Watch The Young Ones

This classic British sitcom consistently ranks in top ten lists of UK television comedy. A surreal mix of outlandish situations and outrageous slapstick, it was at the forefront of alternative comedy during the early eighties. The show centers around four undergraduate students from Scumbag College, who all share a seedy flat in London. Vyvyan (Adrian Edmondson) is a punk rocker with an orange mohawk and a propensity towards violence. Rick (Rik Mayall) is a sneering, self-styled anarchist. Neil (Nigel Planer) is a mellow hippie who fatalistically goes along with the everyone else's madness. And Mike (Christopher Ryan) is a slick operator who appears to be the only one not to get dragged into the frequent chaos.

Famed comedian Alexei Sayle also appears in a number of different roles, most prominently the boys landlord.

The series was created and written by Mayall, Lise Mayer, and Ben Elton with some writing contributions from Alexei Sayle, and often featured performances by such bands as The Damned, Madness, and Dexy's Midnight Runners.

BBC America
2 Seasons, 12 Episodes - Canceled
November 9, 1982
Comedy
8.2/10
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The Young Ones Full Episode Guide

  • Summer is here, exams are over and it's Neil's birthday. With no guests, beer or music, his party is a right-off. Then Mike remembers to tell Rik his parents have died, the postman reveals they have all failed their exams and landlord Jerzei Balowski arrives to check on the house and chucks them out when he sees all the destruction. With no money, Mike plans a bank robbery and Rik steals a double-decker bus to make their getaway.

  • All four Young Ones are ill. Neil's sneezing is so violent, Vyvyan tries an extreme acupuncture cure and triggers a street riot outside. Murderer Brian Damage Balowski escapes from his police guard after they are called in to deal with the trouble, and takes the four hostage. Worse, Neil's parents come to tea and change the programme, resulting in three Neils when he is planted in the garden.

  • Rik wakes up in bed next to a beautiful girl, but his boast of his sexual conquest is quickly dispelled by Helen herself. While Rik and Vyvyan rampage round the house, the radio announces Helen is an escaped murderess, so she tries to kill them all. The house passes through a time warp and the Young Ones are suddenly in the Middle Ages.

  • It's bath night, and Neil is last in the water. Mike and Vyvyan plan to watch a video called 'Nasty' on a rented VCR when the postman delivers a package from South Africa. Inside is a vampire, but though the Young Ones are all virgins they don't want to lose face by admitting it. Saved by sunlight, they take the body to the graveyard, where the vampire turns out to be Harry the Bastard, from whom they rented the video and the deadline for returning it has just elapsed.

  • The Young Ones are so skint, Neil is told to get a job (Vyvyan can't because he is pregnant). He joins the police force, where he discovers his heavy side. Meanwhile, a truck full of food and expensive furnishings crashes through the front window. When Neil arrives home he tries to arrest his flatmates, provoking Vyvyan into labour.

  • When Mike decides it's time to visit the launderette, one of Vyvyan's socks escapes and the machine revolts against their stinking bundle of washing. Neil suddenly remembers they are due to appear on University Challenge. Vyvyan loses his head during the train journey, and it looks like Scumbag will lose to Footlights College, Oxbridge, when a giant eclair stops play.

  • During heavy rains, London floods and the Young Ones are trapped in the house. When they embark on a game of hide-and-seek to pass the time, Mike finds a lion tamer in his bedroom and Vyvyan hides in a wardrobe and enters Narnia. But the sharks at the window and the arson attack on Rik's bedroom pale into insignificance when their landlord Jerzei Balowski turns into a homicidal, axe-wielding maniac.

  • It's party-time! Where else can you mingle with the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, a giant sandwich, a singing tomato and Santa? Rik desperately tries to impress his favourite lecturer, Mike pulls a literal fairytale princess, Vyvyan's fellow punks start a riot, and Neil inadvertently gets beaten up.

  • An atomic bomb falls through the roof and blocks the fridge. Mike plans to sell it to the highest bidder, while Neil paints himself white to deflect a nuclear blast and the TV licence man calls.

  • Despite a terrorist siege in their house, a visitation from a dwarf from Hell, skating vegetables in the sink and card-playing mice, the Young Ones are so bored that Neil is driven to dig himself a grave and Vyv chops his finger off.

  • The Young Ones move into their new house. As they are allocating bedrooms, Vyvyan locates oil in the basement and instantly forms a coalition with Mike to take command of the house (and oil). Mike discovers Buddy Holly in his new room.

  • Introducing Mike - the cool smooth one; Neil - the boring hippy with the death wish and the lentil fetish; Rik - the self-styled revolutionary, people's poet and Cliff Richard fan; and Vyvyan-the violent, orange spiky-haired punk and his hamster SPG.

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