Ricky Gervais is friends with Louis CK, who is friends with Chris Rock, who is friends with Jerry Seinfeld. Put these four friends together in a room and let them talk shop for 50 minutes about comedy. That's not a show about nothing. That's Talking Funny, which premieres tonight on HBO.
It opens mid-conversation, just like Showtime's The Green Room with Paul Provenza. But unlike that series, this is a one-time affair, without a studio audience or a moderator. Just four famous funny men, well, talking funny. And talking about the business of being funny. Is that going to be funny?
Of course it is. And not just because they're all established comedians. Let's take a look at an extended peek:
Among the other observations they make about their art:
Gervais acknowledges that he got into stand-up to prove that he had earned his keep as a comedian after the success of The Office. Seinfeld alleges that stand-up comedians are the most criticized and judged people, because of the feedback they receive after every joke, and argues that professional critics shouldn't judge comedy unless they know what it is to write "the act." There's talk about cursing, easy laughs, and the clip above leads into a discussion about slurs. They get into an extended riff after Louis CK says he still remembers a singing comic who bombed 25 years ago. Seinfeld recounts an old bit of his about Superman in which he realized the bit only worked because he had used the F-word, and now he doesn't swear at all onstage.
"I sort of disguise jokes. I don't really make jokes. I think of a joke as the minimum amount of words to get to a punchline." -- Ricky Gervais
"That's the problem with so many of these young guys, they think it's all attitude. But it's got to have jokes under this weird persona, under your crazy glasses, under your crazy voice. Whatever gimmick you have. Henny Youngman has to have something to do with it," Chris Rock said. To which Seinfeld added: "You can put all kind of furniture, but you have to have steel in the walls."
Louis CK says that in recent years, he has used his strongest closer as his new opener to force him to write good jokes, prompting Seinfeld to tell Rock, "You see how this kid got good?" There's some mutual love among these guys, and in this first trailer for the screener, you can see that. Roll the clip.
At first, some viewers of this clip wondered if CK was going to call out Seinfeld for doing his bit. But in context, Seinfeld was doing CK's bit, after telling him how much he loved that bit. CK's actual response: "That's a completely Seinfeld-ed version of my joke. You made it nice."
Similarly, in this discussion on early bits, CK and Seinfeld learn that they both used to joke about the grammar and interpretation of street signs. I can think of several other comedians who have plumbed these shallow waters, too. To parallel thinking!
The special ends with them jokingly delivering promos for the 50 minutes. But you already know you should watch this. If you're a comedian. If you're an aspiring comedian. If you're a fan of comedy. If you like to laugh. This may be HBO, but it's also must-see TV.
If you were on the Internet at all in the past week, then you already had learned that Ricky Gervais filmed a short cameo as David Brent, the character that catapulted him and The Office to stardom, to appear in the American version alongside Steve Carell's Michael Scott. Gervais confirmed it a week ago to Piers Morgan on CNN, but said he wished it had been a surprise.
I do, too.
Knowing it's coming builds up your expectations for something special. Not knowing makes the surprise itself special, adding to your enjoyment. But since that was out of the way, what did you think? The scene opened the episode, completely without context. We don't know where they are, or why they're there. Did we need to know that, though? All we see is a hallway and an elevator, as David Brent emerges and meets Michael Scott. Needless to say, they hit it off, as they're two peas in a cluelessly offensive pod. If you haven't seen it yet, or just want to see it again, here it is. Short and sweet.
Roll the clip!
Gervais agreed to reprise his role as a gesture to Carell to honor him before he leaves the show later this season.
Slightly related: Will Ferrell also has agreed to appear in four episodes this season to help say goodbye to Carell's Michael Scott. Consider this the show's own big bang theory?
Following his second turn hosting the Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais helped out fellow ex-pat Brit Piers Morgan by granting him an interview, as played last night on CNN.
Gervais wasn't the least bit apologetic about his roasting of Hollywood and the HFPA during the Globes -- and why should he be? Isn't that what a good comedian is supposed to do at one of these things. As Morgan found out, Gervais did relay one really great tip about awards shows: Since every 10 minutes, three or four more audience members become losers, the room really becomes that much harder the longer into the show you go.
Roll a clip!
