all. That’s the way I see it. It can end in a way, but that’s not necessarily the way it really ended. There is a level of fantasy in it for sure.
RIK: Yeah, but it depends what level of fantasy you mean. I believe that everything that happened in the book really happened.
CHRIS: Well I like you thinking that. I am open to people’s interpretations. I would like some people to think it all happened and others to be confused. It depends on your mind.
RIk: Well yeah, that attracts me. Something someone said about Bottom was that the reason it lasts is because it is very timeless.
CHRIS: There’s no outside world for the most part is there? It’s mostly in the flat.
RIK: Yes. Also because they both lead such shitty lives their clothes aren’t necessarily….
CHRIS: There is no fashion.
RIK: Quite. There’s nothing of the time in it.
CHRIS: Which is why it can never date.
RIK: Yeah which is the problem Alan B’stard had, when it was such a specific assault on Thatcher.
CHRIS: But Alan can move on cant he?
RIK: Alan can, yes. But then again, when you repeat the programmes they’re specifically about Geoffrey Howe’s decisions in 1989….
CHRIS: So younger generations might not understand that.
RIK: Quite, quite. And dads my age will have forgotten what exactly Geoffrey Howe was doing twenty years ago. There was a point I was getting to earlier. When you are in your fifties, you look back at your forties, what do you ridicule? It was such a confused period of my life, what with accidents and being actually clinically dead for five days. So how do you really explore that? I don’t care about sounding pretentious here; we’ve both grown up in a rock n’ roll culture, both yours and mine generation Chris. I wondered if, for I am not Mozart I am James Brown, in as much as James’ performance comes from his soul, from inside. So I think I am a soul performer, which does sound pretentious. But lord knows, a pan global phenomenon like me, has no ego. It’s too big to carry; I leave various egos around the place. Anyway so that is another facet that attracted me to the Wisdom Twins particularly. I mean there was a million other reasons I did it, but there is something that just automatically comes out with the Wisdom Twins. You got Rik, you got Richie and elements of Alan in the over privilege, whereas Rik from Young Ones was slightly over privileged because he came from a middle class back ground. Richie was over privileged in as much as he had a greater intelligence than Eddie. But of course, Eddie’s low intelligence, bulldog, bulldozer approach through any problems was very much as equal as Richie’s approach. So they are all facets of the inner soul. You see, a soul comedian. I have always shied away from calling myself a comedian. You know, 1 2 3 here’s a gag, 1 2 3 here’s a gag! It’s not exciting. I wanted an explosion of emotion. Very James Brown, very Little Richard, Very Lee Brilleaux.
CHRIS: I love Dr Feelgood!
RIK: Yeah, I love Wilko. When you read this Wilko, respect. Anyway. So when I hear my performance of the Wisdom Twins I think THERE HE IS, THAT’S WHO I WANT TO BE. And it’s not merely a repeat of old Richie accents or Rik accents. They have facets of them yes, but it’s very much like James Brown doing his third single, like Little Richard doing his forth single, it’s like Lee Brilleaux doing She Does it Right! OK, I got it now, I think, YEAH NOW I GOT IT, THAT’S WHAT BEING IN YOUR FUCKING FIFTIES IS ALL ABOUT!
CHRIS: So you see this as a thematic continuation?
RIK: I think so. It grabs your heart and it grabs your cock rather than it interests your intellect.
CHRIS: The aggression of the Wisdom Twins..
RIK: Yes, meaningless, utterly meaningless. Over privileged.
CHRIS: Filthy rich.
RIK: Yes, but perhaps that is a critique of my actual existence. I have had a very pleasured life, a very privileged life. But it’s the fact that you are being so nihilistic and so anarchic, that you have had a good time in life and you should share that goodness and say thank you, but no, YOU JUST WANT MORE! YOU JUST WANT MORE! (Laughs)You find the dark side and the bad side.
CHRIS: The Wisdom Twins are certainly the most RIK characters in the book, the most fitting to your career. I think anyway.
RIK: Yes the contemporary Rik, yes. But importantly it’s not…..
CHRIS: It is NOT a repeat.
RIK: Exactly. That’s important. Never look back, keep rocking on. But interestingly I was very daunted by the Wisdom Twins. I thought ‘hmm how am I gonna play this?’
CHRIS: Did you like them straight away?
RIK: I saw them as rather daunting. I think I was allowed to add one or two words to the script as well.
CHRIS: Yes a couple of C words. (Laughs)THIS IS MY CUNT BROTHER!
RIK: Yes! (Laughs a heck of a lot)Absolutely, unnecessarily horrid.
CHRIS: There was one line in there you liked a lot which was ‘Hurry up you dog boy, where’s my fucking food you tosser?’
RIK: Dog boy, you use that a lot. Where did you get that from?
CHRIS: Well I think it’s the most degrading insult there is. Not only are you a dog you are a dog boy, you’re a gimpy little nothing. It’s such a put down.
RIK: Well, an important point you made earlier, it depends on the audience’s own interpretation and imagination. So for me dog boy is unpleasant in a very different way. It’s like you’re the boy I keep in the back room and pull you out on all fours and fuck you when I feel like it, and I leave you in there.
CHRIS: Well apparently dog boy is related to a gimp in reality.
RIK: Yeah but gimps aren’t much, they’re just tied up, but dog boy is really fucking nasty.
CHRIS: On all fours.
RIK: Yeah and the age is a bit questionable as well. It is very nasty. But thank you for letting me use the C word. We come to the shock value, the power value. You can’t swear on TV now, they bleep the word bloody. So that is a very fine point, that I have found something here. Now don’t forget I found the original Rik with the audience. Richie I found with Ade, with Ben Elton for Richie in Filthy Rich and Catflap.
