Carnival (Bottom)

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"Carnival"
Episode no. Series Three
Episode 006
Directed by Bob Spiers
Written by Ade Edmondson
Rik Mayall
Produced by Jon Plowman
Original air date 10 February 1995
Episode chronology
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"Carnival" is the sixth and final episode of the third and final series of British television sitcom Bottom. It was first broadcast on 10 February 1995.

Synopsis[edit]

The episode opens with Richie and Eddie sitting in "The best seats for the annual Hammersmith riot" (which is watching from out of their own lounge window). While admiring the ongoing violence taking place during what is supposed to be a carnival parade, Richie and Eddie decide to do some looting "When Currys blows", with one of the planned items to loot being a TV set. When they return to their flat with the events of their looting not seen to the viewers, it is discovered to them that Eddie dropped the TV while being run over by the "riot squad", but to his excitement still got the free rubber duck that "came with the telly", although "everything came free with the telly". They then notice that the packs of Malibu from earlier have been taken while they were away. However, despite the disaster with the TV set loot, they still manage to pick up their shopping for the year and a large quantity of Orion VCRs (which is revealed near the end of the episode as one of the items Eddie looted), as well as a BBC video camera with tape which Richie took while thinking he had every right to as he pays his television licence fees, although Eddie says he don't, Richie replies "But they don't know that!" before Eddie calls him a "master criminal".

With the camera (which Richie reveals he stole after beating Eddie up for fantasing over Sharon Stone), Richie comes up with an idea to make loads of films with the camera in the hope it would make him and Eddie both famous so they would get their "pick of the birds" afterwards. Firstly, Eddie comes up with an idea to make 9 1/2 Weeks, but changes this to Nude Birds Go Upstairs to Eddie's Bedroom, before Richie tells him to come back and comes up with the idea of doing his own prime time current affairs discussion program, after both suggesting Robert Kilroy-Silk is the most popular TV male celeb of the moment. This leads to a segment in which Richie is filmed by Eddie wearing a white wig to resemble Kilroy's hair, doing a "Studio special report" asking the question "Should traffic wardens be armed?", only to go falling down the stairs and then through the bathroom door, before going head first into the toilet. Eddie then suggests that if he turned the camera on, they would have had a good video to send into the fictional TV show Jeremy Beadle's Viciously Hilarious Domestic Violent Incidents, so he says to do it again with the camera on. Richie instead decides to return to the drawing room and also the drawing board before agreeing on Eddie's idea to involve an accident in which you "accidentally catch a dart in your head".

In a parody suggesting all or most of the videos featured on You've Been Framed! at the time were set up, Eddie is filmed at the stove cooking hot fat in a frying pan while wearing an apron suggesting that its "Just an ordinary day in my kitchen!", only to get a dart in the eye from Richie sitting behind the camera (after shouting "Oh Marjorie!"), seconds after Eddie said "I hope to goodness, gracious, me no viciously hilarious accidents happen!". In this first take however, the dart ends up in Eddie's eye instead of in his forehead, so they have to go again for a second time. The second take, which Richie tells Eddie is "The BAFTA", sees Eddie act this time in a slight aggressive tone of voice due to the calamity during the first take, while informing the camera he's "lost the sight in one eye". This time round Eddie catches the dart in the forehead, suggesting one of the local youths threw the dart, before saying he's gone all dizzy and will fall into the frying pan of fat, only to spill it intentionally all over himself which leads to him to ask for matches. With this Richie goes up to Eddie appearing in the film informing him that they're losing their audience, before setting him alight. Eddie once on fire, then says he'll hope not to fall out of the window nearby which he also says was left open, after this Eddie does fall out but by jumping through intentionally smashing the glass and the wooden frames that holds the glass panels in.

In the next scene, the audience find out that there was no tape in the camera all along, meaning he will have to go again despite smoldering in smoke. After Eddie's objections to do so in which he suggests is going "back to casualty", Richie says that a blank tape is useless to him, only for this to give him an idea and make that the joke, suggesting that he was filming his wife "accidentally sewing her head to the curtains when suddenly joke on joke, I realised I suddenly forgotten to put the tape in the camera!". However Richie suggests they check the tape is blank, but thinks they do not have a tape recorder to check, only for Eddie to reveal he looted 17 from the morning riot and still has 43 in the attic. Eddie spends an entire year getting the video up and running (having wasted months simply unwrapping it) and only finishes the eve of the following year's carnival and just after Richie returns from his holiday abroad singing "he rattled his maracas close to me!". The two manage to get the VCR to finally work, despite Eddie blowing it up at first. They get the video repair man out to sort out the VCR, only to send him tumbling down the stairs after pulling a lever, all this despite giving him a massive box of Malibu in lieu of cash (earlier on in the episode, Eddie got angry that their flat was burgled during the riot, but only feeling this way after finding out that all his 156 cases of Malibu were stolen although he still had 36 upstairs).

While eventually viewing the tape, they find out despite the recording being made in mute, is a film of the Prime Minister having an affair (the film is never shown to the audience). They try to blackmail the Prime Minister with it, however Richie accidentally uses his real name and hangs up. He tells Eddie to phone up and use and assumed name, so Eddie rings and uses Richie's name too. As a result, the building is soon surrounded by the police. Eddie suggests turning the siege into a chance to "eat like kings" and demand food, but this doesn't work and a death threat and several bullets convince them to throw the video out of the window which Eddie does by throwing out the entire machine. It hits the person that is on the phone to the two and the SAS are sent in who immediately gun down Richie and Eddie. Much like the final episode of The Young Ones, the characters would later reappear in other shows and make no mention of their supposed death.

Continuity and production errors[edit]

  • There is a scene where Richie asks Eddie if it is so good to get his feet up. Eddie responds with "No, I'm not that pervy", with Richie saying "Are you not?". In an out-take (seen on the Bottom Fluff video), Edmondson says "No. Do you know... I've forgotten my next line...!". In the next take, he forgets to say "no", and it looks as if Eddie ignored Richie's question.
  • Eddie says that he is going to write to his MP, Tony Blair (who was Leader of the Opposition at the time of broadcast). Blair was MP for the constituency of Sedgefield, County Durham. Since Bottom is set in Hammersmith, London, it is impossible that he is their MP so this might be a play on their ignorance of life.
  • When Richie is enacting the introduction to his daytime discussion programme, he trips on trailing cables and falls down the stairs. However, although he is wearing an navy blue jeans coupled with a navy suit jacket at the time, the stunt double is clearly wearing light blue jeans. Once Richie is stuck in the toilet, he is wearing the correct colour jeans again.
  • Whilst setting up the VCR, Eddie announces that he will be connecting the scart socket to the lan connector. However, neither of these wires are actually attached to the VCR, rendering the action useless.
  • In the opening sequences, when the shot momentarily switches to the inside of the flat to show Eddie's stash of Malibu crates, the outline of the camera used to film the opening shots, from the perspective of 'outside the flat' is visible through the window.

Trivia[edit]

  • When Eddie reads the VCR instruction manual in German, it's loosely translated to "stick your head up your rear".

Cast[edit]

Cast Characters
Rik Mayall Richie
Adrian Edmondson Eddie