Happy Birthday to Ricky Gervais, the cackling, irreverent king of my heart. He turns fifty-two years old today, a fact that I’m betting not very many of you care about, since you’ve probably already decided he’s the categorical worst. He was in favor for a time, back when the American version of The Office was still good, because it was trendy to have known about the British version first, but that was long long ago, my friends, and Ricky has fallen out of favor. Maybe you think he was funny and now he’s not, or he was never funny, and now he’s extra not, but either way, I’ve noticed a large contingent of the humans on this planet just can’t be bothered about him.
Except for this one! Because you guys — I never got over Ricky Gervais. I never thought his stand-up was stupid. I never hated his hosting of the Golden Globes. I never sighed heavily when watching his newest HBO project. I will say that I did unfollow him on Twitter, cause that’s a lot of posts in a day. But that’s the extent of my disinterest! Cut a girl a break!
But since today is his merriest of days, I figured I should share some reasons why I never stopped loving Ricky, since so many of you have, and try to get you back on the Gervais train. So here you go, guys. Grab a seat and prepare to be dazzled by some top-shelf arguments, because here are the 13 Reasons I Never Stopped Loving Ricky Gervais (Even Though You Did).
1. His laugh.
You guys, I’m serious, it’s the best thing in the entire world. It’s a cackle and it’s the most infectious. It’s like a viral pathogen, but the good kind. The ones that give your lungs a hug instead of melting them.
2. He’s been with the same woman since 1982.
And it’s not Conan O’Brien. Her name is Jane Fallon, and even though it’s been over thirty years, they’re not married because, as Ricky says, “There’s no point in us having an actual ceremony before the eyes of God because there is no God,” and they haven’t had kids because they “didn’t fancy dedicating sixteen years of our lives. And there are too many children, of course.”
3. The show Extras.
Honestly, enough said. Watch it or don’t but DEFINITELY WATCH IT BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING AND I’M OBSESSED.
4. He wrote a children’s book just ’cause.
It’s called Flanimals and it has a bunch of sequels now and a rumored development deal to make it a TV series.
5. His professional bromance with Stephen Merchant.
The two of them met working together at a radio station in the nineties and have been friends and collaborators ever since, with Karl Pilkington being added to the equation in 2004. The three of them together are hilarious in a way that’s both inclusive and completely insular, like all they need to entertain themselves are the other two. It’s awesome.
Ricky was in a group called Seona Dancing when he was younger. Here is a music video of theirs, presented without comment.
7. He’s as obsessed with reality TV as you are.
And it even inspired his work! “I’ve always been fascinated with reality game shows…we watch Celebrity Big Brother at the moment, we watch I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here… we watch all those reality TV shows — The Office came out of those docu-soaps.”
8. He hosted the Golden Globes three years in a row.
Whatever you think of his performance, he was front and center 2009, 2010, and 2011, even after backlash from critics. Takes some balls. Plus, he brought back a master of ceremonies for the first time since 1995, so you have him to thank for clearing the way for the gloriousness that was Tina Fey and Amy Poehler‘s hosting this year.
9. He owns up when his work is bad.
He had a cameo on Alias back in the day, and here’s what he has to say about it: “I did an episode of Alias, and I can’t watch it. Me being serious. I can’t watch it”. Not quite the ego he’s portrayed to have in the media.
10. He’s an equal opportunity insulter.
This goes along with the Golden Globes thing, and it’s why a lot of people didn’t like his bits, because they felt like his material was hurtful. But my opinion is, if it makes me laugh and nobody’s immune from it, including himself, then I’m into it.
11. He’s in a video game.
Ricky appears in Grand Theft Auto IV, along with Katt Williams. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
12. His weight loss story.
He decided to lose weight — about twenty pounds — not because Hollywood told him to, but for his own health, and he sounds pretty reasonable about it. He says:
“Why didn’t anyone tell me I was fat? People say I look great now. They then say I used to be pear-shaped. Why didn’t anyone tell me? I would have worked out earlier…I’ve never had a problem with weight. I was thin until I was about 29. Then I hit 30 and there was a decade of eating and drinking. I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to die’ so I decided to do something about it. Now I go for a run on Hampstead Heath most days when I’m in London. I probably do about 35-40 minutes of cardio and then 20 minutes of weights at home. It’s made easier because I have a gym in my house. Then I can eat and drink what I want – wine and cheese – throughout the day.”
Sounds good to me!
13. He’s a strong proponent of animal rights.
He’s spoken out against fox-hunting, bullfighting, and the use of black bear fur in the caps for the Foot Guards. He’s also a longtime fan of wildlife documentaries, has spoken about his desire to open an animal sanctuary one day, and is raising money and developing a mobile app in order to fund it.
14. This dance.
Always and forever, that dance. Viva la David Brent!
Now get out, you pug-faced you-know-whats.