Ricky Gervais Show, The
The Ricky Gervais Show
The massive success of Ricky Gervais has occasionally been a bemusing thing. For every single episode of sheer genius that was The Office, there remains the dank memory of his ‘stand-up’ ‘career’. As excellent as the majority of Extras has been, you can’t help but shiver at the thought of his pitiful ‘chat show’ ‘career’. And when you are ready to bury him for appearing on a pal’s talk show just to muck about and be handed a pet cat, he writes and appears in a superb episode of The Simpsons and all is well again.
So where does this three-CD set, released to capitalise on the record-breaking podcast affair of The Ricky Gervais Show based on his semi-legendary Xfm radio programme fit into the pantheon? Frankly, the universal acclaim is bamboozling. I could easily imagine listening to hour after hour of Gervais and Stephen Merchant riffing on whatever topic rises up in their silly heads but when the ‘village idiot’ influence of Karl Pilkington infiltrates proceedings, it all goes horribly, tediously wrong. While Gervais may insist that his pal is ‘the funniest man on earth’, can there be anything more annoying than one man’s oddball (and unfunny) observations about the animal kingdom, the disabled and his really mad family being greeted with barely masked hilarity? Worse still are the frequent moments when Gervais feigns complete astonishment at the drivel rolling from Pilkington’s tongue. The whole fragile project collapses under its own fakeness. Merchant will be better out of it when he makes his proposed return to stand-up.
Out now on Universal.