- Bambi (Young Ones episode)
"Bambi" was the seventh episode of British
sitcom"The Young Ones". It was written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayalland Lise Mayer, and directed by Geoff Posner. It was first aired on BBC2on 8 May 1984. It is one of the most remembered episodes for its famous University Challengescene.
As with all episodes of "The Young Ones", the main four characters were student flatmates Mike (
Christopher Ryan); Vyvyan ( Adrian Edmondson); Rick ( Rik Mayall); and Neil ( Nigel Planer). Griff Rhys Jonesplays the title character, a parody of real-life " University Challenge" presenter Bamber Gascoigne. The opposing "University Challenge" team, from FootlightsCollege, Oxbridge, comprises Lord Monty ( Hugh Laurie); Lord Snot ( Stephen Fry); Miss Money-Sterling ( Emma Thompson); and Kendal Mintcake ( Ben Elton). Alexei Sayleappears briefly as a train driver to deliver his trademark monologue.
Mike's concern over the quartet's hygiene habits prompts a first visit to the
launderettein almost three years, a decision made all the more urgent, and obvious, by the escape - and subsequent murder - of one of Vyvyan's deadliest socks. The washing session goes well until one of the washing machines spits out the quartet's clothing, prompting Vyvyan to use a "special blend of psychologyand extreme violence", involving the mention of Felicity Kendal's underwear, to get the machine to accept their clothes. After forcing their clothes into one of the machines, they eventually realise that none of them has the 50 pencepieces required by the machines.Suddenly Neil remembers the housemates are due to appear on " University Challenge" that very evening to represent Scumbag College. The group's hectic rush to catch the train leads to an unsuccessful train ride, complete with last-ditch swotting from Neil and hissy fits from Rick.Vyvyan's self-decapitation, having stuck his head out of the window (contrary to written warnings), results in a muddy hitch-hike. This finally gets to them to the studios, where Vyv tries to smuggle a pig (which he describes as a ferretnamed "Bacon Sandwich") in as the College's mascot. When this occurs, behind Mel Smith is a red sign reading "Grenada." This is a parody of Granada Television.During the game, their opponents – the well-to-do Footlightscollege team, from Oxbridge– take a commanding lead, as Neil becomes preoccupied with asking Bambi to go to the toilet. An angry Vyvyan obtains a World War II-era German stick grenade and blows up the rival students. Mike's quick answers begin Scumbag College's comeback, before a trick question from Bambi reveals Rick's shenanigans of swapping the question cards. Two of the questions fixed by Rick had the same answer, 'Toxteth O'Grady, U.S.A'. In a later real episode of University Challenge, when asked a question he didn't know the answer to, a student gave this as his reply. The affronted audience heckle the group, and begin to hurl items at them.They are suddenly squashed by a gigantic eclairdropped by a medical Doctor, having been shown observing everything as a culture under a microscope. The Doctor then feeds the eclair to Jumbo, his elephant subject, supposedly a horribly disfigured man, a reference to John Merrick, the Elephant Man. [cite web |url=http://www.fortunecity.com/lavendar/hawkslane/231/yo21.html |title=The Young Ones - Bambi |accessdate=2007-02-10 |format= |work=Transcription of the "Young Ones" episode "Bambi" as it aired on American MTV in the mid-'80s]
The fictional Footlights College,
Oxbridge, is a reference to the real Footlightsdrama club at Cambridge University. The Footlights College team was played by show writer Ben Elton, and three actors who were once members of the real Cambridge Footlights: Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie, and Stephen Fry. Oxbridgeis also a portmanteauof the names of the real life Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Interestingly, Stephen Fry, playing one of the fictional "Footlights College" contestants, had actually represented his college (Queens' Cambridge) in a genuine edition of "University Challenge" only a few years before the episode was made. He also later appeared on celebrity editions of the programme in aid of Comic Relief in the 2000s.
* "The Young Ones" - links with other series
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