Working in an office, I have always loved Ricky Gervais's brand of skin crawling-unbearable-cringe-
comedy. There are just so many cliches in and around the work environment, its difficult not to draw parallels with the UK and US hit, The
Office. Its the same with the hugely successful Extras, so cringeworthy its the only thing aside The Strangers that I want to hide round the back of the sofa while still watching, both rendering one near to requiring new underwear, one for fear and the other through hysterics.
There are those out there who find this kind of humour unbearable, but I think its precisely why its hilarious. Thats why I jumped at the excuse to have a good read (and to use an office-ism, 'touch base') with Ricky's blog. The guy is virtually hollywood a-list now, for his work - and by association – pressing the flesh with the good and the great of the entertaiment industry, or giving them a damn good ribbing during both series of Extras. Ricky was always seen as a pioneer of online communications with his fanbase – his podcasts frequently hitting No. 1 in the podcast downloads chart.
The blog, if I'm being honest, didnt quite feel quite the same as his screen work. Its often said that comedians charge their humour for the stage, the rest of the time being moody, brooding couter-personalities. Gervais's blog definately has brilliant moments, most of which are funny for the same reason as Brent is hilarious as he trudges up and down the M1 selling tat, whilst trying to maintain some dignity. Gervais, for all his a-list smoozing, I sense is a bit bored of all the fuss and often just wants to go home and have a nice cup of tea and hang out with his cat, Ollie. And often, I'm not sure if this is exacerbation towards the whole the hollywood circus is genuine, or if its just playful sarcasm and one-upmanship.
Whatever it is, heres some highlights:
'So I won The British Comedy Award for best actor. I wasn't at the
ceremony because, as I said in my acceptance video, it is beneath me. Of course, some people think I'm joking.
'In heaven everyone gets a free iPod.'
And Ricky manages to have a dig at those doing shamless plugs…
'Children In Need all night on BBC1. I didn't watch it but I assume it
was very heartwarming to see people plug their shows and singles for
Whilst taking plugging of his own into an art form…
'Happy Halloween. What a perfect time of year to see Ghost Town. OK that's the last time I'll mention it.
Actually, thats my biggest take out from Ricky's blog. The blog as a medium had always been a very brash, the perfect tool for the massaging of one's own ego. Everyone knows Ricky has, and probably with some justification, one of the most inflated egos out there – he is the master of razor-sharp wit, and a academic of comedy. So the blog as a medium works perfectly, which is why its probably so well kept and updated. There is also a lot of shameless plugging going on here. One of the reasons why I find the blog difficult to read every day is its lack of RSS feed, which I ranted about in a previous blog. To address this, and it would appear that in replacement, Ricky has an email that can be subscibed to. I did this to keep his witterings firmly on my barometer, but found most of the emails were about when the next DVD is out, which again, is a bit cringy. Shame.
I'll keep reading Ricky's blog, for all the nonsensical musings, movie reviews and rants about 'bread-faconry with seagulls', there is the frequent comedy gem…
'Two llamas and a goat. They all live together in harmony. In an argument I imagine the llamas side with each other though.
They have more in common. i.e. they all look a bit like Ringo Starr.