Richie and Eddie are the main antagonists and anti-heroes of the 1991-1995 British sitcom Bottom, along with it's 1993-2003 stage shows and it's 1999 film Guest House Paradiso.
Richard "Richie" Richard is a perpetually optimistic dimwit, while Edward "Eddie" Hitler is a cheerfully violent dipsomaniac.
Their arguments often lead to exaggerated, 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".
Richie is known to be a virgin (Eddie stole Richie's only ever "girlfriend", Ethel Cardue, and sometimes torments Richie with how he had sex with her), with a microscopic penis (which he sometimes mistakes for his only pube). However in the episode 'Digger' he almost has sex with an allegedly wealthy foreign countess, Lady Natasha Letitia Sarah Jane Wellesley Obstromsky Ponsonsky Smythe Smythe Smythe Smythe Oblomov Boblomov Dob, after he and Eddie join a dating agency. Natasha agrees to marry Richie, much to his delight and he is totally 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, as Richie moves in to have sex with Lady Natasha he has an apparent heart attack, and is rushed to hospital. Whilst waiting for the ambulance, Eddie claims to have had sex with Lady Natasha, as he did Ethel (although in the episode 'Terror' in season three, Eddie looks distinctly nervous when Richie informs him that the Devil drinks virgin's blood).
Richard also tends to believe that any woman who does not fancy him must be a lesbian. He is also unsure of the decade, claiming in the same 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's the 80s after all. Richie usually wears a white shirt (tucked into his Y-fronts) and slim 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, and a red tie. His character is aspirational, pretentious, and occasionally a snob.
Eddie is a cheerfully violent alcoholic (he claims that this is because he "drinks a lot"). He wears glasses akin to those of Eric Morecambe, a brown suit and a white shirt with a black spotted tie (Which he tucks inside his trousers) on closer inspection one can see that Eddie's suit jacket and trousers have several stains and frays. Despite having a shaven head, he sports sideburns. He also has a brown trilby hat and a tweed coat. He has two real friends, called Spudgun (Steve O'Donnell) and Dave Hedgehog (Christopher Ryan) who has a wife called Susan and a daughter named Doreen who appeared in the episode " Terror". Richie does not have any friends and sometimes appropriates Spudgun and Dave if in need of company, even though he despises them (particularly Spudgun) and considers them beneath him. Eddie is also revealed to be a Queen's Park Rangers fan, as in "Holy", he sprayed the letters "QPR" on the wall with spray snow, and in "Dough", you can see QPR banners on his bedroom wall.
Richie and Eddie bear perhaps closer inspection than any of Mayall and Edmondson's other characters. Despite sharing a deep mutual hatred, the two are eternally entwined due to their basic flaws and they seem to have an unspoken respect for each other as a result. 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, and it is unlikely that any landlord would grant him tenancy, even if he could afford the rent. He is therefore forced to rely upon Richie's charity. Richie, on the other hand, is such a pompous, self-obsessed, perverted, withering soul that, without Eddie, it is unlikely that he would make another friend. The two have an unspoken acceptance of their interdependence and their relationship tends to fluctuate between acting like a married couple (filling in the crossword together, Richie putting an unconscious Eddie to bed every night), a mother and son (Richie often keeping Eddie 'in check' and scolding him, and often putting an end to his fun, often out of sheer spite even though Richie would like to indulge himself) and frustrated (often violent) desperation: so much so that both have attempted suicide — Eddie drinking bleach (drunkenly) and Richie drinking poisoned milk and trying to gas himself in the oven (an attempt at "guilting" Eddie into buying him a drink). In fact, both men have died in numerous episodes, only to resurface unharmed the following episode. This partnership has similarities to those of Steptoe and Son, and Hancock and Sid in Hancock's Half Hour.
