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Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais is PETA’s Person of the Year

ricky gervais

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, otherwise known as PETA, apparently has a “Person of the Year” award that they give out and for 2013, they’ve decided to bestow the honour upon Ricky Gervais. Is he a vegetarian? Not that that’s a stipulation of the prize, but one would think… In any case, he’s been given the award because he’s spoken out against animal cruelty a lot… on Twitter. Apparently his comments about animals have been retweeted over 92,000 times this year, which makes him a pretty key player in the Twitter activism game. I jest.

“Ricky Gervais makes sure that animals have their say, tweet, growl or roar on Twitter,” said PETA Managing Director Ingrid E Newkirk.

“He finds humor in most things, but cruelty to animals isn’t one of them. As he says himself, ‘Animals are not here for us to do as we please with. We are not their superiors, we are their equals. We are their family. Be kind to them’.”

Fair enough. I’m all for treating animals kindly. I love my dog and if anyone ever hurt him, I would hurt them, so I get the sentiment. I do think PETA is kinda awful, but I suppose they mean well, so since it’s Christmas, I’ll just wish a hearty congratulations to all.

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Ricky Gervais And David Bowie: A Friendship Based On Sarcasm

ricky gervais 1980s

Ricky Gervais bragged about his friendship with David Bowie in the latest issue of GQ, and I don’t blame him. If I was friends with David Bowie, I would make sure that everyone knew about it. I would be tweeting that shit nonstop. And judging from the above photo of Gervais from the 1980′s when he was in a new wave band, he’s clearly been a Bowie fan for a while, and being his friend is probably a little bit of a dream come true. So yeah, Mr. Gervais talked about his friendship with The Bowie, and it sounds like a match made in sarcasm heaven. From GQ via NME:

[On what they talk about] Music and comedy…I think I might have said what a huge fan I was. And I think he liked my stuff…I got him to do a little thing in Extras. I remember we went round his flat, and it’s exactly as you’d expect it to be – just beautiful and tasteful and modern, and there’s this wonderful statue. And I went, ‘Oh, that’s amazing’.

The first time he buzzed me in [to his flat], the concierge called up and said, “Mr Jones?” Of course he’s Mr. Jones! He’s not fucking David Bowie! I met David Jones. [Bowie's legal name is David Robert Jones.]

He’s been a musical hero of mine for 30 years. When I called him up [to guest star on Gervais' Extras] and I’d written ‘Little Fat Man’, I said, ‘Have you got the lyrics?’ and he went, “Yeah.” I said, ‘Can you do something quite retro, like ‘Life on Mars?’?’ And he went [deadpan], “Oh, of course, yeah, sure. I’ll knock off a quick ‘Life On Mars?’, shall I?

OH, BOWIE! Aside from hanging out with Gervais, Mr. David Robert Jones is doing pretty well for himself. His latest album is a hit, even if some Catholics are mad at him.

Here’s the video for the “Little Fat Man” segment Gervais mentioned.


Ricky Gervais Explains Why He’s Funny

Photo: Ricky Gervais

Ugh, the headline is needlessly snarky, I know. What I meant to type was, “Ricky Gervais explains the differences between American and British humor, and then goes on to explain why he’s funny.”

Gervais penned the column for Time, and it’s well worth reading (boy howdy, I’ve started saying that a lot about Ricky Gervais, sorry).

You can probably guess a lot of the differences in humor styles without ever reading the column—Americans are a little unsubtle, a little hamhanded, and much less into “embarrassment comedy” than our friends across the pond are—but Gervais goes on to describe the cultural differences in manners.

In my three extremely short jaunts to England (I know I’ve typed about this once before here at Evil Beet, but for the life of me I can’t remember its context), I noted that my chronic over-warmth was met with a certain amount of suspicion. And then I finally figured it out: what we in the U.S. call “politeness” can ring “inauthentic” elsewhere. In turn, I think it’s too easy for us folksy-folks to equate the British idea of “gracious” with “brittle.”

It took me a long time to acknowledge the benefits of not being overfamiliar with strangers: small-town, down-home hospitality can seem disingenuous and totally out of place, especially in a big city where it’s better to be aloof and skeptical of friendliness than to be scammed, robbed, and beaten in an alley by your new BFF. Sorry if that sounds cynical! But there’s a lot to be said for respecting personal space and boundaries, OK.

Gervais expounds on this cultural difference very nicely:

Americans say “have a nice day” whether they mean it or not. Brits are terrified to say this. We tell ourselves it’s because we don’t want to sound insincere but I think it might be for the opposite reason. We don’t want to celebrate anything too soon. Failure and disappointment lurk around every corner. This is due to our upbringing. Americans are brought up to believe they can be the next president of the United States. Brits are told, “it won’t happen for you.”

How bleak! Maybe it has something to do with all that gray—err, “grey”—weather you guys have over there.

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