Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2
He's a writer. He's a director. He's a philanthropist. Plus he's the bearded-Brit with a bad-back, who's travelled all the way from
to Chicago, to spread a little happiness
in the only way he knows how.
Granted, you may know of him as Ricky Gervais. But to his live studio audience he's the funny-looking Limey that talks about: (1) Illness. (2) Religion. (3) Finance. (4) Diets. (5) Charity. (6) Homosexuals. And (7) Whatever else that comes off the top of his head.
Here, why don't you check out what he has to say during this HBO special?
Irelandif like Britain's Cuba.
- If a volcano goes off, does God say to himself "Oh f*ck! Did I leave the oven on?"
- You can have too much of a good thing. Like heroin.
- I was so fat once, a waiter came over to me and said "F*ck off! You're not eating that!". No one gets fat behind their own back.
- I don't want fat people to be uncomfortable at one of my gigs. Next time they should buy two seats.
Hello? Who's that?
Africa. What do you want? We're starving. Well you should have thought about that when you wanted your independence.
- Is there a lonely old lady living near you this Christmas? Yes. And I f*cking hate her.
- I raped a granny once. Don't worry. She had Alzheimer's. She didn't remember a thing.
- God is not gay. Read the bible. He hates them.
I marry a man? No. Can I f*ck
him up the ass? Yeah. Please do. Make up your minds
- Why did the little girl fall off of her swing? Because she had no arms.
Now in closing his show, Ricky tells two tales based around the subject of taboo. The first tale involves a plane trip he had after 9 / 11. And the second tale involves a blonde girl who was kidnapped. All in all, both tales were... errr... rather moving.
Picture the scene. Me and a lady friend of mine -- called Anna -- were set up to go on a blind date together a couple of years ago. Well, when I say 'blind date'. I knew who Anna was before I met her. She was one of my cousin's old school friends. Moreover, when I say 'date' -- well -- it wasn't a date-type-date. It was more of a 'try not to spend too much money' type of affair, because... errr... I felt that we weren't very compatible.
ANNA: To be blatantly honest with you, I just don't find Ricky Gervais funny at all.
ME: Why do you say that, Anna? Have you ever watched him in 'The Office', 'Extras', or anything else he's done?
ANNA: Yeah. I saw one episode of each.
ANNA: Well, I didn't get 'The Office' one little bit. I found that very awkward viewing. And I suppose 'Extras' was OK. Kind of. It just wasn't my particular cup of tea.
ME: So what was it about Ricky's stuff you didn't get to grips with?
ANNA: I'd say it was his style of comedy. It was... as I said... very awkward. Stilted one minute and silly the next.
ME: But that's precisely his style, Anna. From my own personal perspective Ricky is a reluctant clown. He doesn't want to be overt with his comedy, although at times it may seem that way. It works on a visceral level. You have to either associate with it personally, or understand it on a much deeper level than most comedy routines.
ANNA: What? Are you trying to say that I'm a shallow person?
ME: No! Not at all! All I'm saying is that sometimes you can't take Ricky's stuff at face value. You need to engage with it first, and then try to understand the point he's trying to make.
ANNA: What do you mean? Give me an example.
ME: OK. Do you remember that dance he did in 'The Office'? That silly one.
ANNA: Yeah! I saw a clip of it on TV.
ME: Well, this routine works in a number of different ways. Firstly, Ricky's performance is a silly one. You have to admit that?
ANNA: Yeah. It was funny I suppose. He looked like a frog.
ME: Then you've got to try to ascertain what his character, David Brent, is trying to accomplish by performing this dance. On the one hand he wants to impress his work colleges. On the other hand he wants to show up his superiors. And on yet another hand he wants to be the centre of attention. Needing the adulation of others.
ANNA: Oh! But that's kind of sad, doesn't it? It makes him sound needy!
ME: Yes. That's precisely my point, Anna. That's what makes him funny. The emotion. Like many other famous comedic foils -- like some of Woody Allen's characters for example -- there's a desperation in their antics that's very-very multi-faceted. Some people take their stuff at face value -- which is why they can be of an acquired taste. Whilst other people take their stuff on...
ANNA: Yeah! I know what you're going to say. 'A much deeper level', right?
ME: Well, no. I was going to say 'subliminally'. Ricky is the 'anti clown'. He doesn't want to point at something and say 'look at this, doesn't this look silly to you?'. He wants you to look at what he does and hear what he has to say, and then you can make up your own minds for yourselves.
ANNA: Which reminds me...
ME: ... Yeah. Let's order something to eat. All this talking has made my throat dry.
Now after we had our meal, both Anna and I talked a bit more; and I honestly thought that we left on pretty good terms. She appeared very relaxed and congenial with our encounter. And I... hmmm... long story short, met someone else.
Yes. That's correct! I thought it was a cracking show. It was non-stop cringe-worthy humour at its finest. Honestly. There were stages during Ricky's spiel that I had to put my hands over my own mouth, just in case my laughter turned into 'Pie and Mash'. Furthermore, I also liked the way that Ricky took the piss out of himself whilst taking the piss out of others. To me, this is what makes him the type of comedian he is. Plus it was optimised by a something he said during his act...
'I do comedy so people can laugh at things they usually wouldn't'.
See? As I said to Anna, Ricky is the 'anti-clown'. He doesn't strive for conformity. He strives for the subjects that other people try to avoid. Each time trying to widen the boundaries of good taste, to... errr... Gervais-like proportions. Don't you agree you pug-faced sod?
Ha! Overall 'Ricky Gervais - Out Of
is a great stand-up show. It was funny. It was engaging. And it was something
that you can talk about whilst on a 'try not to spend too much money' type of
affair. Nuff said.