The Young Ones was a popular British sitcom, first broadcast in 1982, on BBC2. Its anarchic, offbeat humour helped bring alternative comedy to television in the 1980s and made household names of its writers and performers. Soon afterwards, it was shown on MTV, one of the first non-music television shows on the fledgling channel.
The main characters were four undergraduate students sharing a house: violent punk metal Vyvyan (Adrian Edmondson), pompous would-be anarchist Rick (Rik Mayall), long-suffering hippie Neil (Nigel Planer), and the mysterious and diminutive Mike (Christopher Ryan). It also featured Alexei Sayle, who played the quartet's landlord, Jerzei Balowski, and other members of the Balowski family.
The show combined traditional sitcom style with violent slapstick, non sequitur plot-turns and surrealism. These older styles were mixed with the working and lower-middle class attitudes of the growing 1980s alternative comedy boom, in which all the principal performers except Ryan had been involved.
Although the series was set in North London, many external scenes were filmed in Bristol. All four characters attended the fictional Scumbag College. As one of the characters (Neil) sometimes wore a University of London T-shirt, it seems likely that Scumbag is one of the University of London's constituent colleges. Although they were never seen attending the institution and were rarely seen studying.
The show was influenced by the sitcom The Monkees which also featured four characters and a landlord along with a musical segment, jump cuts and free-flowing loose narratives.
The show was voted #31 in the BBC's Best Sitcom poll in 2004