HBO News Blog

Ricky Gervais – Love Him or Leave Him

By Jef Dinsmore on Feb 22, 2012 to HBO Watch Originals

He is at it again. Ricky Gervais has offered up to HBO yet another shot of humor. For subscribers it started with EXTRAS. That show was a sitcom about the people who play extras in TV shows/movies. It was a poke at the industry and celebrities, even though celebrities made guest appearances. For example, Patrick Stewart, Daniel Radcliffe and Kate Winslet are three that come to mind Then we were offered the animated THE RICKY GERVAIS SHOW. That was the show that featured Karl Pilkington at the center of Gervais’s humor. It was originally done as podcasts and the stories and jokes contained there were animated. Now Mr. G. presents LIFE”S TOO SHORT. All the shows have a theme in common; the quirks of human behavior studied at the expense of someone else; they are celebrities, Karl P. and a dwarf respectively.

Karl Pilkington is not the target this time. It is Warwick Davis this go around and of course, he is completely in on it. We know this because he is credited with coming up with the idea and the show’s title. LIFE’S TOO SHORT gives us the exaggerated life of 3’ 6” Warwick Davis, a showbiz dwarf. The show will also feature celebrity cameos like Johnny Depp and Sting. Liam Neeson already appeared in episode 1. But is making fun of a “little person” funny, even when the “little person” in question is in on it? Some may find it insulting and some may find it humorous. But that won’t be the first time.

Ricky Gervais, has a prolific career in films & books (let us not forget the original THE OFFICE) and a number of awards but he also has a bit of a mouth on him as your grandmother would say. And it has gotten him in trouble a number of times. It is when he turns into an insult comic, one far nastier than the iconic Don Rickles, that controversy follows. He vulgarly has badmouthed critics in his day for not thinking much of his standup routine; he has made jokes and press comments that seem insensitive and he rips into the industry that feeds him with regularity. The whole brouhaha over the 2011 Golden Globes Awards is a case in point. Again, with his new show, is he insensitive to “little people” or just finding the humor in human nature?

Love him or leave him but Mr. G.’s LIFE’S TOO SHORT has begun its run. Its first episode has premiered this past Sunday night. If you haven’t observed Mr. Gervais’s humor now might be a good time to start. Maybe, you’ll find him funny. Either way pass comment here or better yet let’s debate his style of humor in HBOWatch’s forum.










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