But most of all, he was Flashheart in Blackadder, here's his best two appearances in that series...
Lord Flashheart's appearance at Blackadder's wedding - 2minutes and 48 seconds of a force of nature scene stealing and all with a half falling off moustache.
"Thanks bridesmaid, like the beard. Gives me something to hang onto!"
"She's got a tongue like an electric eel and she likes the taste of a man's tonsils!"
And as Squadron Commander Flashheart...
"Have you any idea what it's like to have the wind rushing through your hair? He has..."
And from later in that series of Blackadder:
Flashheart: Enter the man who has no underwear. Ask me why.
Others: Why do you have no underwear, Lord Flash?
Flashheart: Because the pants haven't been built yet that'll take the job on.
Finally from The New Statesman, a series that inccluded some dark satire as well as silliness:
Alan B'Stard: Why should we, the country that produced Shakespeare, Christopher Wren - and those are just the people on our banknotes for Christ's sake - cower down to the countries that produced Hitler, Napoleon, the Mafia, and the... the... The Smurfs!
Live or on screen Rik Mayall was simply funny.
I'll leave the last word to his long term collaborator Ade Edmondson
There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard.