Rik Mayall is one of them.
For the most part, I'm pretty sanguine about celeb deaths - after all, I've had enough actual, real family death to deal with. Who needs to take on the sorrow of others as well, right? But, as with all grief and shock, it depends on how connected you feel to the person who has died.
For me, Rik Mayall represents an enormous chunk of my childhood, my growing up and my appreciation of a certain kind of comedy. I have been watching him in The Young Ones, Blackadder, The New Statesman and Bottom over and over and over from the 80s to today.
If I'm sad or down, then I rewatch episodes of the above comedies. It's just a thing I do. I have seen all of the Young Ones and Blackadder a revoltingly silly amount of times. And Alan B'Stard IS the 80s to me. The New Statesman and Spitting Image WERE the 80s. They're pretty much my political references for that time still.
Rick, Lord Flashheart and Alan B'Stard are three of the most iconic TV comedy characters. It's personal. It feels personal that he's died. I know it's not. I know it's fuck all to do with me. But it feels personal.
He was 56. No age at all. As people keep saying. Over and over. He was too young. What a shock. No one should go at 56. It's not fair.
And it's not fair. It wasn't fair when my dad died at 56. And it's not fair that Rik Mayall is dead at 56. It sucks ass and I'm angry and sad and now we will never get to see anything new from him and that's just fucking tragic.
And then I just watched this and it still made me laugh. Even when I'm feeling so sad. Rest in Peace you mental genius man.