In conversation with Ricky Gervais: on ‘Humanity’, offensiveness and the future of David Brent

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Ricky Gervais’ 'Humanity' has just hit Netflix. NME caught up with the man behind The Office and Extras to speak about the stand-up special, offensiveness, Piers Morgan, and the future of his beloved comedy character David Brent.

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A little soy has large breasts the . little soy is perfect for one cup so its . enemy with ricky gervais so we're going . to talk about the netflix comedy special . humanity so we've got the show has jokes . about aids cancer rape air crashes . transgender issues dead babies the . holocaust which begs the question what . did you decide not to include well it's . a good point i mean i do deal in taboo . subjects for a reason i guess but italy . in this show because this this show is . about free speech and offense and um and . the reason i've always doubt into moose . subs is because you sort of want to take . the audience to places it hasn't been . before you don't know anything you know . um anodyne or say for that's been done a . thousand times before so the so called . subjects that people think aren't ripe . for comedy or shouldn't be joked about . that's exactly where i want to go to . prove them wrong because as i say in the . show but both explicitly and implicitly. that there's no subject you shouldn't . joke about it depends on the joke so i . am i try and see the funny side though . being said it was it was a very votes . was really reject it was it was a big . kind of islam bit i don't i don't go for . i don't go for things that personal . tragedy i don't you know i don't really . go for things that people can't help so . even though i do a joke about race it. won't be racist yeah and i think that's . the people don't realize i think or you . know that the reason this is a taboo . subject is often it's unfair or it's . horrible or it's oppressive or you know . all those things but to talk about the . subject . of oppression and all is it's fine it's . like i've had many times people . discussing a joke i've told on the radio . and and i think well you're discussing . it but so am i i'm just doing it in the . form of a joke and i think people . automatically if a comedian tells a joke . about a bad subject they're coming down . on the wrong side or they're laughing at . the tragedy or they're you know laughing . at the victim and and and i hope i never . am so i i do do it on purpose . it's not like i sit around all the time . not showing a family or a organza it's . like you know and comedy is an. intellectual pursuit and so if you deal . with those stories that are very emotive . if they better be a good joke and you . better have the right target and you . better do it well and there better be a . discussion otherwise who cares i mean it . is too easy to just go and offend and . then go as a joke and i don't do that i . in fact too often i do defend my jokes . and i do explain them because i want . people to know what i'm doing really and . that's and that's sort of been paid back . because i think this is my best show and . i've maybe because i'm more mature i'm. better at it and i think i am but mainly . because the audience know me now so i . can hit the ground running . i can i can push even further because . they get you have the irony now and the . satire in there and that was harder to. begin with it's better especially when . people play kind of conflicted you with . some of your characters and didn't know . where i was and even loved me in with . some people that do do that there are . just trying to hurt people's feelings . and you know clickbait or trolls or or . whatever and we know we mean but i've . i've never really been doing that you . know that often the the target of the . joke is the prejudice i'm spoofing or me . or the audience or on that notes or old . friend piers morgan said in one of his . so he's been to see your show and uri . does his little diary column he said . he said it's about the modern malaise of . absurdly oversensitive snowflakes that. wallow in permanent offence and. victimhood fueled by pc crazy social . media well as he missed the point on the . velvet i mean that is a part of it and . you know i i have always done that i . have i have always been a champion of . free speech and and that's a big part of. this free speech but again i don't want . to just be lumped in those people to say . it's pc gone mad because i did wonder if . you do you might slightly miss some of . it that you know i think it has missed . it but i don't think he has missed the . point but there there is a footnote in . the fact that i think political . correctness per se is a good thing you . know there's a reason why political . correctness happened it was to kick out . the old guard of people who were racist . and sexist and oppressive and but then . like all good things it was sort of . mugged and people's and it's worth i . can't say the n-word anymore then you . can't do write it so like all that all . those things that started well that they . sometimes get lost and mugged and . diffused and confused so i would say i . am a lefty liberal snowflake politically . correct person you know but and i don't . i don't like in the last couple of years . that it is the right that are . championing the freedom of speech yeah. again some people use that as an excuse . to be nasty too painful but you know um . what can you do you've opened our . netflix presumably solids them for many . thousand pounds were you thinking we'll . joke's on there because you can put it . on bbc probably has well how many people . could have released this you know i . don't think it's it's any more . provocative or offensive or taboo . crunching than any of my others um and . they went out on you know i had two . special hbo and they went on dvd and i . think only two of them were . 