Thursday, November 22, 2007

Comedy Hero: Ricky Gervais

I want to do a radio show where I can say what I want, when I want and that's free for anybody who can be bothered to listen--Ricky Gervais

I'm going to keep this post short because I think there is too much to talk about about the mad comic genius, that is Ricky Gervais. He has the comedic Midas touch-- anything he touches turns into comedy gold. However, the quality I most admire about his is vast respect for comedy. He credits influences stemming back to the beginning of TV/Radio. He also understands that comedy must come from the core, the heart. And it has be to be grown organically. It can't be forced. Gervais has a keen eye for comedy. He acts like more of producer rather than the talent. Don't get me wrong the man is talented. But I would compare him to Howard Stern.

- Both had/have a careers in radio
Both are inclusive of their audience, choosing non-talent, "un-qualified" staff to be a member of his team, harping on their "unique talents." (Howard now has Sal the Stockbroker, Richard Kristie, as well as many others from his past Morning show troupe plucked right from the audience. Gervais, met Stephen Merchant as an intern and Karl Pilkington.)
Both have had massive success outside of radio.

What I've neglected to mention about Gervais is his obvious claim to fame: The Office sitcom series. And The Office, the American stepchild of the original Office.

My favorite thins about Gervais is that he knows when to quit. He ended both The Office and Extras after only a few seasons, never letting the audience fully tire of his product, but always going out with a bang, on top.

Gervais' latest venture has been a stand-up comedy tour. I use stand-up loosely. Although, Gervais is standing up on stage, he makes ample use of a podium and reads from a --highly unconventional and non-traditional in the stand-up arena. But it worked for him, and his tour ended up being a success.

I hold Gervais in high regard. His humor can vary from flat-out acerbic and biting to subtle sarcasm, the kind you have to listen to closely and almost decode the quirky

The blogosphere is almost clogged with articles on . And I couldn't possibly cover it all with out this post seeming like a comedic dissertation on the Ricky Gervais phenomenon and its affect on 21st century comedy. So I'm going to provide you with links below. Be sure to read them. They chock full of fantastic interviews with Gervais. And if you still don't get an idea of his sense of humor, than I will provide you with a clip from my favorite Gervais product, Extras.

Sir Ian McKellan teaches Andy (Gervais) how to act:

Andy chats up a girl:


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Windyridge said...

I love Gervais. The first time I saw him was in Extras. I really enjoyed these clips. I am going to try and find some more.

Steve said...

The "Sir Ian McKellen" sketch has fast moved into comedy legend here in the UK. It makes me laugh out loud every time I see it... the DVD version of the series features all the outtakes and it's a joy to see Ricky and Sir Ian both corpsing it every few seconds.

Amey said...

I first saw Rick Gervis after watching the US version of "The Office". Then I got through all the episodes of UK Office pretty quick.

Haven't seen him on Extras much, but I feel his comedy (at least what I saw) is a bit too sad for me, if you know what I mean.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

The office has always been one of my favourites.