Ricky Gervais bits and pieces
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Joined: 25 Apr 2006

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:28 pm    Post subject: Ricky Gervais bits and pieces Reply with quote

here's Ricky Gervais on today's Paul O'Grady show...
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may be indicative of the ever-growing cult of personality of Ricky Gervais that, two years ago, the warm-up gig before his national tour was held in The Soho Theatre's 160-seater auditorium, but this time around he has filled the 550-seater Bloomsbury Theatre and the 800-seater Apollo Theatre to stretch his performance muscles. While the stage space might be bigger, the drill is the same: one portly comedian in blue jeans and a black T-shirt, a lectern and a very relaxed and engaging delivery. Perhaps a bit too relaxed on this occasion. Yes, the gig was a work-in-progress, and the ticket prices were reasonable, with the proceeds going to the Macmillan Cancer Trust, but the night never quite felt the wind beneath its wings and Gervais strolled through it, rarely breaking into a canter.

At the beginning of the show, there was some knockabout stuff about how much Gervais has done for charity and how he might one day have to order a cancer victim off a bed, protesting: "Oi, I paid for that!" Gervais then scored a number of hits on the subject of obesity, the newest charitable cause and a disease where "everything tastes good". Elsewhere, Gervais's ease and cheeky smile could not quite save modest routines about Hitler's genitalia and some lazy and oft-quoted gags on the issue of rape. Moreover, a feeling of cruise control was actively detrimental to some material. I had read of a gag about the lurid services advertised on toilet walls and then pitching the same services to the BBC2 show Dragons' Den, a super notion but a gag that was fluffed and not given the life one would have hoped for on stage.

Though titled Fame, in reality the show should have been called Charity and Toilet, reflecting the two main areas from where the humour came. Maybe this was a blessing as we were spared too many in-jokes about celebrities, the double-edged gimmick on which his successful TV show Extras was built. From watching Gervais's last stand-up show, Politics, go from work-in-progress to full tour, I can see that Fame will yet undergo a transformation. If past experience is anything to go by, then the odds favour a finished article altogether more punchy and pacy than tonight's performance.

from The Independent

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exclusive by Beth Neil

AS the latest Brit to crack America, Ricky Gervais is used to hob-nobbing with the Hollywood A-list. But don’t expect the man from Reading to transform into a Tinseltown diva any time soon. “I’m not going to start dying my hair and having Botox,” he says, with a smile. “I’ve worked hard over the last few years and I don’t want to blow it with silly mistakes or ego. I don’t want to start thinking, ‘Yeah, I could play a 35-year-old’, because I can’t. I couldn’t watch me play a romantic lead – I’d laugh – so I’m not going to get cocky.”

After a phenomenally successful last few years which has seen him become a huge star on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to The Office and follow-up comedy Extras, 45-year-old Gervais today sees the release of his movie debut. In adventure comedy Night At The Museum, he stars alongside Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Mickey Rooney and Dick van Dyke in what is set to be the Christmas box office smash hit. The action takes place at the American Museum Of Natural History where, after dark, all the exhibits come to life.

After years of deliberately avoiding opportunities to break into films, Gervais is confident he’s finally picked the right project. “It’s just a joy to be able to rave about it,” he says. “There’s excitement and comedy, all heart but without the schmaltz. I’m very proud to have been part of it. I’ve been offered film roles since the second episode of The Office and before now I’d always resisted it. I still think of myself as a writer and director first, but I’m in a fortunate position to be able to cherry pick what I do.”

His character, museum director Dr McPhee, only features in a few scenes, but Gervais certainly makes his mark. And he’s the first to admit that the flawed McPhee isn’t a million miles away from David Brent. “Of course,” he says, candidly. “But that’s because there’s nothing funnier for me than playing the pompous guy with the blind spot, the guy who’s out of his league, the guy who’s been dealt a raw hand. Ben Stiller’s this wonderful Everyman, very like Tim in The Office. And with all these weird things going on, you need a character like that, speaking to the audience, saying, ‘I know it’s strange, but what can I do?’ That’s more necessary than the buffoon.”

The role came about after Gervais struck up a close friendship with Stiller on the set of the first series of Extras. “A little while after that he emailed me asking if I’d like to return the favour,” Gervais explains. “One of the scenes is 100 per cent improvisation. It took hours to film because we were just cracking up and laughing like children.”

Dressed down in jeans and trainers, relaxing in a suite at London’s Dorchester Hotel, Gervais is in good spirits. Although perfectly amiable, he’s notoriously cagey when it comes to talking about his private life. He’s more than capable of trotting out the same well-rehearsed anecdotes, skilfully giving the impression he’s being open and honest, but actually divulging very little. He does, however, have a tendency to slip into Brent mode. The laugh and the speech punctuation are all scarily Brent-esque, and while The Office is history in this country, the US remake is now into its third series. Multi-millionaire Gervais has recently upgraded to a plush £2m mansion in London’s upmarket Hampstead where he lives with his partner of more than 20 years, TV producer Jane Fallon.