Here are some rules of thumb for comedy that Gervais dished out last night, as told chronologically during the hour. These are not all of the rules, naturally. But he made some solid points that ring true, whether you're doing your first paid weekend gig or hosting a big televised ceremony. On with it then:
1) "My main aim isn't to shock people, at all," he said. "I want to make people laugh. I want to do a good job. But on my terms, really. It's not a popularity contest with me. If someone said, 'Oh, you could make that joke more palatable. More people would like you.' I'd go, 'That's not my joke then.' I do this for me, really. And I think you have to be true to yourself."
2) "They hired me for a job and if they didn't want me, they shouldn't have hired me."
3) "No one has the right not to be offended. And don't forget, just because you're offended, it doesn't mean you're in the right. A lot of people are offended by mixed marriage. It doesn't mean they're right."
4) "There's nothing you shouldn't joke about. It depends what the joke is. Comedy comes from a good or a bad place. And I like to think that mine comes from a good place. You know, when you see my stand-up, on the face of it, I'm talking about taboo subjects, but they're to get me to a position. They're to get the audience to a place they haven't been before."
5) "I think a comedian's job isn't just to make people laugh, I think it's to make people think."
6) "I think with comedy you should have no prejudices. As soon as you have prejudices, it falls down comedically. Comedy is an intellectual pursuit. Comedy appeals to the intellect, not the emotional. As soon as you go emotional, it stops being funny. It starts being rallying. That's why a real racist joke isn't funny, because it's not true. And someone in the audience is going, 'Well, he's having a go at something that I can't help. You have a go at things that people do. If someone goes crazy, and trashes a hotel room, talk about it. But you don't talk about their sexuality, or the color of their skin."
7) On the Globes and awards: "It's also the worst room for a comic, because, Jerry Seinfeld said he'd never do an awards show, because they're not there to be made to laugh, they're there to see if they've won an award. And of course, as it goes on, with everyone that wins, three people lost. So it's exponential that people would go, 'I don't care anymore!'"
8) "My strategy is to make me laugh. If there's anyone in the world like me, that's a bonus. I'm very Darwinist about this. You do your own thing, and then you see if you survive. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Because if you start second-guessing and you're trying to find people that are like you or are changing to make certain people like you, you're finished, and you're finished as a comedian, more than any 0ther thing in the world. You know. It's not my job to worry about what people think of me. That's a job for a politician. I don't care what people think of me. I care that I've done a good job, and I care that I've told the truth. If it's funny, what a great bonus that is."
9) On mocking/roasting the rich and famous: "I'm not judging them. I'm not judging them for what they did. I'm confronting the elephant in the room. They hired me. Like I'm going to go out there, and not talk about the issues in their industry. I've got to be an outsider there. I mustn't come out there as everyone's mate, and schmooze. That's nauseating. I've got to come out there, and I've got to roast them."
Gervais also defended his last-second joke about being an atheist by thanking God at the end of the Globes telecast. Here's how he explained it to Morgan:
10) "If you start trying to be cool and sexy, you've lost it. You've just lost it, certainly as a comedian. You must never take yourself too seriously."
11) On opinion versus fact: "If you got me here and said, Ricky, I didn't find you funny. I've never found you funny. You've got an annoying face. I've never liked you. I'd say, that's fine. But if you say, and I saw you eating a squirrel in the park. I'd go, no no no, no you didn't. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but they're not entitled to their own facts."
12) "As a comedian, what you try and do is be as funny onstage, or on a telly, or in a film, as you are in a pub with people you know and trust and drink with."
Well, well, well. We all can agree that Ricky Gervais acted like a guy who didn't want to be hosting the Golden Globes, at least not in the way that Hollywood (and particularly the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) expects its hosts to play nice. But was he funny?
Let's go to the videotape. Just joking. Nobody uses videotape in 2011. Let's go to the official online clips!
In his monologue, Gervais didn't stick the landing on the opening Charlie Sheen joke, but as soon as he started in on The Tourist, the audible gasp of hundreds of rich, famous, beautiful people sucking the air out of the room meant that Gervais had everyone's attention from then on. Cut to joke victim Johnny Depp. He's smiling. Phew. Where's Cher? Not there? OK. Everyone's laughing. Sex and the City 2? Even Mr. Big is smiling and nodding in approval. A Scientology joke -- the Scientology joke -- followed by the tag: "My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke." And then the Hugh Hefner jokes, followed by the act-out on the line "just don't look at it when you touch it." This was all happening live on network television (NBC) at 8 p.m. on a Sunday -- 7 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Pacific! Wow. Now that's some ballsy talk. About balls.
