The first season of The Ricky Gervais Show isn't enough. As soon as I started watching, I couldn't stop. I downed the entire thirteen-episode set in a single night, and was ravenous for more. That's just how side-splittingly funny this series is. You can own the first season on DVD on Tuesday, January 4, from Warner Bros. Home Video. Trust me, it's worth it.
The series is taken from pre-existing podcasts recorded by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, the creators of the shows The Office and Extras. Gervais and Merchant are typically hilarious, but they're not the reason the show is so good, nor the reason the original podcasts set the Guinness World Record for most downloads. It's solely because of the third host, Karl Pilkington, that the shows are so brilliant.
"That little round-headed buffoon," Karl Pilkington is essentially the entire source of storylines for the show. Merchant typically goads Pilkington into revealing his crazy theories, and Gervais promptly makes fun of them. Sometimes Gervais and Merchant swap up, but mostly, the series is just a focus onto how absolutely crazy Pilkington really is. Pilkington's disillusionment with the world provides for some absolutely zany solutions that his baby-faced animation delivers solemnly, retaining his innocently straight face even as Gervais and Merchant tear his theories apart.
There's also a wonderful recurring segment titled "Monkey News," in which Pilkington describes to his co-hosts stories about monkeys doing crazy things; he actually believes his stories about monkeys filling in for talk show hosts or having affairs with zookeepers' wives. Later episodes include readings from Karl's diary of mundane but ultimately hilarious observations. You can never tell whether Pilkington is an incredibly gifted actor, or if he's really that weird, but either way, he makes for incredibly hilarious television.