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Monday Watercooler

A plain white coffee mug surrounded by a mound of coffee beans

Further proof that Washington state is always ahead of the curve on coffee.

Tonight’s video is Rik Mayall performing his sketch, “Poetry.” Of course, the sad news reached social media today that Mayall — best known for The Young Ones — has died.

From the AV Club:

Mayall was seriously injured in a quad bike accident in 1998 that left him comatose for several days, but he had since made a slow yet triumphant return to performing, often alongside his longtime comedy partner and Young Ones co-star Ade Edmondson. Mayall’s cause of death has not been released. He was 56.

Mayall and Edmondson first met at the University of Manchester, where they forged their partnership amid the burgeoning “alternative comedy” scene at The Comedy Store. In addition to fostering their particular chemistry as “The Dangerous Brothers,” one marked by cartooonishly violent outbursts and explosions, that club also saw Mayall first develop the character of ‘Rick,’ an anarchist poet who was also a total prick, as well as Kevin Turvey, an investigative reporter whose ‘reports’ mainly consisted of long, rambling monologues about his own life.

Around the same time, the BBC commissioned The Young Ones from Mayall and his then-girlfriend Lise Mayer, adding their university alum Ben Elton as a writer. The series—about four undergrads whose only commonalities were slovenliness, their desperate unpopularity with women, and a shared distaste for work and for each other—saw Mayall reprising his pompous, Cliff Richard-loving poet character Rick, alongside Edmonson’s destructive punk Vyvyan, Nigel Planner’s irritating hippie Neil, and Christopher Ryan as the unctuous ‘cool person’ Mike.

While each have their own particular charms—or lack thereof—it’s Mayall’s Rick who tends to dominate Young Ones episodes, often by virtue of the character’s relentless, hyperactive toddler’s need for attention. Mayall’s portrayal treads that fine line between obnoxious and pitiful, as the sniveling Rick’s self-satisfied—and woefully ill-informed—political diatribes and awful slam poetry is that of every irritating college leftie writ loud. Yet, as Mayall plays him, you can’t help but feel for the little wanker.

Bonus: In lighter news, Washington’s “wake and bake” set have an new option for a refined breakfast — “Legal” brand cold brew coffee and cannabis extract. From Laughing Squid:

Legal is a new line of cold coffee beverages brewed by Washington State food and drink company Mirth Provisions that takes advantage of the state’s new marijuana laws by incorporating 20 milligrams of locally-grown cannabis extract into the recipe. In an interview on MyNorthwest, creator Adam Stites refers to the line of flavored coffee drinks as ‘wake and bake beverages:’

‘We want the experience to be more similar to that if you had a nice IPA or glass of wine. We don’t want to pack so much THC into every one of our drinks that it’s unpleasant, especially for people that are just getting into marijuana.’

If it’s not strong enough for you, you can always enjoy it in a pipemug.

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Photo by Logan Brumm released under a Creative Commons No Derivatives license.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and