Gervais vs. Shandling
Who doesn’t love Ricky Gervais? Garry Shandling, that’s who. As evidenced by this cringe-inducing interview, where the pair uncomfortably trade tales of developing material for television. And then take passive-aggressive swipes at each other.
The whole premise behind the “Ricky Gervais Meets…” series for Channel 4, was having an unscripted meeting between Gervais and the TV comedy greats who influenced him. The reason you’ve never heard of this series before, is because it was aborted after the third episode. An unnamed souce claims that Gervais gave up on the series, because “the Shandling experience put him off for good.”
OK. So what happened? Well, for starters Shandling doesn’t have a high appreciation for Ricky’s comedic sensibility. So he confront Gervais on the racist/homophobic/disability jokes that appear in his shows. When Ricky defends poor-taste humor as a comedic device to make audiences feel awkward, an unconvinced Shandling just dismisses Gervais as someone who enjoys making awful jokes at someone’s expense.
To his credit, Gervais then continues to do just that. Rather than side-step the issue, he spends the rest of the interview saying further intentionally awkward statements to exacerbate Shandling. A classic is when Garry Shanding agrees with Ricky’s appraisal of Jewish humor, saying it’s essentially “…complaining, in a funny way.” To which Gervais adds, that if complaining wasn’t done in a funny way, “…it wouldn’t be humor. It’d just be Jewish”
The long, silent stare that follows is great. Shandling later quips that Gervais doesn’t seem comfortable hiring anyone Jewish to work on his shows. Which is said at one of the many abrupt moments where someone stands up, like they’re about to walk out of the interview. The best of these moments is the last minute of video, where Shandling unclips his mic and tells the producer “Sorry. Did the best I could…” and that they should have enough to edit with.
Now Gervais just started up a new HBO show that retreads his old podcasts with some basic animation. However, we can’t watch The Ricky Gervais Show after just penning the extremely negative HATEBOMB: Reboots, Remakes and Rip-offs. So instead of watching anymore repurposed material, just check out the YouTube clips below.
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