Richie is in heavy denial and has delusions of grandeur. He once tried to convince a Falklands ex-serviceman that he had fought ten years there, seizing the fictitious "Straud Hill" and liberated the Stanley branch of Tesco). Eddie, by comparison, is grounded and seems to have quite good general knowledge, which he keeps to himself. He can play chess (and spends seven hours trying, unsuccessfully, to teach Richie), he knows a fair amount about Napoleon and Wellington (who Richie claims invented the Chelsea Boot) and appears well versed in the works of Vivaldi, (whom Richie believes to be a football player). Eddie is also a great one for plans - though most involve trying to get a free pint from Dick Head, the landlord at the Lamb and Flag. One such scheme, in the episode "Dough", involved Eddie printing counterfeit money, which he plasters with pornographic doodles of the Royal Family and other such celebrities (on the £5 the Queen "gets her jugs out", on the £10 note there is an orgy involving Meryl Streep, the Duke of Edinburgh and Bobby Charlton, and on the £27 note there is a picture of Sylvester Stallone "fisting" Mr MacHenry from The Magic Roundabout.
Richie and Eddie's relatives are often mentioned: Richie's grandad was at the Battle of the Somme, while Eddie's uncle used to work in a prison, (really a prisoner) peeling potatoes, sewing mailbags and doing 'anything they told him to do'. Richie's auntie is very rich and dies in one episode with her nephew inheriting a large sum of money. Richie's dad, Oswald Richard, was an acquaintance of Adolf Hitler and betrayed Britain in World War II. According to Richie, his dad 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".
Eddie and Richie are two crude, perverted lunatics, with no jobs, very little money and only a filthy flat in Hammersmith (located at 11, Mafeking Parade) to their name. The two spend their time coming up with desperate schemes to acquire sex, attacking each other violently, and getting into dodgy deals and scrapes with the law. Richie is a clumsy, pompous dimwit who attempts to make himself out as being much higher in social status than he actually is, and is both deranged and desperate; obsessed with sex. Eddie, a cheerfully violent drunkard, meanwhile spends his time getting drunk and wasting the dole money, although he occasionally has moments of demented genius. Eddie's friends—the gormless Spudgun and Dave Hedgehog—both fear Richie, thinking he's psychotic. Although the pair sometimes venture out (the most common location being the local pub, the Lamb and Flag), many of the episodes are set simply within the confines of the pair's squalid flat. As well as traces of Mayall and Edmondson's earlier characters from their previous sitcom Filthy Rich & Catflap, the series also has echoes of warped versions of both Hancock's Half Hour and Steptoe and Son.
Bottom Live (1993)
Following a lock-in in the lavatories of their local pub for the weekend, Richie and Eddie return to their flat. After an unsuccessful attempt to prepare breakfast the mail arrives, containing a letter and parcel for Richie. The letter is from the solicitors, which Eddie is left to dispose of, and the parcel contains a blow-up doll Richie has ordered without the knowledge of his flatmate. He bribes Eddie to leave the flat so he can be alone with his new friend Monica, unaware that Eddie has opened the solicitors letter and discovered that following his uncle’s death, Richie is now owed £15,000, which he wishes to claim for himself. The second act opens with Richie having trouble with Monica, which culminates in him accidentally attaching himself to the doll with superglue. Eddie returns with the intent of killing him to claim the £15,000. He helps remove the blow-up doll then tries to poison Richie, albeit unsuccessfully. Not long after Richie himself reads the letter from the solicitor and discovers that the £15,000 is actually a debt owed by Richie that his uncle never paid during his lifetime. He resigns himself to suicide, but not before Eddie has tricked him into signing a marriage certificate (assuming that such a bond will entitle him to the money). The play ends with Eddie realising his mistake, and the two friends apparently electrocute themselves to avoid paying the debt, which they both now owe.
Bottom Live: The Big Number Two Tour (1995)
After a strange, half-mentioned turn of events, Richie and Eddie are about to meet the queen. Richie is very excited over it while Eddie keeps forgetting it, because he 's permanently drunk. When the Queen is rallying through Hammersmith, they think it would please her to get out their "todgers" and set off a massive fireworks display, which is a mixture of rockets and Semtex, which leads to the unexpected explosion. Act 1 ends here at a cliffhanger.