“The success of The Office in America has been astonishing,” he says, shaking his head. “Stephen and I are down as executive producers, but that was to make sure we got the money! We created it and they can’t take that away from us. But they’ve made it a success. I’ve only ever wished them well. There’s nothing else like it on NBC, it’s the biggest comedy in its slot and it’s now into its third series. They’re touting it as the new Seinfeld and it’s going to be syndicated. And when it gets syndicated... wow, I’m buying Hampstead!” He’s not, however, tempted to up sticks and move permanently to La La Land. “Nah, not really,” he says. “It’s fantastic going over there for a week and doing Letterman, hanging out with David Bowie. David Bowie! But I feel British. If I left Britain I’d miss it so much.”

He’s spoken before about his loathing of celebrity and his discomfort with being famous. But, with a new movie out and a gang of showbiz mates – Gervais and Jonathan Ross are bosom buds – has he embraced fame a bit more over the last year or so? “Erm, sort of,” he admits. “I don’t like the celebrity world – calling the press when you’re off to buy a suit. It still gives me the creeps, but I’m definitely getting better. I do have a few celebrity friends, but it’s the industry I work in. They’re my friends because they’re nice.” He rolls his eyes. “God, it sounds like I whinge a lot doesn’t it? I really don’t. I enjoy my life. I’m happy.” And he laughs. That oh-so distinctive Brent cackle.

Night At The Museum opens on Boxing Day.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh wow! I'll have to go through all this! I saw him in "Night at the Museum" Brilliant!
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ricky Gervais: Step into my office
He created one of the great sitcoms. He is a very funny man. And he's concerned about his 'legacy'. Which is exactly why Nicholas Barber would like to have a quiet word with Ricky Gervais
Published: 14 January 2007
Ricky Gervais opens his new live show wearing a plastic crown and a regal red robe, with his name in lights behind him and a six-foot model of an Emmy award to his left. "Not too much, is it?" he asks with mock-concern, but the answer is, no, it's not too much. If anything, it's not enough. Once he's slipped off the fancy dress, the reigning King of Comedy strolls around the stage for an hour and a bit in his trademark jeans and black T-shirt. He couldn't be more relaxed if he was at home in his pyjamas (which he is, he says, by 6.30 most nights).

He's such a natural comic that he gets laughs every time he unleashes his falsetto sarcasm or his saliva-soaked giggle. He skilfully deconstructs his stories as he's telling them, and he slips nimbly back and forth across the boundaries of taste, so we're never quite certain how offended to be. But compared to any other stand-up show in a venue the size of Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall, it's a lackadaisical performance. Between swigs from a beer can, Gervais recounts a few chat-show anecdotes, does some student bar stuff about how nonsense songs don't make sense, has a smirk at those dunces who abused a paediatrician because they thought he was a paedophile, and dishes up regular portions of ironic homophobia.

At least, I assume it's ironic. When he makes an Aids joke, and then mutters, "I won't do that one in Brighton," I'm not 100-per-cent sure why it's less objectionable than it would have been if Jim Davidson had made the same remark. Overall, it's an amiable show, but there's not much in the way of depth or quotable punchlines, and there's no theme beyond the tour's title, Fame: doing charity gigs, signing autographs, being misrepresented in the tabloids, hugging Chris Tarrant. You'd assume that someone who didn't start writing The Office until his late thirties would have a stock of pre-fame memories to transmute into comedy. There was his stint in an Eighties pop duo, and then as a university entertainments officer, to name the two best-known jobs he had before he made headway at XFM and on Channel 4's 11 O'Clock Show. But instead of mining these veins of material, Gervais seems obsessed by his own celebrity. He's like one of those rock bands who get to their third album and can't dredge up anything to write songs about except groupies, hotel rooms and the disappointments of being a multi-millionaire.

Maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Since The Office brought Gervais sudden fame and fortune, he's been the proverbial kid in a candy store, living out the fantasies of every film and comedy geek. He made a guest appearance on Alias because he was a fan of the show. He wrote an episode of The Simpsons, and turned up in it in cartoon form. He became friends with Jonathan Ross, as every rising UK comedian is contractually obliged to do. When Channel 4 offered him his own interview strand, he jumped at the chance to badger his heroes, Larry David, Christopher Guest and Larry Shandling. His first film roles seem to be motivated by hero-worship, too. Having shone as a pompous boss in The Office, he can now be seen cameoing as a pompous boss in both Night at the Museum and For Your Consideration. Neither film is very good, but they did allow him to hang out with Ben Stiller and Christopher Guest, just as his role in the forthcoming Stardust let him share a studio with Robert De Niro.