18:1 was 15 right um that's because they . explicit new to see hospital yeah . exactly exactly that the the gun . violence but no it's netflix is the . thing to be i mean even when i did my . hbo specials the last one was about six . years ago i mean that was the holy grail . but netflix come along and they can't . even compete now with netflix they . haven't got the the money or the viewers . in a netflix this incredible global. model with with deep pockets and and the . sky's the limit you know they've got a . hundred and seven million subscribers so . it was it's a no brainer with the with . the demise of dvd i've been very very. lucky that i've hit the peak in all the . right places you know i remember when . the office came out it was just the end . of vhs and you know the dvd ever went. out at dvd everyone bought five dvds . yeah you know and and then you know hbo . was the holy grail of specials and and . and now it's netflix opportunistic . research that so surf to the changing . formats then well there's not there's . not have boxes of alts most under . special dvds and once they come to you . you know i mean they sort of did i'd . have to be living under a rock to not to . have seen netflix happening yeah and . again i haven't changed the art form i . haven't changed the genre they just . pander to the way people watch things . which was binge watching now even if i . just watch them on hbo now game of . thrones. i don't watch it i save them up right . i've got up at least six i won't watch . them but i go it's next week now i'll . save up on bbc four and sky atlantic and . i spear and you know the last two years . three years i have a watched tv. i have watch terrestrial tv you know . i've watched netflix on itunes or what. were presents. i've watched nothing but european. scandic crime thrillers you know i'm . watching no bad at the moment which is a . political thriller from norway i just . finished before we die which is a . swedish. thing on war percent before that it was . third series of gomorrah . before that it was dark german series i . know you know i had there's no reason to . sit and flick going this will rubbish . you know i don't turn the telly on . unless it's to go to netflix wait i'm . sorry so so so yeah netflix netflix is. now listen that netflix is tv yeah why . does he much it's been seven years since . last kind of stand-up show that you did . sort of six seven years you kind of said . that you feel like you got better on it . you didn't come into stand-up as a. stand-up comedian first did you well i . think no i didn't know um i hadn't done . stand-up when i started doing showed . this i started off on radio and when i . was on radio i wasn't even meant to be a . presenter oh so i just popped up i was a . head of speech on xfm and i was meant to . write things for the dj's everything . from new stories to funny story you know . that sort and i just i was so lazy that . i said i said i'd do it myself so i pop . up on you know four shows throughout the . day and i got a call from channel 4 so . and we starting a new series comedians . they thought was a comedian . they didn't realize was a bloke who . worked there and that was the 11 o'clock . show yeah and so i did my character was . like a stand-up which i wrote on the day . and it was a like a news reader that . gave his own opinion i'd always thought . of that and that when newsreaders you . know got handed this terrible news and . they just they just read it cold right . and i'd be going hey so i did that guy . and i made in that sort of them that . sort of right wing boy who you know said . the wrong thing you know like you need . staff it was me real stories of the day . like i'm just nurses to striking firm or . palin i go make me laugh and i'd go off . on nurses like a loca like an afghani or . a yep jeremy clarkson you know i mean so . that was that was . and i think i think people didn't some . people got it but some people it was his . own name and i thought what is it does . he think like this and then i got did . meet with your baiis where i go in and . out of character and it was it really . confused people and then the office came . out and they are that's a character it's . a character and even stand up it's still . the persona i still carried that on a . little bit it's a brusha more confident . version of me and when you deal with .
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