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Thread: Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by subvert47 View Post
    Even if he does think that, I really don't see it. The characters on Larry Sanders may have embarrassed themselves but they were still likable. It wasn't cringe comedy. You weren't squirming in your chair every time they appeared on screen and opened their mouth. And David Brent is absolutely not Hank Kingsley. They're both delusional, but Brent is a talentless nobody, whereas Hank is an absolute don.

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    Hank is extremely cringe. That was the whole point. Obviously they both very different, but the mechanics under the hood are more or less the same. They're both desperate to be liked. But hey now, feel free to disagree with Gervais' own admission if you like.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattycakes_ View Post
    Hank is extremely cringe. That was the whole point. Obviously they both very different, but the mechanics under the hood are more or less the same. They're both desperate to be liked. But hey now, feel free to disagree with Gervais' own admission if you like.
    Nah. Gervais' "admission" is just hyperbole from a Garry Shandling fanboy. Inspired by Hank, maybe, if he says so; but "almost completely based on", hardly. And I disagree that Hank is really cringe. Perhaps some of the time, but not all the time. It's not essential to Hank. Not like David Brent or, say, Alan Partridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by subvert47 View Post
    Nah. Gervais' "admission" is just hyperbole from a Garry Shandling fanboy. Inspired by Hank, maybe, if he says so; but "almost completely based on", hardly. And I disagree that Hank is really cringe. Perhaps some of the time, but not all the time. It's not essential to Hank. Not like David Brent or, say, Alan Partridge.
    I'm not going to hunt it down because I can't be bothered, but I read Gervais write it on his own blog. He also mentions it in the intro to the Ricky meets... Garry Shandling. Which just happens to be the final episode of that series because Shandling gave him a severe dollop of humble pie. He was supposed to make it into some big ongoing series but his ego was too bruised. In some ways I think that interview is pretty much the clearest demonstration of his comedy talents and true essence. He looks like a 14yo school boy trying to outwit Groucho Marx.

    Hank is a much more subtle execution of that character type than Brent or Partridge. He also has performance chops and charisma unlike those two. But we're talking about a whole different level of entertainment. America mastered that shit. England could never pull it off on the same level because they don't have that same level of ego allowed to be converted into art. It's always got to be kept a few levels down because of the stupid British ideals of refinement and class. In music it's a different thing. We can easily meet the US toe to toe, but when it comes to TV we're never going to match them. So while it's kind of pointless to compare those 3 shows, I think it's an interesting point to think that the saviour of British comedy might not be the genius he was sold as.
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    Almost completely based on might be a bit ott, though, you're right. Maybe strongly influenced by would be a better description.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattycakes_ View Post
    I'm not going to hunt it down because I can't be bothered, but I read Gervais write it on his own blog. He also mentions it in the intro to the Ricky meets... Garry Shandling.
    Sure. Just in case it wasn't clear, I was calling Gervais himself a Garry Shandling fanboy there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pattycakes_ View Post
    I'm not going to hunt it down because I can't be bothered, but I read Gervais write it on his own blog. He also mentions it in the intro to the Ricky meets... Garry Shandling. Which just happens to be the final episode of that series because Shandling gave him a severe dollop of humble pie. He was supposed to make it into some big ongoing series but his ego was too bruised. In some ways I think that interview is pretty much the clearest demonstration of his comedy talents and true essence. He looks like a 14yo school boy trying to outwit Groucho Marx.

    Hank is a much more subtle execution of that character type than Brent or Partridge. He also has performance chops and charisma unlike those two. But we're talking about a whole different level of entertainment. America mastered that shit. England could never pull it off on the same level because they don't have that same level of ego allowed to be converted into art. It's always got to be kept a few levels down because of the stupid British ideals of refinement and class. In music it's a different thing. We can easily meet the US toe to toe, but when it comes to TV we're never going to match them. So while it's kind of pointless to compare those 3 shows, I think it's an interesting point to think that the saviour of British comedy might not be the genius he was sold as.
    This is largely true, although I can never work out if I like Bilko or Hancock more.

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    Gervais is a funny one (funny in both senses, I guess, although much more hit-and-miss when it comes to funny-haha). I remember really liking The Office, although I never watched it religiously and I dunno how well it would stand up on being watched again today, especially after getting on for a couple of decades of 'cringe-com' - Peep Show and more recently Fleabag over here, or Curb, Stateside. I liked Extras, too, the times I saw it. He's definitely much more likeable when he's taking the piss out of himself rather than other people.

    However, there's something about him I really don't like. I think it's the fact that, as himself rather than as a character, he wants to be the sort of person who laughs at David Brent, but at the same time, and perhaps more than he'd like to admit or even realise, he fundamentally is David Brent. I caught a bit of one of his stand-up shows on TV years ago and he started with a series of potshots at Jim Davidson, who'd played the same venue the night before, and by extension Davidson's [thick, racist, uneducated] audience. Some of which, I admit, was quite funny - but then he's just flattering both himself and his audience, which is pretty cheap. Then he spent the next ten minutes milking the inherent comedic potential of the word "spastic", which felt like a real case of wanting to have his cake and eat it. I've got much the same impression of Frankie Boyle.

    And speaking of Curb, he came across as totally unbearable when he was a guest on that show - unbelievably smarmy and sycophantic, both cringing and cringe-inducing. Which may have been the intended effect, I dunno, but it was neither endearing nor particularly funny.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 07-01-2020 at 02:19 PM.
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    He tried his hand at music in the 80s. That's him on the left and he's the one on lead vocals.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea;409851perhaps more than he'd like to admit or even realise, he fundamentally [I
    is[/I] David Brent.
    This is key in terms of why things went rapidly downhill after The Office (and to answer your question on if it's still watchable: yes, massively, an absolute masterpiece and nothing on TV has come anywhere near it since. Many shows have had huge success aping / plain stealing from it eg People Just Do Nothing)

    Brent is the most pathetic, narcissistic aspects of Gervais personality amplified in a constrained and hopeless setting, same with Partridge being Coogan's desperate self without a filter. So in terms of life experience and insecurities, you only have so much material to draw from, and most of the best stuff was embodied in Brent/Partidge. There's also the undervalued input of Merchant, his restraint, the lack of gags and delayed gratification. He seems to have tempered Gervais ego and excess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    I caught a bit of one of his stand-up shows on TV years ago and he started with a series of potshots at Jim Davidson, who'd played the same venue the night before, and by extension Davidson's [thick, racist, uneducated] audience. Some of which, I admit, was quite funny - but then he's just flattering both himself and his audience, which is pretty cheap. Then he spent the next ten minutes milking the inherent comedic potential of the word "spastic", which felt like a real case of wanting to have his cake and eating it.
    I guess my point here is: so is he actually in any sense "woke" (and his recent outburst suggests he'd at least like us to think he is), or is he just Jim Davidson with a philosophy degree from UCL?
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    Yes, I think it's true that his ironic distance doesn't always do the job he claims he intends it to. This interviewer kind of catches him on it

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...y-twitter.html

    The amount of actual racists: Ben Shapiro, Katie Hopkins loving the golden globes stuff is another case in point. But it's complex.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiels View Post
    Brent is the most pathetic, narcissistic aspects of Gervais personality amplified in a constrained and hopeless setting, same with Partridge being Coogan's desperate self without a filter. So in terms of life experience and insecurities, you only have so much material to draw from, and most of the best stuff was embodied in Brent/Partidge.
    Coogan's in a different league to Gervais. He's the better comedian, the better actor, the better writer, he can do impressions, he's far less irritating and he's got stuff like The Trip to his name post-Partridge.

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    And 24 Hour Party People. Coogan's great, Gervais is that guy in the office (yep) who makes outrageous jokes that are sometimes funny, which barely conceal a yawning void where a soul should be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    I guess my point here is: so is he actually in any sense "woke" (and his recent outburst suggests he'd at least like us to think he is), or is he just Jim Davidson with a philosophy degree from UCL?
    He seems to have tricked everyone into believing he's smart, when he just simply isn't. He's still in his early 20s mentally. Still an angst ridden student walking around campus with a t-shirt that says bollocks on it.

    Another fantastically exposing watch is his inside the actors studio interview, which I can't find on YouTube right now, but is such a perfect display of his own self aggrandisement. The show is cringe in itself because the host famously holds nothing back when it comes to indulging Hollywood egos. A total gushfest, but the RG one is next level. He relishes in the admiration. That's his goal in life btw, to be liked. That's why he is Brent. That's why The Office worked so well.

    In the actors studio interview he allows the host, James Lipton, to climb inside of his arse and lick it clean, only to follow him in there and start getting to work himself. At one point he's talking about the size of his own dick for 5 minutes at which point Lipton, who is normally only too happy to oblige starts to make eyes at the audience (acting students), who are visibly uncomfortable and laughing nervously. I think this is key to understanding Gervais at this point. He's been told he's wonderful, believes it, and then as soon as he feels comfortable enough that he's won over the audience, he exposes his true nature. All the while totally oblivious to what's going on. And should he sense a hint of hesitation, he pastes over the moment with that giant squawk of a laugh.
    Last edited by pattycakes_; 07-01-2020 at 02:52 PM.
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    I've lost count of the number of 'zero fucks' and 'we must protect this man at all costs' comments I've seen in response to the Golden Globes monologue. I really don't like the way the same phrases are repeated over and over and over. You even see people copying and pasting comments under the same YouTube video - makes me feel like I'm going mad.

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