Ricky Gervais: 'Before The Office I never tried hard at anything' | Life and style | The Guardian
Tweets by @rickygervais Harvard Business Review record-breaking Ricky Gervais Show, all 10 Ricky Gervais Guides To, and The Ricky meets the Wall Street Journal for a chat heralding his new movie, Muppets Most Wanted. Ricky Gervais: Humanity, review: his most cohesive and merchant and incorrigible class-clown": comedian Ricky Gervais Credit: Clara Molden for . Ciarán Dowd interview: meet the man behind the year's funniest show. Like many fans of An Idiot Abroad, I was led to the show through Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. A basic familiarity with the pair is.
As you get older, and it took me a long time to realise it, that's a disgusting attitude, revolting. It's ignorant and it's a tragic waste, and I realised that the work itself is the reward. The struggle itself is the reward. It's hard to separate what Gervais calls this "born-again" moment from his working relationship with Merchant, which began on radio station Xfm, where Gervais had somehow wangled himself the job of head of speech, in We built it on respect.
We have a rule: He starts to say that he was the "punk" who wanted to "push the boundaries of comedy and aggravate", whereas Merchant was the moderating influence, but that the roles have now to some extent been reversed.
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It's an interesting point, not properly developed because of Gervais's respect for his writing partner. Gervais says he absolutely stands by the film — his Hollywood directorial debut — but is aware of some of these problems. We probably took on too much, if I'm being honest, but I think we got away with it.
We had the high-concept thing we had to show the world [the appalling world in which no one lies].
We had to investigate all those things. We had the plot. We had all these characters. We had all these fun cameos [a host of American comedians appear]. We had the romantic thing [tubby, middle-aged bloke lusts after sleek, beautiful, unobtainable girl].
Then we had all those other things that I wanted to get off my chest.
Meet Ricky Gervais
Gervais's character, a loser called Mark Bellison, tells his dying mother she is going to heaven, and in so doing discovers the power of lying and becomes a messiah. Unlike The Office and Extras, this is not a fully realised world. Gervais is aware of that. It doesn't resonate as much. It's more about the plot and the idea. In TV and something episodic like a sitcom, you can get away with just having great characters. You don't really need plot. With a film you need more plot.
When Private Eye editor Ian Hislop attacked Gervais's stand-up show Animals on Newsnight Review inGervais thereafter closed each gig by calling Hislop an "ugly little pug-faced cunt". He has had a go at other journalists who have said he was on the slide, and when we meet he is obsessing about an Independent journalist who has attacked one of his jokes and, in the course of attacking it, got the punchline wrong. Gervais recounts all this on his blog, which — he makes a point of telling me — getshits a day, "which is more than most daily newspapers".
The maths may be dodgy, but his general point is a sound one: Isn't it demeaning and unnecessary? He's a thousand times more popular, powerful and successful than they will ever be. In fact, not only do I expect it, I celebrate it, because I think the haters are really important. I do it for people who I feel have wronged me. If they misquote me, I think I'm totally justified in saying, 'I didn't say that.
He has a natural combativeness, but maybe something more — an anger that feeds his comedy and drives him to work impossibly hard. When I ask him whether he is like the character he plays in The Invention of Lying, he says: I'm a lot angrier than him. I don't take my lot. I don't go, 'Oh [big sigh], this isn't fair. I'm not talking about fascism. I'm talking about, 'You can't say that,' socially.
He expects people to behave well, to care about the lives they are leading, the way they conduct themselves. He will not tolerate intolerance.
Go back to the language he used about his earlier, lazier self, his willingness to accept second best: There would be other, less visceral ways of expressing his disappointment at drifting through his 20s and 30s. He is extremely hard on himself, and on others, on our stupidities and self-deceptions. The same night, as I gleefully read the love and outrage on Twitter, I found out that my musical hero and friend, David Bowie, had passed away.
There's nothing I can say to add to the man's legacy and iconic status as an artist and human being but he died as he lived; privately and with unbelievable grace and dignity.
Oh, and he still had time to churn out one of the best and most innovative albums of the year. Let's not even talk about Trump and Brexit. I chose the best and worst year to return to stand up. It's great in the sense that there's lots of shit for me to rant about, but it's bad in the sense that my "schtick" has always been playing the arrogant, misinformed know-it -all, who says the wrong thing.
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It's worked well for me. But now I worry half the room agrees with those things without seeing the irony. It's a tricky one. Humanity is turning out to be my best stand up yet. I think it's because truth is so important now. Anyway, I'll be touring the show in various cities around the world that have 5-star hotels near to large venues. It was also the year that David Brent returned. Well, in the UK and Australia. The rest of the world gets it in February on Netflix.
That's all I can remember about as I was drunk. It's called Humanity and the general theme seems to be me moaning about everything in the world from the most privileged position imaginable. I've done a few warm-ups and it's definitely in the best shape of any of my shows at this stage at least.
I also plan to do more warm-ups than usual as I want this to be my best show ever and possibly my last. Never say never, but with that attitude it will make me put every ounce of my soul into it.
It'll probably take over a year to play everywhere in the world I want to play though.
Ricky posavski-obzor.info The Website of Ricky Gervais Obviously.