"It's like winning a competition," he said in one recent interview. "It's like, would you like to play with Spinal Tap for a day? Yes. Would you like to play with The Godfather for a day? Yes." Gervais is not the first British comedian to jump on a plane to Hollywood, of course, and there's nothing wrong with mutual appreciation sessions with your idols. Indeed, there's something sweet about such a major star letting his inner fanboy come out to play. As his collection of Golden Globes and Emmys attests, the American entertainment industry loves the man from Reading, so you can hardly blame him for loving it back. Who wouldn't want to be Peter Lawford in a comedy Rat Pack?

On the other hand, it's getting harder to ignore the weird disjunction between the way Gervais talks about his career and the way it actually is.

Ever since The Office began broadcasting in July 2001, its star and co-creator has been repeating in interviews that he's primarily a writer and director, and that he gets "no joy from seeing my fat face on the screen". Initially, he said he didn't want to do too much TV as himself because he wanted viewers to enjoy the illusion that David Brent and his colleagues were real people; that was why he cast unknown actors.

He even boasted, somewhat ungallantly, that he'd turned down roles in Pirates of The Caribbean and the other films which went on to feature his Office co-stars. "Secretly I think I'd be quite good on QI," he told one interviewer, misinterpreting the word "secretly". "But you have to discipline yourself and you have to ration yourself. I can get sick of someone I like within the space of a weekend if I see them on two quiz shows and then in the Sunday paper." It's a strange statement from someone who once fought Anthea Turner's husband in a televised boxing match.

The Ricky Gervais who talks to journalists is a publicity-shy artist with exacting principles. "That quest for excellence, and also the legacy - I think about that," he said in The Radio Times. "I don't know if that's because I came to it older, but we really want to to have a great batting average. We don't want to let our guard down. You do it because you want to be proud of it." To Esquire, he pronounced: "When you're creating art, you've got to be a complete fascist." To GQ, he described himself and his co-writer and co-director, Stephen Merchant, as "comedy fundamentalists". He's often said that he doesn't rate many British comedians after Stan Laurel. "American comedy is better. It aims higher," he told Esquire. This Ricky Gervais is an ascetic, slightly intimidating perfectionist. And yet the other Ricky Gervais, the one who's all over the media, is someone who knows he won't be in the limelight forever, and who wants to revel in the exposure, the side projects and the glamorous friendships while he can.

It's impossible to exaggerate just how successful he's been. The Office has been broadcast in 80 countries, and remade in several, including the hit American edition with Steve Carell in the lead role. Sales of the British Office DVDs were record-breaking - four million is the current figure - and, as the tongue-in-cheek introduction to his live show reminds us, he's won an Emmy, two Golden Globes and six Baftas.

But this astonishing Midas Touch doesn't stop a large proportion of his work falling short of the benchmark he's set himself. His current stand-up tour, the fastest selling in history, sees him sitting right in the middle of his comfort zone. Podcasts of The Ricky Gervais Show are another record-breaking hit, but as funny as they can be, they consist largely of his XFM producer, Karl Pilkington, reeling off outlandish theories, while Gervais and Merchant berate him for not being as well educated as they are. And if his trio of children's picture books, Flanimals, hadn't had Gervais's name on it, the publisher would have sent it back with a polite note saying that it wasn't what they were looking for.

And then there's Extras. At the risk of inviting hate mail, I'd argue that Gervais and Merchant's second sitcom is, objectively, a patchy programme. Yes, it had its laughs. The fizzy water incident is destined to join Del Boy falling through the bar in all future bank holiday retrospectives of The 100 Best British Sitcom Moments. But it always felt less like a fully-formed show than an exercise in muscle-flexing by two writer-directors who had realised how powerful they were. They wanted superstars, they wanted location shooting, they wanted no canned laughter and almost no supporting cast; they had a list of minorities for the characters to upset and they wanted to tick them off methodically, week by week. Everything they wanted, they got.

The mysterious aspect of Extras was that it drew almost entirely from Gervais's own experiences in television, and yet it couldn't shake off a whiff of fakeness. It missed the satirical targets which were right in front of its creators' noses. Take its famous guest stars, for instance. On the programme which had the biggest influence on Extras, The Larry Sanders Show, the celebrity guests challenged us to spot where they ended and their scabrous self-parodies began, something Gervais himself does brilliantly on talk shows and on stage. But in Extras the celebs were all caricatured so ridiculously that there was never any danger that they might have been revealing their dark private selves. Did anyone watching it ever suspect that Daniel Radcliffe goes around propositioning actresses twice his age, or that Orlando Bloom pathologically hates Johnny Depp, or that Ben Stiller has exactly the same speech patterns as David Brent? Probably not. The actors could congratulate themselves on being good sports without the slightest risk.

