Bottom is a sitcom written by and starring Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson (you may remember them from The Young Ones). It is difficult to do the show justice with mere words. The humour that comes from two comedians who have worked together for years performing gleefully twisted material (and beating seven bells out each other).

The premise of the show was, like all works of genius, a simple one. Richard Richard and Eddie Hitler are two borderline psychotics living in a grotty flat in Hammersmith. Eddie is an alcoholic (and manages to be fantastically cool while not always being able to stand) and Richie is a compulsive masturbator. They spend their time fighting and bickering, and occasionally enacting amazingly foolhardy schemes.

The violence in the show is just ridiculous - falling down stairs, getting set on fire, pencils rammed up noses, heads slammed in fridge doors, headbutts, electrocutions, and that old favourite the punch to the groin are just some of the beatings dished out. Just as excessive is the innuendo. ("Would you like me ... to toast your marshmallows?") The show is, obviously, extremely puerile, but is no less funny today than when it first aired, even though I've seen every episode many many times.

It ran for three series, which were backed by three theatre tours (Bottom Live, The Big Number Two Tour and Hooligan's Island) which were all released on video. The end of the Bottom story came with the rather dismal movie spin-off Guest House Paradiso.

Possibly spurious trivia fact: They wanted to call it "Your Bottom" so that people could ask each other "Did you see Your Bottom on BBC2 last night?".

Also, in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Nick Bottom, the weaver. He considers himself the world's greatest amateur actor, and takes the role of Pyramus, the tragic hero, in the workmen's play. He's a terrible ham, and Puck makes an ass of Bottom by literally giving him the head of a donkey. Much fun and frolics ensue, involving a love potion. Read the play, or watch it, even better.

It is thought that in his portrayal of the rustic theatre of the workmen, Shakespeare was reminiscing about the state of the art in his own youth.


Sexual Selection:

Darwin argued that the remarkable shape of the human female's nates was an example of sexual selection, (which see). In short men like callipygous women and therefore mate preferentially with callipygous women.

Below is an alternative argument using natural selection not sexual selection.

Time between meals:

Women are generally smaller than men and can go without food for a shorter time than can men.

[It is not at all obvious why women can fast for the shorter period:

Smaller animals have a higher specific metabolism than larger and so burn up their food reserves faster. For this reason they must eat more food. (If smaller animals had the same metabolism per unit body weight as larger animals then there would be no difference in the times the two could go without food.) However women should have a lower, average specific metabolism than men - this is from theory, I do not know any empirically derived figures - and so should be able to starve themselves for a longer period than men. The most straightforward argument might be that women have a lower ratio of cannibalizable tissue to "vital" tissue. Thus, during a fast, they run out of those tissues which they can use as "food" faster. They get down to tissue that cannot be "eaten", because doing so would be fatal, faster. This might be due to their relative dearth of skeletal muscle.]

Humans as fasting specialists:

It is assumed here that humans are adapted to sometimes going for long periods without food, or for surviving periods when food is short. This might account for their fattyness (and in turn for their nakedness - having got a lot of fat it might as well be distributed over the body surface, in an insulating layer, making a coat of hair redundant.)

A camel's hump:

Assuming the need to survive fasts and given their ill-fitting equipment for this task women need a food store - a camel's hump. (An interesting question is why could not women simply store a hoard of food in a sack for use when necessary? However, rightly or wrongly, it is usual to ignore considerations of this kind.)

The best place for it:

The positioning of the hump on the nates and thigh backs is clearly bio-physically optimum. Placed higher a mass would require reinforcement of the spine - an evolutionary "expense". Placed lower, on the feet, say, it would be as though one were wearing lead boots - walking and running would be considerably more energetic. The characteristic rear out, chest forward posture, adopted when upright, is necessary to place the center of gravity over the feet.


In African Bushmen, a race of small stature, the male is also endowed with protuberant, fatty nates. The female has these attributes in a hugely developed form and is an astonishing sight for those unused to this conformation. (It is noticeable that the media does not show pictures of pigmies, or only rarely. It is easy to suspect this is for fear of exciting too great a level of racialism for optimum social control.


The simplest way to defend the argument, against the background of pigmies, is to claim (I do not know if this is true) that the pigmy shows, in the usual way, a higher specific metabolism than larger races.

And see female.

Here is a complete episode guide to the hit BBC sitcom, Bottom.
It should be noted that most episode titles can be concatenated to 'Bottom' to make a little phrase, eg. "Bottom Smells" or "Bottom Accident".

Serries One
Originally aired in the UK in the fall of 1991, and repeatedly on the BBC and UK Gold ever since.

Episode one: Smells
Richie and Eddie come back from a failed night out trying to pull females. Richie gets all depressed as he thinks he'll always be a virgin, so Eddie suggests that he puts an advert in a lonely hearts column. While reading through other people's ads, Richie comes across an advert about pheromone spray, that will apparently draw more females to them than they would know what to do with.
The next day Richie and Eddie go to the pub covered in this pheremone to try their luck with the ladies.
This episode sees the introduction of pub landlord, Dick Head (played by Lee Cornes), although we don't learn his name until later.

