List of Bottom characters
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Richie & Eddie
Richard 'Richie' Richard (Rik Mayall) is a perpetually optimistic dimwit. His character is aspirational and occasionally a snob. Richie usually wears a white shirt tucked into his Y-fronts and vintage black tie with tie clip, blue jeans with a belt that clearly misses most of the loops and has a light brown raincoat when outdoors. He also occasionally wears brown trousers held up with braces, a red tie and he also wears white and pink striped pyjamas.
Richie is a virgin, and Eddie stole Richie's only ever 'girlfriend', Ethel Cardew, and sometimes torments Richie with how he had sex with her. Although in the episode "Terror", in series three, Eddie looks distinctly nervous when he claims that the Devil drinks virgin's blood. In the episode "Digger", Richie almost has sex with a foreign countess, Lady Natasha Letitia Sarah Jane Wellesley Obstromsky Ponsonsky Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Oblomov Boblomov Dob, after he and Eddie join a dating agency. Natasha agrees to marry Richie, much to his disbelief and delight, and he is naively oblivious to the fact that she is marrying him because she thinks he is a millionaire and she has lost her entire fortune. Towards the end of the episode, Richie moves in to have sex with Lady Natasha, but unfortunately he becomes so nervous that he has a heart attack and is rushed to hospital. Whilst inside the ambulance, Eddie claims to have had sex with Lady Natasha. But again this was before the episode with the discussion of the Devil drinking virgin's blood, so it is almost certain that Eddie is only saying this to torment Richie. Eddie also informs Richie that it was not his heart that gave way but it was a result of his dodgy surgery to remove his kidney.
Richie possesses a domestic characteristic as he wears a blue and pink rimmed apron whenever he is doing housework such as cooking and ironing. His naïve quality makes him unsure of the decade, claiming, in the episode "Carnival", that it is both the 80s and then 70s later on with a bemused Eddie looking to the camera, after Richie mentions it is the 80s after all. Despite what has been said in some episodes, Richie quite often demonstrates strong religious beliefs; when an issue threatening him should come up one of the first things he does is pray and attempts to make a deal with God. He also believes that the dictionary was written by Jesus. In the episode "Terror" along with Spudgun (Steve O'Donnell), Dave Hedgehog (Christopher Ryan) and Eddie, Richie also prayed to the Devil in the hope of raising him so that he could get his heart's desires granted. However, despite Richie's flaws, he has been shown to be kinder and more generous with money than Eddie; while Eddie constantly swindles Richie out of money at every opportunity he can, when Richie wanted to form a relationship with the queen he said he would split the money between himself, the queen and Eddie. Also before a failed suicide attempt Richie genuinely thanked Eddie for being his friend. Throughout the series Richie displays occasional elements of anxiety such as in the episode "Break", he insists on sitting in silence staring at a clock waiting for his and Eddie's holiday to start despite their coach not being scheduled to arrive for another seven hours. In Guest House Paradiso, he goes by the name Richard Twat, which he insists is pronounced "Thwaite".
Edward 'Eddie' Elizabeth Hitler (Adrian Edmondson) is a cheerfully violent dipsomaniac. He wears glasses akin to those of Eric Morecambe, a worn out brown suit and a white shirt with a black spotted tie. Despite having a shaven head, he sports sideburns. He also has a brown trilby hat and a tweed coat. Eddie has two other friends, sad-cases named Spudgun and Dave Hedgehog who mostly hang out together, though Dave is also a family man. (His wife Susan is never seen, but his daughter Doreen appeared once in the episode "Terror".) While Richie does not appear to have any other friends besides Eddie, he does appropriate Spudgun and Dave Hedgehog if in need of company. Eddie is also revealed to be a Queen's Park Rangers fan: in the episode "Holy", he sprayed the letters 'QPR' on the wall with spray snow; and in "Dough", there are QPR banners on his bedroom wall. He has been shown to break the fourth wall a few times in the series when giving looks or speaking directly to the audience. Oddly enough, some of the men in Eddie's family have girls' names, as his middle name is Elizabeth and he once referred to having a 'Great Uncle Susan' who fought "on both sides, depending on which way he was facing" during the first world war. Eddie is shown to have quite varying degrees of mechanical expertise, for instance he is able to build a fully functioning printing press within a week and a treadmill powered by a motorbike in a matter of hours, yet it takes him an entire year to set up a domestic recorder.