CHRIS: One of my faves.
RIK: Alan I found with other writers as well. So you agonise on your own, so I think I have always been a co writer rather than a writer. So those guys are just delicious, the Wisdom Twins. But putting them at my number one favourite is like setting fire to a box of fire works because they’d both be arguing about who was actually number one. So that’s causing trouble.
CHRIS: So they’re the guys that really…
RIK: They do it for me, crucially. Number two is very difficult. I love the hero’s father. There are two things we could ask of the viewers. 1, what do YOU think is the hero’s name? I think that might be interesting because I have my own little ideas about that. And another one, here is a quest for the listener – find out who the hero of the books’ grandfather is. Of course it is findable, but it’s fascinating when you do find out who he was. I won’t give you any clues at all. But (laughter) Kevin the Sniffer, another character is involved but he is not the grandfather. But he is involved. We talk about favourites, certainly the hero’s father. I love Nippy Want and I like Uncle Archie the Storyteller who is gorgeous. The posh old bloke in the lift; that’s funny but it’s a representation of humanity that hasn’t surrendered. He has been fucked on all his life and he’s an old soldier and a representative of the MALE community. No surrender. He still has his libido.
CHRIS: Well it isn’t there at the beginning but it comes out.
RIK: Yes, but I don’t wanna give too much away to the viewers. There are other fantastic characters. I also love Jerry, Philippa’s boyfriend in the book. I love Alonut Missing, the archaeologist. I love Ruddy Mac the headmaster. The Sofaguard is fabulous. Of course he’s fabulous, he’s the fucking Sofaguard. That’s without question. Davey, now there’s a guy called Davey, go find him viewer. Davey has two very amusing assistants, who don’t speak much, not nearly enough for me, but I would love to find out more about them. I wouldn’t even suggest they were very horny women. But Davey is fantastic. Americans will like Davey; well they’ll like them all. But also, I do sometimes wonder if Chris Wade isn’t rather like Davey somewhere inside him. He loves gathering interesting people.
CHRIS: Hmmm. That’s interesting. You mean because when he hires people for the restaurant he never interviews them does he? He is attracted to their unusualness. The Irish cleaner for example.
RIK: I love the cleaner. (Puts on scouse accent) And Starry Knight, the scouse bar man at Davey’s. I like him; he’s a bit like John Lennon. But he’s great, a great gossip as well. I like the loud teacher Mister Henrietta. He’s great. All the school mates and the bullies too.
CHRIS: Well there’s so much in it isn’t there?
RIK: it’s massively rich. It’s almost like two novels! When it comes to an end, and when he starts again with his new life. I’d say it was a story of love and growing up which is very puny.
CHRIS: But it is about coming of age. When people ask me what it’s about I say it’s about growing up, love, fantasy….
RIK: Well it is hard for us to define. You and I are not definers. You and I are the opposite of definition. Chaos, chaos advisers.
RIK: Oh yeah. I would say……. Well, anarchy is life with no law. Nihilism is where you’re actively against any particular law. Anarcho surrealism is much more interesting.
CHRIS: I have been calling it anarcho surrealism. You must have mentioned that phrase to me.
RIK: Well you must love Dali.
CHRIS: Oh yeah I do.
RIK: Me too. Dali’s not very dissimilar to you, you know. It’s extremely broad canvas with an extraordinary imagination. This is art! I have been yearning for an outlet for my work. The last decade, has been what I call the live decade; a few plays, two live shows with Ade and two Statesman tours. TV is over, but never look back and keep moving on. The beauty of this is that sound has never been explored properly for your generation. When you’re young it’s music, but this is very interesting. But anyway, the BBC did let me on with Rik Mayall’s Bedside Tales. I have always wanted to be a story teller! Funnily enough one of the characters I love in Cutey and the Sofaguard is Uncle Archie the Storyteller, but not just Archie, the main character as well who is so loose and fluid. When I use the character’s accent that I am talking about, and let it bleed into the prose. I don’t care if this makes me sound pretentious, but I use my voice as a musical instrument. I have always wanted to sing. I’ve never been able to sing, so you ridicule what is pissing you off so I have always done bad singing. Ridicule what pisses you off. ATTACK THE ENEMY! But yeah, I was pleased with Bedside Tales because they let me put bits in alongside John Nicholson’s main framework.
CHRIS: Like the story Bangkok Café?
RIK: Yeah, that was one of mine. I put in some very acidy stuff.
CHRIS: Well that was Dali-esque.
RIK: I’m glad you think that. Making pictures with words. One thing I love about it is it engages the audience. There’s a sexy one with a girl guiding him through passages in a jungle.
CHRIS: The Mountain Girl!
RIK: Yes, well said. Quite sexy that one. So it’s not 1 2 3 laugh, 1 2 3 laugh! This is the area I was talking about, in between the feed line and the punch line. I liked the idea of being alone with a person in a room. I’m sitting next to a very special friend, on the sofa with the curtains closed. That’s how I saw Bedside Tales.
CHRIS: Pull the radio closer…
RIK: Yes, so here we have with your work, it can be listened to in a car, on the tube, on the bus, on your E pads or your G spots or whatever. Also, you listen to one chapter and there’s the excitement of hearing the next one. But then again each chapter stands independently too, almost as independently as episodes of Bottom would. Usually your chapters are listenable to on their own. I love his mum too; she’s so tight and middle class. It’s always been a pleasure to play tight middle class women. I don’t know why and I don’t question why! But the important point is, here is an area where I can be liberated. There is no censorship. END
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