Mel Smith, tragically dead at just 60. He will be sadly missed.

Posted: July 21, 2013 in Popular Culture et al
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Mel Smith dead at 60

Rest in peace – or rest disgracefully as is your wont – Mel Smith

I am really – genuinely – sad to see that Mel Smith has died aged just 60.

Apart from being a scary intimation of one’s own mortality, he was one of the funniest, wittiest, and most important comedians of his era.

I have lost track of the number of times he and his collaborators reduced me to tears of helpless laughter.

He was an intimate and unmatched part of the soundtrack and video closet of my youth, and he epitomised a fresh, wry and perceptive view of the world that never shirked from being less than honest and truthful.

He also had impeccable comedic timing.

To lose someone of his talent at his age is a terrible shame. Apparently he has been seriously ill for some time.

To enjoy, again, his talent, especially from the Not The Nine O’Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones, and the read the reaction, just head to this BBC page.

Or just enjoy the genius of Melvin with his great friend and collaborator Griff Rhys-Jones in the immortal Drunk/Darts sketch.

And although this showcases the whole NTNON team rather than more specifically Mel, it is my favourite sketch, so please indulge me. If you can watch this without tears of appreciation in your eyes, well … well, we obviously are cut from different cloth. Perhaps the most charming thing is watching Mel trying to keep a straight face – along with everyone else in the sketch – while Griff riffs on as only he could …


  1. Very sad news – he was part of that group of comedians which helped shaped my sense of humour and appreciation of comedy as a child, along with Griff Rhys Jones, Fry and Laurie, Rowan Atkinson, Ben Elton etc. Remember watching NTNON as a kid and just about crying with laughter. A sad loss.


  2. improperty says:

    Two great sketches stand out in my mind. ‘Gerald the gorilla’ and ‘The Church of England’s, Life of Monty Python’, both pure comedy gold. Cunnilingus, Mel.


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