The casual fan knows him from Drop Dead Fred, a timeless 90s movie that boosted us all into childhoods of rebellion. But you probably would recognize the name Rik Mayall from one of his classic, utterly hilarious TV shows. I grew up on The Young Ones and Blackadder, thanks to my mother’s love of British Comedy. I truly believe that this man is at the very depths of my love for all things absurd and over-the-top.

The day he died, I was at an amusement park with my family. It was quite a sobering discovery for anyone who loved him. Despite the quieting of his career in the late 90s following an accident, he was still louder than life and full of color. My mother and I were talking about him and how shocking it was when my young sister asked who he was. Without pausing to consider, my mom answered, “He was our friend.” If you loved him and his work, you likely feel the same way.

If you aren’t familiar with Rik Mayall, do yourself a favor and check out some of the 100+ titles in his body of acting work. You will not be sorry you did.

Rik would have turned 59 today. Gone way too soon, but too wild to be forgotten.