More of Eddie's and Richie's relatives are often mentioned. Such as Richie's grandfather who was at the Battle of the Somme, while Eddie's uncle used to work in a prison, but really a prisoner peeling potatoes, sewing mailbags and doing ... "anything they told him to do". Richie's wealthy aunt Olga left him a small sum of money in her will, whilst his other aunt Mabel used to own the flat. Richie's father, Oswald Richard, was an acquaintance of Adolf Hitler. According to Richie, his father moved in mysterious circles, because he had one leg shorter than the other. Richie's sister lives near Hammersmith and apparently looks just like her brother, albeit 'with smaller jugs'. Eddie's mother was a wrestler named 'Adolf Hitler', who abandoned him when he was young, leaving him her old service revolver and a note saying 'Please look after my baby, I can't be bothered.' Given the unusual naming traditions of the Hitler family it is possible male children are given female middle names while females have male middle names. In Guest House Paradiso, he goes by the name Eddie Ndingombaba.
Richie and Eddie Character Analysis
Despite sharing a mutual dislike, Richie and Eddie are eternally entwined together due to their basic flaws and they seem to have an unspoken care and need for each other as a result, having been friends for 25 years. Both have called each other best friends and Richie has referred to them as "the guys!" on more than one occasion. Richie tolerates Eddie's drunken behaviour and likewise Eddie tolerates Richie's pompous attitude. Eddie's alcoholism and violent nature mean that he has not been able to hold down a steady job since his very short-lived career as a 'bunny girl' back in 1978 that lasted ten minutes and it is unlikely that any landlord would grant him tenancy, even if he could afford the rent. He therefore relies heavily upon Richie's charity. On the other hand, Richie can be very presumptuous and is constantly libidinous, and without Eddie he is unlikely to ever make another friend. The two have an unspoken acceptance of their interdependence and their relationship tends to fluctuate between acting like a married couple from filling in the crossword together and a mother and son relationship with Richie putting an unconscious, drunken Eddie to bed every night. Both Richie and Eddie have died in numerous episodes, only to resurface unharmed the following episode. This partnership has similarities to those of the two title characters in Steptoe and Son, and Tony Hancock and Sid James in Hancock's Half Hour.
Richie becomes overly excited at the prospect of anything good happening and by comparison, Eddie is quite grounded in himself at least when he is sober. There is some debate over who is the most intelligent of the two. Richie considers Eddie 'the stupid one', however, Eddie appears to have quite good general knowledge. He can play chess and spends several hours trying unsuccessfully, to teach Richie. (Eventually Richie must gain some knowledge of chess as in the episode "Apocalypse" he offered to challenge Death, who was actually Eddie in disguise, to a game of chess in order to keep his life.) Also Eddie appears to have a greater knowledge of popular culture and the arts than Richie, as he knows a fair amount about Napoleon and Wellington (who Richie claims invented the Chelsea Boot), and also appears well versed in the works of Vivaldi (whom Richie believes to be a football player). However, Richie is usually quick to spot the flaws in Eddie's latest schemes, such as when he noticed how terribly unconvincing his forged money looked in the episode "Dough". Also Richie can read, whereas Eddie rarely spells words correctly including his own name. Another example was the word 'scythe', when Richie pointed it out to him in the dictionary he thought it spelt the word 'zither' and he was also unaware of what a debt was. Both Richie and Eddie frequently use double-entendres either purposely as a joke or it is misinterpreted by the other.
The arguments between Richie and Eddie often lead to exaggerated and destructive fight scenes. Some have likened this to a live action cartoon. However, the boisterousness is somewhat more graphic: examples include heads slammed in and under refrigerators; hands stapled to tables; legs being chainsawed off; genitalia slammed in doors or set on fire; fingers cut off; televisions smashed over heads; darts, forks, or fingers ending up in eyes; faces shoved in camp fires; legs broken or teeth knocked out. Some of the visual effects used for these events are very realistic, whereas others are deliberately fake. All are accompanied by a variety of over-the-top sound effects. The BBFC has given the Bottom: The Complete Series DVD a classification of 15, with a violence rating of 'None'.
