Ricky Gervais' Science
Genre: Stand-Up Comedy
Starring: Ricky Gervais
Now, in the past I've been known to make light of this comedians abilities to produce humour; his rapid rise to fame through “The Office” being one of those avenues of comedy I never really managed to find myself a part of, and yet within a few years he's managed to juggle his live performances with a plethora of TV and film work which has served to boost is now almost insufferable ego. He's also received criticism from those who disapprove of many of the topics he finds himself covering, not afraid to speak his mind in mocking the overweight and disabled and not backing down from the politically incorrect manner he does so, but this is one of the main things I commend him for, and – particularly when he's given free reign in his own live performances – is the major reason I still watch his work.
Oddly, my usual complaints that his arrogance is plain annoying doesn't seem so prevalent. Perhaps it was my mental preparations; my expectation that at some point he'll harp on about his success, the fact he hadn't noticed the recession and throw out jokes that belittle his audience – and indeed he does, opening by calling everyone in the audience scum, and shortly afterwards telling them they're all a bunch of cunts – whilst deifying himself, but for whatever reason I could look past this. What I really struggled with, however, was staying conscious to see the end of this fetid and stale show of slowly rotting subject matter. The title, “Science,” has next to nothing to do with the actual show; it's as though he just thought it'd be fun to have a fake brain on stage and chose it on whim and then thought about what he was going to talk about, and this is just the icing on the cake.
I'd call his humour bland and childish but as always there is a degree of subjectivity when dealing with comedy. His favourite joke remains that of saying something offensive before literally responding to himself with 'what did I just say?' and looking coy, like a man in his late forties still pretending to be that 9 year old child determined to provoke a response from the adults in the room. Coming in at a close second would be various minor events that have happened whilst he was out, stretched out beyond belief and usually ending up with him telling us what witty comeback he came up with too late and cackling as if to say “you thought that might have been going somewhere didn't you?” His material doesn't even feel original; he re-visits his old topic of fat people, re-does his “Genesis” sketch instead mocking the far easier tale of Noah's Ark and spends a good 15 minutes quoting “Karl Pilkington.” Failing to even come close to evoking a single laugh from my lips, quite frankly I'm surprised I managed to succeed in staying awake.