The world really needs Ricky Gervais right now. Someone who can cut through the mire, tell it like it is, and make people laugh while doing so.
Thankfully the British comedian has obliged by making his long anticipated return to the world of stand-up with Humanity after a seven-year gap. Much has changed during this time, though, and during my recent chat with Gervais he admitted that being able to examine and probe this “completely different attitude” was an allure.
“The really good thing about leaving it is that the world has changed in that seven years. I think it has been received with a completely different attitude. It’s great that it is called Humanity, I named it five years ago, but there wasn’t a better year to do a stand-up show. I think because of what has happened in the world it has given everyone a wake-up call. First Brexit shocked everyone. And then Trump shocked everyone.”
As you can imagine Gervais had some rather strong opinions about Trump, admitting that the current Commander In Chief’s endless array of outrageous comments have increased his own political involvement.
“I think more young people are involved in politics. Me, I was never involved in politics, and I haven’t stopped talking about it for six months. Because I can’t get over it. I am astounded at what this man says that’s in charge of the free world. It really does blow me away. It’s confusing. Everyone has had to grow up a little bit. It feels like the early 80s, when everyone was worried about nuclear holocaust and extreme distance in equality. It seems like that feeling again.”
Gervais didn’t stop there, though. “The Office,” “Extras,” and “Derek” creator also went on to criticise Trump’s attack on the so called liberal Hollywood elite.
“It is something I am accused of. If I say something a little bit liberal then I get, ‘Yeah, well you live in Beverly Hills, Hampstead, and the Upper East Side. Come here and then you won’t like it.’ Sometimes they have a point. Some people do live in a bubble. That is something else that the show deals with it.”
“There are some people that are out of touch, and they haven’t lived a real life. That’s not me. I didn’t have any money until I was 40. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. And that’s what’s really weird. Because Donald Trump can barely accuse an actor of being a member of the liberal elite when he lives in a gold plated house, because he hasn’t done a day’s work in life.”
However, while Ricky Gervais was happy to reveal his true feelings regarding Trump and the current political landscape in our conversation, he insisted that it doesn’t really come up in Humanity as he didn’t want to just rely on having his audience agree with him.
“Traditionally [on stage] I have been saying the wrong thing, things that the real me doesn’t think. Having said that I do keep politics out of the show. Especially party politics. I think if you are relying on the audience because they are agreeing with your politics I think you are losing something comedically. I don’t like it from either side. The joke has to stand up on its own merit.”
You’ll be able to see if Ricky Gervais’ material does just that when he performs Humanity at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday October 25.