Splitsider

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Ricky Gervais Explains The Roots of British Sarcasm And Teasing

To me at least, it can feel a little self-important when Ricky Gervais makes one of his descents from the mountain of wisdom and explains what comedy is to the rest of us proles. But his latest essay, on the difference between American and British humor, makes some good points about the role of a comedian:

…I believe you should say what you mean. Be honest. No one should ever be offended by truth. That way you’ll never have to apologize. I hate it when a comedian says, “Sorry for what I said.” You shouldn’t say it if you didn’t mean it and you should never regret anything you meant to do. As a comedian, I think my job isn’t just to make people laugh but also make them think. As a famous comedian, I also want a strict door policy on my club. Not everyone will like what I say or find it funny. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

If I were cynical, like a British person, I would say that maybe he's defending himself against being "accused of being a shock comic" so that he'll get to host the Golden Globes again this year. But I'm an American, so I will say that this essay is thought-provoking and inspiring. Have a nice day.