Ricky Gervais: I didn't dis 'The Office' finale
May 23rd, 2011
11:31 AM ET

Ricky Gervais: I didn't dis 'The Office' finale

Controversial comedian Ricky Gervais has gotten himself into hot water again, this time over comments he made about the cameo-filled season finale of "The Office."

In a recent entry on his blog, Gervais—who executive produces the NBC series and wrote and starred in the U.K. edition—gave his take on the final episode, in which he, Jim Carrey, James Spader and even billionaire Warren Buffett all compete for the regional manager job vacated by Michael Scott (Steve Carell).

"Watching The Office finale may remind some of the Chris Martin episode of Extras," Gervais said. "If you’re going to jump a shark, jump a big one. I assume most people know I didn't do the U.S. remake for the art. I did my version for the art."

Gervais continues, "Don't get me wrong. I'm very proud of the U.S. version. It was not only a very, very good network comedy but it was also a massive success story. But you know, I did it for different reasons, ambitions and with slightly different emotional attachments to the project."

Despite rumors that Gervais would take over for Carell, he insisted that was never part of the plan."I would never ever in a million years take a permanent role in the show as an actor," Gervais said. "It really would be f—ing mental. You don't start a company to work on reception."

Getting in one last dig about the cameos, he said, "Can't wait to start work on the Chinese version. Bill Gates is in that one."

Though Gervais later came under fire for dissing the U.S. series, the funnyman insisted his comments weren't meant to be cruel.

"I simply said it's different to the original which I created and made with different ambitions. What's wrong with that?" he said. "I myself, did a fun but pointless, over-hyped cameo in the episode too, remember. I did it for a laugh like everyone else, I assume."

Gervais continued, "The U.S. version of 'The Office' has probably made me ten times the money that the U.K. version did. I wouldn't knock it. It's still my show. All I said was I do it for different reasons. That is simply what they call the truth. Hope that's OK. I believe I am still entitled to an honest opinion."

Later, still feeling the backlash from his blogging, Gervais made one final comment on the matter.

"When I said that I did the original version of 'The Office' purely for the art and the U.S. version not purely for the art, I wasn't suggesting that the U.S. version was therefore artless, or that anyone else involved didn't do it for the art," he wrote. "I was just admitting that there were obviously other factors and reasons present in my involvement in the remake."


soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Colmery

    In a remarkable display of one-upmanship, Ricky G has committed to give away 101% of his fortune. Warren B and Bill G are meeting to consider their position.

    July 8, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. pilkers

    bit wierd innit?

    May 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Danny Glover

    'SUP GUYS I LOVE THE GERVAIS, HIS WORK IS GREAT, LIKE A BIKE, YOU WILL ALWAYS LIKE A BIKE, WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE? SO STOP DISSING HIM OR YOU ARE EFFECTIVELY DISSING BIKES AND AS WE'VE CLARIFIED EARLIER WHAT IS WRONG WITH BIKES?

    May 25, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  4. Karl Pilkington

    Alright?

    May 25, 2011 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  5. Richard Anderson

    People who dislike Mr. Gervais are clearly Jersy Shore fans.

    May 25, 2011 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. God

    When you diss Ricky Gervais you make a powerful enemy.

    May 25, 2011 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Oscar Piddle-Trentide

    The reason why
    The reason why
    The reaso why I had to die
    Did I bleed the blood of greed?
    What was my destiny?

    May 25, 2011 at 4:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. Phil Berk

    Ricky is just getting used to the taste of Hollywood. He'll relax and learn how to behave real soon.

    May 25, 2011 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Ricardo Jarvos

      @Phil Berk:

      I think Rick is doing quite alright without your 'how to do Hollywood' advice. And let us know if you need any help with those teeth, mate.

      May 25, 2011 at 4:38 am | Report abuse |
  9. Robert Harcek

    I loved the UK office and like(d) the US version two. Two similar sentiments expressed in culturally different ways. The US version managed to stand on its own feet for the longest time and was very entertaining. Love Gervais/Merchant. Love Pilkington too. Head like a....

    May 24, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Walter M.

    Let's play a little game of 'Which version has won more awards?' The answer is...The Original Version of The Office! Let's follow that up with a game of 'Which version is a remake of which?' The answer to THAT is...The American Version of The Office.

    I'm not here to cast judgement on any show, merely to try to understand why the fact that someone might in some harmless and miniature way say something unflattering about your favourite show makes it acceptable to go completely mental, take everything out of context and insult the man WHO CREATED THE SHOW IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    Let's have some perspective: Anything original requires a lot more artistic integrity than it's original. Can we not agree on that? And that is not saying that the remake is artless at all. Many remakes have reinvented the original idea in creative ways that have made it successful. However, the idea is not original and therefore, even if the original is considered to be the worst one in terms of quality, nobody can deny that it has more artistic integrity because of the fact that it is a fresh idea.