Beyond that, there was the implausibility of Gervais's character, Andy Millman, being hoiked to stardom from work as a "background artist" even though - unlike Gervais - he had no TV-comedy experience. There was also the bewildering animus against the BBC, which was forcing Andy to wear a bad wig and specs in his sitcom-within-a-sitcom; when did that last happen in the real world? But what was more damaging was the series' grating inconsistencies. Sometimes Andy would be as crass and tactless as David Brent ever was, whereas at other times Andy would be the judicious one, and the solecisms would be parcelled out to his friend Maggie or his agent, played by Merchant.

In their introduction to the Extras script book, the writers say that they wanted a change from Brent. They wanted "Andy to be more like us: more normal, more self-aware, educated and liberal-minded, with a half-decent sense of humour". And so he was - some of the time. But he was also a man who saw a Bosnian refugee's photograph of his murdered wife, and then chided him for his choice of developer. "Oh, you missed a trick," he said. "Truprint give you a free film when you get something developed. So you're a mug." And witness the way Andy was shocked when Keith Chegwin grunted that the BBC was run by "Jews and queers" - and I'd love to know when anyone in showbusiness last said that - but was also horrified when a schoolmate he hadn't seen in 20 years thought he might be gay himself. (More only-just-ironic homophobia there.) "Andy's not a jerk at all," said Gervais in the Onion AV Club last week, but when it suited the joke, Andy mutated into David Brent multiplied by Basil Fawlty.

Whereas The Office took such pains to fool us, for half an hour at a time, that we were flies on the wall of a genuine paper merchants', Extras required viewers to give it the same leeway that they would a pantomime. In a single episode of the second series, Andy was at the BBC, filming a sitcom, and yet the same sitcom was already on air, getting a critical pasting, and Andy was also auditioning for a play, rehearsing it and performing it. Assuming that he wasn't supposed to be a Time Lord, Gervais and Merchant had given up caring whether their programme had any internal logic or not.

At the risk of inviting yet more hate mail, I'd suggest, too, that even in the second series of The Office, there were signs that its writers already believed the hype. Gareth was more obnoxious; Brent was more self-deluding; the humour was broader and cruder. When Brent frothed at a birthday party about how he'd have sex with the Corrs, the raucous, drunken festivities slammed to a halt and everyone stared in disgust.

Fair enough, that's the kind of thing which happens in sitcoms all the time, but the previous series hadn't felt like a sitcom; it had felt like an unwittingly hilarious documentary. The second series could have been written by someone who had watched the first one, but hadn't quite understood it.

That's not to say that anyone who masterminded those first terrific six episodes of The Office shouldn't be proud of himself. Nor is this an attempt to start a backlash or chop down a tall poppy. After all, everything Gervais does is worth a look, because he's funny even when - as on the current stand-up tour - he's not trying very hard. And when someone has accrued so many millions, so many plaudits and so many famous admirers he might feel justified in letting standards slip.

But let's get his output into perspective. Perhaps we should ease off on the King of Comedy accolades until Gervais's batting average, as he calls it, is a little closer to Galton and Simpson's or Clement and Le Frenais's. And that's not likely to happen unless he eases off on the cameos, the podcasts and the children's books. Maybe now that he's done a stand-up show called Fame, he can get back to the sort of work which made him famous.

The first leg of Ricky Gervais's stand-up tour has sold out. Tickets for the second leg, beginning on 6 March, go on sale on Tuesday at www.ticketzone.co.uk

from HERE

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 5-Minute Interview: Ricky Gervais, Actor and comedian
'I'm good at what I do. It's my niche'
Published: 20 January 2007
Ricky Gervais, 45, is performing a stand-up comedy show 'Stand Up For Animals' in support of the charity World Society for the Protection of Animals on Sunday at 7.30pm at the Hammersmith Apollo.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...
Annoying Robin [Ricky Gervais's agent]. One of the main reasons I go on tour is to get Robin out of his comfort zone 16 hours a day.

A phrase I use far too often is...
"Do you know what I mean." Robin suggests "good boy" because whenever he does something like finish his meal I say: "Good boy."

I wish people would take more notice of...
Manners. I think rudeness is startling. If we're going global it would probably be the death of the planet. But the death of the planet preys less on your mind than somebody being rude to you.

The most surprising thing that ever happened to me was...
Winning the Golden Globes. I remember being very, very shocked and overwhelmed.

A common misperception of me is...
That I'm politically incorrect and try to be shocking. There was a thing today about "cutting edge comedian defends sick joke". It's not a sick joke. Myself and Stephen [Merchant] never do anything we can't defend. Of course people believe what they want to believe. I was talking to a journalist and she said: "So is that joke about killing prostitutes anything to do with what happened in Ipswich?", and I said: "No I've been telling that story for many years." They go: "It's awful." Of course it's awful, but it's not a joke. I think it's twisting the truth.

