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A perfect example of a once-funny comedian flogging a dead horse
on 25 November 2010
Like most of the unfavourable reviews I've read here, I'm also speaking as a genuine Gervais/Merchant/Pilkington fan. However I'm not such a fanatic that I'll just laugh at anything because it's Ricky saying it.
This was woeful stuff. While large parts of 'Animals' and 'Politics' had me in stitches and left me with watery eyes and snot running out of my nose, the best I could say for this is that I smiled a few times.
It was already going badly downhill with 'Fame', but now I'm actually embarrassed on Ricky's behalf. He's turned into David Brent welcoming the Swindon lot by trying to be funny, and just making a complete prat of himself in the process. He now comes across as a multi, multi, multi, multi millionaire who simply doesn't care enough any more since he doesn't need the money and he knows people will come to his gigs anyway because he's been on the telly and in movies a lot.
Where before his routines were always un-PC and a bit shocking - but also very clever and funny, now he seems to be simply going for pure shock value. I'm sure you'll think of the line about drink driving and the granny (a gag lifted almost verbatim from one of the Derek and Clive albums BTW) He's now trying to be a cross between a shock comedian and a clever one who analyses his own show, but rather than taking the best from both genres he's taking the worse of both, and you end with with poorly constructed sick jokes done for their own sake, and then a little knowing nod and wink as if that's somehow supposed to make it hilarious. All the cleverness is gone, and with it the humour.
So, he's stealing jokes, crowbarring in material from the podcasts which everyone has already heard, except it was actually funny when Karl said it, rehashing old material about fat people liking cakes again, and saying the sickest things he can think of simply to get a gasp from the audience. It's lazy self-indulgent rubbish, some weak unconnected anecdotes interspersed by him talking about raping a granny or laughing at 'mongs'.
If you want pure sick shocking humour, then go see the master Jerry Sadowitz, if you want extremely intelligent and intricate self-analysing routines, then go see the master Stewart Lee, and if you want the worst from these two genres melded together (think of Ricky doing that interlocking fingers thing) into a pointless mess which neither makes you laugh or think about any of the issues, then buy this DVD.
P.S. Please Ricky, don't do any more stand up. Quit while you still have some respect left for you first two stand up shows.