Ricky Gervais Quotes
Here are a selection of the best Ricky Gervais Quotes.
‘I’m a lot taller than I look on television and younger, and for the role of David Brent, I wore a fat suit under my shirt and trousers. Really I’m about 25 and about 6′ 1″ tall. So that’s probably why you don’t recognise me in the street.’
‘I remember when we were talking to one of the executives at the BBC. And he said, “Now hold on, this man [David Brent] is so incompetent, why wouldn’t he be fired?’ and I said, “Go and take a look around this building. Just go and knock on a few doors.”‘
‘I’m not one of those people who think that comedy is your conscience taking a day off. My conscience never takes a day off and I can justify everything I do. There’s no line to be drawn in comedy in the sense that there are things you should never joke about. There’s nothing that you should never joke about, but it depends what that joke is. Comedy comes from a good or a bad place. The subject of a joke isn’t necessarily the target of the joke. You can make jokes about race without any race being the butt of the joke. Racism itself can be the butt, for example. When dealing with a so-called taboo subject, the angst and discomfort of the audience is what’s under the microscope. Our own preconceptions and prejudices are often what are being challenged. I don’t like racist jokes. Not because they are offensive. I don’t like them because they’re not funny. And they’re not funny because they’re not true. They are almost always based on a falsehood somewhere along the way, which ruins the gag for me. Comedy is an intellectual pursuit. Not a platform.’
‘Money gives me the creeps and mildly embarrasses me. I get paid too much anyway.’
‘I worked in an office for about seven years, and I’ve always been a people watcher. So when it came to writing it down, I just had a big bag of observations really about office life. And it’s not really about office life as such — it’s not about selling paper or politics of the office — it’s more about relationships. I think that’s why it’s sort of taken off around the world, ’cause the themes are big; you know, boy meets girl, a decent job of work, making a difference. It’s also a comedy about comedy, really. It’s about this guy who thinks he is funny and isn’t. He’s not a bad man, David Brent; I suppose he’s got a bit of a blind spot, and he’s a bit of a twit, but I suppose the worst thing he did was confuse popularity with respect. But yeah, it’s a show about people working in an office, trapped and wasting their life really. And it’s not a snobby look at white-collar 9-to-5 — one of the themes is sort of, if you don’t enjoy it, don’t sit there watching the clock ’til you’re 65 and go, “oh, f**k, I always meant to write a novel.” It’s quite sweet and sad at parts, quite existential, I think, but very funny, I think. But you’ll be the judge of that’
‘There’s a received wisdom in the U.K. that Americans don’t get irony. This is of course not true. But what is true is that they don’t use it all the time. It shows up in the smarter comedies but Americans don’t use it as much socially as Brits. We use it as liberally as prepositions in every day speech. We tease our friends. We use sarcasm as a shield and a weapon. We avoid sincerity until it’s absolutely necessary. We mercilessly take the piss out of people we like or dislike basically. And ourselves. This is very important. Our brashness and swagger is laden with equal portions of self-deprecation. This is our license to hand it out. This can sometimes be perceived as nasty if the recipients aren’t used to it. It isn’t. It’s play fighting. It’s almost a sign of affection if we like you, and ego bursting if we don’t. You just have to know which one it is.’
‘Oh, these actors who ask, “What’s my motivation?” all the time. Who cares? I’ll tell you what your motivation is: it’s the only thing you can do, and you’re getting paid to do it, so shut the hell up!’
‘I guess the biggest difference between the U.S. version and the U.K. version of “The US Office” (2005) reflected this. We had to make Michael Scott a slightly nicer guy, with a rosier outlook to life. He could still be childish, and insecure, and even a bore, but he couldn’t be too mean. The irony is of course that I think David Brent’s dark descension and eventual redemption made him all the more compelling. But I think that’s a lot more palatable in Britain for the reasons already stated. Brits almost expect doom and gloom so to start off that way but then have a happy ending is an unexpected joy. Network America has to give people a reason to like you not just a reason to watch you. In Britain we stop watching things like “Big Brother” (2000/II) when the villain is evicted. We don’t want to watch a bunch of idiots having a good time. We want them to be as miserable as us. America rewards up front, on-your-sleeve niceness. A perceived wicked streak is somewhat frowned upon.’
‘It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking. Or as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast.’
‘There’s nothing wrong with getting 20 million viewers, but I think there’s something wrong with aiming at getting 20 million viewers, because then you have to take away all the things that will offend, and you’ll end up with something so anodyne that it just washes over you for half an hour. I imagine “The Office”  was also one of the most hated shows on television, that some people passionately hated it. But that’s better, for me. David Bowie said that after Let’s Dance, which is his biggest album ever and obviously not his best, he was doing these stadium gigs and looked out at the audience and suddenly realised that he had Phil Collins fans instead of Iggy Pop fans. And that’s how I feel about everything I do: I want Iggy Pop fans.’
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