Hi, Bryan Here….

Over the past hour, Ricky Gervais did a Q& A on HBO and we managed to get several questions in for the comedic genius to answer.  Ricky has a lot of projects coming up with some that are currently on HBO.  I had no idea Gervais wanted to get whacked on ‘The Sopranos’.  Catch his show ‘Life’s Too Short’ on HBO.   That’s genius.  Below is the full interview.  Enjoy.



“Describe your creative process? “


“It depends. It all starts with a single idea whether that’s a concept, a character, a one-liner. Usually when I’m jogging, if it’s stand-up it’s doing it until it works and it’s quite an evolution. If it’s T.V. it’s all about the writing and then sticking around to make sure it’s done exactly how you want it to be done. If it’s the podcast, it’s prodding Karl with a stick and annoying him until he says something funny.”



“Did you enjoy playing twisted versions of yourselves?”


“Yes, but playing a twisted version of myself in Curb your Enthusiasm was more fun because there I could be a monster. Whereas in Life’s Too Short, I have to play a reluctant straight man because the other characters are really the main comedy parts.”


“What would you have liked to see but were born too late for?”


“Wow, loads of things really. Muhammad Ali win his first World Title. Jimmy Hendrix live. And I wasn’t born too late, but I was rich too late. Go on Conchord, you get to New York two hours before you’ve left.”


“What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? And the worst?”


“Well probably not face to face advice but I think Bob Dylan’s quote I’ve sort of lived by all my life. “A man can consider himself a success if he wakes up in the morning, goes to bed at night, and in between did exactly what he wanted.” Birchum Russel when he was asked if he could leave a message for the future of what he’s learned said, “Love is good. Hate is bad” because that’s all you need.”


“If you could star in any genre of movie, which genre would you prefer?”


“I love grown-up romantic comedies. Things like The Apartment and Annie Hall but I’d also quite like to be in some sort of psychological horror. I quite like being some sort of demented psychopath.”


“How would you like your work to be remembered?”


“If it’s just remembered I’ll be happy. I don’t’ care what people think about it, as long as they think about it. You’re allowed to forget about it if you’ve paid for it. It’s up to you.”


“Do you enjoy working on television or touring with your stand up more?”


“I enjoy them both but for very different reasons. I love stand-up because there’s no filter between thinking something and the audience hearing it. It’s pure. But I love television because the possibilities are endless and I like exploring story and character which you can’t really do with stand-up. I’d say my greatest strength is probably my T.V. work because you can never really master stand-up. I’m still learning.”


“If you could play a role on any current or past TV show, which would you pick?”


“There’s so many! Being whacked in The Sopranos would be a feather in the cap. And I’ve pretty much been in all of my favorite shows in the last few years. Simpsons, Family Guy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sesame Street, haha.”


“Would you ever do a musical? Or play a musician in a movie?”


“Yeah, as long as it was an interesting flawed character and not just an excuse to get up and sing a song. And I often squeeze in a song when I can. I had a song w/ David Bowie in Extras. I wrote a love song for Marge Simpsons. I wrote and performed my lullaby to Elmo. And I obviously wrote songs for David Brent. Music is one of my first loves so never say never.”


“Do you have any new comedy specials in the works?”


“Yes, I’m planning a new tour which I’ll play UK, Europe and America but it keeps getting pushed back with all the other projects I’m working on. But I definitely want to start it this year and tour next year.”


“Is art and painting something you’re looking to work more on?”


“I love art and it’s so therapeutic. I paint like a cat. I sort of slap it on and hope for the best and I like what happens…sometimes. And then I see a real work of art and I want to hang my head in shame. But yes, I absolutely love it.”


“What awkward moment in your life made you laugh the most?”


“All awkward moments make me laugh. I’m never embarrassed for myself but if I witness someone else’s awkward moment, I want the ground to swallow me up. I dealt w/ one in my stand-up when I had given a urine sample at the doctors and then he had to examine me and I was in my pants, and I looked down and we both saw a little wet patch and neither of us said anything. Why did I wear white underpants that day? I’ve given away way too much.”


“what TV shows are you watching these days?”


“I’m loving The Voice. I got hooked and now I have it sent to London to watch and now I’m watching the UK version as well, which is also great. I’m loving the UFC at the moment. I think these would both be described as guilty pleasure but I don’t feel guilty at all.”


“why is Karl such an interesting person? “


“Because he sees the world differently. There’s no pretension, he says exactly what he thinks and there’s no malice. He treats everyone equally, it’s almost childlike. He also has the best comic mind I’ve ever come across and he doesn’t even know it. He’s also a very honorable man and my best mate. And he has a head like a f**king orange.”


“Do you ever find yourself being tempted to act like david brent? I know I do.”


“I’ve just about kicked the habit but it is irresistible to play the delusional jerk. Maybe I’m doing it without trying, yikes!”


“What is your favourite episode of Curb?”


“Beloved C*nt. I loved the terrorist threat when Cheryl had to stay in town for a function and he said there’s no point in both of us staying. I loved the episode with the chef that suffered from tourettes as well.”