But Gervais was only getting started. When he introduced Eva Longoria to introduce the HFPA president, Philip Berk, Gervais said of the man in charge: "That's nothing. I just had to help him off the toilet and pop his teeth in." Berk's retort? "And Ricky, next time you want me to help you qualify one of your movies, go to another guy." Then he smiled and turned quickly toward Gervais. Still friends? Is this how the game is played? Or is there a backlash a brewing?
Gervais was gentler when introducing Alec Baldwin and Jennifer Lopez, saying: "He's Alec from the Rock. She's just Jenny from the block. If the block in question is that one on Rodeo Drive between Cartier and Prada." That's a gentle gibe, right?
Gervais hit hard in this introduction: "But many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail. Ladies and gentleman, Robert Downey Jr." Everyone seemed to think Robert Downey Jr. handled Gervais best by getting in a quick quip, saying: "Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far, wouldn't you?" RDJ then launched into his own bit, which was equally ribald, suggesting he have/had sex with each of the best actress nominees.
But wait. There was much more...
Ricky Gervais is a beloved comedian here in America and also in the U.K. for knowing just how to tiptoe across the line into offensive humor without being so offensive as to lose our love for him (see: The Office, Extras, his podcasts, his hosting/presenting riffs on awards shows).
In a proper stand-up set, however improper Gervais may set out to be, he still has some work to do if he wants to match the quality and longevity of his good friend Louis CK, let alone any of the other true greats in stand-up comedy. Gervais already certainly has adopted CK's casual fashion sense, taking to the stage in Chicago (taped this September) in a black V-neck T-shirt, loose-fitting black pants and sneakers.
The material covers virtually the same territory as "Science," which is what this fourth hour from Gervais is called in Britain and available on sale already there on DVD. And I'd seen much of it a year ago when Gervais played Carnegie Hall. But for HBO, he has called it "Out of England 2" (airing several times through the end of January 2011, and also on HBO On Demand) with big English and American flags onstage, and mascots paired up on a podium that also conceals a large can of Foster's beer for Gervais to sip from between bits.
Here's a clip of Gervais explaining himself, with snippets from the act:
As I'd observed in November 2009, Gervais clarified that he'd never tell an off-color joke about children to pedophiles. His philosophy on stand-up comedy: "There's a social contract between the two parties that neither of us are really like that."
But he also really likes to have a laugh at the idea of taking you into those sick places, usually accompanied or topped off by one of his not-yet-trademarked cackles.
And he is quick to acknowledge that he is fully aware of how success has changed him -- thanking the audience for paying to see him during a recession that "really didn't affect me, if I'm being honest," then cackling. Or joking about how that volcanic ash cloud from Iceland had impacted travel plans around the world, forcing Gervais to hire a helicopter so he could make it to a gig in Dublin -- "It cost me 12,000 pounds, just because I couldn't bear to let anyone down. Or take the ferry."
He also has gotten into better shape in 2010, and when the audience applauds him for losing 20 pounds, Gervais uses that opportunity to remind them he was only now finally doing what he should have been doing all along by eating less. That propels a chunk of material about fat people, and how Gervais is not making fun of the obese, but merely pointing out how and why people get fat.
In the Christmas spirit, Gervais also uses the holiday season to poke fun at the idea of charity (wondering how his present could be a goat for an African family in his name), rescue animals (giving a dying dog to his nieces and nephews), and tying it all up in a bow with a drinking-and-driving message that ends in a rape joke. If you saw Comedy Central's Night of Too Many Stars benefit, then you saw much of that bit. Roll it again!
For HBO, the DUI joke gets another saucy tag about the old bag he nearly killed but only raped. It's all shocking just for the sake of being shocking.
From that, he jumps to spiders?! It's a reflection on how the set itself could use a bit more structure, or at least some semblance of it. Not that you need a perfect segue, but still.
As I've noted before, covering and mocking the Biblical Old Testament story of Noah and the Ark isn't exactly revolutionary ground for stand-up comedy in the 21st century, though Gervais tries to take a new look at it through an old children's book version of it he received at Sunday School in 1965. Here's the full bit as told in "Science."
When Gervais closes by reading from another illustrated book -- this time about homosexuality in animals -- and making more gay sex jokes, it again feels like he's trying to hard for an easy taboo laugh.
Gervais is much more effective and powerful when using his satire to point out more truly shocking truths, such as when he took insurance claims that the volcanic ash cloud was "an act of God" to act out wondering which tragedies were and were not also acts of God.
