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Ricky Gervais: SuperNature

Started by Blue Jam, July 29, 2018, 02:09:02 PM

Previous topic - Next topic
It's reassuring his audience that "you were right to spend absolute zero seconds thinking about this subject and just going with your knee jerk emotional instincts. They can't tell us up is down and black is white and a man is a woman"
Same thing with the guy in a dress in after life.

Like you say, there is no irony involved. He is "telling it how it is", that's how he presents it, and that's how his audience takes it.
It's like the whole irony explanation is a sly wink between friends "Yeah, you know why I have to say this, don't you?"

willbo

Remember when he came on 11 o'clock show I used to go and make a drink or something to miss his bit. He just seemed like the scuzziest depressed alcoholic shock comedian they'd found in the pub or something. I know that was the act but he was just really unpleasant.

Bigfella

Hold your horses, everyone.  Let's hear what Jeremy Clarkson has to say (yesterday's Sun, print version).  'I'm starting to think that Ricky Gervais is more than just a comedian or a writer or an anti-woke warrior.  I'm beginning to believe he might actually be a bona fide genius.  Einstein in a T-shirt... [praises The Office] ... he was similarly clever in After Life, especially the first series, which was funny and sad in equal measure.  And as the chubby little fat man in Extras with David Bowie, we learned he's a damn gond actor as well.  But in his new Netflix show he's hit peak Gervais, as he wades, scrotum deep, into every single no-go area.  Trans sex.  Hitler.  Aids.  He literally does the lot.  But his arguments about how the human mind works are persuasive.  His social commentary is next-level clever and he produces more quotable one-liners than William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill combined...'

Pink Gregory

I need to stop reading this thread, it's just all so sad. 

Bigfella

End of Clarkson piece: 'Needless to say, the show has not gone down well in the world's sixth-form common rooms.  They see his jokes as actual hand grenades.  They accuse him of bigotry and 'literally' killing people.  And they are completely missing the point of what he's trying to say'.  End of quote, excuse typo in previous post, should read 'damn good actor'.  Clarkson's words, not mine!  So what are these awe-inspiring one-liners?  What point are the killjoy wokies missing?

Dr Rock

Quote from: Bigfella on May 29, 2022, 06:32:31 AMHold your horses, everyone.  Let's hear what Jeremy Clarkson has to say (yesterday's Sun, print version).  'I'm starting to think that Ricky Gervais is more than just a comedian or a writer or an anti-woke warrior.  I'm beginning to believe he might actually be a bona fide genius.  Einstein in a T-shirt... [praises The Office] ... he was similarly clever in After Life, especially the first series, which was funny and sad in equal measure.  And as the chubby little fat man in Extras with David Bowie, we learned he's a damn gond actor as well.  But in his new Netflix show he's hit peak Gervais, as he wades, scrotum deep, into every single no-go area.  Trans sex.  Hitler.  Aids.  He literally does the lot.  But his arguments about how the human mind works are persuasive.  His social commentary is next-level clever and he produces more quotable one-liners than William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill combined...'

With fans like that who needs critics

JaDanketies

The point the killjoy wokies are missing is that they are wrong about trans acceptance, duh

BritishHobo

Thank god somebody's finally waded into the no-go area of "Hitler". It's about time!

The Mollusk

Quote from: Kankurette on May 28, 2022, 11:44:28 PMI used to find trans jokes funny but grew out of it, and having friends who were trans and seeing the struggles trans people go through was part of why.

Same. And crucially, looking back and trying to analyse why I found those jokes funny, I'm unable to conjure anything beyond the reasoning that it was completely outside the realm of my understanding and was frankly alien to me, much the same as any other LGBTQ+ issues or even race issues as I lived in a small, insular and predominantly white town.

Literally all it took for me to stop laughing at down-punching humour was to talk to/listens to accounts of non-white/cis/male people and think about what it's like to be someone other than me for a minute.

Incidentally it's blatantly obvious the reason why people like Gervais or Chappelle believe they have the right to make these jokes stems from the privilege of not having to deal with the wider common every day world that you or I see all the time, which makes Gervais' frequent mentions of his own wealth and status even more galling than it already is. I don't doubt that part of the reason they think they're allowed to write and perform this material comes from a select one or two people from marginalised groups who assure them "I'm transgender but I think you're hilarious and it helps me see my struggle in a more simple and amusing light". (Hasn't Chappelle said this specifically?) It implies that select people should be allowed to speak out on behalf of an entire community and it's not a million miles away from "I'm not racist, some of my best friends are black."

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

Quote from: Bigfella on May 29, 2022, 06:32:31 AMHold your horses, everyone.  Let's hear what Jeremy Clarkson has to say (yesterday's Sun, print version).
"Hello you stupid pricks, here's my offensive uneducated opinion that I have for money."

Zetetic

Quote from: The Mollusk on May 29, 2022, 07:37:59 AMSame. And crucially, looking back and trying to analyse why I found those [trans] jokes funny, I'm unable to conjure anything beyond the reasoning that it was completely outside the realm of my understanding and was frankly alien to me

I think fundamentally a lot of trans-related humour from the last few decades is very directly built on-top of "violations of expectations" - this person has markers of gender or sex that are at odds with you expected, given how you've understood their gender based on other markers.

Some of it is then also built on prejudiced expectations specifically about trans people (versus their gender identity's stereotypes?), or and aggressively exaggerating those violations specifically to make one person or the other seem ridiculous for trying to resolve them.

I wonder, very vaguely, about a few things:
- It's possible to normalise trans people and eliminate prejudice, but perhaps not to completely remove the idea of inconsistency from "trans"-ness. (As in, to do so would, I think, involve destruction of the concept and the assumptions about gender and sex that underlie it.) I don't know what the implications of that are.

- Performative violations of expectations aren't necessarily about punching down - although they often are and the wider social context promotes that approach.

Maybe there's something here about picking apart queerness's relationship with humour, and the commonality in their relationship to prevailing norms, but I'm not sure that a Ricky Gervais thread can bear that.

PlanktonSideburns

Quote from: Bigfella on May 29, 2022, 06:46:20 AMEnd of Clarkson piece: 'Needless to say, the show has not gone down well in the world's sixth-form common rooms.  They see his jokes as actual hand grenades.  They accuse him of bigotry and 'literally' killing people.  And they are completely missing the point of what he's trying to say'.  End of quote, excuse typo in previous post, should read 'damn good actor'.  Clarkson's words, not mine!  So what are these awe-inspiring one-liners?  What point are the killjoy wokies missing?

Children aren't Listening to this guy, what planet is this old fossil on?

Bigfella

Quote from: BritishHobo on May 29, 2022, 07:16:45 AMThank god somebody's finally waded into the no-go area of "Hitler". It's about time!
'Scrotum deep', no less.  Only Ricky has the balls to do it.

phes

Quote from: Bigfella on May 29, 2022, 06:46:20 AM"Needless to say, the show has not gone down well in the world's sixth-form common rooms"

Genuinely got a bigger laugh from this than Supernature

Bigfella

Quote from: Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse on May 29, 2022, 08:22:51 AM"Hello you stupid pricks, here's my offensive uneducated opinion that I have for money."
Judging by how much he idolises Gervais here, it seems he really does fear 'cancel culture'.  Until now he's mostly been concerned about EU autocrats and local councils knocking back planning permission for his farm.

Dr Rock

I don't think sixth-form common rooms are a global thing.

Stigdu

Quote from: checkoutgirl on May 28, 2022, 09:13:45 PMHi Stacy. I think it's much easier to explain why something isn't funny than explain why it is. Hopefully as someone who finds Supernature funny you'll stick around so we can discuss it.

A lot of us are lapsed Ricky fans who enjoyed and still enjoy the XFM, Karl and Office stuff. And there's nobody more critical than a fan of the early good stuff who's disappointed in the later lazy, less funny stuff.

If you bear that in mind the Gervais threads on this site will make a bit more sense.

Regarding your earlier comment about strawberries, that's not giving us much to be going on with at this stage of the status debate.

What the fuck am I on about?

Thank you for the reply. I don't know what XFM or Karl stuff is (Pilkington? Haven't really seen much with him in) but I did enjoy The Office, LOVED Extras, then Derek I gave up on and After Life I watched all of, but could have given a miss. It was OK. Bit mawkish and not funny enough to be a comedy, not grounded in reality enough to be a hard-hitting drama.

Someone mentioned earlier that perhaps I haven't had any direct involvement around the trans community or issues, and they'd be absolutely right, which is why none of his jokes (or 'jokes' as I'm sure many of you would say) hit too close to home for me. It was just absurdist humour to me. We all take these things differently. Subjective, etc.

I dare say if it was a subject close to my heart then sure, I'd have felt it was terribly mocking and re-inforcing stereotypes. Actually, my best friend's uncle had a sex change. I remember when we were in our early teens in the 80s and he used to call me up and ask to stay round my house while his uncle came to visit. He went from John to Jan. Anyway, I digress.

My comment about strawberries was me saying I think it's difficult to say why we find a joke funny, just like it's difficult to explain why we like the taste of something.

I think the bottom line is, at this present moment in time, I'm unaffected by the things he jokes about. I'm not a woman, transgender, Jewish, I don't believe in past lives. Like him, I'm a tubby, middle-aged, white, heterosexual male.

Who often makes shit jokes.


Pink Gregory

@Stigdu you owe it to yourself to check out the XFM shows, I think they're fairly easily available and people still have a fondness for them, mileage may very RE Pilkington but it's some of their best stuff

The Mollusk

Quote from: Zetetic on May 29, 2022, 08:50:58 AMPerformative violations of expectations aren't necessarily about punching down - although they often are and the wider social context promotes that approach.

I'm almost certain that it's possible to flip that subject and make oneself the subject of derision in the context of a joke. All it would take is some careful consideration and the willingness to make oneself look a tit, but sadly we all know Gervais is completely incapable of either of those.

flotemysost

Quote from: Bigfella on May 29, 2022, 06:32:31 AMhe wades, scrotum deep, into every single no-go area.  Trans sex.  Hitler.  Aids.

Hahaha, Christ. Pretty sure these things aren't "no-go areas" if you're trans (or in a relationship with someone who is), if you have Aids (or you work with people who do, care about someone who does, etc.), if you're a historian of modern European history or if you're Hitler - it's just... life.

Gervais and his worshipers seem so distracted by getting off on how transgressive and fearless they think they're being, that they're ignoring how ironically prudish and childish this "I talk about stuff no one else dares talk about!" schtick really is - like mate, go hang out at a HIV clinic, I'm pretty sure there are loads of people talking about Aids there, all day! Soo edgy!!!

Obviously the grimly problematic bit isn't the fact that he talks about it - it's the fact that he's bashing vulnerable groups and willfully stoking hatred and bigotry among his audiences, for $$$. But it's still pretty pathetic watching someone so jumped up on their own sense of how brave and taboo-smashing they're being, when the "shock value" of the subject they're broaching betrays an actually very sheltered mindset.

I mean I'm sure Gervais knows exactly what he's doing, which is depressingly sinister - but going by slavering accolades like the above, I bet for many of his fans, part of the appeal is that these subjects already seem super taboo and edgy because it's simply not something they ever actually hear discussed, outside the context of horrible right-wing media and Twitter bollocks, and it's pretty telling that they've obviously never actually spent time with any trans people/any of the other vulnerable groups Gervais lazily punches down at. Or Hitler. And as well as perhaps developing some fucking empathy, they might realise that these subjects aren't actually as exotic and "out there" as they'd like to believe - it's just people's day-to-day lives.

But of course if these vulnerable groups were afforded human rights then the whole premise of these jokes falls down.

phes

Quote from: Stigdu on May 29, 2022, 09:45:42 AMI think the bottom line is, at this present moment in time, I'm unaffected by the things he jokes about. I'm not a woman, transgender, Jewish, I don't believe in past lives. Like him, I'm a tubby, middle-aged, white, heterosexual male.

Who often makes shit jokes.



You found it unsettling being alone in your opinion in one place on the internet about a stand-up comedy show. I'm sure you can extrapolate that to how it could feel when moreorless the whole media is platforming people questioning your existence, talking grossly about your body and calling you rapists and paedophiles. 

SpiderChrist

Quote from: phes on May 29, 2022, 10:09:32 AMYou found it unsettling being alone in your opinion in one place on the internet about a stand-up comedy show. I'm sure you can extrapolate that to how it could feel when moreorless the whole media is platforming people questioning your existence, talking grossly about your body and calling you rapists and paedophiles. 

Spot on. There's been a noticeable decrease in empathy in certain parts of this country.

Stigdu

Quote from: phes on May 29, 2022, 10:09:32 AMYou found it unsettling being alone in your opinion in one place on the internet about a stand-up comedy show. I'm sure you can extrapolate that to how it could feel when moreorless the whole media is platforming people questioning your existence, talking grossly about your body and calling you rapists and paedophiles. 

Of course.


colacentral

Stigdu: Take the morality / empathising with other people out of it for a second. "Punching down" isn't funny because it's easy. Any cunt can say "trans women have beards and cocks!" It's difficult for minorities to get along in life because they stand out, and that's an easy thing to make fun of.

It's a much more difficult thing to make fun of norms / institutions / whatever that we take for granted as normal or that are popular. How do you make a mass audience laugh at themselves? How do you make them realise something they'd never noticed before? And so on.

Ricky Gervais' jokes are easy and one dimensional on a basic mechanical level, before you even get to the issue of how harmful his words are.

colacentral

Quote from: willbo on May 28, 2022, 07:56:36 PMremember that joke he did about wanking with an insect trapped on the end of his knob. I remember him doing that on 11 o'clock show, his chat show and his first stand up. And presumably it wasn't even his "material", his mate at school came up with it.

I think that mate was called Richard Herring.

Dr Rock

Maybe we should give Stacy some comedy picks so that eg Jimmy Carr drops out of his top five comedians?

I'm going to say you might like Mitch Hedburg (for gud jokes) and Maria Bamford (seems outside your usual taste but curious about your reaction).

The Mollusk

It's Hitler who I feel bad for in all of this

Pink Gregory

Quote from: Dr Rock on May 29, 2022, 10:33:58 AMMaybe we should give Stacy some comedy picks so that eg Jimmy Carr drops out of his top five comedians?

I'm going to say you might like Mitch Hedburg (for gud jokes) and Maria Bamford (seems outside your usual taste but curious about your reaction).

I would say Brendon Burns but I think he's just doing the clubs in the US at the minute, stopped his podcast etc

Ron Superior

I was thinking about other comics and I thought of Sean Lock, and Thinking he wasn't a "woke bore" or anything, would genuinely surprise you with where he'd go with his material, and trying to think of anything of his that didn't age well, and remembered he did about about sex changes. I always remember him describing a post op vagina as looking like a squirrel that had been shot with a magnum. It was a pretty shocking joke, but a really funny description in how weirdly specific, without being hateful and resorting to any references to rapists or any judgements or moralising or anything.

Martin Van Buren Stan

Quote from: Ron Superior on May 29, 2022, 11:31:04 AMI was thinking about other comics and I thought of Sean Lock, and Thinking he wasn't a "woke bore" or anything, would genuinely surprise you with where he'd go with his material, and trying to think of anything of his that didn't age well, and remembered he did about about sex changes. I always remember him describing a post op vagina as looking like a squirrel that had been shot with a magnum. It was a pretty shocking joke, but a really funny description in how weirdly specific, without being hateful and resorting to any references to rapists or any judgements or moralising or anything.

He did a long joke about having sex with a "lady boy" too. About how it's convincing until they orgasm and sound like a man. Pretty bizarre really, and I'm pretty sure it was the finishing joke of one of his DVDs