May 27, 2015
by Joel Keller, posted Feb 18th 2010 5:02PM
Anyone who's listened to Ricky Gervais' podcasts or audiobooks knows that a) Karl Pilkington is an idiot and that b) Gervais and Stephen Merchant have made their fascination over Pilkington into gut-clutching comedy.
Why was the podcast so funny (and popular)? Because Pilkington just said stuff that was completely off-the-wall in such a straight-faced, matter-of-fact way, like when he talked about a time in history when "cavemen and dinosaurs were knocking about." These nonchalant statements made Gervais and Merchant -- especially Gervais -- convulse with laughter, which emphasized just how ridiculous Pilkington's statements really were.
So the challenge to Gervais and Merchant: How do you bring the twisted "genius" of Pilkington to television? Animation, of course! The result, 'The Ricky Gervais Show,' which premieres on HBO Friday at 9PM ET (you can register and watch the first full episode here), brings the podcast to life in a way that will satisfy both fans of the podcast and those who are hearing Ricky, Stephen and Karl for the first time.
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