Friday, 25 February 2011

Ricky Gervais - King of Comedy

Only an act of God can unseat Ricky Gervais as the King of Comedy, which would be a supreme irony given the British comedian’s rabid atheism.
The co-writer of The Office and Extras – and much else with Stephen Merchant – was on form today with some tongue-in-cheek suggestions for the opening duologue of James Franco and Anne Hathaway at the coming Oscars ceremony this weekend. Here is their response.
Gervais’s took no prisoners in his own introduction at the Golden Globe Awards last month – a clip of which can be found at the end of this post. Franco and Hathaway are going to be a whole lot prettier but safe and bland on Sunday – which is Gervais’s point.
The thing is the man is very funny. There are other stand-ups prepared to trawl human misery for material but none can harvest laughs like Gervais from taboo subjects such as Aids and the Holocaust. I’ll switch off Frankie Boyle and feel relieved; I’ll keep watching Gervais and feel guilty.
The man feeds off notoriety. Causing offence strengthens his appeal to young audiences. Just the sort of consumers marketers find so hard to reach.
If he ever gets himself banned from mainstream television, he would find a home on subscription channels. If that ever dried up he’d have his stand-up concerts and DVD sales. Gervais is also a master of online media – he was among the first into podcasting.
If there is a vengeful God and Gervais is eventually struck dumb, he could always spend the rest of his years counting the fortune he says he has already accumulated.
My guess though is that Gervais is a shrewd operator who loves showbiz glitz but disguises his hunger for the spotlight rather better than, say, reformed bad boy Russell Brand.
Gervais will probably continue to sail as close as he can to the wind without ever actually capsizing his career. He might have to think twice though about his future in movies.

1 comment:

  1. Yes Ricky is good, and so is Russell.


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