I'm not a politician but...
The idea of sending children to very religious schools is archaic. It was Richard Dawkins that said you wouldn't have Tory schools or Labour schools. It's madness.

I'm good at...
What I do. I think I've found my niche.

But I'm very bad at...
Being famous. It's strange to be looked at.

The ideal night out is...
A night in. Me and my girlfriend watching telly with the cat on my lap and a bottle of wine, watching Big Brother.

In moments of weakness I...
I always try to sort stuff. I have to deal with it there and then.

You know me as a comedian, but in a truer life I'd have...
Stayed with academic research or teaching.

The best age to be is...
The older you get the more opportunities you have and the more you ache when you get up. Youth is wasted on the young.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:
There is no God so be nice to people.

Elisa Bray

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ricky Gervais Centre Of Controversy Over Ipswich Joke
“Go out and kill a prostitute” he tells audience…
By: Zoheir Beig on 1/18/2007

Ricky Gervais is at the centre of a major controversy, after making comedic reference to the killing of prostitutes just five weeks after five were killed in Ipswich. The star of The Office was describing an incident five years ago when someone asked him for his advice on how to become famous. “Go out and kill a prostitute” was his reply, he told the audience in Glasgow on the first night of his tour, before adding “I won’t do that bit in Ipswich”.

MSN reports that Jim Duell, the father of one of the victims, 19-year old Tania Nicol, has already criticized Gervais, saying: “These days they want to make a joke out of anything. I feel he’s just being uncaring, quite honestly.” In his defence Gervais stressed that he was talking about people who will do anything to become famous, a scenario familiar to anyone who has watched ’Extras’. "I do want people to know that that happened five years ago and is not related to anything now," he said.”That is the problem with comedy, a joke that is funny today can be a terrible faux pas tomorrow.”

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘It is the first castle I’ve done a gig at, though I have stayed at a few’
By David Christie

RICKY GERVAIS breaks taboos like politicians break promises. The holocaust, paedophilia, bestiality, the killing fields of Cambodia: just a few of the topics up for discussion in his latest stand-up show, Fame. But instead of bodyswerving a comic who draws laughs from so-called "no go" areas, people have flocked to see him and his tour has packed out arenas and theatres around the country. Newly returned from appearing in front of an audience of 5000 in New York's Madison Square Gardens, Gervais is about to notch up a personal and Fringe Festival first, when he performs at Edinburgh Castle on August 26.

Between weekend touring, writing the Christmas special of his comedy series Extras and preparing for his first Hollywood leading role in the movie Ghost Town, Gervais will round off the Edinburgh Fringe in style, performing in the open air to 8000 in the biggest ever one-man show at the festival.

"Playing a castle, eh? I can't wait," said Gervais, en route for another performance. "It is the first castle I have done a gig at, though I have stayed at a few as we like to stay out from the centre of towns. In fact, I am getting used to castles, which is scary. How I've changed. It will still be essentially a comedy gig where a lot of people will see me at once. It is certainly an event for me, if not for them. I have never done open air before, though I've appeared before at things like Live Aid, which doesn't really count. But I don't know how people can sit in the outside for an hour. There might be owls, there might be storms. That worries me."

Westlife, Cliff Richard and Donny Osmond to name but the corniest, have all performed at the Castle. But until now, it has been thought too huge to work as a venue for stand-up comedy. Gervais has performed at the festival three times, including once as part of a troupe alongside The Office co-writer Stephen Merchant, comedian Robin Ince and 8 out of 10 Cats host Jimmy Carr. However, his last visit was far from enjoyable.

Gervais said: "I tried to go out but it was a nightmare as Extras was on the telly and I was at the biggest festival in the world. Everyone was lovely but I couldn't walk a yard without someone asking for a picture. I ended up sitting in my hotel room watching the cricket, so you know I was desperate. I genuinely really enjoy Scotland. I started the tour there this year as Glasgow and Edinburgh were the best dates for me on my Politics tour; I love them both as cities."

Despite his affinity with the country, with his brother now living here, he doesn't plan to stint on the insults. "I do a joke," he said, "where I say my friend said I shouldn't go to Scotland as they hate the English and I say well that's a cliché. He goes the trouble is they are all just alcoholics and I went bollocks, loads of them are smackheads as well."

One Scot he does speak reverentially of is Billy Connolly, who was among the audience when Gervais appeared in New York in May. Afterwards, Connolly declared Gervais showed "some kind of genius in human observation". Gervais admits the thought of the best stand-up comic in the world watching him did little to ease the nerves. "He was great," added Gervais. "I had never met him before and I wanted to tell him how good I think he is, but not be that guy who embarrasses him. He was very nice to me, though I don't believe him! I would be lying if I said it doesn't mean a bit more coming from someone like that - the flattery is tenfold. I told him, I want to be where you are,' at a place where you can walk on stage in front of thousands and be as funny as you are in the pub. That has always been my aim when I was on radio, on TV, on chatshows. He has always been at that point."