Richie and Eddie are in prison charged with:
- Attempted asphyxiation of the entire population of West London.
- detonation 400 lbs of Semtex under contravention of the Anti-Terrorist act.
- Attempted regicide.
- Causing an affray.
- Wiggling their "todgers" at the Queen.
They are faced with a problem in prison: they are trying to escape a certain criminal called "Mr Big" after he takes an unfortunate "liking" to Richie. They eventually escape just in time for the Queen to come round for tea. They don't realise that the Queen was actually coming (And the police were after them for escaping), so they set up a tripwire wired up to a bomb at the door to stop the police from catching them. Unfortunately for them, it just so happened to be the door that the Queen was coming through, so they accidentally blow up the queen as well as themselves.
Bottom Live 3: Hooligan's Island (1997)
Richard Richard (Mayall) and Edward Elizabeth Hitler (Edmonson) are stuck on an island in the middle of nowhere. The show is basically "How not to survive on an island!" The show is split into two acts- In the first act, we see some of the things Richie and Eddie get up to pass time (Such as Richie falling into the island's latrine and Eddie telling Richie that he rescued an unconscious "bird" from the beach which he put into his hammock-Richie goes to ogle the "bird", but it turns out to be an Albatross) and in the second, it is revealed that Richie and Eddie are actually sharing the island with a 15 megaton nuclear bomb. This act sees Richie and Eddie trying various methods to defuse the bomb, but their plan backfires when they accidentally detonate it.
Guest House Paradiso (1999)
In this film adaptation of the series, Richie and Eddie run a hotel that based next to a nuclear power station, and it has been described as the worst guest house in the United Kingdom. Unlike the series, the duo have different surnames; with Richie's surname being Twat (which he insists is pronounced Twaite) instead of Richard whilst Eddie's surname is changed from Hitler to Ndingombaba. Other than this, they are the same characters.
Bottom Live 2001: An Arse Oddity (2001)
The first act involves Eddie and Richie once again on the tropical island from Bottom Live 3: Hooligan's Island. However, this is effectively a "play within a play": after the first act, the pair are on their way to the bar when they fall down chutes into a grey dome ("like the Millennium Dome, only fuller") in which they become trapped. Eddie eventually finds a bar and gets out, and both Richie and Eddie escape to perform the rest of the show.
Bottom Live 2003: Weapons Grade Y-Fronts Tour (2003)
No longer on Hooligan’s Island, Richie and Eddie find themselves back in their flat. Having locked himself in the lavatory for two weeks, Eddie is disrupted when Richie barges in, discovering that his friend has transformed the room into a laboratory. Inside are various inventions, including "The Evacuator", a super-powerful vacuum cleaner that Eddie uses as a toilet, "The Patent Painless Tattoo Remover", alias a blunt hammer, and "Weapons Grade Lager", a self-perpetuating alcoholic drink that leads to a prolonged period of unconsciousness. Richie then discovers a trunk sent to him from his deceased uncle. Inside are the plans for the various inventions Eddie has stolen. However, one invention remains untouched: The Elixir of Life. Richie hurriedly drinks the potion but is shocked when Eddie discovers that the substance is deadly. In order to save his friend, Eddie uses his very own time-traveling toilet ("The TURDIS"), to reverse time and stop Richie drinking the Elixir. Fully restored the two friends then realise that they can use the time machine to reach the bar of the theatre before the audience, and depart immediately.
Richie and Eddie continuing their search for the bar, having found themselves unsuccessful for three years. In the course of their escapades, Eddie manages to lodge Richie's head in the door of the TURDIS (only to dislodge it again with a stick of dynamite), Richie is forced to re-power the ship via the friction caused by him pleasuring himself (leading to a mass-heckle from the theatre audience as orchestrated by Eddie), and finally the pair discover themselves traveling further and further back through time, right back to the beginning of time itself. After a narrow escape from his shrinking underpants (triggered by the reversal of time), Eddie joins Richie as they discover the meaning of everything: pants, and they depart by singing an ode to the ever-useful undergarment.