If you're a fan of Ricky Gervais, either because of his witty stand-up routines or the original (and superior) Office or the clever, cameo-ridden Extras, then you are probably chomping at the bit for any new material he produces (aside from some of his misguided movies --can we just pretend that The Invention of Lying never happened?). The folks at HBO know about his rabid fans (and I'm one of them, too) and wisely greenlit this new show as part of their attempt to expand their Friday night lineup. However, the simply titled The Ricky Gervais Show isn't exactly offering up any new or ground-breaking material. In fact, it's just his legendary podcasts (which made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most downloaded podcasts ever) in animated form. But while you might be inclined to write them off if you've already heard them, as I initially was, I found them totally worth watching.
Ordinarily, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's decision to hire the first host of the Golden Globe Awards since 1995 would be considered a huge mistake. After all, one of the charms of that telecast -- aside from the fact that attendees are able to drink at their seats throughout the evening, of course -- is just how fast the ceremony usually flies by thanks to the lack of awkward, forced patter from an eager-to-please host. But in the case of the 2010 Globes (airing Jan. 17, 8PM ET, NBC), we're happy to have the evening in the hands of Ricky Gervais, who, when not creating brilliant television comedy, has spent the last several years often single-handedly enlivening dull awards shows as a presenter or winner. In an interview with us and other media outlets, he explained how he's going to bring his signature style to his role as MC for what has ordinarily been a three-hour schmooze fest.
Ricky Gervais started this decade on the fringes of British radio. He'll start the next one hosting a major awards show (the Golden Globes, airing Jan. 17, 8PM ET, NBC). In between, among many other considerable achievements, he co-created and starred in what many would consider to be not only one of the best television shows of the decade, but of all time: The Office, seven and a half hours of perfectly calibrated, sometimes agonizing, dark comedy. As his opportunity to reach his biggest viewing audience to date approaches, Gervais spoke to us and other media outlets about his ground-breaking show, its U.S. version and his favorite American programming.
Wondering how Office/Extras creator Ricky Gervais, one of the comedy world's most brilliant actor-writer-directors, will translate his genius to the stage in his first HBO stand-up special, Out of England? We have part of the answer: penis jokes. But perfectly articulated, self-deprecatingly hilarious penis jokes, mind you - the kind David Brent might appreciate but Michael Scott would find too erudite. Yes, Ricky's a real pisser in person, as you can see in this exclusive video from his upcoming appearance on Bravo's Inside the Actors Studio, which contains almost-verbatim excerpts from his live act. (Hey, if you wrote jokes as well as he does, you'd recycle your material, too.) And incidentally, check out how host James Lipton almost steals the bit with his own improv. Where's his HBO special?
On this slow week for TV on DVD, get admitted to the wacky antics of Childrens Hospital.
"No, Ricky! I'm not going to star in The Invention of Lying: Part 2!"
If you've been in serious Schmidt withdrawal, you'll now be able to add New Girl's return date to your calendar.
Based on your feelings towards the original The Office, Extras and Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's dark British humor in general, you can pretty much precisely predict how you're going to feel about Warwick Davis-starring Life's Too Short on HBO. After watching the first three episodes, I'd also factor in your thoughts on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Gervais' Golden Globe shtick and how much you really liked Willow. Proceed from there.
'Tis the season for repeat hosts.
The Golden Globes might get a whole lot more offensive... again.
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