Science (Ricky Gervais)

Gervais - ScienceI suppose this is closest to a TV show so under television it is. After an elaborate voiced introduction, on he pads – in trademark black jeans and T-shirt, cheesy grin at the ready. The set resembles a mock-up of Frankenstein’s laboratory – with a brain in a vat, and various tubes bubbling away – but this show has about as much to do with Science as Mother Teresa had to do with tap-dancing.

Between swigs of lager, Gervais imparts laid-back observations that, in large part, feel like genetically modified ingredients from previous shows. He takes a pop at Britain’s Got Talent judge Amanda Holden for lacking talent and has a big go at fat people for being fat. Much mockery is directed at a naive children’s book about Noah’s Ark. We also hear, among other things, about his annoyance at being given a goat intended for an African family at Christmas – and the ridiculousness of taking issue with gay marriage.

To me he came across as being egotistical and intolerant of other people. His rants about obese people went on far too long and came across as completely lacking any empathy. He simplified obesity as just people eating more calories than they burn off. Which is true in its simplest form but ignore the emotional side. He then had a go at autograph hunters (“the first thing you notice is their body odour”…) in a very derogatory way, many of whom I am sure have bought his DVDs and been to his shows, thus increasing his wealth and fame.

Some people have accused Gervais of  copying jokes from old school comedians from America. These people believe Ricky will just assume his younger fans will never know. I’m not aware of enough stand up comedy to accurately gauge if these allegations are true. Highlights include his take on how Oscar Wilde decided to give his infamous quote “nothing but my genius” was extremely funny, and rather reminiscent of the fantastic observational comedy that gained his first two shows such plaudits. Ricky is also very good at taking the mickey out of Africa, gays, God. You name it.

But overall the whole thing is a pack of mildly amusing anecdotes you might tell bored buddies at the pub. Perhaps that’s the appeal – we get to feel like part of the inner circle for a bit. But good stand-up entails making more of an effort than this. “I know there’s a recession on, someone told me, I hadn’t noticed,” Gervais deadpans in front of cash-strapped fans. I can see how many people despise Ricky for looking down on his audience, but then modern comedy is supposed to be offensive. You could do worse than buy this DVD.



  1. Agreed, Gervais is a smug bastard really isn’t he? Ha ha! I can attest that his stand-up DVDs are entertaining and, even if he isn’t totally your thing, can be rather pleasant when put on in the background while you’re doing other things (like doing the dishes etc). A great and accurate review as always, thanks for sharing. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your line about doing the dishes, lol! 🙂


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