I'll also do the odd live concert when my hairy band are available. The tickets for the two gigs at Hammersmith sold out in 12 minutes, so I guess I should do a few more soon. That's a record for a British comedian. I should be very proud. But what this actually means is, after 2 winsI'm probably about to lose for the 21st time. Did some more new material nights for my next stand-up tour, Humanity, and they were the best yet.
They were at the Leicester Sq theatre which is my new favourite small venue. The general theme of the show seems to be me complaining about people complaining all the time. I'm doing some more next month, so I'll keep you posted. The two David Brent gigs at the Hammersmith Apollo sold out in 12 minutes, and there were overmore requests for tickets.
If you missed out on that you can win tickets to the Life On The Road premiere here at davidbrentsongbook. Obviously, you should vote for that incredible show The Office.
You can also order the album, which is released the same day as the movie on August You can of course buy any track individually without buying the whole album, but that would be madness. Here's the video for Lady Gypsy Oh, and let's not forget the David Brent Songbook - it comes out a week before the movie and the album and you can pre-order it now on Amazon.Jimmy Savile Ricky Gervais Interview.
Hope everyone likes the actual movie as much. It has a slightly different feel to The Office in as much as documentary making has changed. The goings on at Wernham Hogg were based on those quaint doc soaps of the 90s, where ordinary people got their 15 minutes of fame then got back to normal life. Now, reality shows reflect a new ruthlessness towards being famous, where people are willing to live their life like an open wound to stay in the limelight. Brent is pretty much the same but the world has changed around him.
I think people will feel a bit more empathy towards him now he's older, more tragic and nicer than today's average rep in this new dog-eat-dog environment. He's still an embarrassing prat but deep down he's ok. On July 1st you'll be able to pre-order tickets for the movie in UK cinemas and also pre-order the double album.
I have never been more exited about a project or more impatient to release it to the public. We're releasing the first single in July and you'll be able to pre-order the album and buy tickets to UK cinemas on the same day. The movie and the album come out on August 19th.
I've also done a couple of new material nights recently, in preparation for my first stand-up tour in about six years. It's going great and I've also been reminded of what a privilege it is, not only to be able to say what the fuck you like, but that people are kind enough to pay to come and hear you say it as well. Now it's up to you. Watch it on Netflix around the world. Hope you like it. Nearly finished Life On The Road. We're hoping to do a few songs live at the premiere in August.
Come along and wave. As you may know I'm doing a couple of warm-up gigs in May too. I'm going to really try and not write another series or movie for the next couple of years so I can do a world tour.
I really can't wait for the movie to be released now. Before that though, is Special Correspondents on Netflix worldwide at the end of April. The second trailer for that was released and again the reaction was great. I'll be popping to New York to promote it soon. The world premiere is part of this year's Tribeca Film Festival which is fucking amazing! After that I'll fly back to London to finish the David Brent album. I'll also be doing a couple of secret warn-up gigs for my next stand-up tour.
My most offensive yet I imagine. I'll keep you posted. Have a look if you haven't seen it already; In other amazing news, the movie has been accepted into Tribeca. The premiere will be in New York on Friday 22 April and the whole cast will be there. We won't have to do a lot of press for the movie as Netflix are pretty laid back about the whole affair. They know they have 80 million subscribers and they can tell them about it in an email.
I'm pretty laid back too as I've already been paid. But I hope you like it, obviously. A different kettle of fish altogether is the Brent movie, which is an old-school cinema release.
That one I will have to do the usual begging for.
We started mixing the album this week and we have 15 tracks. This means our vinyl edition will be a double album. How cool is that? Finally, I'm going to do some stand-up. The first in about six years if you don't count hosting the Golden Globes.
I've booked a couple of low key warm-ups with the Derek lot to flesh out the bill a bit. The shows will be in London in May, but I'll give you more details nearer the time. Still weeks of mixing the music and grading, but basically the content is fixed. We're mixing the soundtrack album this month too. Even though it's by a ludicrous fictional character, the songs are insanely catchy.
You'll all be singing along to Native American and Lady Gypsy before you know it. There'll also be a songbook to help you play the tunes yourself.
It's a dream come true for Brent as he gets to pontificate about his writing techniques and philosophies. As you know, we did a test screening of Life On The Road for people.
After the movie, they were grilled to find out everything they liked, disliked, didn't get, were bored by etc. Most, either found it 'Excellent' or 'Very Good' and the love amongst fans of The Office was off the charts.
They liked the comedy, the characters, the emotion, and they also loved the songs and said they would buy the album and buy a ticket to see a live show. This is exciting news. Let's hope this is reflected by the rest of the population. Next is a temporary grade and dub to show the film at a test screening.
So, basically, they find a couple of hundred people on the street and invite them to watch the movie. The audience fills out a form and some even stay after to answer more in-depth questions. Stuff like "How would you rank the film: Excellent, good, fair poor? They take the details of the demographic of the sample and draw conclusions from the data.
Some films score great and everyone gets exited, and some score badly and everyone panics and sometimes even do reshoots; or they can dump it all together. I don't HAVE to change anything but they're a great thing to do to assess the timing and pacing of the jokes and songs. Also it might tell me what clips to use in trailers. I'm probably as excited about the soundtrack album as I am about the actual film. The songs have turned out even better than I imagined and really add to the whole myth of David Brent and his band.
I also can't wait to do some live dates. The show will be twice as good as it was a few years ago and it was amazing fun then. Anyway, I'll keep you posted.