There are moments of great comedy here. You just have to get past your own shock and awe of Gervais to see some of it.
This just in from the folks at The Futon Critic: Discovery's Science Channel reportedly has acquired the broadcast rights to An Idiot Abroad, a travel documentary series that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant produced featuring the misadventures of their frequent foil: Karl Pilkington.
The Futon Critic reports that the eight episodes, which aired on the U.K.'s Sky1 this fall, will air on Discovery Science in January 2011. Here's a look at the original trailer:
Never been to China, he says? Well, they done gone and fixed that. Here are excerpts from his first trip to China. Everyone is not kung fu fighting. "Are you havin' a laugh?"
Roll the clip!
In an interview and photo shoot with Howard Schatz for the December issue of Vanity Fair, comedian Ricky Gervais described how and why he takes risks.
"I don't want a predictable story. If you see something coming, it's not as exciting. So I, I like being made to jump in a horror film. I like someone saying the unexpected. I know how embarrassed I am in a situation and that's all we're doing, really, isn't it? We're trying to evoke an emotion in someone else. We're trying to make a connection. The terrible thing is, I don't know whether I'm trying to do that, or just please me."
Roll the full clip! (Posted after the jump in case an ad automatically plays in your browser)
I don't know if you can ever have too many stars on a benefit show, but Comedy Central certainly tries every two years on behalf of autism research with its Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education, which airs again tonight.
Much of the event taped earlier this month in NYC, although when it airs this evening, host Jon Stewart and a slew of celebrities will appear live in LA to answer the phones when you call in to make a donation. Viewers also will be able to vote, via texting, on celebrity stunts during the live portion of the broadcast. Comedians appearing and manning the phone bank include Jason Alexander, Mike Birbiglia, Julie Bowen, Drew Carey, Cedric the Entertainer, George Clooney, Bryan Cranston, Larry David, Will Forte, Jeff Garlin, Lauren Graham, Tom Hanks, John Hodgman, Rob Huebel, Penn Jillette, Chris Kattan, Jimmy Kimmel, B.J. Novak, Conan O’Brien, Jim Parsons, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Paul Scheer, Adam Scott, Bill Simmons, David Spade, Eric Stonestreet, Betty White, Larry Wilmore and Weird Al Yankovic.
As for the show itself, I saw it, so I can tell you what you may see, unless they decide to edit it out.
You may or may not see Tina Fey joke about wanting to say hi to her family, then realizing the show is airing on Thursday night, when 30 Rock is on, adding: "Who am I kidding, they're watching Shit My Dad Says on the DVR." Here she is with Stewart showing off her 2011 Tina Fey Swimsuit Calendar:
You may or may not see Ricky Gervais make the audience gasp with a DUI joke that also includes a rape! Here is joking about his history of charitable giving, including the time he was given the gift of a goat. An African goat. Roll it.
You may or may not see Tracy Morgan awkwardly work with Stewart through a sketch about how big his pockets were.
You may or may not see Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell sing a novelty song that's only about 19 months too late, including the re-appearance of Tay Zonday. If you were around 19 months ago, that name might make more sense. But probably not.
You may or may not see Jim Gaffigan kill with his new material about McDonald's.
If you watched this week's episode of Louie on FX, the first-half called "Travel Day" included a flight experience gone awry, with a cameo by Todd Glass as a chatty passenger! But Louis CK (who also voiced the pilot of his fictional TV flight) has previous experience shouting out obscenities in reaction to flight turbulence. In fact, Ricky Gervais captured it on video when the pair flew together on an even smaller private jet between New York and Massachusetts two summers ago during filming of The Invention of Lying. Even in real life, Louis CK responds to a bumpy flight by randomly forming NSFW phrases and sentences. And fortunately, both reality and TV reality had happy endings. So to speak. Roll the clip!
It's nice to see that FX has some of its new promo commercials for Louis CK's upcoming sitcom, Louie, are online for all to see. Is it weird that when we see an ad nowadays, we immediately think we can go online and find it to see again and again? No, that's not weird. Is this weird, though: Louie still looks very much like a more honest, in-your-face, 21st-century version of Seinfeld, with clips of the comedian performing his actual routines at the Comedy Cellar in NYC, spliced with semi-autobiographical dramatizations of his routines. You can see that Ricky Gervais (already a big fan of Louis CK) is on board as the comedian's doctor, while it looks as though comedian Chelsea Peretti is fulfilling the role of composite character girlfriend, or at least that role for one long extended bad date. Roll the clips!
