Posts Tagged ‘Rowan Atkinson’

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.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23390982

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 …

Enjoy.

Baldrick: “What I want to know, Sir is, before there was a Euro there were lots of different types of money that different people used. And now there’s only one type of money that all the foreign people use. And what I want to know is, how did we get from one state of affairs to the other state of affairs?”

Blackadder: “Baldrick. Do you mean, how did the Euro start?”

Baldrick: “Yes, Sir, if it please you, Sir.”

Blackadder: “Well, you see Balders me lad, way back in the good old 1980s there were many different countries all running their own economies and using different types of money. Oh, the messy, wild fun of it all!

On one side you had the major economies of France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, known to those of us in the know as “the rich bastards”, and on the other, the weaker garlic-munching dago-type nations of Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal, and of course, the Irish, who aren’t dagos but are drunk and feckless.

So one fine day, my little dung heap, they all got together and decided that it would be much easier for everyone if they could all use the same money, have one Central Bank, and belong to one large club where everyone would be happy and laugh all day. This meant that there could never be a situation whereby financial meltdown would lead to social unrest, wars and crises”.

Baldrick: “But this is sort of a crisis, isn’t it Sir?”

Blackadder: “That’s right Baldrick. You see, there was only one slight flaw with the cunning plan”.

Baldrick: “I see, Sir. And what was that then, Sir? Can you explain it in a simple way for someone like me
to understand?”

Blackadder: “Certainly, dear fellow. It was complete and utter bollocks to begin with”.