I’ve been watching some episodes of Blackadder (series 2 through 4), when it struck me…
No, not Baldrick’s unique odour, it hit me how similar the characters of Lord Flashheart and Ace Rimmer from Red Dwarf were, heck, they’re practically interchangable, both with a smug, gittiness about them
Who do you think the biggest prat in british comedy is?
from the Blackadder series we have;
Flashheart (played by Rik Mayall)
Edmund Blackadder (played by Rowan Atkinson)
Melchett (played by Stephen Fry)
Queen(ie) Elizabeth (played by Miranda Richardson)
from the Red Dwarf series we have;
Ace Rimmer (played by Chris Barrie)
Rimmer (Chris Barrie)
from the Young Ones series we have;
§Rick, the People’s Poet (played by Rik Mayall)
Vyvian Basterd (played by Adrian Edmonton)
Mike Thecoolperson (played by Christopher Ryan)
I admit I’ve only seen Red Dwarf’s first six series, but I don’t remember Ace Rimmer being a prat or smug or git at all. (I’m not counting the sixth series episode where Rimmer morphed into an Ace-like version of himself in the execrable Polymorph II.) His character may have changed in later return appearances, but in his introduction, Ace was a genuinely generous, brave, selfless, skilled hero. That’s why everyone – except Rimmer, of course – loved him.
So I don’t see him as the equivalent to Lord Flashheart, who was definitely smug to the nth degree and so jerkish he stole his friend’s would-be bride right before the wedding.
As long as you’re naming folks from Black Adder, you should really add Capt. Darling from … Goes Fourth. Rick from The Young Ones is a great choice. Rimmer, especially in the earlier seasons, excelled as a prat of major proportions.
BTW, how’d you miss Brittas from The Brittas Empire? I’ve only seen a couple of episodes and he wears his gittishness like a mantle. I’d also add both bosses from The IT Crowd, the names of which escape me.
I never heard of the Brittas Empire, I’ll have to do a search for it…
As far as Flashheart and (P)Rick, it’s rather interesting that both are played by the same actor, Rik Mayall, he also played the imaginary “Fred” in the movie “Drop Dead Fred”, it seems Mayall has quite the talent for playing prats…
Mayall is sort of a one-trick pony but he’s very good at it. He also played Richie Rich in both Filthy, Rich and Catflap and Bottom - both roles were serious prats.
I’ve been watching The Thick Of It. Malcolm Tucker is just about the biggest asshole I’ve seen on any show ever. I don’t know if he can even be considered a prat since he does get things done but jeez is he scary…