Producer-director-writer-comedian-philanthropist Ricky Gervais took the stage at the Nokia Theater on May 16 for one of four shows on his “Out of England 2” tour. The audience chuckled at the creator of The Office throughout the hour-long show, stopping only to gasp at his characteristically dry jokes about incest, homosexuality, obesity, and terrorists. But how could I not laugh with and at the self-proclaimed “living legend” as he downed a Foster’s beer and cracked wise about the recession not affecting him ‘cus he’s rich? Later, he allowed that, if his plane ever crashed he’d die with the “rest of [us] losers” despite his first class ticket.
Gervais was brilliant, sparing nothing and no one, not even religious teachings. As the projector behind him flashed illustrations from “Noah,” one of Gervais’ childhood books, the comedian took out a larger-than-life pointer to harp on their absurdity. Toucans walking to Noah’s ark? Preposterous! They could fly!
His most polemic jokes, however, have always been his fat jokes. “Fat people, like anteaters, are named after what they eat, aren’t they?” Gervais asked, mocking annoyance. Irony alert: Gervais cast himself as the pudgy snub-nosed lead in his 2009 movie, The Invention of Lying. Not even he is exempt from his comic cruelty.
Gervais wrapped up the evening admitting, “I know it’s wrong. It’s all wrong!” Yes, I thought, it’s wrong—and funny. “Nice liberal crowd,” Gervais said. “That’s why I only go to N.Y. and L.A.” I hope that means he’ll be back soon.
Photograph courtesy rickygervais.com