There is something inherently hilarious about watching Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant torture their dim-witted friend Karl Pilkington. The running mockery started on Gervais's podcasts, which were eventually animated and turned into HBO's 'The Ricky Gervais Show,' and then gloriously continued with 'An Idiot Abroad.'
The premise of the show is simple and delightful. Gervais and Merchant send Pilkington, the polar opposite of someone you might call a worldly man, on a series of adventures to distant, exotic lands. In Season 1, which scored record-high ratings for the Science Channel, Karl traveled to the 7 Wonders of the World, struggling with the food, local language and customs every step of the way.
In the trailer for 'An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List', we see Karl looking at a list of 100 Things To Do Before You Die, lamenting that he has to tackle any of them. "If I was on my deathbed, there's no way I'd want to be climbing Kilimanjaro," he says.
"It's not things to do a few minutes before you die, it's things to do in your life," retorts Gervais, chuckling.
Check out the trailer after the jump.
When I asked Stephen Merchant if he helped his friend and writing partner Ricky Gervais with some of the scathing jokes he said on the Golden Globes awardcast last week, he acknolwedged that he did, but "I'm not going to take any credit for anything, because I want to work in Hollywood again," he said with a nervous laugh.
Seriously, though, Merchant wonders why there's been so much hubub about Gervais' jokes. "If you can't make jokes about movie stars, I don't know who you can make jokes about," he told me yesterday. "It just seems like they are a perfectly legitimate, fun target, because they have won. They've won the lottery of life. They're the best looking, they're the richest, they're the most privileged. And generally speaking, in my experience, they can laugh at themselves."
Merchant and Gervais have a lot going on at the moment. In addition to their individual projects, they've got two projects on the air that revolve around their friend and podcast partner Karl Pilkington. There's the second season of HBO's 'The Ricky Gervais Show,' which started last week, which contains clips from the trio's famous podcasts rendered as cartoons.
Then there is 'An Idiot Abroad,' debuting Saturday at 10PM ET/PT on the Science Channel. In the documentary series, Pilkington is sent to exotic locations to see how a simple man from England with "interesting" observations deals with different cultures.
The nature series premieres March 21 from 8-10PM ET across seven Discovery Communications properties: Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science Channel, Discovery Health Channel and Planet Green. Subsequent episodes will air only on the Discovery Channel from 8-10PM ET until April 18.
'Life' comes from a partnership between the BBC and Discovery, much like the other hit nature documentary 'Planet Earth.'
More, including videos, after the jump
The project, 'Rebuilding Ground Zero,' will focus on the engineering and construction of One World Trade Center, the 1,776-foot skyscraper formerly known as Freedom Tower; as well as the memorials, park, underground museum and transportation hub being erected at the site. It will also pay tribute to those who died on Sept.11 and examine how the rebuilding is affecting the lives of everyday New Yorkers.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the effort "a compelling story of remembrance and renewal," according to the Science Channel. "The fact that Steven Spielberg -- one of the great filmmakers of our time -- will produce a documentary on it ensures that the story will be brought to life for people around the world for generations to come."
Do you like space? Of course you do, you're floating around in it right now.
Despite the fact my brain is clogged with cartoon trivia and the words to that old Tootsie Roll jingle, I love anything having to do with space and space exploration, even if i don't always completely understand the science behind it. If you share my love of space-y things, and if you happen to get the Science Channel, tune in starting tomorrow for Space Week. Here's some of what's on tap:
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