Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Ricky Gervais IV: Science

Ricky Gervais returns to the stage with some more comedy tenuously linked to science. Why he looks like a strange lesbian on the front I have no idea, am I missing a pop culture reference...?

People give Gervais a lot of stick as he had no stand-up experience and on his first tour was selling out huge venues, people felt like he hadn't 'earned' his way up. However, how many people do we see on shitty TV panel shows that suddenly are selling out the O2? A lot.

Gervais got quite a lacklustre response for Fame but with Science, I feel like he is getting back on track. The trouble is, I still feel that he's finding his feet and is somewhat uncomfortable, constantly apologising for himself and being self-referential. It's clear he puts a lot of effort into his performance and material, which is good, but there isn't really a professional feel to it, instead it's like your mate chatting to you for a while. Which isn't a bad thing at all, his everyman connection is what makes him so appealable in the first place. Unfortunately it feels very, very short but his anecdotes and punchlines are amusing and I was properly laughing out loud in a lot of places.

Gervais goes into old territory such as religion, a great bit on a Noah children's book for instance, obese people and again pushes borders by just saying out loud what normal, white, Joe public males talk about. It's smartness contrasting to schoolyard humour is a great, successful mix but some of these jokes fall a bit flat and sometimes you get the impression that some of the jokes are just trying to be controversial rather than funny. Yet I'm slightly perturbed by some of his remarks 'kicking me off TV? Good luck with that', 'they were talking about controversy, so of course my name cropped up' - did it? I'm not sure these comments were supposed to be ironic, in fact I'd say he plays on his success and popularity a lot. However, I feel that Gervais is wearing a bit thin, not just physically (he's clearly lost weight but eeek... look at his arms!) but I can't help but think he's getting a bit old hat. Maybe I'm wrong?

He describes how people meet over humour and to see if you are like each other, fortunately everyone feels like they could get on with Gervais and his cheeky humour, including myself. This was funny, but I'd probably only watch it a couple of times and there's still life in the old dog yet, but this is far from perfect. Great for Gervais fans, but he's clearly not a professional stand-up.

Rating: 7/10

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