    Ricky Gervais is in a curious position to be able to comment on both since he is involved with both. However, as writer, director and star of the original series, I believe it's only natural for him to have an artistic connection to the original version that is lacking in the remake. He is an Exectuive Producer for the American remake. An Executive Producer is there to make money, first and foremost. That doesn't mean that he doesn't believe in the art of the product he is producing, his worries are just in another place. So, why is it so bad really to try to understand that about him? I highly doubt any of us think Jerry Bruckheimer has being doing the Pirates of the Caribbean film for his overwhelming sense of artistic integrity.

    Personally, I believe we all need enemies to create and controversies to flame. Ricky Gervais is an easy target because nobody here understands his sense of humour. That is the main reason why there is an AMERICAN version for The Office in the first place – if British humour translated well to America, the idea of having a remake would be unnecessary. Judging his sense of humour through American comedy's parameters and then getting offended when we don't understand the irony and sarcasm is extremely unfair to the man who we forget created all the characters we know and love to begin with (well, with Stephen Merchant of course). The man was JOKING.

    May 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jay

    Go to his blog and read his original post. It's really not that difficult to understand what he meant. He was merely talking about both versions being different kinds of 'animals' and having an obviously different attachment to the one he originally created. I for my part thinks he's a a very gifted, extremely thoughtful and funny guy who has revived British comedy and injected a new sense of 'non-sense' into the world of comedy. Merchant's great too and I can't wait to see his show when it comes to town.

    May 24, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. G.O.B.

    Come on!

    May 24, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. David Onon

    I'm loving the fact that this is news. If people actually understood what he was saying the first time it wouldn't be. But since there's is so much impatience, incompetence and irrational antagonism, we have to feed this controversy to accommodate our collective ignorance.

    May 24, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kdos

    Some people lack a sense of humor..

    May 24, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jerry

    Hey, Ricky Gervais went back to the well in the U.K. and produced a two-part special, where it shows his character in life after he left the office (available on Netflix). There were some funny bits, but it wasn't all that. As far as the "art" of the original series, just lasting fro two seasons on British TV is a good trick, even if the season run is only 6 episodes. The UK version was mostly darker humor than we're used to here in the states, and is an aquired taste. Certainly the US version has been stretched at times, and personally I hated to see Will Ferrell on there, but they continue to do some pretty spohisticated humor which runs on a lot of different levels.

    Anyone is going to be proud of their child. Fair enough. Let Ricky Gervais say whatever he likes. The UK version can't hold a candle to the US version of The Office.

    May 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • casual interest

      jerry, they are two different animals based on the same theme...the british version was based a lot more in realism and the american one became more and more cartoonish (who'd have thunk it)

      to say that the uk version cant hold a candle to the us version is hilarious and it's nonsense....you either have very strange taste or you're a staunch nationalist

      May 24, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Dave Glover

    You shouldn't comment about him unless you've seen all his stand up and the office (uk) and extras

    May 24, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  17. kayaker247

    how is this good or bad? dude said he did it for the money and that having 3 super stars on the show is jumping the shark. I don't reall see it as jumping the shark but then again, I'm not british! he's an original guy. not sure how funny, but he has his moments. I couldn't watch his stand up act. but I love the office.... so there you go.

    May 24, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  18. John

    I see nothing wrong with his comments. He didn't insult or dismiss the US version. If anything, he poked more fun at himself for his commercial interests overshadowing his artistic ones. But hey, it's called show BUSINESS, people. Get over it.

    May 24, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  19. Beautiful Vixen

    No I haven't seen b lo me on here lately. Maybe he is busy or just taking a break from the blogs. Glad you got your a/c fixed and I wish I could send some rain your way. Wow that's bad that you didn't get rain in so long. That's not good. Well enjoy your week.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Snshine Girl *

    Hey has anyone seen B lo me? Havent heard from him in awhile.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Snshine Girl *

    He made the show. Its his and he csan do/say what he wants about it. Everyone needs to lighten up. @BV...Yes I finally got the a/c fixed. Thank god b/c here in West Tx its hot/dry/windy. At least yall got some rain. Hasnt been any here since Jan. Enjoy your showers and stay cool. Yeah we need a few good jokes. Have a good day yall. [Smiles]

    May 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Beautiful Vixen

    Lol...yes I saw that, to Lloyd no less. When is the wedding? On another blog it said that we kidnapped Lloyd and we beat him up. I wonder if we left him alive. Well keep well and enjoy your week :) .

    May 23, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Peace

    Hey Beautiful Vixen! Weekend was great, got away, much needed! Great weather today, but supposed to rain tomorrow. Whatever we get, you get a couple days later, normally. (MI) Yes, I hope SG got air fixed, too. It's no fun to sweat to death! Hopefully all the reg's are good. Looks like I missed a "fun" w/e here. I got engaged, I guess! LOL ! The guys are waaay better at jokes, but you do pretty good, too. I have my moments! Depends on the day! Ha ha Well, good eve to ya! "C-ya" soon!

    May 23, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  24. madhater

    Gervais blows.

