Ricky Gervais (born 25 June 1961) is an English stand-up comedian, actor, writer, film producer, director and musician. He is perhaps best known for creating, writing and acting in the British television series The Office (2001–2003). He has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, two Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and the Rose d’Or twice (2006 and 2019), as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination.
Gervais appeared on The 11 O’Clock Show on Channel 4 between 1998 and 2000, garnering a reputation as a blunt and often controversial social critic.
In 2000, he was given a Channel 4 spoof talk show, Meet Ricky Gervais. He achieved greater mainstream fame the following year with his BBC television mock documentary series The Office. It was followed by Extras in 2005.
He played the lead roles of David Brent in The Office and Andy Millman in Extras. He reprised his role as Brent in 2016 comedy film David Brent: Life on the Road.
Gervais began his stand-up career in the late 1990s. He has performed five multi-national stand-up comedy tours, and wrote the Flanimals book series. Gervais, Merchant, and Karl Pilkington created the podcast The Ricky Gervais Show, which has spawned various spin-offs starring Pilkington and produced by Gervais and Merchant. Gervais has also starred in the Hollywood films Ghost Town, the Night at the Museum trilogy, For Your Consideration and Muppets Most Wanted.
He wrote, directed and starred in The Invention of Lying and the Netflix-released Special Correspondents. He hosted the Golden Globe Awards in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2016, and again in 2020. Gervais also appears on the game show Child Support.
Gervais is credited as the creator, executive producer, director and writer for the Netflix comedy series After Life, where he plays the lead role of Tony Johnson.
Written, directed, and starring Ricky Gervais, Netflix’s ‘After Life’ is a candid and bitterly dark comedy about loss and depression.
Ricky Gervais is renowned for his role as the gauche, bumbling David Brent in The Office – the far superior British original that is. Few expected the comedy actor to extend beyond the cringeworthy limits of Wernham-Hogg’s finest middle-manager, but that he did. While he reprised his best-known role in 2016’s David Brent: Life on the Road, Gervais has proven himself time after time to be a versatile performer. From a string of major roles in both film and television, including a number of successful stand-up shows, right through to a few cameo appearances in video games, Gervais has come far since he started out. And his humour has changed along the way too. Continue reading →
I kept walking in on my partner last week quietly crying over the laptop. Not, as might be reasonable to expect, because she is stuck in an infinite current affairs loop, never knowing when she might be freed from the horrors, but because she has been watching Ricky Gervais’s new sitcom, After Life, on Netflix. “You’re not allowed to watch it with me,” she said, pointedly closing the lid. “I’m enjoying it and you’ll ruin it. Go somewhere else.”Rude, I thought, and then said something about how the reviews hadn’t been very good anyway, which only proved her point. The reviews I read have not been particularly kind, it’s true, but already After Life seems to have reached Bohemian Rhapsody levels of division between what critics have made of it and what real-life viewers think. On a recent episode of Gogglebox, the families who do not usually agree on what they’re watching all collapsed into paroxysms of laughter at a gag about Gervais’s character, Tony, being called a “paedo”.
Though Netflix is notoriously cagey about its viewing figures, anecdotally, it is one of those rare shows that everyone seems to be watching or at least talking about. Outside of newspapers and websites, most people I’ve spoken to have really liked it. It has already been picked up for a second series.
I hate being left out of anything, particularly an argument about whether television is good or not, so I watched After Life alone, where I could only ruin it for myself. I could see the points at which it tries so hard to tug on heartstrings, but it was far more pleasant to allow myself to be emotionally manipulated than to resist and, by the end, I was in bits, having thoroughly enjoyed it and laughed a lot. (One of the few quibbles I had was whether Gervais was eating fishfingers, since I thought he was a vegetarian. That was answered by the internet, which always provides: they are vegan fishfingers.)
One of the issues some people had with the show was that Tony was nasty, but surely he’s supposed to be acting that way. His wife has died and left him in a state of nihilistic despair. His dickishness is the point. It’s well worth reading an in-depth interview that Gervais gave to the New York Times in which he gamely tackles the idea of comedy in an age of social media and cancel culture, and provides plenty of (veggie) food for thought. Anyway, it turns out I would have been safe to watch After Life with. The “paedo” joke is very, very funny.