JOE takes a looks at the career of birthday boy Ricky Gervais
Four He's a Jolly Good Fellow...
"Eagles may soar high, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines." - David Brent
As part of JOE's 4th birthday celebrations ( you can tweet us at #JOEbirthday), we have decided to take a look at some other... ehmm... "idols" that are celebrating their birthday this week too. We have already discussed the incredible talents of birthday boys Zidane and Messi,but we think that Ricky Gervais would take great satisfaction in reminding them that he can do more... just not with a ball of course.
Actor, director, producer, musician, writer, Golden Globes and radio presenter; the man can do anything. JOE likes to think that we're multi-skilled, but Gervais is an unstoppable machine that has conquered the world with his unique mix of brilliant writing, amazing characters and fearless comedy. Happy birthday Ricky, JOE salutes you.
Clip via - J.D. Funari
Let's start with his list of accolades and awards, shall we?
Gervais has won seven BAFTA Awards, five British Comedy Awards, three Golden Globes and two Emmy Awards. He has performed four sell-out stand-up comedy tours, written the best-selling Flanimals books and has starred with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington in the most downloaded podcast in the world.
He has helped created seven hit shows , starred in countless others (including The Simpsons) and in 2010 he was named on the TIME 100 list of the world's most influential people. All this without even mentioning his films. To quote the great man, "there may be no 'I' in team, but there's a 'ME' if you look hard enough."
It seems that Gervais was destined for comedy from a young age and he has regularly joked that his birth was unplanned due to the age difference between his oldest sibling and him. His first foray into the world of entertainment was at college when he created a pop duo, Seona Dancing, who actually released two singles. His next destination was radio station XFM (arguably his most important career move) which saw him introduced to Stephen Merchant. The pair would quickly establish one of the best and most successful writing partnerships of all time.
Television was next to be conquered as Gervais started to build up a solid reputation for himself as a gifted comedy writer. Regular slots on The Sketch Show, Comedy Lab , Bruiser and The Jim Tavare Show helped cement his reputation. In fact, JOE fondly remembers his foul-mouthed, politically incorrect and hilarious skits on The 11 O'Clock Show. Just like this one.
Clip via - Melonhead622
His masterpiece will always be The Office.
JOE feels that there are very few shows which have really revolutionised and changed the TV show format forever. If you turn on your TV now, chances are that you will be tuning in to some sort of fly-on-the-wall mockumentary that tries desperately to mimic Gervais' ground-breaking comedy. The show originally started off as a short film but the BBC knew they had an incredible talent and concept on their hands.
The first season of The Office aired in the UK in July to little fanfare and attention but that soon changed. Word-of-mouth, repeat episodes and soaring DVD sales saw the show emerge as a global phenomenon that has already been remade in 6 different countries. JOE really doesn't have enough words to describe Gervais' masterpiece.
If you haven't watched the daily lives of the employees in Wernham Hogg Paper Company then you are missing out. In David Brent, Gervais has created one of the greatest characters in television.
Clip via - BBCWorldwide
Gervais followed up The Office with a satirical look at the lives of film extras in the surprisingly named... Extras.
The talented comedian was able to select from a whose-who of Hollywood and British talent who all desperately wanted to work with him. Who else could create a show that gave equal starring roles to Ben Stiller, David Bowie and Samuel L. Jackson, but also Les Dennis, Ronnie Corbet and Barry from Eastenders!? Stephen Merchant stole the show though with his portrayal of struggling actor Andy Millman's agent. Gervais created another classic as he once again managed to balance pathos, laughs and genuine emotion. Take a look...
Clip via - traetafpis·
Gervais wasn't content with just conquering radio and television though, as he soon returned to his stand-up comedy roots. Critics already had their knives sharpened expecting the comedian to fail, but how wrong they were. The stand-up shows Politics, Animals, Fame and Science were performed in front of sold-out audiences. It's easy to see why...
Clip via - Just F*cking Subscribe
It was no surprise that Hollywood wanted a piece of his worldwide fame as Gervais landed parts in films like Ghost Town, Night At The Museum, Stardust and Muppets Most Wanted. He also wrote, produced and directed the films Cemetery Junction and The Invention Of Lying, not his finest moments we'd suggest, but nothing can take away from our admiration for Gervais.
A staunch atheist, his hilarious persona and refusal to accept bullshit has seen him receive an awful lot of criticism, but he isn't a JOE icon for no reason. He has been seeing his girlfriend, producer and screenwriter Jane Fallon , for 31 years now and he is a solid supporter of gay rights and same sex marriage. His tweets make JOE laugh all the time and whether you like him or loath him , there is one thing that can't be denied, Ricky Gervais is one of the most talented people in the world.
Happy Birthday Ricky!