Here's the second one:
HBO announced late yesterday that the pay-cable network had ordered a second season of The Ricky Gervais Show, which animates years-old podcasts that Gervais recorded with comedy partner Stephen Merchant and radio foil Karl Pilkington. The re-animated workings in this first season -- which debuted in February -- haven't exactly raked in big ratings. But the show, and Gervais & Merchant, still have HBO's support.
Here's a video of Merchant, Gervais and Pilkington explaining the show, and it tells you everything you essentially need to know about it. Roll the clip.
If you do not subscribe to pay cable's HBO network, or even if you do, but cannot wait until Friday to see the animated debut of The Ricky Gervais Show, or the second-season premiere of Life & Times of Tim, for that matter, well, no worries, friends.
For a sneak peek at the first half-hour of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant taking the Pilk out of Karl Pilkington as cartoon characters, just point your Internet to this page on iTunes and download this week's episode for freebies. UPDATED 2/18! HBO has put it up on YouTube, too. Watch it here:
And if you'd like to see this week's return of Tim and his awkward animated adventures, well, the grown-up kids at CollegeHumor have an exclusive hosting page where you can watch that. Right now, if you'd like.
That's the news, and I am here.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association tends to be a bit particular about its tastes, and by lumping the comedy and musical people together, it's usually a chance for them to tell us how much they like singing more than laughing. That was sorta the case at this year's Golden Globes (Glee beat out 30 Rock for best TV comedy/musical), but not for The Hangover, which took home the top comedy/musical movie prize.
Here's director Todd Phillips with his acceptance speech (not pictured: Zach Galifianakis).
Earlier, Mo'Nique won for her dramatic turn in Precious and delivered a passionate speech. She looks to be a certain Academy Award nominee, if not also its winner.
And most everyone was looking forward to Ricky Gervais hosting, not only because the Globes had not had an official host in about 15 years, but mostly because Gervais had delivered so many quips and zingers in the past year or two when he was presenting awards. How'd he do? In the opening, he went after Steve Carell (again). He didn't appear enough, but did keep the proceedings on time. And he did get in this viciously great jab in introducing Mel Gibson. Roll the clip!
Everyone not on the West Coast may have missed the 60 Minutes profile of Ricky Gervais last night due to late-running football (unless you already were tuned into CBS on Sunday), so here is that, plus some extras from the man who brought us Extras. I could do without Lesley Stahl's pop psychology babble -- telling us matter-of-factly that all comedians are dark and angry. Doesn't everyone have a dark and angry memory or part to their personality? Or is everyone on the planet an angel, except for those darned comics? She also gets one thing very wrong: Yes, Gervais became famous off of The Office, which debuted on BBC Two in 2001, but he already had been known in Britain a couple of years earlier with regular YV appearances. It's still a nice thing to say to "late bloomers" because making it big at 40, or even 38, is still comforting (especially to the person writing this right now). Ahem. Anyhow. Roll the clips!
And here are some extras, as promised. You'll see why it's an extra. It's Ricky Gervais visiting the 60 Minutes offices:
If the Golden Globes people checked out Ricky Gervais last night at Carnegie Hall to see what to expect out of him as their host...well...buckle your televisions! Can you buckle a television? I don't know. Here's what I do know.
In the past year, Ricky Gervais has praised Louis CK as the best stand-up comedian currently working. Last night, we certainly saw how CK has influenced Gervais, as the British star got more than a little bit "off-color" in his first performance at Carnegie Hall. That despite an encore musical duet with Elmo! How could this be? Let me tell you how this be.
This is a fan's photo of Gervais in tuxedo singing "New York, New York" with Elmo. I saw many fans pulling out their phones and cameras at the end to capture this. But did they fully comprehend what came before that? Instant flashback!
I arrived midway through the proceedings (having the Comedy Central Presents tapings a few blocks away is convenient, except totally not -- Sophie's Choice of comedy, people!), and saw Gervais delivering a deconstruction of an illustrated book for kids about Noah and the Ark, complete with picture pages from the book on the big screen behind him onstage. Considering I had just seen the comedy world celebrate Bill Cosby the other night and reminisce about his classic "Noah and the Ark" routine, I cannot say that I L'd to the OL'd. But plenty of those in attendance laughed along, and Gervais certainly was witty enough responding to the book's text and pictures.
He also presented his view on mermaids -- "If I was going to have a girl/fish combo, that's the way I'd have it." Of course, he added, his conversational nemesis Karl Pilkington had other ideas.
