Ricky Gervais Laughing OK, so what pug-faced English comedian starred with such acting legends as Ali G, Barry from Eastenders, and Robert De Niro? No. It isn't Monkey Allen. Mores the pity. It's that pug-faced English comedian that does rather well speaking in public, Ricky Gervais. Here, check out a conversation he had with another great public speaker, James Lipton, in this 40-minute interview recorded in 2009.

Ricky Gervais

Can he do it? Can the man with the well-groomed beard and the balding-top, Jimbo Lipton, speak to the man with the chubby face and the funny-mop, Ricky Gervais, without laughing?

Err. No. Not really. But never mind, hey? Once they both sit down in front of the studious audience together, James does manage to ask Ricky questions relating to the following subjects: (1) His own origins. (2) His time in academia. (3) Dissing and Pissing. (4) His knob. And (5) Singing.

Here, check out these 'Ricky quotes' for a much more personal form of explanation:
  • Your research is very scary, James. I half expected you to say to me "I know where you've buried the bodies".
  • I didn't know my Dad was a drunk until I saw him sober one morning. Ha!
  • My parents always told me the truth doesn't hurt.
  • Jesus was like an unpaid babysitter in my household.
  • There is no place for machismo in comedy. Laurel and Hardy got it right the first time round.
  • I'd look weird with a foot long knob.
  • Everything Steven and I write is improvised. Me on the Dictaphone, him on the computer.  
  • I'm sad to say that there is no difference between fame and infamy nowadays.
  • I've always been impressed by people playing the same character again and again. Like Woody Allen or Bob Hope for example.

Also, this is some of what Ricky had to say about his wares and his work-colleges too:
  • On 'Stephen Merchant' -- The gangly goggle-eyed freak makes me look good. Hehehe!
  • On 'David Brent' -- His main problem was that he confused popularity with respect. I liked him though.
  • On 'That Dance' -- It looks like someone cross-bread Hitler with a crab.
  • On 'Slough' -- We wanted to choose a place where people could have gone to London from, but didn't.
  • On 'Dawn and Tim' -- They are the reactors. Plus they are the audience as well.
  • On 'Andy Millman' -- He's the opposite of David Brent, except that he sounds and looks exactly the same.
  • On 'Stand-Up' -- To me it is the last true bastion of entertainment.

Now in closing the show, Ricky answers some more questions posed by James from the Bernard Pivo structured questionnaire -- where we find out that he love's creativity and hate's ignorance. Before he then answers subsequent question posed to him by the studio audience relating to multi-tasking and preparation.

Now I first saw Ricky Gervais on the late night Channel 4 satirical review program 'The 11 o'clock show'. Granted, I didn't tune in to see him specifically. Oh no. I was more interested in Sacha Baron Cohen's shtick myself, or Ricky Grover's (click on links for a review). Nonetheless, I kind of understood where the aforementioned Mister Gervais was 'coming from' with his routine; instinctively gauging from the pit of my stomach that he would go on and do 'other things'  if the opportunity ever presented itself.

And I was right, wasn't I? The Office. Extras. Ghost Town. Etcetera. Etcetera. Etcetera. Until one day he became the man he is today.

Ricky Gervais in The Office

Though, whilst saying that, who is Ricky Gervais exactly? According to this episode of 'Inside the Actors Studio', he's an instinctive comedian, who has honed his craft on honesty and the understanding of humane endeavors. In many ways what he had to say to James highlights to me that he's one cleaver chap, who has ascertained that pathos and the celebrity culture does not necessarily go hat in hand together, and sometimes clash as a result of perception.

 Well, comedy is all about perception, huh? How else can you poke fun out of something, unless you know what that something truly is to begin with?

Smug Ricky Gervais
Here, check out these 'Ricky facts' to find out who this cleaver sod really is: (1) Ricky Dene Gervais was born on the 25th of June, 1961, in the English county of Reading, Berkshire. (2) During the eighties Ricky was in a pop group called 'Seona Dancing', and released two singles with little to no success -- 'Bitter Heart' and 'More to Lose'. (3) Ricky first met his long-time collaborator, Stephen Merchant, when he hired him to help him out in his new job as 'Head of Speech' for XFM -- a newly formed radio station based in London, focused on alternative music. (4) In 2002 Ricky won a televised charity boxing match against entrepreneur, Grant Bovey, on the BBC. He won on a split decision though, and disliked the experience in retrospect. (5) Ricky hates people being late for anything. Heck, by his own admission he was born prematurely so he would not be late for his birth. (6) Believe it or not, Ricky has a degree in philosophy from the University of London, and has a fear of spiders too. (7) Ricky's wife, Jane Fallon, is a prized novelist, a producer on English television, and has been with Mister Gervais since 1992. (8) As well as being awarded with BAFTA's, Golden Globes, Emmy's, and a number of other prizes for his wares, in 2007 Ricky was also voted by Channel 4 to be 11th greatest stand-up comic of all time. Plus, in 2010, TIME magazine named him one of the most influential people in the world. (9) Ricky has a podcast and a website -- www.rickygervais.com

Ricky Gervais at the Awards

Overall this installment of 'Inside the Actors Studio' was a right blast to watch. Both James and Ricky were hysterical in it. Plus what Ricky had to say about his sit-coms was very revealing about the man, and very interesting about his characters by default. Class, through and through. A must watch.  Right David?