Ricky Gervais won’t dull his humor to the woke crowd.
The comedian stirs online cauldrons again after claiming that “smart people” don’t get offended by jokes about AIDS, Hitler and other taboo subjects. The 60-year-old British comedian dropped the anti-PC bombshell when he promoted his new Netflix special ‘SuperNature’ on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
“Smart people know you can handle anything, especially something like irony,” The Office creator told Colbert, 58.
During the interview, Gervais explained that he added new material to the special that he tried before the coronavirus quarantine. Colbert then asked if the comedian had to switch his material due to his two-year layoff from stand-up during lockdown.
Then Gervais dropped the bomb. “It [his comedy] always evolving,” the prankster replied. “There was a thought, ‘Will this be obsolete?’ And then I realized that these guys are evergreen when it comes to hunger, AIDS, cancer and Hitler. Yeah, so they won’t, they won’t go out.”
Colbert seemed to agree with his point of view, saying, “There’s not an audience that’s not going to love this.”
“Boo! Not Hitler! It’s been a long time,” Gervais retorted jokingly, prompting the host to reply with a laugh, “For example, you don’t go to a Ricky Gervais concert just to feel good.”
While the above issues are certainly sensitive to many, the “After Life” star insisted that audiences “feel good” and that the ultimate goal “is to make them laugh.”
“They laugh, but they know that I deal with taboo subjects,” he explained in his impromptu speech. “But I delve into taboo subjects because I want to take audiences to a place they’ve never been before, and there’s a tension.”
He insisted that people are too often offended when they mistake a hoax for the actual “goal,” and that intelligent viewers know how to take things in their comedic context.
But he doesn’t just crack offensive jokes for fun: Elsewhere in the interview, Gervais touted the healing power of black humor and equated it with a vaccine against the harsh realities of existence.
“Humor gets us over bad things,” explained the Emmy winner. “That’s why I laugh at frighteningly bad things. You know, that’s why comedians are obsessed with death, because it gets us through. . . it’s an inoculation for the real things that are going to happen.”
And Gervais seems to put his wit where his mouth is. In the past, the “Derek” mastermind has wielded his rhetorical blowtorch on a variety of perceived taboo subjects, from the Holocaust to pedophilia.
Most recently, the five-time Golden Globe Awards host controversially poked fun at Will Smith, who slapped Chris Rock for talking about Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2022 Oscars. In a viral Twitter thread, Gervais claimed he didn’t mock Smith’s hair loss the way Rock did — but rather targeted their open relationship.
Gervais joked that his ultimate goal is to be deposed from the public eye.
“One thing I’ve definitely decided to do and I can’t wait is my new stand-up show,” the Brit told Heat magazine while promoting his upcoming show Armageddon.
Gervais added: “I’m treating it like it’s my last. It won’t, but I want to put everything into it. I want to try to get fired. No, I just want to get everything out.”
SuperNature will be released on Netflix on May 24th.