Raymond & Mr Timpkins Revue
Reginald D Hunter
Rev Obadiah Steppenwolf III
Roy Chubby Brown
Ruth E Cockburn
Gervais and Elmo
Backstage on Sesame Street
More Ricky Gervais videos
|Learn Guitar With David Brent|
|On The Daily Show 2011 pt2|
|On The Daily Show 2011 pt1|
|Science DVD Extra|
|Ricky and Karl discuss working for Esquire|
|Daily Show: Feb 2009|
|The Late Show Top 10|
|On The Daily Show with Jon Stewart|
A late entrant to the world of comedy, Gervais only started to try to tap his talent for making people laugh in 1998, at the age of 36.
Before that, he had spent seven years spent as an entertainments manager for a student union.
And his initial ambitions were musical, playing in a failed Eighties band called Seona Dancing.
He later, briefly, managed the band Suede, before landing a job on London's XFM radio station where he started developing a taste for comedy, and a character called Seedy Boss who would later become The Office's David Brent.
Ricky Gervais: Science on tour
Movies are keeping Ricky Gervais busy these days; yet somewhere between the promotional junkets for The Invention Of Lying and writing and directing Cemetery Junction, he’s found the time to troll round the country on a stand-up tour.
However, he doesn’t seem to have quite found the time to polish off the writing. This show is substantially the same as a work-in-progress show he performed in London back in April, but there’s little evidence of the work actually having progressed, with straightforward routines offering plenty to enjoy, but few surprises.
It’s still a pretty funny 70 minutes, as you’d expect from a comic of Gervais’s talent, but Science feels like he’s treading water. Given that he’s such a perfectionist on his screen work, he seems happy to settle for the adequate, rather than the excellent, on stage.
His shows rarely have much to do with their titles, and Science is probably the most tenuously named yet, as he’s the first to admit. Reading the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for ‘science’ is as deep as it gets, unless you count the debunking of the Noah myth or the homophobic prejudices of the religious Right as striking a stand for rationality over superstition.
But we start – after an hilariously inappropriate video by gifted American stand-up Louis CK – with Britain’s Got Talent, and Gervais questioning what qualifications Amanda Holden has to sit in judgment, save for breaking up with Gervais’s old Extras guest star, Les Dennis. It’s graphically gross but forensically pedantic, repeating the points with subtle shifts in emphasis, heavily influenced by Stewart Lee’s style, but made more accessible.
A couple of other comedians are channelled over the night, too, recycling Russell Brand’s famous line about heroin being ‘a bit morish’ and offering a selfish take on the charity Christmas gifts that relies on a very familiar attitude, though the gags are Gervais’s own.
This is why the show never really flies, it sounds too much like a club set that other people could – and in some cases have - done. His extended deconstruction of Noah’s Ark, as told through a kids’ book, for example, is a ridiculously easy target. That doesn’t mean it can’t be funny – and in the early stages this proudly atheist routine is – but the sarcastic comments run out of steam before the legend does. Likewise a rant against fatties is both enjoyably vicious and largely predictable, while the inherent stupidity of opposing gay marriage is nicely encapsulated, but quickly degenerates into descriptions of increasingly depraved sexual activities, using shock as a substitute for surprise.
But taste always takes a holiday when Gervais is on stage. He’s far from PC, and if it’s behind a cloak of irony, it’s sometimes hard to see. An extended routine about an obsessed at the front of a Ken Dodd routine is ruthlessly offensive about someone who’s clearly a troubled woman – especially given Dodd’s well-publicised troubles with a mentally ill stalker. While many of Gervais’s comments are as funny as they are unkind, they are far from guilt-free.
His delivery, as always, is of the cheeky child – saying the latest rude thing he’s heard in the knowledge it will provoke a reaction from the grown-ups, then trying to act all coy when it does. His favourite stance is to jut his face towards the audience – making him almost look as if he’s wearing a cheap cardboard cut-out mask of himself - and pull a fax-innocent ‘what did I say?’ shrug. The fact his voice cracks into a high, vivacious laugh is something of a giveaway, though.
The engaging tongue-in-cheek performance helps ensure this is a fun night. Yes, he does mention his Golden Globes, of course, but rather more cheesily, he’s selling his autographs for £10 a pop at the merchandise stall. Poor chap, must be down on his fortune – that, or keen to avoid the dweeby autograph-hunters that’s another of his bugbears.
An entertaining hour and a bit, yes, but falling short of a memorable one. Maybe Gervais is spreading himself just a little too thin.
|Date of live review: Thursday 15th Oct, '09|
Review by Steve Bennett
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Have I missed all the hype surrounding RG and The Office? I find neither particularly funny and I'll laugh at anything. Painfully untalented and even more painful to watch. I did laugh at him once - when he failed to win a comedy award in 2006.
How refreshing it is to read the comments of others who really see Gervais for what he is - a complete incompetent and non-event when it comes to comedy. Reading over the last few comments makes me feel so good. Obviously out there are other REAL people who can see the complete shallowness and transparency of Gervais and his so called 'humour'. I am glad to see that the realisation is spreading that this person should be held up for what he is - an arrogant and inconsequential little man who has no conception whatsoever of what comedy is about and indeed no place on the British comedy scene.
His comedy is very much in the same vein as Jim Davidson. Unfortunately JD has ben blacklisted and RG has not. Why??!!!
I saw him last night in Oxford and he was hillarious, worth it and I hope to see more and more of him in the next few years. The Office was genius and Extras was a fantastic second show
I am just completely exasperated at how this man has become part of our British comedy institution and is now deemed to be a "great British export". I am truly embarrassed for anyone abroad to think that us Brits think he is anything special. Just so not funny. Why does anyone think that "being embarrassed" for someone is amusing? David Brent dancing? Not funny... Extras? Not funny (but some of the appearances by REAL comedy geniuses do save the episodes from time to time). When will people see the light and realise that HE IS NOT FUNNY!! Even in interviews he is not clever, witty or quick enough to make anyone laugh - a true comedy genius is always at his best in a spontaneous interview...
Saw Ricky Gervais at the WSPA gig last month and I have to say that he needs to refresh his standup material. Having seen him at the TCT benefit much earlier in the year, I was expecting to see a new bit - but he rolled out the same act, almost word-for-word! Not cool. I'm going to give Fame a miss as I don't want to spend good money when he's not really working for it!
Rick is one of the funniest men in the world. So what if he's got a big ego and talks about himself, he can because he's funny! He's a working genius.
It made our night seeing Ricky at the WSPA benefit last night. His lack of political correctness is refreshing and he deserves the credit he has been awarded
Gervais revives The Office, as Peter Kay sits down... all for Comic Relief
28/02/2013 Permanent link
The Ricky Gervais Show: Season 3
An Idiot Abroad Series 3
Ricky Gervais: Science
An Idiot Abroad
The Ricky Gervais Show
Extras: The Special
Ricky Gervais: Fame
Ricky Gervais Live: Animals/Politics/Fame
All three live shows
For Your Consideration
Extras, Series 2
Ricky Gervais; The Story So Far
by Michael Heatley
Flanimals Of The Deep
Third in Ricky Gervais's series of illustrated children's books
Edinburgh Fringe 2007
Ricky Gervais: Fame!
Edinburgh Fringe 2011
BBC: Ricky Gervais and Warwick Davis discuss the making of Life's Too Short
Invention Of Lying
Ricky Gervais: Fame
Ricky Gervais: Politics
Ricky Gervais: Science
West End run