Both Richie and Eddie share many of the qualities that their Young Ones characters Rick and Vyvyan possess. The fights that Richie and Eddie have are not dissimilar to the ones Rick and Vyvyan have. Eddie has a violent nature that Vyvyan strongly possesses, and Richie like Rick believes himself to be more popular and intelligent than he really is. Although Vyvyan is not a heavy alcoholic like Eddie is, he appears to be the only one of the Young Ones who enjoys alcohol. His favourite drink being either vodka or babycham. Certain jokes that appeared in the Young Ones have also appeared in Bottom on a couple of occasions; for example, in the Young Ones episode "Oil", Vyvyan hit Rick in the crotch with a cricket bat to which Rick replied "Ha! Ha! Missed both my legs!" Eddie does the same thing to Richie who responds with the same line in the first and second of the Bottom Live performances. Eddie has on more than one occasion mocked Richie for being a virgin, and throughout most of the Young Ones episode "Time", Vyvyan taunted Rick for being a virgin to which Rick repeatedly denies. However, both Eddie and Vyvyan are believed to be virgins too. In the Bottom episode "Terror", Eddie believed that the Devil drinks virgins' blood, but immediately after he said this he looked worried. In the Young Ones episode "Nasty", a vampire was loose in the students' house and Vyvyan smugly stated that he was not worried because he believed that vampires only attack virgins. However, only moments after he said this he muttered under his breath that he hoped "snogging with SPG counts". Another similarity between Eddie and Vyvyan is that neither of them know who their biological fathers are. In the final Bottom Live performance, while they are travelling through their time machine, Richie suggests doing some old material and impersonates Rick. Eddie obliges to this and takes on Vyvyan's persona to which Richie joked that Eddie has not changed his material very much.
- Spudgun (Steve O'Donnell): One of Eddie's slobbish and unemployable friends. His nickname comes from a trick he can do involving a potato, although according to Eddie it's not something most people would want to see.
- Dave Hedgehog (Christopher Ryan): One of Eddie's friends. While "Hedgehog" appears to be his actual surname, he also can do a trick involving an actual hedgehog. As seen in "Terror", he is married, and has a daughter by the name of Doreen - who is remarkably calm when dealing with Richie and Eddie, despite them mistaking her for Satan. Dave's wife's name is Susan as mentioned in "Holy", although it takes him a while to recall her name.
- Richard "Dick" Head (Lee Cornes): The landlord of the Lamb and Flag, Richie and Eddie's regular pub. Dick is one that usually doesn't get on well with both Richie and Eddie, because of the arguments over the tabs and payments for alcohol. Ignorant of his own field e.g. pronounces the 'd' in Pernod. His appearances were in "Smells", "Parade" and "Dough".
- Mr. Harrison (Roger Sloman): Richie and Eddie's flat landlord and shopkeeper. His only appearances were in "'s Up" and "Holy". In the latter episode, Harrison is shown to have a daughter named Valerie and a grandson named Johnny.
Minor and One-off characters
- Lily Linneker (Lisa Maxwell): Appeared in "Digger" series 2, episode 1. Runs the Lily Linneker's Love Bureau.
- John Cooper (Michael Redfern): Appeared in the episode "Bottom's Up". John Cooper comes into Mr. Harrison's shop (which Richie and Eddie are minding) to collect his newspaper.
- Veronica Head (Julia Sawalha): The beautiful young barmaid at the Lamb and Flag, whom Richie tries to woo by boasting of his false adventures during the Falklands War. She later turns out to be the niece of Dick Head and has been conspiring against Richie from the start. She only appeared in the episode Parade.
- Lady Natasha Letitia Sarah Jane Wellesley Obstromsky Ponsonsky Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Oblomov Boblomov Dob, Third Viscountess of Moldavia (Helen Lederer): A foreign countess Richie met through Lily Linneker's Love Bureau. Richie posed as the Duke of Kidderminster to secure a date with her. She agreed to marry him and unwittingly admitted that she'd lost her entire fortune in a civil war and had to marry soon lest she be penniless forever. She appears in the episode Digger, The actress Helen Lederer also briefly appears as a nurse in the episode Apocalypse.
- Mr. N. Stiles (Robert Llewellyn): N. Stiles is a Falklands ex-serviceman who was in the Lamb and Flag, asking questions to Richie about his false adventures in the Falklands. Richie and Eddie discover he has a valuable wooden leg and decide to steal it and take to the pawn shop to bet on a horse. He appears in Parade.
- Lil Potato (Patsy Rowlands): Spudgun's mother. Appears in Parade.
- "Skullcrusher" Henderson (Nick Scott): The most prolific currency forger in London, although this is more down to his tendency to crush the skulls of any rivals than the quality of his forgeries (which feature Danny La Rue in place of the Queen). Richie and Eddie fell afoul of Skullcrusher and had to pay a £5,000 tribute in order to escape having their skulls crushed; unfortunately they tried to pay Skullcrusher with his own forged cash, and got their skulls crushed anyway. Appeared in Dough.
- "Cannonball" Taffy O'Jones (voiced by Kevin Allen): Insane Welsh cricketer. After a deliberate bowl to Richie's forehead, Richie and Eddie steal his car and steal his honeymoon. Taffy follows them however, and gets revenge with another pair of bowls to Richie and Eddie's foreheads. He never appears on-screen, but is heard off-camera sporting a heavy Welsh accent in Finger.
