Ricky gervais

Ricky Gervais is an achingly conventional Millennial posing as a naughty maverick

Just how edgy and dangerous is Ricky Gervais? There is no one more edgy and dangerous, we learn from no less an authority than one R. Gervais. He keeps reminding you of this at intervals in his latest stand-up special, for which he was reputedly paid $20 million (to go with the other $20 million Netflix paid him for its predecessor). Every few sketches, he’ll announce to his live audience that this one was so offensive there’s just no way Netflix is going to broadcast it. But Netflix has done just that – and yet, quite incredibly, neither it nor Gervais has been cancelled. Funny that. What this suggests to

Ricky Gervais is guilty of blasphemy

I have long thought that if Life of Brian came out today, it wouldn’t be Christians kicking up a fuss about it — it would be trans activists. When Monty Python’s classic tale of a man mistaken for a Messiah came to cinemas in 1979, people of faith weren’t happy. They saw it as taking the mick out of Christ and they aired their displeasure noisily. Nuns in New York picketed cinemas. In Ireland the film was banned for eight years. In 2022 I reckon it would be a very different story. It wouldn’t be Monty Python’s ribbing of the gospels that would outrage the chattering classes — it would

Spare us Frankie Boyle’s lecture on offensive comedy

Frankie Boyle is complaining about offensive comedy. In a year of firsts and unprecedented moments, I’m not sure anyone could have seen this one coming. The Glaswegian comic had a pop at Ricky Gervais in a podcast interview with Louis Theroux recently. Boyle said Gervais’s recent routines about transgenderism were ‘lazy’, and claimed he wasn’t even a real stand-up. ‘I would like him to have the same respect for trans people as he seems to have for animals’, Boyle intoned, nodding to Gervais’s passion for animal rights. ‘I don’t think that’s a lot to ask.’ In his 2018 stand-up special, Humanity, Gervais ripped into the idea of gender self-identification, with