Episode two: Gas
After narrowly avoiding being caught with an illegal gas pipe leeching next door's supply, Richie and Eddie break in to Mr. Rottweiler's house next door to try and disconnect it before the gas man comes in the morning.
This episode guest stars Brian Glover (AKA former wrestler Leon Arrya) as Mr. Rottweiler.

Episode three: Contest
With his Dole cut off due to having too many savings, (eleven pounds eighty to be exact) Eddie decides to wager the lot on the amazing Miss China of the Miss World contest, standing to win ten thousand pounds.

Episode four: Apocalypse
When Richie finds out his Aunt has died he decides to celebrate his £600 inheritance by going to the fun fair. After blinding a carnie and a fortune teller tells him he will die in three days, Richie has a very boring few days under the sofa, whilst Eddie has some high jinx with a Grim Reaper costume.

Episode five: Bottom's Up
Eddie and Richie are enjoying a Sunday morning of doing what they do every morning - being slobs when the landlord comes in and asks them to look after his shop while he goes to his mother's funeral. Upon taking charge of the shop, they go on the roof to watch cricket for the afternoon.
(there is a small inconsistency here in that Richie's aunt owned the flat in the previous episode)

Episode six: Accident
It's Richie's birthday, but the only people who have come to his party are Eddie's mates, Spudgun (played by Steven O'Donnell) and Dave Hedgehog. (also played Mike in The Young Ones, played by Christopher Ryan) Richie hreaks his leg playing Sardines and comes back from hospital to find his living room full have people who have supposedly come to his party.
Mark Williams (of Harry Potter, Red Dwarf and The Fast Show fame) guest stars as one of the party guests.

Season Two
Originally aired in the UK in the fall of 1992 and regularly repeated on BBC 2 and UK Gold since.

Episode One: digger Richie and Eddie join a dating agency, and record advertising videos for prospective partners. Richie says on his that he is the Earl of Kidderminster and finds himself using his humble Hammersmith flat to receive the Lady Natasha of Moldavia, complete with his 'butler', Jives. (Eddie in a suit)

Episode two: Burglary

Eddie and Richie catch a burglar in the flat, tie him up and call the police. They have other ideas of how to proceed, however, when they find how much he has taken from other people but first they have to find a way to hide the trussed-up burglar from the policeman who is now on his way.

Episode three: Culture
The TV's been taken away because the rent on it hasn't been paid and so our heroes are forced to find other means of entertainment and end up spending a hilarious night playing chess... with prawns instead of pawns and all manner of other silly substitutes, and Richie doesn't even know the rules, and is wearing his coat inside out as a substitute for a smoking jacket.

Episode four: Parade
Richie and Eddie are in the pub arguing with a Falklands War veteran over their respective roles in the war. (Richie is claiming to have been there, when he wasn't) The veteran falls asleep so they bet his wooden leg on a horse race based on a deliberately faulty tip they received from pub landlord, Dick Head.

Episode five: Holy
Christmas day is dawning and Santa Claus (Richie in a costume) comes to the flat. After several hours spent unwrapping their presents (the ingredients for the Christmas Dinner, Richie and Eddie invite their mates Spudgun and Dave Hedgehog round for dinner. When someone leaves a mysterious baby on the doorstep, Richie believes himself to be the new Mary, while the others fall into the roles of the Wise Men.

Series Three
Originally aired at the beginning of 1995, and as with the other series repeated regularly since. As there was a big break between this and the other two series, there are some changes to the flat scenery, eg. the bathroom and Eddie's bedroom, which are both new, and some alterations to the living room scenery.

Episode one: Hole
The lads are riding on a ferris wheel when everything goes dark and the funfair closes down. Reading his newspaper, Eddie discovers that the ferris wheel is going to be demolished by explosion first thing in the morning, and they have just hours to get off the wheel before they get blown to oblivion. Perhaps divine intervention will lend a hand.

Episode two: Terror
When a couple of young trick or treaters pay the flat a visit, Richie and Eddie decide to go trick or treating themselves dressed as a Devil and a banana.. and a cattle prod. On their travels they meet Spudgun and Dave Hedgehog and decide to hold a Satanic party, and eat those brussels sprouts from last Christmas.

Episode three: Break
Eddie and Richie are going on holiday to Doncaster and are busily planning their holiday and what to pack. The trip is however doomed by an alleged naked picture of Desmon Lynam stuck to the bottom of the fridge.

Episode four: Dough
After a long spell in his locked in his bedroom, Richie, Spudgun and Dave Hedgehog learn that he has devised an ingenious forgery machine that produces pornographic fake money. Excited at putting their new 'wealth' to the test, the gents head down to the pub. A local master forger hears of their activities and have to enter the pub quiz to make the five thousand pounds needed to avoid having their skulls crushed.

