Bigger Than Hitler-Better Than Christ: Rik Mayall

The Rik Mayall. The Great Book. This is how Mayall sells this book and that is why I bought it. Such levels of narcissism are hard to resist. I have been a big fan of new wave 1980s comedy ever since I read Jennifer Saunder’s auto-biography Bonkers: My Life in Laughs a couple of years ago, so when I saw Rik Mayall’s book I had to give it a try. Rik Mayall, before his recent death, was a pioneer of British comedy for the last 30 years. He was in all manner of things; The Young Ones, Drop Dead Fred, Comic Strip Presents and as Flashheart in Blackadder. I fancied something a little whimsical and silly and I felt like he could probably be the one to provide it.

The book is made up of lots of little bits and pieces stuck together using ridiculous claims. It is almost a fantasy of a life, using made up letters to various celebrities, school teachers, publishers and condom companies about potential advertising opportunities. Mayall makes a joke in the beginning about not letting anyone proofread his words so that they are pure as from the mouth of the oracle himself. He uses all kinds of footnotes, poor spelling and bad grammar (poor spelling and grammar kills me) to labour this point. There are a couple of moments of real emotion, when talking about his motorbike accident for example, but most of the book is full of the usual toilet humour and shameless self-promotional/derogatory comments.

I would not recommend reading this book if you are looking for a serious biography. If you want something flamboyantly ridiculous and downright stupid then this is the book for you! The only comment that I would make is that the constant jokes and innuendo (ooo err) can get a bit wearing after a while – maybe read this book now and again, in small doses.


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