Feature: The Rik Mayall Nintendo Adverts You Totally Forgot About
Posted by Damien McFerran
What happened when a legend of British comedy and Nintendo collided
Nintendo Life readers over the age of 25 and based in the United Kingdom will no doubt be familar with the comedic talents of Richard Michael "Rik" Mayall. One of the pioneers of 'alternative' British comedy in the '80s, he starred in a whole host of popular TV shows, including The Young Ones, Blackadder, The Comic Strip Presents and - possibly most famously of all - Bottom.
He also attempted to crack Hollywood in the cult classic (but commercial flop) Drop Dead Fred, which features a cameo by the Nintendo Game Boy, but that's a story for another day.
Bottom is set to return to UK televisions next year after an 18-year absence in the shape of Hooligan's Island, so now seems like as good a time as any to reacquaint ourselves with Rik's fine portfolio of Nintendo adverts.
You see, during the early '90s - when Nintendo was embroiled in a high-stakes battle with Sega in UK - it badly wanted to shed its 'family-friendly' image.
Sega was seen as a cooler brand by UK gamers, a fact which was no doubt influenced by the brilliant (and award-winning) Pirate TV commercials. Sega's Mega Drive was also beating the SNES at UK retail, prompting Nintendo to throw a massive pot of cash in Mayall's direction in order to compel him to create some amusing adverts. According to legend, Rik purchased a new house with the cash he received, and jokingly christened it "Nintendo Towers".
Below, we present those very same adverts for your view pleasure. A word of warning to anyone outside of the UK: the humour is very, very British.