Richard Gere is a big fan of irony. As an explanation for nearly everything he says, it’s one of the first topics Ricky Gervais: SuperNature touches on in his Netflix special. There will be “a little of irony” in the presentation because of the old-hat joke about the absence of female comics, he says. Look for it if you can. ” When he isn’t attempting to be humorous, the hour-long special is the genuine irony of it all.
A large portion of Gervais’ success can be attributed to the fact that he views irony as an implicit recognition by the audience that he isn’t saying the horrible things he does. He doesn’t, and I agree with him. If that were the way comedy worked, we’d have no comics.
In the past, everyone found a joke hilarious until it was about them, but that’s no longer the case. Until one of the ever-growing list of topics that have been declared entirely off-limits, everyone these days thinks a joke is hilarious. For a comedian, this must be excruciating.
By pointing out why the jokes are funny, Gervais is able to deal with his displeasure. In the end, his self-deprecating reminders about the meaninglessness of what he says start to feel like criticism of both him and contemporary culture. In spite of his polarising demeanor, I’ve always thought of Ricky Gervais as a hilarious genius, particularly when it came to writing. I’m starting to believe that Stephen Merchant has a genius streak, based on his recent output.
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However, that’s all. For what purpose is the term “SuperNature” being used? Because the show is about discrediting the supernatural and reaffirming that nature is amazing enough without the need for an omniscient, all-powerful designer, Gervais explains that this is the reason. Only rarely does SuperNature feature a character discussing nature or a supernatural phenomenon. It’s hilarious when this happens. Reincarnation advocates in California had their “come as you are” party attended by two Napoleons.
Ricky Gervais: SuperNature deals in cheap jokes and humiliating trans people – review ⭐⭐ https://t.co/EdJciZlWrF
— The Independent (@Independent) May 24, 2022
However, the overarching theme serves mostly as a pretext for jabs against progressives and identity politics, as well as jokes about jokes and their intended audience. A few comedians haven’t grasped that this is the comedic equivalent of the Chinese finger trap, which becomes tighter as you try to draw away from it. Gervais is one of them.
There is a certain appeal to making fun of progressive identity politics because they’re simple to mock, they’re always amusing to a specific audience, and they come with the extra benefit of a certain backlash, which is good marketing. Their only objection is if the humor is overly self-referential and explicative. Making an inappropriate joke is no longer sufficient; you must also explain why the joke isn’t offensive when viewed in the proper context, much like a magician describing how a trick works. The enchantment vanishes the moment you reveal the strings.
Most comedians are well-versed in the art of satirizing stereotypes and distinguishing between satire and true hate speech. When I see 18-year-olds on Twitter stating that Dave Chappelle was never funny in the first place, it doesn’t seem obvious to me at all. And I get it because it’s simpler to accept that than to believe a very smart and often brilliant man thinks you taking offense at jokes is absurd. Because it’s more amusing to pretend he doesn’t, it’s easier to believe he does.
A day after George Floyd’s death, Chappelle went on stage during a performance and talked about 30 minutes about the tragedy. Although he wasn’t attempting to be hilarious, he was in some ways, and he wasn’t trying to make a case for himself, but he did nonetheless since only someone who is extremely well-versed in the art of public speaking could have articulated what was on his mind so well. Because of someone like that, it’s difficult to write them off.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 25, 2022
There hasn’t been an 8:46 moment for Ricky Gervais yet. There’s evidence to support the theory that Gervis either lacks the ability or interest in coming up with new ways to make the things he truly believes amusing, so rather than doing so, he sells things he doesn’t believe and protects himself from criticism by repeatedly emphasizing that this is the case. Finally, there is a long segment in which he mockingly calls it “childish,” “ignorant,” and “a waste of time.” So, what’s the point? Because, in the end, he’s correct. The joke didn’t really have a punchline at all.
It’s not my problem if any of this offends you. To put it mildly, it’s too simple for someone with Ricky Gervais’s former level of acclaim. A few times, he recycles old sections from earlier specials, like the one about winching morbidly obese people out of their homes and another about becoming more workmanlike around contractors. On countless talk shows and podcasts, he has promoted his loftier ideas. He’s talking about nothing new. While it is amusing to point out that he is technically a minority because of his white heterosexual millionaire status, this was already addressed in greater detail in his previous Netflix special Humanity.
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This is different. There’s little doubt that SuperNature will be a box office smash and spark a firestorm of discussion on social media thanks to Ricky Gervais, who has been enormously successful for his work on television. He’ll retweet flatteries about the woke brigade’s sensitivity, and I’m sure someone will earnestly try to block him.
Think pieces in politically influenced journals will be written on the true harm that Gervais’s words have done to any number of disenfranchised groups, and the envelopes full of cash he referenced will continue to arrive in the mail. As long as we have Gervais, nothing will change — not even the world itself.