Ricky Gervais is a world famous celebrity. Most people know him from his successful comedy programs The Office and Extras. The British-born entertainer wrote, directed, and starred in the films The Invention of Lying and Cemetery Junction. He emceed the Golden Globes from 2010 through 2012, authored the bestselling book series Flanimals, and stars in one of the most downloaded podcasts of all-time.
In addition to Gervais’ many creative outlets, he’s also a stand-up comedian. He first began telling jokes into a microphone in the late 1990s. His stand-up took off however in the early 2000s thanks to a performance at the 2001 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
"My greatest hero is Nelson Mandela incarcerated for 25 years, he was released in 1990, he’s been out about 18 years now and he hasn’t reoffended." – Ricky Gervais
In 2003, Gervais toured his native U.K. with a show named “Animals.” The following year he repeated the adventure but this time it was a new stand-up act called “Politics.” After a few years away, Gervais returned to the comedy stage in 2007 with a tour dubbed “Fame.”
Performances from all three comedy tours were filmed and released for sale.
A fourth comedy tour, “Science,” followed in 2010. Gervais’ show at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo was filmed and later released as a DVD.
Gervais' comedy act has been susceptible to the critics' angst. For example, his “Animal” tour received negative comments from a British television show dedicated to the arts. One of the reviewers, Ian Hislop, was particularly brutal. Once Gervais learned of Hislop’s harsh critique he ended every show by calling the reviewer an “ugly little pug-faced c**t."
A few negative reviews didn’t stop Gervais from selling out venues in minutes or being named by a British television network the third best stand-up comic of all-time.
Gervais was born June 25, 1961 in Reading, Berkshire, England. Due to the fact that his siblings are 16, 13, and 11 years older than he is, and because his mother told him as much, Gervais believes his birth was unplanned. Regardless, he says he grew up in a safe and secure household.
Gervais has been in a romantic relationship with producer and screenwriter Jane Fallon for 31 years. They seem content on not getting married. The comic is an atheist and a staunch animal rights activists. In 2013, PETA named him their “Person of the Year.”