One of the best compliments I got was from an Australian guy. He told his friend that a good way to know if a person is really funny is to see if he can be funny in a for him foreign language. This was a compliment in a very relaxed athmosphere, I was not being funny for a living so it doesn’t really matter if I was a funny man or not. It’s really difficult to measure if a person is really funny or that it’s all an act. Jim Carrey is a very funny man in the movies but in his personal life he seemed to suffer from deep depressions. So it’s very difficult to see if it’s the man or the script that is funny. A real funny man is a man that writes his jokes aswell. But than again, if you have a couple of months to think about your jokes, than how funny are you really?
Ever since the original version of “the office” came out I was a big fan of the genius behind it, Ricky Gervais. The Brittish stand up comedian outgrew his stand up status by writing, directing and starring this genius sitcom and even won an emmy award for the series. At the awards show none of the cameras were faced at the table that Ricky and his crew were sitting at because nobody expected them to win. After winning the Emmy Award the world was hungry for more Gervais.
Not long after “the office” Ricky Gervais came up with another sitcom. Again he wrote it together with Stephen Merchant, he directed it and starred in it again. This time he was playing an extra trying to make it as an actor. The quality was high again and another hit was born. The only difference this time was that Ricky had made some famous friends. Every episode starred a big international moviestar and since every episode was set on a movieset it didn’t matter. Clever. Samuel L. Jackson, Kate Winslet, Ben Stiller, Robert de Niro and many others have joined the Britt in his idea. America quickly picked up on it and decided to broadcast the christmas specials of ‘The Extras’ on HBO.
Following this, Ricky starred in a couple of American movies, appeared on “the daily show” and visited Letterman. After hosting the Golden Globes with his stand-up like presentation the word was out and Ricky was the biggest Brit in America. But I stumbled upon a sad fact.
Since I am a big fan of Ricky Gervais I follow a lot of the things he does. His appearances on the tonight show, the daily show, his stand up shows, books, movies and award shows, I watched them all and the more I watch them the more disappointed I got. Ricky seems to recycle a lot of his material, an aweful lot. He recycles funny bits from his stand up shows that aired in the UK as funny little annecdotes at the table of John Stewart. Even stories he told on his radio show he broadcasted from 2001 until mid 2005 or jokes that not even he but Karl Pilkington made during the radioshow.
The corpulent Brit didn’t care much for Hollywood and stardom was what he was saying during an interview when ‘the office’ was released. That was back in 2001. Now more than 10 years later Ricky bleeched his teeth, is wearing an smart looking suit instead of jeans and a t-shirt and his belly full of jelly mystriously transformed into a “V” shaped torso. I am very afraid he is becoming like his anecdotes: fake, not 100 percent his and something we heard or saw before. I am wondering how funny Ricky Gervais really is.
And that’s where we are at the beginning of the blog again, if you have a couple of months to think about your jokes, than how funny are you really? Ricky uses his jokes over and over again in different kind of settings. Maybe Ricky “Recycle” Gervais is only funny if he has written his jokes beforehand. But if the guy that brings me laughter over and over again isn’t the one that is truly funny than who is? Any of you got an answer?