Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Gervais Update : C'est Bon!

I listened to the first Ricky Gervais podcast last night while watching the Seahawks absolutely manhandle the Eagles. (Go 'Hawks!)  What did I think of the show?  Well, I did get several recriminating glares from Tam, as she was sitting next to me trying to study Statistics in preperation for her exam in a couple of weeks.  The nasty looks were given because I was actually laughing out loud.

Now, I am not, by nature, a "laugh-out-louder".  The potent combination of my Canadian citizenship and British heritage has allowed me to develop a significantly developped sense of shame, as well as a general unwillingness to draw any sort of attention to myself.  So to luagh out loud, I must be amused to the point where I can't physically control myself.  Such was mu experience listening to the Gervais show.

Ricky Gervais is, to me, a bit of a troublesome performer.  His series, the Office, was genius.  Possibly the most subtle televised comedy I've ever seen, its greatest moments are among its quietest.  A glance held just a couple of beats too long, a mumbled comment that the viewer can barely register, it really is an immaculately created piece of comedy.  Gervais' stand-up however, while still very funny, has always struck me as a little self-congratulatory.  He can rarely keep himself from giggling at his best material, a trait that, while not enough to completely spoil my enjoyment, does lessen it somewhat.

So it was with a bit of worry that I clicked on the inaugeral episode of the Ricky Gervais Show.  Luckily, Gervais surrounded himself with two very complementary performers. He has an easy banter with writing/producing/directing partner Steven Merchant, which I suppose stands to reason, and they easily bounce and carry (seemingly) unscripted bits between them.  The true star of the Ricky Gervais Show is neither Ricky nor Steve, but producer Karl Pilkington.

Karl wearily proposes a number of off-centre sociological theories, including the reasons against a cure for cancer and his half-baked proposal for  the direction human procreation should take.  The  funniest moments of the program are Ricky and Steve's reactions to whatever Karl has just posited. 

Seriously, I giggled like a little girl with a secret while I listened to this show.  It's very, very funny.  And it includes a landmark discussion into the possible validity of Russian astronaut monkeys.  You just can't beat that with a stick.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Doctor Sordid said...

At your instigation, I listened to this, and you're spot on about the star of the show. I'm wondering if the whole thing was scripted, and that Karl's observations were written up specifically to give Ricky and Steven something to bounce off.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Jhunt said...

You know, the more I listen to Gervais et al (more radio shows available here), the more I would tend to agree with you re:Karl being a set-up. He's just too off-centre to be real. Regardless, it makes me laugh, although a real Karl would truly be something to behold.

5:44 PM  

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