According to Wikipedia: “Ricky Dene Gervais (born 25 June 1961) is an English stand-up comedian, actor, writer, director, producer, and musician. He is perhaps best known for creating, writing and acting in the British television series The Office (2001–2003). He has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, two Emmy Awards, three Golden Globe Awards and the Rose d’Or twice (2006 and 2019), as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination. In 2007, he was placed at No. 11 on Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups and at No. 3 on the updated 2010 list. In 2010, he was named on the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people. Gervais initially worked in the music industry, attempting a career as a pop star in the 1980s as the singer of the new-wave act Seona Dancing and working as the manager of the then unknown band Suede before turning to comedy. Gervais appeared on The 11 O’Clock Show on Channel 4 between 1998 and 2000, garnering a reputation as a blunt and often controversial social critic. In 2000, he was given a Channel 4 spoof talk show, Meet Ricky Gervais. He achieved greater mainstream fame the following year with his BBC television mock documentary series The Office. It was followed by Extras in 2005. He co-wrote and co-directed both programmes with Stephen Merchant. In addition to writing and directing the shows, he played the lead roles of David Brent in The Office and Andy Millman in Extras. He reprised his role as Brent in 2016 comedy film David Brent: Life on the Road”.
He has come to my attention for of his remarkable “performance” hosting this year’s Hollywood Golden Globe awards. I have to confess my views up to yesterday on Ricky Gervais have been mixed. When I first come across him as the star of The Office I was completely taken in for a couple of weeks thinking it really was another fly on the wall documentary, which was his BBC television mock documentary series The Office, I was completely taken in, thinking it was for real, for such was the brilliance of a man, who is more than a comedian. I have to confess, he made me laugh a lot (and still does) with his sense of irony and understanding of the human psyche. On the other hand he is a liberal who can be crude with his language and cruel in his put downs of others. In hosting of the Global Globe awards, we saw Ricky Gervais at his best. He said things many of us think but few have the courage to say, and all at Hollywood’s expense, and arguably without telling jokes.
It seems to me that in the present culture wars that Hollywood has in the main been on the wrong side of it from many different angles (but I will name two), and they influence far more than they ought (because they are hypocrites and wrong) and kudos to Ricky for pointing this out. I confess, I have not heard of Rose McGowan before now but when I checked out an article: “Rose McGowan’s bragging abortion moment” it occurred to me – here we go again – someone using her star status etc. to speak evil. And talking of evil, and just at a time when up to recently one of Hollywood’s elite, Harvey Weinstein, goes on trial for rape, we are reminded of the egregious sex and child related crimes that had up to recently gone unchecked that Hollywood has covered up over many years.
For a full transcript of Ricky’s amazing opening speech – see here. No jokes, but incredibly insightful as it exposed assorted hypocrisy and subtly brought to light all sorts of Hollywood misdeeds. For an example of one who thinks he was wrong to do so – see here. For Piers Morgan’s glowing endorsement – see here. For what fellow comedien, Jonathan Pie has to say on the subject – see here. As for me, while I have reservations at some of his crass comments and use of expletives, I thought Ricky was brilliant and I award him my 2020 so far champagne moment award! All this was done with the caveat: I’m an a-political comedian, lets all have a laugh. Sadly, the elegance and class we once expected from such events has long gone though.
Whether or not Hollywood takes heed of Ricky’s comments, I doubt it, given its hyperflated sense of self-importance, its lack of moral backbone and spiritual capacity, its propensity to self serve and virtue signal and the fear of individuals of demotion from within its pyramid hierarchy if speaking out of turn, but I am heartened that the push to drain the wider swamp has received a much welcomed boost and an ally in the person of the unlikely Ricky Gervais.