The pull of America remains powerful for comedians and Gervais has proven very popular, thanks to the success of the American version of The Office. But while Connolly opted to set up home in the US, Gervais is happy just to visit, planning an extensive tour next year. Describing his recent performance in New York, he said: "I don't get nervous live but I was nervous there only because it was my first thing in New York and everything was going so well in America - I didn't want this folly to be the end of it. I certainly got away with it in that respect. I love America and New York in particular. I love what they have given me, but I love England as well and even enjoy paying taxes."

David Bowie, who appeared in the second series of Extras, introduced Gervais in New York with a rendition of Chubby Little Loser, the song he first performed on screen to describe Gervais's character in the show, Andy Millman. So who then to better Bowie for his bow at the Fringe?

"It has got to be the Krankies," said Gervais, referring to Scottish comedy duo of Janette and Iain Tough, before considering Janette's fall, while performing as Wee Jimmy, from a pantomime beanstalk. "Is she better now? I heard she fell out of a tree. Or is that Keith Richards? Why are people falling out of trees, that didn't happen in my day. Do you know it's a she dressed as a boy? I don't know how that started." Gervais continued: "I will be angry if it rains - the thing about weather is it makes me angry and it makes me angrier that there is no-one to blame as I'm an atheist. You can't get annoyed at no-one, I need someone to fire. All you can do with weather is hope. I tell you what, is there any way this new SNP fella could put me in charge of weather? If you believe in God you should put someone in charge of weather, just a priest or vicar to pray. And if you are an atheist, bring an umbrella."

Tickets for Gervais's Fame show at Edinburgh Castle go on sale tomorrow

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Office – now a video game

The Office is to be made into a video game. Software company MumboJumbo has signed a licensing agreement to develop a new title based on the American version of Ricky Gervais’s sitcom. Under the deal, it has the rights to use the likenesses of the show's cast, Hollywood trade magazine Variety reports, as well as audio and video clips. Players will have to complete jobs and play pranks at the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin, as featured in the NBC comedy.

MumboJumbo specialises in making relatively cheap and simple titles for casual gamers to download onto their PC. The company’s Mike Suarez said: ‘We were anxious to expand our audience with a property that has broad appeal and works well as a game. It will help us to demonstrate that casual games are the true mass videogame market.’

The game will be available for the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP handheld consoles, as well as the PC.


I reckon this will be absolute shite - haha
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

By Mark Jefferies

RICKY Gervais last night launched a fiery expletive-laden attack on his critics. The award-winning comic called reviewers "fucking cunts" during a raw internet rant after they slammed his spot at the Diana concert. Pointing out his successes, he fumed: "The Office, Extras and the fastest selling stand-up tour in history ... you know what I'm going to do now? FUCK ALL!

"They say, 'He's resting on his laurels'. I am resting on my laurels, you fucking cunts. Write about that. I don't like what he's doing? You fucking cunts."

Gervais, who also called his British Comedy Award "shit" and "plastic bollocks", was on the net with cowriter Stephen Merchant supposedly to promote the final Extras at Christmas. One friend insisted: "He's obviously joking. Some people just don't get his obnoxious act."


I censored the censorship in the original article - I reckon most of you reading this have no problem with the odd cunt here and there... haha
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ricky Gervais proves doubters wrong
By Charles Spencer

Charles Spencer reviews Ricky Gervais at Edinburgh Castle.

Gervais remains gloriously, dangerously and often filthily funny. There's a huge poster at the end of Princes Street in Edinburgh carrying the following message in vast black capital letters: "Ricky Gervais at Edinburgh Castle is Sold Out". And then, in slightly smaller letters: "What a pointless billboard". This tiresome ad seems to sum up much that currently annoys people about Gervais. It's boastful, it's smug, and it's not nearly as funny as it thinks it is.

After his dire performance at the Diana concert a few weeks ago, and a debate in the Telegraph which sparked a host of on-line readers' comments revealing just how irksome many people find Gervais, this big gig at Edinburgh Castle, with an audience of 8,000 and tickets priced at an eye-watering £37.50, looked as though it could prove a turning point. Would it mark the moment when Gervais's until now glittering career started to go irretrievably down the pan? Or would he prove the scoffers wrong and turn gleeful predictions of disaster into triumph?

It was clear from the start that Gervais was on the defensive. Taking to the stage in anorak and jeans, and swigging from a can of beer, there was altogether too much whingeing about the price of fame, the pitfalls of being pursued by autograph hunters, and just how tiresome it is being misreported in the tabloid press. I could also have done without the self-congratulation about his generosity to charity and the reminders of how many awards he has won and, seeing him live for the first time, I was slightly repelled by the little sniggers of pleasure he often emits at his own jokes.

