Kevin Turvey: The Man Behind the Green Door (TV Short 1982) Poster

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What Ever Happened to Kevin Turvey?
piechart20004 August 2004
There's a 40 minute version of this (the version available to buy) and a 30 minute version for TV. The shorter one is much, much funnier.

Kevin Turvey is an investigative reporter who works mainly in the Reditch area, Midlands, UK. He investigates the park, the canal, the library, the supermarket...

Kevin is my favourite Rik Mayall character. He's not the instigator of violence like so many of the others, but is sometimes on the receiving end. He's an innocent, carefree, poking his nose journalistically into the mundane things around him.

It's his calm, logical approach that is so funny and his determination to discover the truth about such things as what happens to frogs after people have eaten their legs.

Sadly this character never had his own series. He did have a regular five minute section in the middle of a sketch show called A Kick Up the Eighties. Personally I would have much rather had more Kevin Turvey and less Bottom.

(Having said that, can anyone ever really have enough Bottom?)
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This is brilliant, too brilliant apparently, since most people don't seem to "get" it
leerotert24 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Unlike most Rik Mayall fans, I prefer his early Dangerous Brothers and Comic Strip work to his later shows such as "The New Statesman". I adore his "20th Century Coyote" routines in which he berates the audience and hollers at them to "SHUT UP!" while he tries to read outrageously bad poetry. I'm also a big fan of his writing, in such shows as "The Young Ones", "The Comic Strip Presents", and even the crass but deceptively interesting "Bottom". Maybe that's why I'm able to really enjoy this unique show and give it its proper due.

The character of Kevin Turvey is delightful and unlike any of Rik's other roles. Kevin is a ridiculously literal fool, an overgrown child who takes everything far too seriously without ever realizing how silly he is. He lives with his mother and their "lodger" (wonderfully played by Robbie Coltrane), and has somehow convinced some friends with a camera to film him doing "investigative reports" around his hometown. He chooses to investigate burning issues like whether or not the park employee that posted the "keep off the grass" sign had to actually keep ON the grass to post it, or if they employed a system of strings and pulleys instead. Absolutely mad.

Much like Alan Partridge, Turvey proudly invites you to share in his pathetically boring life because he actually thinks it's pretty neat. He babbles endlessly, talking in bigger and bigger circles until he has completely lost any thread of logic, throwing out stranger and stranger ideas, and it's impossible to guess what he might say next. For example: an idle comment about the eating of frogs' legs turns into a detailed argument about how they manage to take care of the legless frogs afterwards (do they get little wheeled carts or do they just stay in bed?)

There are far too many great moments to list here, from his interminable trip to London to his raucous cover of the song "Downtown", with Coltrane, Ade Edmondson, Simon Brint, and Rowland Riverton. If you like your humor tidy and conventional, this will bore you, but if you like a dose of surreal weirdness with your laughs you should definitely check this out. Kevin Turvey is a scream.
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''He's always been a bit of a loner!''
RaspberryLucozade30 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
One year after catching viewers attention with his alter ego Kevin Turvey on the BBC Scotland sketch show 'A Kick Up The Eighties', Rik Mayall expanded the character in a one-off show created for television entitled 'The Man Behind The Green Door'.

The show was a mockumentary giving us a glimpse into a week in the life of the harebrained Turvey, which included interviews at his home in Latymer Rise, Redditch, with his brassy mother ( Gwyneth Guthrie from 'Take The High Road' ), their lodger Mick ( Robbie Coltrane ) who has recently escaped from the army ( and it is suggested that he is sleeping with Kevin's mother ) and Turvey's friend Keith Marshall ( Mayall's future long-term comedy partner Ade Edmondson ), who was previously mentioned on 'A Kick Up The Eighties'. Roger Sloman makes a brief appearance as a psychotic park-keeper who beats Kevin senseless.

