Splitsider

Posts tagged as Stephen Merchant

Checking in Halfway Through 'And Here's The Kicker'

Two weeks ago, we named And Here's The Kicker as the first book of the Splitsider Comedy Book Club. The plan is to give everyone a month to obtain and read the book but I wanted to check in as we're halfway through. So far, I've read the wonderful interviews with Buck Henry, Stephen Merchant, Harold Ramis, Dan Mazer, Merrill Markoe, Paul Feig, Bob Odenkirk, Todd Hanson, Marshall Brickman, and Mitch Hurwitz. Though the hope is to have a longer discussion at the end of the book, below are a few questions to be discussed in the comments section of this post to get the ball rolling [...]

Karl Pilkington on Getting Hazed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant would be incomplete without Karl Pilkington, the bread to their peanut butter and jelly, the paprika to their salt and pepper, the reluctant apothecary to their Romeo and Juliet. In this interview with the star of An Idiot Abroad, Pilkington describes the process of becoming friends with Ricky Gervais when producing his radio show:

I was making Ricky a tea, and he hit me on the head with a mobile phone. I said, “What’d you do that for?” And he said, “Ah, I just wanted to see what it sounded like.” I think that was him testing me out, really. That was him [...]

Stephen Merchant's Most Embarrassing Moment in College

Poor Stephen Merchant. He was just trying to do the whole black-turtleneck pretending-to-understand-Sartre thing everyone does in college, and the cleaning woman had to draw attention to his comically ginormous feet. Everyone knows you can't have big feet and be an existentialist. Nietzche famously wore fuzzy yellow children's slippers, and Kierkegaard was a dainty size 7.

Here's Your First Look at Karl Pilkington's Continued Torture in An Idiot Abroad Season 2

Here's the first trailer for the upcoming second season of An Idiot Abroad, in which Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant will send poor misanthropic Karl Pilkington around the world checking off items on a bucket list he most definitely did not write. As Stephen says, "it's making Karl do things that other people want to do before they die." If it was Karl's list, it would probably just involve hanging out at home, and that would make for pretty boring television.

Gervais and Merchant Tackle Dwarf Comedy with Life's Too Short

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have yet another show coming to British television, with the latest called Life's Too Short: "As with the pilot, the series centres on Warwick Davis – whose credits include Star Wars and the Harry Potter series – and who is one of Britain's pre-eminent dwarf actors. It is an observational comedy following Warwick's day-to-day frustrations, but still managing to find the optimism and warmth in a small world where big things happen."

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day with Megan Mullally, Fred Armisen, Stephen Merchant and More

To celebrate the joyous holiday of St. Paddy's Day, Conan gathered its favorite funny people and served 'em all up a delicious cold green- [spit take]. No one really seems sure what it is, but I like to imagine that it's that stuff Dumbledore has to drink to get to the Horcrux in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

An Idiot Abroad Recap: "Swimming with Dolphins"

In which our intrepid traveler never actually swims with marine mammals. I would normally invoke the “spoiler alert” were this plot twist not so brazenly announced by both the Science Channel’s episode guide and the preview. By the end of episode, Karl indeed foregoes the standard bucket list item of swimming with dolphins for the potentially more fatal option of swimming with a Great White Shark. In reality — this is reality television after all — he is lowered into a cage where sharks can swim around him but he remains stationed in one place. Which is fitting, since the entire premise of the series revolves around adventures happening [...]

Stephen Merchant Makes His U.S. Standup Debut, Without Ricky Gervais

In other duos-branching-into-singlos news, Stephen Merchant is making his American standup debut next week as part of his Hello Ladies tour. And comparisons to Ricky Gervais are inevitable: "'Where Merchant excelled over his accomplice was by avoiding the sneering narcissism that has crept into Gervais’s manner since success has encompassed him,' Paul Rowland wrote in a review in The Western Mail this fall." But Merchant sounds funny on his own, too!

He lampoons his own extreme stinginess (“If you go on a Steve date, there will be no popcorn”); his extreme height (he’s 6 foot 7; “I spent a lot of my youth leaning”); and his [...]

The Science Channel Wrests An Idiot Abroad Away From Sky1 for Season Two

The Science Channel has ordered up a second season of An Idiot Abroad independently of Britain's Sky1, becoming a producer of the show in the process. The first season was produced for Sky1 and then aired in the US on The Science Channel (soon to be known simply as "Science," somewhat confusingly). USA! USA! USA!

Check Out the Full 23-Minute Preview of Ricky Gervais' An Idiot Abroad

Here's a full 23-minute preview of Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington's An Idiot Abroad, which is coming to Britain's Sky1 this fall and presumably the States at some point. If you listened to Gervais and Merchant's podcasts or watched the animated HBO show based on them, you're familiar with Karl Pilkington; he's essentially their whipping boy who they make fun of and humiliate relentlessly, with hilarious results. So of course, a show based on sending the awkward, bitter guy around the world to suffer for our enjoyment can't really go wrong. Hit the jump for the second half of the preview.

Trade Roundup: I Give It a Year, Only Fools & Horses, Andrea Martin

An early 2013 UK release date has been set for the London-filmed I Give It a Year, starring Rose Byrne, Anna Faris and Stephen Merchant, and written and directed by Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Dan Mazer. It's a comedy about "a young couple in their first year of marriage," or as they say in England, "a young couple in their first year of marriage."

In other Bridesmaids star news, Wendi McLendon-Covey will be starring in ABC's Only Fools & Horses pilot (after Goldie Hawn left The Viagra Diaries and freed her from her role in that). Anyway, she and Steve Carell would definitely make this [...]

An Idiot Abroad Recap: "Trans-Siberian Express"

Whether Karl Pilkington is the so-called idiot Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant insist on reminding us he is, or he is a brilliant comedic performance artist is pretty irrelevant to the appeal of An Idiot Abroad at this point. Gervais and Merchant made their name and fortune on a hyper-realistic, painfully uncomfortable mockumentary sitcom, it’s only natural they have created a hyper-realistic, at times uncomfortable documentary show. Or is it scripted as well? Best not to trouble yourself over that question too much and just enjoy watching their former radio producer disdainfully grapple with his new role of globe trekker.

Last season they “forced” him to visit the Seven [...]

Liam Neeson Is Terrible At Comedy And Also Has AIDS

In this thought-provoking video, Liam Neeson pays a visit to Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant in Life's Too Short to declare his intentions to start doing "life comedy." He proceeds to lead the most inspiringly horrible improv class in the history of mankind. My only regret about this video is that it isn't a full hourlong special where we see Liam Neeson's standup, his "crazy characters," and his attempts at slapstick humor and parody. But we can probably relax in the knowledge that he would be equally unskilled at those. Stick to your lists, Neeson. Get outta here.

Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's An Idiot Abroad Coming to the States

Good news! Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington's comedy travel show An Idiot Abroad is set to be aired here in the USA starting next month on Discovery Science. The eight episode series, premiering on Friday, January 21, follows the misanthropic Karl as Gervais and Merchant send him around the world to experience things that make him acutely uncomfortable. You can check out a 23-minute preview of the show right here.