    May 23, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nic S.

      Hi Madhater. You are quiet mistaken there. I've looked into the issue, and it turns out that it is in fact your face that blows. No harm no foul.

      May 24, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  25. Joseph M.

    Yeah he's dead-on, as always...really don't see how there is any wiggle room here for a debate. He's correct in assuming that people who are even remotely aware of his comedy understand and give a measure of leniency as far as the US version's existence and perpetuation goes: it's his cash cow. And that's okay, because it's also a PERFECT, Real-Life embodiment of exactly the commentary he made so well in interviews post-Office and the very plotline of 'Extras' about the sitcom he never intended to make. It's a win-win for him; he's got his artistic integrity and industry respect, as well as awards and money. Case closed.

    May 23, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Beautiful Vixen

    @Peace, I know. The guys are so much better with the jokes though..lol. How was your weekend? Don't know what part of the country you are but I hope the weather was nice for you. We are expecting another rainy week here in NJ/NY Metro. Gloomy and depressing. Haven't seen Sunshine Girl* on here the last few days. Hope she is ok and she got her a/c fixed. Enjoy your week everyone!

    May 23, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Cythara

    "Ya gotta have a laugh!" The British version IS better than the American one.

    May 23, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Peace

    Hey Evel & Beautiful Vixen! I know it's just the beginning of the jokes, I'm ready for a good laugh ! Good day !

    May 23, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Beautiful Vixen

    Lol..so true Evel.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Sarah

    I personally, do not get him. I don't think he's funny. In anything. I was so annoyed that he kept interrupting Louis CK in the HBO show they did, Talking Funny (I think that was the name) I kept hoping Louis would punch him in the throat. I watched his special on HBO, he spent 30 minutes making fun of fat people, like that's innovative.

    I never liked The Office, but, even though I am not a fan, I doubt he meant what he said to be a put down. Why would he put down a show he's making a ton of money from? That makes no sense. But I do believe he implied that it would have been beneath him to a part of the cast. That's not a reflection on the show though, just on him.

    May 23, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Turd Masterson

    He is a doodooo head.

    May 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocky Girvace

      Ricky needs an editor for his blog. Someone (like Merchant perhaps) that can proof read what he's gonna write. Someone that will tell him "that sounds smug", "that's gonna incite a riot", or worse of all "that'll hurt the feelings of a famous person".

      He often says that when he's on stage, all the things he's saying aren't necessarily what he really feels. It's more of a persona. Same must apply to his blog too, but people don't read a blog in the same way they watch a stage performance. One is clearly not how a person really feels or would really react and may have the truth stretched for comedy effect, the other is meant to be a regular diary of what someone's thinking at a point in time. Ricky, if you're by any chance reading this, I think you need to take that on board. Take Larry David for example. We all know that his reaction to any given situation on Curb Your Enthusiasm is stretched and overplayed for the comedy effect. In real life he might have faced that scenario, but he won't have reacted in that way (even if he wanted to). Now imagine if Larry was writing a blog and telling a similar story and his reaction. Somehow, because it's not TV, it sounds like a factual description of what really happened. Same goes for Ricky. If it's in the blog, there's no way for the below average intelligencia to infer irony or sarcasm or just having a laugh. It all sounds heartfelt.

      May 25, 2011 at 6:16 am | Report abuse |
  32. San Jose

    Since when do people take everything that comedians say seriously? Lighten up.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  33. TK

    Not sure why people are getting all up in arms about his comments. They're valid. Also, the UK office knew when to quit – unlike the American version which is just an unfunny moneymaker at this point.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  34. Mormon

    He needs to turn to the Mormon Church for guidance. That way he will learn to not be such a turd knocker.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Mormon the Turd Knocker

      Says the bigger turd knocker

      May 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canadian Man

      Your name says Mormon but I think you meant Moron right? Gervais is a funnt dude, crude but funny and that's what he's known for.

      May 24, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • trey

      the only thing that Ricky and any church or religion have in common is that they produce works of fiction

      May 24, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samantha

      Lmao "turd knocker". You be trollin! ;D

      Gervais is funny and people are overly anal.

      May 25, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  35. Mormon

    He is just stoopid. And an jerk.

    May 23, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      You called him stupid... yet you spelled it wrong yourself. I guess that explains your stance on Gervais.

      May 23, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      Please, the poor guy hasn't been able to order dinner since the Oscars, without being labeled a jerk from people with no sense of humor. Not unlike yourself.

      May 23, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • aatami

      Excuse me but you are a mormon. Who could be more stupid than to believe all that BS? At least Ricky Gervais is talented, you are just pathetic.

      May 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • kdos

      Nice spelling.

      May 24, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • NickT

      Mormon

      "He is just stoopid. And an jerk."

      Possibly the most idiotic statement ever written by any human being.. And there's only one m in moron..

      May 26, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      @Jo – He hosted the golden globes :P and he also baits the bad press. Hes pretty savvy.

      June 11, 2011 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |

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