Ricky Gervais on England vs. America
Ricky Gervais is an English comedian, author, actor, director, producer, screenwriter and former pop musician. He achieved mainstream fame with his television series The Office and the subsequent series Extras, both of which he co-wrote and co-directed with friend and collaborator, Stephen Merchant. Besides writing and directing the shows, Gervais also played the lead roles of David Brent in The Office and Andy Millman in Extras. Gervais has also appeared in several Hollywood films, including For Your Consideration, Stardust, Night at the Museum and Ghost Town.
Question: Do you write differently for British and American audiences?Gervais: No, I… I don’t change it. I mean, the difference, you know, if we’re talking about the big 2, Britain and America, sorry, rest of the world, that’s not true. That was a joke. But the difference between English or British humor and American humor, it’s usually in the production as opposed to the finish core and how it… how it comes across. But if there is a difference and… I suppose I’m not an expert, it’s all guess work but just take the… the sort of I’ve been involved with “The Office” transfer, the remake, the American remake, well, it’s different. They’re slightly smarter. They’ve got better teeth. They got more ambition. They’re slightly broader. But the big difference is the Americans are more optimistic. And that’s due to the fact that Americans are told, they can become the next president of United States. And they can. British people are told, it won’t happen to you. And they carry that. They carry that with them. We… We champion the underdog. We champion the underdog to the point where it’s not an underdog anymore and it annoys us.
Question: How did you escape mediocrity?Gervais: I, from somewhere, had this strange, unjustified belief that it will be all right. Maybe I was born American, and I always thought it’ll be all right. I just thought it’ll be fine. I always knew I do what I wanted to do and… and I was [half]. So I don’t know really. I’m not saying that I don’t have fears and anxieties and, you know, nervous about things but I always know it’ll be all right. I don’t know why. I was brought from fairy tales. I mean, I suppose, you know, I… I do like the underdog. I do like… I do like the story of “Cinderella”. I do like the story of “A Christmas Carol.” I do… I do like the “The Meek will Inherit the Earth,” you know. Actually, “The Geek will Inherit the Earth.”
Ricky Gervais on cross-cultural comedy.
No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap
- The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
- This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
- Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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