am I reading too much into this?

TV Here's Ricky Gervais on The Daily Show. I just wanted to ask you something about his performance in the interview or one part of it:

In case you can't be arsed sitting through it, he's basically playing the arsehole version of himself that he used to do on The 11 o'clock Show on Channel 4. At least I hope he is. And here's a transcript of the bit I want to talk about. Gervais is describing reality television and then the culture of celebrities revealing their problems:
"The new one is depression. 'Oh yeah, I'm bi-polar, I suffer from depression'. And it's always overprivileged performers. You don't see like blue collar workers, people on minimum wage (doing it). Imagine what they're reading about, 'look at this poor millionaire comedian who feels alienated. It's like shut the fuck up. Jesus."
My question: is he joking about the problems of the 'millionaire comedian' I'm think of? And are you outraged too? Does that make you like Ricky Gervais just that little bit less? Or am I reading too much into this?


  1. I find it terrible he'd joke about depression in any case. And don't a lot of comedians suffer from depression? I'm having a hard time narrowing it down...

  2. He's talking about Stephen Fry isn't he?

  3. Anonymous1:34 am

    Grow up you two. Or channel your efforts into becoming "annoyed" of Chiswick to the BBC !

  4. I think Ben Stiller and Russell Brand have also been open about it, but Stephen Fry pops into my head first because of how deeply and honestly he's covered the subject relatively recently. But whether or not Gervais has a specific target in mind, it's still just not funny. Unless his cluelessness is why it's supposed to be funny? Maybe it's because this subject -- and "ha ha fat people," another of his favorites -- just hit my nerves the wrong way. I don't know. The "playing an asshole" style of humor doesn't work for me.

  5. I'm not entirely convinced I could dislike Gervais any more than I do already. There's only so much dislike to go round after all...

  6. Anonymous7:28 pm

    Well done everyone for missing the point. He's a comedian too incase you hadn't noticed. If the leader of the free world had come out on a chat show saying that then I could understand this nonsense. You seem an easily offended bunch. Andy.

  7. Anonymous10:35 pm

    When I watched it I assumed he was meaning Stephen Fry. I found his remarks offensive - and can assure him that based on my own family background, blue collar workers in the boiler factory where my father worked suffered from depression.

    I have been uncomfortable with Gervais for some time. There is an assumption (evidenced by the last comment) that he's being ironic, that it's a joke. Perhaps we need to accept that the 11o'clock show character and Brent, are closer to his personality than he wants people to think - and that much of the talent in the writing team lies with Stephen Merchant.

  8. Anonymous12:16 am

    As I said . . . Andy

  9. Anonymous4:25 pm

    andy take a chill pill man! I have bipolar, and i find Ricky Gervais funny. But, BUT, when i hear people joking about something that can be such hell to live with at times, i'm afraid i don't find it funny. Gervais has a reputation for being 'edgy' i suppose, but sadly, mental illness is no joke

  10. Anonymous4:44 pm

    and another thing, of course it's not a made up famous person's illness!!

    According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists,

    "How common is bipolar disorder?

    About 1 in every 100 adults has bipolar disorder at some point in their life. It usually starts during or after the teenage years. It is unusual for it to start after the age of 40. Men and women are affected equally".

  11. Yep, that pretty much confirms that Gervais picked the wrong subject to make a joke about on this occasion. Glad it wasn't just me.

  12. You know, I never made the Fry connection - particularly in the context that Gervais made the remark. I have never found Fry to have a "poor me" attitude in relationship to his depression - which is what Gervais was talking about. In fact, I've never known Fry to use his depression other than to talk honestly about his condition and the condition of others - whereas Gervais was talking about people who use their issues to get airtime.