There is, however, no doubt that Gervais belongs among the stand-up greats. His live act may lack the almost surgical comic precision of his TV shows, The Office and Extras, but at his best Gervais remains gloriously, dangerously and often filthily funny. This is emphatically not a show for prudes, and occasionally one winces rather than laughs. But when he lays into the absurdity of the seriously obese claiming they have a disease, or the Hogarthian squalor encountered in public lavatories, he is both bang on the money and wildly entertaining.

Personally I have always loved comedians prepared to take risks, even if it occasionally makes one squirm. Yes, there is a place for gentle, life affirming comedy, but there is surely also room for comics like Gervais prepared to confront taboos and persuade audiences to laugh at the dark side of life - even kids with cancer. Overweight, scruffy and manifestly human, Gervais is an everyman who dares to say what many of us only think. The big danger now is that his fame will corrupt the ordinary blokeishness that makes him special.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2007 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never thought he was funny! He actually annoys the s*** out of me..
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's Gervais on today's Richard and Judy in which he talks about his new 'Fame' tour and other nonsense... Madeley's as much of a fanny as usual!
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 31, 2007 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, thanks Face!

I can't believe how fawning that interview was! Judy actually said (and, yes, I did pause it to transcribe it verbatim) "Do you ever think that, basically, because you're so good at it, and Extras is so brilliant, and the way you write that stuff is so fantastic, that in a way stars think that they're doing themselves good by allowing you to be almost like a saintly figure, blessing them?"

Jesus, Judy... For fuck's sake... Haha!!
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ricky Gervais: Where did it all go wrong?
He's an international giant of light entertainment, an A-list celebrity and multi-millionaire whose every venture seems to turn to showbusiness gold. And yet...
By Ciar Byrne
30 August 2007

There is an episode of Extras in which Ricky Gervais's character Andy Millman, the star of a successful sitcom, walks past a homeless man who asks him for money. He checks his pocket for change, discovers he only has a £20 note, and agonises over whether or not to give it to the down and out. As with much of Gervais's comedy, there is something in this sketch which feels very close to the bone, even more so following recent criticism that tickets to his show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe were too expensive at £37.50 a pop.

Coming down on the side of good, Gervais announced at his Fame gig on Sunday night that he would donate profits from the performance to Macmillan Cancer Care. It is not clear how much of the £300,000 takings the charity will eventually receive, after the costs of the performance are factored in but it is the latest in a series of donations made by Gervais to the charity.

The donation has not, however, stopped critics from questioning whether the title of "King of Comedy" that Gervais bestowed upon himself in his spectacular show at Edinburgh Castle is still deserved. It was not just his ticket price that was held against Gervais, but also the fear he was stealing audiences from other Fringe shows which could not hope to match his comic extravaganza. In an eye-catching piece of self-referential comedy, at the start of the stand-up show in which he played to 8,000 people, Gervais arrived on stage wearing a crown and robe, against a backdrop of his name in lights, with fireworks going off on either side of him.

His comic offering was somewhat more prosaic, described by The Independent's comedy critic Julian Hall as "perfectly solid and enjoyable stand-up". Hall pointed out: "The Fringe this year has proved that, where stand-up is concerned, there are comics, younger but more experienced than Gervais, that are pretenders to the stadium comic throne." A billboard at the end of Edinburgh's main shopping thoroughfare, Princes Street, which read: "Ricky Gervais At Edinburgh Castle Is Sold Out – What A Pointless Billboard", was also viewed by some as an example of irritating smugness.

Colin Fox, the leader of the Scottish Socialist Party and chairman of the Edinburgh People's Festival, welcomed Gervais's decision to donate his profits to charity but said: "The whole festival circus has moved away from its roots which were to provide for the people by the people. Here's a stand-up charging £37.50 for a single ticket, considerably beyond the pockets of many people. He seemed to epitomise the direction the festival had taken which was not in keeping with its origins."

The mixed reception Gervais received in Edinburgh is not the first time the comic has stirred up controversy. Forced to ad lib on stage for several minutes while Sir Elton John was delayed at the Concert for Diana earlier this summer, he resorted to that old chestnut the David Brent dance – made famous in a scene from his hit comedy The Office.

The critics were quick to ponder whether his comic genius was running dry. But in an interview with the London radio station Heart FM, Gervais robustly defended himself. "After the Diana concert, there was one guy, who works for a tabloid, and he wrote that the crowd booed. "They didn't boo, they loved it. People love it when something goes wrong and I was standing there and they demanded I do the 'robot dance' and it was funny. But this guy wrote, 'He's rubbish, everything he's ever done is rubbish and it's all over for him'. That week, I got nominated for four Emmy Awards, sold 100,000 DVDs of Extras and signed up for two Hollywood movies. So bring on the backlash ... I want him writing about me every day."