The interviews with Turvey's mother and lodger were hilarious. On being asked to describe her son's personality, she responds: ''He's always been a bit of a loner. A bit of a Clint Eastwood figure, in that people don't like him very much.''. Upon being asked to describe his relationship with Kevin, Mick the lodger gives a surreal statement along the lines of ''I have four pairs of shoes, one brown pair and three black pairs. I'll lend him the brown ones, but not the black ones. I know it sounds peculiar but its just the way I like to live my life.''.

Rik Mayall wrote 'Green Door' in collaboration with its producer Colin Gilbert, who had earlier worked on 'A Kick Up The Eighties' and would later go on to do other shows such as 'Laugh??? I Nearly Paid My Licence Fee', 'Naked Video' and 'Rab C. Nesbitt'.

It was mostly good stuff, with good work not only from Mayall, but from Coltrane and Guthrie too. Only Ade Edmondson's musical item 'Keith Marshall & His Musical Anarchy' fell upon stony ground. Kevin Turvey never received a full series, however. Probably just as well. I doubt very much that the character would be able to sustain a full six-part sitcom. Afterwards, Mayall found greater stardom in 'The Young Ones' and 'The Comic Strip Presents', as did Edmondson and Coltrane.

Funniest bit - in a bid to impress Mick the lodger, Kevin shouts through to the kitchen: ''Hurry up with dinner mum, we're f**king hungry!''. ''Come through here a moment please Kevin!'', asks his mother out of vision. As Kevin walks out of shot to the kitchen, we hear what sounds like a frying pan being hit across his head!
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True genius - shame it was downhill from here
steve-552-9344204 November 2009
Other commentators are right in that the 40-minute version contains extra material that is weaker than the tighter 30-minute edit, but having been familiar with the 30-minute version for some years, it was still great to see the extra material.

1981 saw the first TV appearances of Kevin Turvey, investigative reporter in a show called A Kick Up The Eighties, which was otherwise rather bland. Turvey's reports were pure genius: wild, unpredictable and much funnier takes on the Ronnie Corbett-style monologues.

Comedy on British TV was changing, and the people, including Mayall, who participated in the Comic Strip, The Young Ones and Blackadder went on to dominate comedy in the Eighties.

After The Young Ones, I consider Mayall's offerings to have gone downhill rapidly: the New Statesman with its cliché-ridden script and coarse acting, and Bottom (as they aged, Mayall, Elton, et al seemed to find farting more and more hilarious, possibly because they increasingly tried to write for a younger generation they were no longer a part of, whereas in the early 80s they were writing intelligent dialogue for their own generation). And less said about Mayall's film work, the better.

But Kevin Turvey remains whimsical genius in this "week in the life of a freelance investigative reporter" reporting on biting local issues, such as "who is keeping on the grass?", the significance of "the Battle of Redditch" and whether the Japanese are able to make wheelchairs small enough for frogs when half of them's been eaten. Mayall is brilliant, as is the support cast, especially Robbie Coltrane as Mick the Lodger ("these hands are killers. If I had a gun in either of these hands, you'd be a dead man").

Mayall demonstrates a genius for character comedy that he failed to pursue. This is a shame, because those who were the natural successors to the Turvey style (notably Steve Cougan with Alan Partridge) produced much funnier comedy than any of Mayall's over-the-top later performances.

The Man Behind The Green Door script remains more quotable than anything written since the Pythons ("Aha! I can see that you're reading a review. Tell me, mate, is that your computer?").
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Not too funny in my opinion Warning: Spoilers
"Kevin Turvey: The Man Behind the Green Door" is a 40-minute fake documentary from almost 35 years ago starring the late Rik Mayall as title character Kevin Turvey. The co-writer (to Mayall) and director here is Colin Gilbert. In general, I have to say this is not really my brand of humour and I felt it dragged on several occasions. Funny moments were certainly not enough, not even for a film under 45 minutes. Still after having watched Mayall's comedy stand-up routine, i must say this film here is better than him on stage. The script certainly elevates the material. I wish I could say something more positive in the light of his death, but I just wasn't entertained at all by this one here. Thumbs down and I don't recommend it, unless you want to see the young Robbie Coltrane.
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