Ricky Gervais on possibly hosting the Oscars: “I’d be fired immediately”

By | November 14, 2011 at 4:46 pm | No comments | feature slider, News | Tags: , ,

Last night, as part of the New York Comedy Festival, multi-faceted, award winning comedian Ricky Gervais was the guest of honor at a fascinating and highly-entertaining conversation at 92Y, moderated by Bill Carter of The New York Times.

Gervais, of course, along with his creative partner, comedian Stephen Merchant, created The Office which is now shown in 90 countries. Even China is considering creating a version– which should be especially funny, given all the local dialects spoken in the giant Asian nation.

At the top of the presentation, Gervais told the sold-out crowd that he had just bumped into Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters on the street, and the front man had invited him to last night’s concert going down at Madison Square Garden. Gervais was excited about going, until his girlfriend reminded him he had to appear at the 92Y. So much for Grohl and Foo Fighters!

And although it seems ancient history, Gervais’ controversial hosting performance at the most recent Golden Globes came up. “They should see my stand-up act,” he commented. “It’s not like I was playing to a roomful of wounded soldiers.” But, what about hosting a future edition of the Oscars? Would he be able to pull that off? “They don’t want me. They want someone nice and pleasant! It’s a night of glamour. I’d be fired immediately!”

Hardcore Gervais fans must have been pleased with all the Karl Pilkington talk as well. You may know Pilkington from the original Ricky Gervais podcast, the animated HBO show The Ricky Gervais Show and most recently, the Gervais-produced Science Channel travelogue show An Idiot Abroad, which stars Pilkington. Gervais and Merchant have basically made the unlikely hero into sort of a cult celebrity. They met when Karl was producing a radio show for Ricky in 1997, and Ricky was struck not only by his unusual sense of humor, but also his directness, and his inability to be pretentious. That and the fact that “he has the roundest head Ricky Gervais had ever seen on a human being!”

Ok, on to some of Gervais’ most important thoughts:

  • It’s important to laugh every day.
  • Humor makes you “bulletproof” to the big and little miseries we all have to suffer.
  • In discussing the difference between British and American humor he said that in England, everyone wants you to be as miserable as they are.
  • In America, every kid grows up thinking that they can be President. In England the attitude is more like, “Don’t bother trying. It won’t be you!” That’s why the character of David Brent is so perfectly British. He’s a man who thinks he’s above his own station in life.
  • He feels he and Larry David have created what might be seen as “comedy of embarrassment” because an Englishman really tries his best to get to his grave without ever being embarrassed.

For more on the event check out the Comedy Matters Blog.

About the Author

Jeffrey Gurian

Jeffrey Gurian is a comedy writer who has written for lots of big names, and is currently writing the book on the 35 year history of The Comic Strip. Contact Jeffrey at Jeffrey@jeffreygurian.com.