There was a sense of déjà vu about his performance at the Concert. Two years earlier at Live 8, the crowd had also bayed for Gervais to perform the dance, which involves strutting around like a baboon. On that occasion, Gervais courted controversy by announcing on stage: "Bob Geldof and Richard Curtis have just been on a conference call with Tony Blair and George Bush and they've agreed to not double but quadruple aid, so the concert's over!" After a pause, he added: "Only joking. They haven't! We can carry on!" prompting Curtis to criticise him for "using world poverty for a gag".

Gervais is also tipped to be one of the presenters, alongside Jonathan Ross, of a proposed day of BBC programmes devoted to combating climate change, provisionally titled Planet Relief. But even joining the fight against global warming is not unproblematic. At the weekend, the editor of BBC's Newsnight, Peter Barron, warned: "If the BBC is thinking about campaigning on climate change, then that is wrong and not our job."

It now seems hard to believe that success came relatively late to Gervais. Born in Reading in 1961, he studied philosophy at university in London. After a brief career in a pop band, he ended up running the entertainments at a student union. He also managed the indie group Suede – before they were signed up by a record label.

His break came when he was asked to present a radio show on fledgling music station Xfm, where he hired Stephen Merchant as an assistant, giving birth to one of the most successful writing partnerships in British comedy. Early forays into television were hit and miss, including guest appearances on The 11 O'Clock Show which led to his own chat show, Meet Ricky Gervais.

On 9 July 2001, British comic history was changed forever, when the BBC broadcast the first episode of The Office. Based in the Slough branch of Wernham Hogg paper merchants, the comedy mimicked a fly-on-the-wall documentary. But its real brilliance lay in its ability to capture those little moments of everyday life familiar to all office workers. Gervais himself took centre stage as office manager Brent, to whom the adjective most commonly applied was "cringeworthy". It was such a critical and ratings triumph that the Americans soon decided they wanted a slice of the action. It was remade as The Office: An American Workplace. That did not prevent the original from having a strong following on the other side of the Atlantic and, in 2004, Gervais won the Golden Globe for best actor in a TV comedy, while the series won best comedy.

Gervais has joined that elite league of Brits who have made it big in America. Last year, he became the first guest star on The Simpsons to write the episode in which he appeared, "Homer Simpson – This Is Your Wife" – although he claimed afterwards that all he had done was put down "a load of observations on an email and they made it look like a Simpsons script".

In a bizarre twist, at next month's prestigious Emmy awards, Gervais is pitted against Steve Carrell, star of the American version of The Office, for his own performance in Extras – the BBC2 follow-up to The Office – which aired in the US on HBO. The anticipation surrounding Extras was huge, with fans and critics uncertain whether Gervais and Merchant could repeat the success of The Office. They were not disappointed. Baffling expectation, the comedy duo came up with something completely different – moving from the mundane office environment to the more surreal world of a bit-part actor, Andy Millman.

The stroke of brilliance was to ask the truly famous to cameo in the series, then imagine them as distorted versions of themselves. So, in the first series, Hollywood comedy star Ben Stiller became an earnest actor-turned-director obsessed with the horrors of war, Kate Winslet in a nun's costume revealed a filthy mouth, while Les Dennis bared his heart as a cuckolded comedian starring in pantomime. In the second series of Extras, Gervais moved on again. This time, Andy Millman had progressed to become the creator and star of a hit sitcom, who found it difficult to live up to the high expectations that accompanied his new-found fame.

Somewhere in this hectic schedule, Gervais found time to create Flanimals, a bestselling series of children's books based around a fantastical menagerie of creatures, which has been turned into a cartoon series by ITV. He is also set to star in Hollywood romcom Ghost Town, about a dentist who develops the ability to connect the dead with the living.

But as fame has been heaped upon him, has Gervais lost the ability to connect with the ordinary man and woman in the street that made The Office so powerful? Tim Arthur, comedy editor of Time Out, believes that Gervais continues to be funny precisely by basing his comedy on what is going on in his own life. "In this country if anyone gets successful – particularly someone like Gervais who has an ego to match his success – it tends to wind people up. It's something we should celebrate that we have a comic who is recognised on both sides of the Atlantic. I think he's as funny as ever. I don't think he has ever been a brilliant stand-up, but what he does have is mass popularity. The fact that he managed to sell out the Edinburgh Castle gig in no time at all shows his popularity with the public hasn't waned at all. It's undeniable that people do genuinely love him. His comedy hits home with the ordinary person. In The Office people recognised bits of their own life. But he's such a massive star now that it's a whole different level.

"His humour comes from his experience. The argument is whether or not people can relate to it. He's always made his comedy on the last thing he's been doing. Now the experience is drawing on the last few years, which have been this incredible rollercoaster. There's nothing worse than someone really famous who says 'I'm just like you'. It would be totally disingenuous."

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