Biographical noteRicky Gervais was born in England in 1961. His arrival wasn’t planned. According to legend, his father was drunk while filling out the birth certificate. Ricky owes his French last name to his Quebecois father. Gervais remembers his childhood as stress-free and filled with jokes amongst his parents and numerous siblings (“The whole point of my family was taking the mickey out of the one sitting next to you”). Ricky began studying biology at the University of London, but soon moved to philosophy, from which he graduated. There he met Jane Fallon, with whom he remains till today (2013). They haven’t married (as exemplary atheists) and they don’t have children, “just didn’t fancy it. Too much hassle. Not something either of us wanted to do. We just ... didn’t fancy dedicating 16 years of our lives. And there are too many children, of course,” reported The Sunday Times in January 2010. Since 2008, Fallon and Gervais have lived in Manhattan. Today, Ricky’s short-lived rock star career (as one of the founding members of Seona Dancing) seems like nothing more than a funny incident, but apparently the song “More to Lose” enjoyed spectacular success in the Philippines. “The Office” – a television series which Gervais co-authored and produced, and in which he played the leading role of David Brent – brought him true world fame. The character has been described by one critic as “The epitome of middle-management weaselliness”. The list of films, scripts, performances, and awards that the Ricky Gervais has won, is too long to cite. Ricky reached third place in Channel 4’s best stand-up comedians of all time. In 2010, his name appeared amongst Time’s 100 most influential people in the world. He’s an avowed atheist and animal rights advocate.
Subjective Viewpoint: Stomach and Toothaches
- Stomachache I dedicate this short delight to Ricky Gervais. And also to Monty Python, Woody Allen, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mr. Bean, Fry and Laurie, the Chaplin and Keaton classics, and all other British (mostly) and American (sometimes) comedians who make me laugh until I double over with a stomachache.
- Theater Pee As a kid, I nearly died of laughter while reading “Le Petit Nicholas”, and a few years later found myself in similar danger when “Three Men in a Boat” appeared on my shelf. When so-called adulthood arrived, I needed more and more marijuana to counteract my irreversible seriousness and boredom. It helped a lot at operettas and in theaters. At operettas, utterly unfunny jokes collided with the elegant yet inexpressive audience, creating an explosive mixture. And the theater was so pathetic that I had to run to the toilet with pee trickling down my leg.
- A Prayer for Oblivion Memories of laughter are similar to recollections of the first attempt at…let’s call it insemination. Every future attempt is a desire to experience the same thing again – for the first time. And they say memory is a treasure.
- The Wall Will Fall I get tired of intellectuals. They often fall down in their own crazy seriousness, so I switch to a YouTube channel with Gervais. In the end, even the Vatican, Mecca and Jerusalem will fall, not by the strength of arguments, but under the pressure of laughter. There’s no wall in the world that can resist it in the long run.
- Great Joke Laughter accompanies cruelty when psychopaths set fire to cats. It covers embarrassment when without understanding the point you smile and nod, just in case. It’s irreplaceable in a conversation when, after telling a lame one-liner, the lady says: “Ha, ha, ha, really great, you sure know how to tell a joke!”
- Toothache I saw Gervais for the first time while watching the Golden Globes, but got to know him better thanks to the TV series Extras (thanks Filip!). Chaplin usually played the role of a kind-hearted fool. Gervais plays a similar fellow; however we laugh at his faults – vanity, hypocrisy, ambition, and how he feigns being a somebody. This kind of laughter is akin to the pain of a toothache. Sometimes his jokes are more tasteless; the ones about gluttony and god’s homosexuality are the best antidote for melancholy.
- Superiority of Easter over Christmas This delight, dedicated to Rick, is short – to watch Ricky Gervais as he performs is more valuable than reading my Notes from Underground. In the thousand-year-old dispute about literary genres, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays I grant a victor’s palm to comedy.
- Polish Joke I’ve given up trying to translate “taking the mickey out of the one sitting next to you” into Polish. However I’ve translated “the epitome of middle-management weaselliness” as the epitome of oiliness (epitomia wazeliniarstwa), thinking erroneously that weasel is Vaseline. I know, you don’t get the joke. It’s a Polish thing.
- Bald Balls Understanding jokes in a foreign language is the ultimate linguistic test. Thanks to Ricky and Pilkington’s English lessons my level of understanding jokes about bald balls has increased from 5% to 12%.
- Latest Tweet Ricky’s latest tweet: “Telling me to stop tweeting about religion is as pointless as praying. No one is listening.”
Ricky Gervais - quotes & fragments
I see Atheists are fighting and killing each other again, over who doesn’t believe in any God the most. Oh, no..wait.. that never happens.
From Golden Globe ceremony
Thank you God for making me an Atheist.
Celebrity Big Brother
Had an idea for celebrity big brother.Leave them in there for months and when they come out let them know it wasn’t televised.
It seems to be true, particularly in middle America, that those most militant about using up fossil fuels, don’t actually believe in fossils.
2010 Golden Globes
Just looking at all the faces here reminds me of some of the great work that was done this year . . . by cosmetic surgeons.
Scientific studies of creativity have basically concluded that it can’t be taught, as it is a “facility” rather than a learned skill. Putting it very crudely, creativity is the ability to play. And, to be able to turn that facility on and off when necessary. This makes perfect sense to me. Everything I’ve ever written, created or discovered artistically has come out of playing.