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it's elmo

Ricky Gervais talks about what makes people laugh

Q: Your version only ran 12 episodes. This season finale of the U.S. "Office" will make it 100 episodes total. Does having an open-ended series hurt the storytelling?

A: It makes it more difficult.When you've got a finite arc, it's by definition more conclusive. You get out on top. The love story alone is hard to keep going. Will they, won't they? Yes they have. That's the end of that.

That's the thing I always liked about Brit Sitcoms... they go out quickly with you wanting more. So many shows over in the States drag on and lose their magic.

And if you haven't watched the clip of Ricky with Elmo that he refers to... you don't know what you're missing.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
Dramas too - the UK Life on Mars was two very short seasons (I think 8 eps each?). So while the US version is being cancelled after one season, it's actually still way more eps.

That said, I really didn't like the UK version of The Office. And there are plenty of insanely long running UK shows. My dad watched Doctor Who as a little boy :-)
Apr. 1st, 2009 04:37 am (UTC)
I liked the UK Office, but I like the US version much more. The UK version made me cringe more often. And made me very uncomfortable. The US version most of the time just makes me laugh.

I knew there were exceptions to the rule, but I think on a whole, the series are shorter and the shows end much quicker.
Apr. 1st, 2009 10:45 pm (UTC)
Your description is how the UK version made me feel too. I'm not very fond of Ricky Gervais, even if I do have to thank him for the US version.

Is a 22 episode season standard in the US? I'm not sure what is here - we get so many british shows and US shows that I'm not sure what length a normal australian season would be, it seems to vary a lot. Especially as ours don't really run September - May.
Apr. 1st, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
Great interview, thanks! Loved him on ITAS, as you know, where he elaborated on some of that.

You know, until Ricky said that about the fake interview going on for years, I hadn't thought about it! I sort of forgot all about the camera crew character. That's funny.

Apr. 1st, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm so thankful I was able to watch that ITAS by you. I remedied my problem of missing them by setting a series record. At least I think I did.

And I forgot about the fake interview too.
Apr. 1st, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the link, Gatz. Gervais is so funny and so smart simultaneously. I think that's the biggest part of his appeal for me.

I love this bit of perspective on the podcasts:

Q: Is this why your podcasts have been so successful? Because people empathize with your co-star/punching bag Karl Pilkington?

A: There I play the villain. I play the bloke who purposefully sets himself up for a fall. I'm playing the rich, educated man who's frustrated with his stupidity. But he always wins. Because he's bulletproof, he's untouchable, and he doesn't laugh. I laugh at him. He wins.

If you guys aren't listening to the podcasts, you are missing out, because they are consistently laugh-out-loud funny. Karl Pilkington seems like a character Gervais and Merchant wrote, but all indications are he's just being himself.

And he never laughs, is never deterred by airtight logic, and apparently is not bothered by the abuse, because he keeps coming back for more. I had never thought of that as Karl winning. :-)

Also, "he's got a head like a fucking orange." You need to hear Gervais say it for full appreciation.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )