My Relationship with Ricky Gervais
I have been a fan of Ricky's for a long time now. I can even remember him on 'The Eleven o'clock show' on Channel 4 a long time ago – probably before most people had heard of him or started admiring him.
Then of course came 'The Office' and all the other great stuff that's come from this comic genius.
I have been living in Singapore for over five years now and it wouldn't be unfair to say that, from my perspective, it's a cultural void to a large extent when it come to edgy, satirical or intelligent comedy. There still seems to be a penchant for visual gags here where someone entering a room with a pair of stupid glasses on and a wig is still considered funny. I say 'still' because I remember a time when that 'Benny Hill' approach to humor was popular in England when I was growing up.
I mention this because this void had led me to almost reach a point of craving humor of Ricky's type and then his podcasts and audiobooks came along. They first started appearing a few years ago and suddenly my walks home from work were delightfully enhanced and I found myself almost skipping to the train with a permanent grin on my face. It would not be unusual for me to burst out laughing on the train either and, believe me, that's not something that's encouraged here!
It was, I suppose, at this time that I began to form a kind of relationship with Ricky. It was no more than him making me laugh I suppose but it was the fact that it was a solitary experience for me (iPod and headphones you see) – not sharing my laughter with anyone: Just Ricky, Steve (Merchant) and Karl (Pilkington) and me.
Recently I have taken to reading Ricky's Blog. I suppose it has a lot to do with Ricky's writing style and his incredibly open approach to blogging that that has further cemented my relationship with him. I've read so many blogs – professional blogs, blogs of friends, mySpace stuff etc but never have I felt so openly invited into the life, feelings, musings and, above all, wonderful comic energy and ebullience as I feel when I read his blog. It feels like the connectivity that the internet offers coupled with the whole notion of blogging all wrapped up with the genius and complete lack of pretence of this man has somehow opened up a new communication channel for me that feels really fresh,vibrant and, at the same time,incredibly intimate and almost naiive and child-like in its appeal.