Episode five: Finger
A local Welsh cricketer that Richie has a particular disliking for is getting married, and he and Eddie decide to steal the groom's car and go on his honeymoon, with Richie posing as the groom and Eddie as the bride, complete with reverse breasts.

Episode six: Carnival
During the routine looting during the Hammersmith carnival, Richie and Eddie steal a TV camera and decide to make money by filming each other, but when they come to review the film they find a video of UK Prime Minister (at the time of filming) John Major in a compromising situation and decide that blackmail is the order of the day.

Sources: My DVD collection, countless hours watching BBC2 and UK Gold.

Also, as a slang term, anyone (but most used to describe a gay man) in a passive or receptive role during sexual activity. In heterosexual sexual activity the role of who enters who is, unless there are harnesses and toys involved, dictated by gender and obvious. Not so much in the case when one deviates from that norm.

It's not a pejorative slang, but merely a descriptor. In a personals ad, someone describing himself as a bottom wishes to be receptive if the sex is anal, or the one fellating if the sex is oral.

It's interesting to note that the notion of being receptive doesn't necessarily mean passive, however. There is the term "power bottom" which implies that the person may be receiving the generative member of the other person, but in no way in a passive manner, and in fact is more sexually aggressive and dominant in that role than the person "topping" the aforementioned bottom.

There's also the built-in pun factor considering that sexual activity in gay men sometimes involves the anus, buttocks and/or inner thighs, all of which are euphemistically, as noted above, referred to as a "bottom".

Bot"tom (?), n. [OE. botum, botme, AS. botm; akin to OS. bodom, D. bodem, OHG. podam, G. boden, Icel. botn, Sw. botten, Dan. bund (for budn ), L. fundus (for fudnus), Gr. (for ), Skr. budhna (for bhudhna), and Ir. bonn sole of the foot, W. bon stem, base. 257>. Cf. 4th Found, Fund, n.]


The lowest part of anything; the foot; as, the bottom of a tree or well; the bottom of a hill, a lane, or a page.

Or dive into the bottom of the deep. Shak.


The part of anything which is beneath the contents and supports them, as the part of a chair on which a person sits, the circular base or lower head of a cask or tub, or the plank floor of a ship's hold; the under surface.

Barrels with the bottom knocked out. Macaulay.

No two chairs were alike; such high backs and low backs and leather bottoms and worsted bottoms. W. Irving.


That upon which anything rests or is founded, in a literal or a figurative sense; foundation; groundwork.


The bed of a body of water, as of a river, lake, sea.


The fundament; the buttocks.


An abyss.




Low land formed by alluvial deposits along a river; low-lying ground; a dale; a valley.

"The bottoms and the high grounds."


8. Naut.

The part of a ship which is ordinarily under water; hence, the vessel itself; a ship.

My ventures are not in one bottom trusted. Shak.

Not to sell the teas, but to return them to London in the same bottoms in which they were shipped. Bancroft.

Full bottom, a hull of such shape as permits carrying a large amount of merchandise.


Power of endurance; as, a horse of a good bottom.


Dregs or grounds; lees; sediment.


At bottom, At the bottom, at the foundation or basis; in reality. "He was at the bottom a good man." J. F. Cooper. -- To be at the bottom of, to be the cause or originator of; to be the source of. [Usually in an opprobrious sense.] J. H. Newman.

He was at the bottom of many excellent counsels. Addison.

-- To go to the bottom, to sink; esp. to be wrecked. -- To touch bottom, to reach the lowest point; to find something on which to rest.


© Webster 1913.

Bot"tom, a.

Of or pertaining to the bottom; fundamental; lowest; under; as, bottom rock; the bottom board of a wagon box; bottom prices.

Bottom glade, a low glade or open place; a valley; a dale.


-Bottom grass, grass growing on bottom lands. -- Bottom land. See 1st Bottom, n., 7.


© Webster 1913.

Bot"tom, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Bottomed (); p. pr. & vb. n. Bottoming.]


To found or build upon; to fix upon as a support; -- followed by on or upon.

Action is supposed to be bottomed upon principle. Atterbury.

Those false and deceiving grounds upon which many bottom their eternal state]. South.


To furnish with a bottom; as, to bottom a chair.


To reach or get to the bottom of.



© Webster 1913.

Bot"tom, v. i.


To rest, as upon an ultimate support; to be based or grounded; -- usually with on or upon.

Find on what foundation any proposition bottoms. Locke.


To reach or impinge against the bottom, so as to impede free action, as when the point of a cog strikes the bottom of a space between two other cogs, or a piston the end of a cylinder.


© Webster 1913.

Bot"tom, n. [OE. botme, perh. corrupt. for button. See Button.]

A ball or skein of thread; a cocoon.


Silkworms finish their bottoms in . . . fifteen days. Mortimer.


© Webster 1913.

Bot"tom, v. t.

To wind round something, as in making a ball of thread.


As you unwind her love from him, Lest it should ravel and be good to none, You must provide to bottom it on me. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

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