- Harry The Bastard/Ted Nugent (Brian Croucher): Mean spirited pawnbroker who knowingly and brazenly offers prices for items proffered at well below their true worth. Examples include 7 pence for a house and £1.50 for an engraved wooden leg he acknowledges to be worth at least £2500. He appears in Parade. Another character named "Harry the Bastard" appeared in Mayall and Edmondson's The Young Ones, though he was played by Alexei Sayle.
- Mr Tent (Rupert Bates): A streaker who stalked Richie and Eddie while camping out in Wimbledon Common, as part of a bet in 'S Out. He is first seen in the daytime flashing, then at night performing sexual simulations on their tent, while undoing the zip. This only causes the tent covering to be caught in his penis, making him run off withering in pain during a rainstorm as Eddie zipped the tent back up.
- Video Repair Man (uncredited): Makes a brief appearance in Carnival after Eddie blows up a VCR he took almost a year to set up. After repairing the machine Eddie offers him a box of Malibu in lieu of cash, only to send him flying down the stairs and possibly injuring him by pulling a lever.
- Gas Man (Mark Lambert): Appears in Gas in which he visits Richie and Eddie's flat to read their gas meter only to find the reading is all zeros. As their next door neighbour Mr Rottweiler is up next, Richie and Eddie decide to keep the Gas Man in the flat until his time to clock off for the night arrives, as they have been stealing gas from Rottweiler hence the meter reading. By doing this they force-feed him cold tea while pretending they do not know what gas is, only to knock him out with a frying pan as he tries to leave. The Gas Man later wakes up with a headache while Richie and Eddie try to throw him out of a window onto the roof of the next bus. Although his shift is over, the Gas Man proceeds to check Mr Rottweiler's meter, despite or perhaps due to his tremendous head injuries.
- Mr. Rottweiler (Brian Glover): Richie and Eddie's violent neighbour who appears in Gas. Richie and Eddie were stealing gas from their neighbour with an illegal gas link, only to try and disconnect it by smashing his wall down while he is asleep with his girlfriend for the night.
- Doreen Hedgehog (Lisa Coleman): Appears in Terror. Doreen is Dave's daughter who comes to the flat where she is mistaken for being The Devil by the others due to wearing a devil mask but after taking it off she reveals that she has been sent to collect her father as her mother doesn't like him being out after midnight.
- Valerie Bates: Appears in Holy is Mr. Harrison's daughter. After her mother has a heart attack, she leaves her son Johnny with her father, but he ends up on Richie and Eddie's doorstep causing them, Dave Hedgehog and Spudgun into thinking he's the son of God. After returning, Valerie sees that Johnny is hungry and prepares to breast feed him in the flat by unbuttoning her top, much to Richie and Eddie's delight.
- Johnny Bates: Appears in Holy is Mr. Harrison's baby grandson. He is mistakenly left on Richie and Eddie's doorstep after his mother Valerie leaves to be with her mother who had a heart attack. After finding him, Richie, Eddie, Dave Hedghog and Spudgun mistake Johnny for being the son of God until Harrison arrives and reveals that Johnny is his grandson just moments before Valerie arrives and prepares to breast feed Johnny by unbuttoning her top, much to Richie and Eddie's delight.
Characters mentioned only
- Ethel Cardew: Ethel Cardew is a woman (implied in Terror to be transsexual) that both Eddie and Richie frequently mention in their conversations. Richie has tried to woo her unsuccessfully (by one occasion pretending to be the captain of a ship, only for her to walk away with the arresting officer), deluding himself into believing that she was his fiance, though it seemed that she preferred Eddie over Richie and slept with him leaving Richie rather unsettled whenever the topic is brought up. However, it would appear that Eddie and Ethel are no longer on speaking terms, due to the events only described as the "superglue incident".
- Keith and Deirdre McFrenzy
- Ted "Unlucky Suicide" McGloomy
- Mad Quentin "Trousers Down Pervy" O'Blimey
- Harry "I'll Do Anything For Half A Pint" Grundy
- "Mad Dog" Patrick "D'you Want Some Of This" O'Fist
- Aunt Irama
- Susan Hedgehog: Mentioned in Holy and referenced in Terror is Dave's wife and Doreen's mother.
- Adolf Hitler: mentioned in Digger as Eddie's mother.
- From the episode "Digger": Lily: Any relation? Eddie: Well, I've got a mother. Lily: No, no no no, I meant Adolf Hitler. Eddie: Yes, that's her!