Gervais then went "off-color," as he acknowledged, after talking about famous quotes by Oscar Wilde -- riffing off of one quote into a routine about customs, and then, on countering the logic of gay marriage, explaining how it's illegal for gays to marry but perfectly fine for a man to perform handjobs on groups of men. As Gervais then demonstrated with an act-out. "I never thought one day I'd be doing that here," Gervais confessed to the crowd. "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Well, you jack off 15 blokes!" He followed that up by taking a closer look at another illustrated book, this one by a guy who claims that the animal kingdom also has specific homosexual communities, with slides on the big screen depicting sex between squirrel monkeys, dolphins and lesbian marmots?!
"I hope I haven't offended anyone," he said afterward from the stage. "But I don't apologize."
Gervais clarified that he'd never tell an off-color joke about children to pedophiles. His philosophy on stand-up comedy: "There's a social contract between the two parties that neither of us are really like that."
Of course, this all made his quick costume change into black-tie for the duet with Elmo all the more jarring. Elmo's Muppet master couldn't stop giggling behind the grand piano -- which as Gervais acknowledged, served only one very specific purpose. And that wasn't as a piano. "They spent thousands for this piano, and it's just to hide something!" he said. He asked Elmo: "Do you want to sing a song anyhow, Elmo?" "Is it PG?" "Yes, it's PG." It was "New York, New York."
Related: Ricky Gervais appears with Elmo this month on Sesame Street to celebrate the show's 40th anniversary. Roll that!
They say one of the keys to comedy is timing. Well, how's this for timing? As all of the celebrity blogs were abuzz about reports of a reputed sex tape between one Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman being offered for sale -- the Los Angeles Times reported it, too, with a spokesperson's denial -- Kimmel actually was getting naked on TV and the Internet. Twice.
Here he was on last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live, stripped down in front of Ricky Gervais:
And in what can only be a coincidence (right, people?), Kimmel suggested Kevin Nealon promote the DVD of his stand-up special by putting out his very own sex tape, and then offering to help him out on that front. And back. Roll it!
Congrats, Jimmy Kimmel. You picked the perfect day to put yourself out there!
Whenever someone shows up with a camera, why does everyone have to get all weird about it? I'm not talking about me, of course. Never me. Never. Ever. Me. No, no. So I suppose it's somewhat comforting to see this new video of Ricky Gervais shilling for his show at the upcoming 2009 New York Comedy Festival and realize that someone told him to sit in front of a camera, unprompted, without a script, and just go go Gadget about it. Can you do it in one take? Solid. All of which is to say, how does Ricky Gervais get to Carnegie Hall? Yes, he practiced. And now you can buy tickets. Sold!
So the directorial debut from Ricky Gervais has a new title -- it's no longer "This Side of the Truth," it's now back to original title, "The Invention of Lying" -- and a new trailer. The film imagines an alternate reality in which everyone tells the truth all of the time, until Gervais becomes the first and only person to figure out how to lie. Hijinx ensue. Louis CK plays his sidekick, Jennifer Garner his love interest, and Rob Lowe and Tina Fey are among his many foils. Watch!
Gervais also had a message for his fans and critics, wanting them to put this trailer and movie in its proper perspective. He wrote on his blog...
Just when I thought we were starting the Just For Laughs comedy fest in Chicago (we are doing this today), the New York Comedy Festival named its headliners and increased partnership with Comedy Central for its sixth annual week of headliners in the Big Apple, this coming Nov. 4-8, 2009. Tickets won't even go on sale until August, but they've announced that Ricky Gervais will play Carnegie Hall. And in his official statement of such, Gervais said: "Headlining one of the most prestigious comedy festivals in the world is an amazing honor for me. The fact that it's at the beautiful and historic Carnegie Hall makes it all the more wonderful. It's just down the road from my apartment. I can walk to work. (I won’t walk obviously. I'll take a limo. But I could walk if I had to)."
Also headlining their own shows at the 2009 NYCF: Bill Maher and Tracy Morgan. More talent will be named later this summer. Produced by Carolines on Broadway and United Entertainment Group, the fest will put on shows at 10 venues around Manhattan with more than 150 comedians. Comedy Central had joined as a partner last year (filming a one-hour special in 2008 at the fest for Jo Koy), and this year appears to be aligning its tapings of the 2010 series of half-hour Comedy Central Presents as part of the fest. Those tapings will happen at John Jay College this year.