“how could you describe ”humor” ?”


“That’s nearly impossible because in my everyday life I like everything from, you know, slapstick to subtle stuff but I suppose in my career I’ve studied human behavior and excruciating social faux pas. So, I’m a sucker for realism and I like people saying the wrong thing and then having to deal with it for our pleasure. I quite like dealing with taboo basically.”

“If you have to chose between being a writer, a director or an actor, what would it be? “


“Writer. The only reason I became a director and a producer was to protect my writing. I love performing but nothing gives me an adrenalin rush like an idea. All the other stuff is just how little you ruin the idea of an idea on a journey from your brain to the viewing public.”


“What do you think is the most important aspect of creative writing?”


“Empathy with the characters, so, writing about what you know and a strong narrative. You can have the funniest one liners in the world but if there’s no reason to keep watching those characters you get bored.”


“If you could do one thing off Karl’s bucket list, what would it be?”


“My first love is science and nature so I would love to come close to a mountain gorilla and seeing some of the beautiful examples of wildlife and natural beauty that he’s seen. I also have a rectal examination once a year anyway.”


“What writers have you admired most? “


“I think one of the greatest story tellers of all time is Charles Dickens. I also love non-fictional writers like Sam Harris and philosophers like Bertrand Russell. “


“How long after you meet Karl, did you know how much potential he actually had? “


“I just knew that everything he said made me laugh and I always knew that the rest of the world would find him as fascinating as me. It just takes me a long time to persuade him to do anything. But Karl, if you sit down and just listen to one podcast, he’s like crack. He’s addictive on the first hit.”


“What do you think is the biggest motivator in life?”


“Well it’s different for everyone. With me it’s the need to live as good and full a life as possible because I believe it’s all we got. As an atheist, the reasons to live are friends, loved ones, creativity, cheese, beer and HBO (I’m creeping to my bosses, obviously).”


“What’s in your opinion the biggest difference between British and American comedy?”


“I think Americans redeem their flawed characters. We’re quite happy for them to continue being an a**hole and I think both Americans and British people love the underdog but when they’re not the underdog anymore, Britt’s don’t like them anymore. I also think that we’re probably a little bit sillier and I think Americans like a bit more romance in their comedy. I’d say they don’t need so much irony all the time that us Britt’s like. “


“What advice would you offer to other sitcom writers?”


“Write about what you know. Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Be original and there’s no rush. Get final edit or walk away.”


“Do you have a favorite quote from Karl, one that makes you laugh every time you think of it? “


“”I saw a bee have heart attack”, “A dog has got human eyes”, “No Edna was your bog standard old woman”, “That’s got to be the ass.” “


“What do you do when you are not working? “


“I relax and have an idea and start working. I like to work out, I love to go for walks whether we’re in London or New York. I love TV. I love eating out or eating in. I love eating! Eating…I love eating…and drinking! Sometimes I eat and drink while I’m working. That’s why I have to workout and walk all the f**king time.”


“Does Karl still write his diary?”


“No, but I call him everyday to find out what he’s doing and then tweet it. Follow me @rickygervais. At the moment I’m trying to make him film an online encyclopedia. Just me telling him a subject and him giving his definition of it. Soon it’ll be like Wikipedia but the most ridiculous information you’ve ever heard.”


“Which of your shows made you laugh the most while filming it?”


“Probably recording the podcasts. Though certain scenes in The Office and Extras and Life’s Too Short that I couldn’t get through. But Karl makes me laugh ALL the time. I’m working on a new sitcom with him at the moment called Derek and it’s like The Office combined with the podcast. We cannot stop laughing. “


“Do you ever bring Karl to the grocery store to compare the roundness of oranges to his spherical head?”


“Haha, I actually wanted to do a photo shoot where I painted his head orange and just put him in a fruit bowl like inspiration. He unbelievable said no. I hate Christmas shopping by the way. I hated it before I was famous and I hate it even more now. But this year I made Karl come with me and because he hates being recognized and shopping even more than me, it is now my favorite pastime.”


“Will Karl ever get Twitter? “


“Almost definitely not. He hates all social media, fan sites, forums. He hates people leaving comments like they know something about him. Once he said “I wish I could switch off the Internet” haha.”


“Do you prefer collaborating or working independently? “


“I do good but I have to have the casting vote, haha. Some people would call that being a power freak and I’d agree with them but so what?”


Thanks again for joining us today, Ricky. Is there anything else you’d like to say to your fans before we sign off?”


“Thank you so much for joining in. Hope you enjoy the finale of Life’s Too Short on Sunday and I can’t wait for you to see Season 3 of The Ricky Gervais Show. It’s the best one yet. It starts with The Wife of Brian starring Tom Cruise and there’s also some audio you’ve never heard before. Cheers.”

By Bryan Kluger

Former husky model, real-life Comic Book Guy, genre-bending screenwriter, nude filmmaker, hairy podcaster, pro-wrestling idiot-savant, who has a penchant for solving Rubik's Cubes and rolling candy cigarettes on unreleased bootlegs of Frank Zappa records.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *