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TV Review: Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2

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HBO presented Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2 last night, a stand-up special from comedian Ricky Gervais, and sort of a followup to his successful 2008 special by a similar title. Basically, Ricky stood on a stage in Chicago and told jokes for a little over an hour. I laughed frequently, but having just viewed his first special a few days prior, I couldn’t help but feeling that this one wasn’t quite as good.

Perhaps some of that feeling can be explained by the fact that I’d heard a portion of his material before. He did some of the same bits, almost word for word, from his animated HBO show (which took the dialogue from his podcast), The Ricky Gervais Show. There was no longer anything fresh about his rant concerning gifting an African family a goat for Christmas in his name. I admit, I think I remember laughing quite a bit the first time I heard it. Last night was about the fourth time, so not as much. I know that comedians reuse bits plenty, but for a special on the same network where your other show so recently aired? Luckily, it wasn’t that big a percentage of the special.

Ricky’s strongest parts were when he went completely politically incorrect. For instance, in the encore, he told an extremely dirty joke involving a father, his six year old daughter, and masturbation. Yes, incredibly wrong, and very offensive. But I laughed, and I suspect a great many others watching at home did, too. Certainly the audience there did. Plus, he went on about gays and fat people for quite a long time.

My biggest disappointment, though, was when he read a children’s book about Noah’s Ark out loud and commented on it. Sure, some of what he said was funny, but it dragged on a bit too long. By contrast, in his first special he riffed on Jack & Jill and Humpty Dumpty, and the longer he went on, the funnier he got.

Ricky Gervais is still one of today’s best comedians. I look forward to his Out of England 3 special, as I don’t see any reason not to do one, but I hope, as a fan, he doesn’t pepper it with material from the second season of The Ricky Gervais Show.

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About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com
  • kmd

    I couldn’t agree more.You stated everything I thought after watching the show.I’m a huge fan but was disappointed.I still laugh at the first special and the animated show but this one just wasn’t as funny.Love Ricky,Karl and Steve and an looking forward to The Ricky Gervias Show on HBO and An Idiot Abroad on DVD.

  • kmd

    That is…I’m looking forward to The Ricky GERVAIS Show.And Karl does have a head like an effing orange.Cheers.

  • http://blogcritics.org/video/article/tv-review-ricky-gervais-out-of/ Helena o ke kai

    Pretty jaded comments. I purposefully signed up for HBO to see this special. I thought it was great!

    Yes the Humpty Dumpty skit from 2 years ago kept getting funnier..his physical comedy is subtle and tremendous.

    But I don’t get a chance to listen to all of his “stuff”, so for me and the audience it appears Ricky was “spot on.” Hoooray for Gervais!

  • Judy

    I thought all the gay stuff was overdone and crude. Loved the Noah bit.

  • visuella

    I watched some of it last night on HBO, until I had enough. I am usually a fan of Jervais, but he was not funny. He just took it too far, saying outrageous- offensive- random things. Maybe he thinks that since he is so big, anything he would do would be funny to people and that he can come up and just tell crappy jokes because everyone just wants to look at him and admire him. Its so not the case for me. Maybe he lost some brain cells when he lost all the weight.

  • Valerie

    funny; the children’s book was my favorite part. I saw the show live and loved it then; and laughed just as hard when watching it on HBO!

  • Pete

    Yawn, if anyone’s seen the Science stand up special then this is exactly the same word for word! it was funny the first time round but seriously people pay money for this, write some new material…

  • Anjru

    Yes, I had just seen Science days before watching the special — it’s just one of the shows apart of his North American leg of that same tour. It’s a great watch regardless… I recently got into Ricky from watching “The Invention of Lying” months ago. I have a lot of catching up to do!

  • Albert

    Ricky Gervais has jumped the shark. Out of England 2 was seriously unfunny. And if he’s not being funny, then he’s just an offensive little prick, with nothing interesting to say. Unfortunately he’s beginning to be far too impressed with himself lately. How else to explain his nauseating raptures about working out in the gym he’s installed in his house, and his godawful Cemetery Junction film? Just awful. It’s a shame, but I fear his time has passed now. That said, I just caught up with the TV series Louie on FX in which Gervais made a couple of appearances and he was hilarious there. Let’s see if his appearance in the next seas on Curb Your Enthusiasm can rehabilitate him.

  • Lisa

    I laughed a few times but overall I was sitting there waiting for it to get good. Then it was over. the bits were too long and not much to laugh at I found myself chuckling a few times. Disappointing

  • wolfsley

    Yes, Out of england 2 was almost word for word the same the as the science special. It was funny though. Ricky Gervais’ comedy has always been conversational, thats where he makes this stuff up, in conversations. he not trying to relate to his crowd this is just stuff he thinks is funny so he is sharing it. Also recycling material is not a new game for him. listen to the 98′ xfm show before, then the the xfm shows in 2001 and on. you will here every bit from “politics” and “animals”. The HBO animated show is just random bits from the all of the podcasts. Even in the podcasts he recycles bits. But everyone does, how many times have you told your freinds a story or an observation they have heard 100 times from you. If you dont like it, then dont watch. It is what it is , Ricky Gervais saying shit he thinks about all of the time and thinks is funny and maybe you might think its funny too. Dont knock his style because hes not what you are looking for in a comedian. Also in response to Albert. The fact that you think Gervais’ career needs rehabilitation shows your lack of knowledge about said career. His standup is probably the thing he does the least work on, and is not what made him so popular. Dont go on about someone when you dont know much about them.