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29th Dec 2020

Frankie Boyle calls out Ricky Gervais over trans jokes

Oli Dugmore

“I would like him to have the same respect for trans people as he has for animals”.

Scottish comedy icon Frankie Boyle expressed concern over Ricky Gervais’ “lazy” trans jokes in an interview with Louis Theroux.

During Gervais’ 2018 Netflix special, Humanity, he deadnamed Caitlyn Jenner and compared being trans to “self-identifying as a chimpanzee”.

“I thought his routine about trans people was very lazy,” Boyle told Theroux on an episode of his Grounded podcast, published this week. “I would like him to have the same respect for trans people as he has for animals. I think that’s not a lot to ask.”

Gervais’ love of animals is well documented…


In the Theroux interview, Boyle agrees that he was “cancelled before it was cool… almost repeatedly”. Potentially a reference to jokes made about Katie Price’s disabled son, Harvey.

Theroux and Boyle also discussed the role of context in comedy, and that writing a joke into a headline will never capture the essence of an audience and show.

Boyle spoke about Gervais previously in his TV comedy special Excited For You to See and Hate This, which prompted the most recent line of questioning from Theroux.

In that programme Boyle said: “My genuine reaction was, it’s not that much weirder than Ricky Gervais saying that he’s a stand-up comedian.

“I mean, look, we know Ricky Gervais, he’s a brilliant actor, he’s a brilliant writer, he’s not a fucking stand-up comedian! Just ‘cos Ricky Gervais self-identifies as a stand-up comedian, am I supposed to say that he is one? It’s fucking political correctness gone mad!”

You can listen to the full Louis Theroux interview with Frankie Boyle below:

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