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The Genius of Ricky Gervais

Adrian Musolino
Adrian Musolino
Ricky Gervais

When you think of Hollywood, Ricky Gervais isn’t the first name that pops into mind and yet the self-described “fat man from Reading” is now a Hollywood leading man and one of its hottest tickets.

For the uninitiated, Ricky Gervais is one of the creators and star of The Office, the British, original and best version of the show along with the popular Extras series.

The Office was a cult hit and gave the late bloomer Gervias critical acclaim.

It was the antithesis of the modern sitcom, a beautifully made, true to life comedy with its base in everyday reality.

His radio show with his partner in crime, co-creator of The Office and Extras, Stephen Merchant and comedian Karl Pilkington has become a sensation, holding the record for the most downloaded podcast.

Extras further proved his genius with a stark look at the entertainment industry and the price some pay to strive for fame.

Extras showcased the stars uneasy relationship with fame and the notion of celebrity, a concept he rightly and refreshingly derides.

This is why Gervais and Hollywood seem on the surface to be unlikely bedfellows.

Hollywood is more renowned for blockbuster movies that appeal to the masses rather than the Gervias formula that purposely avoids mass appeal by staying so true to real life and avoiding exposure at any cost. For example, when Extras was launched, Gervais insisted it was to be shown on the lower profile BBC2 rather than the main BBC channel despite the networks desire to profit from the success of The Office.

Gervais is now the leading star of the Hollywood movie Ghost Town, a romantic comedy that on the surface wrecks of Hollywood and had loyal Gervais fans fearing Ricky had succumbed to the temptations of the famous town.

However, it seems Gervias has remained loyal to his comedic style with the movie fitting his own template rather than that of the typical Hollywood romantic comedy. It is Gervais as we have come to love him, sharp, witty and honest.

As a self-deprecating, middle aged, British comedian, one things for sure, Ricky Gervais is an unlikely Hollywood star.

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