Photos by Angelo Marchini
Ricky Gervais is a British comedian, screenwriter, filmmaker, and actor whose best-known for his role as the creator and the lead character of his debut show, The Office. But he’s much more than that. Beside being a creative comedian, Gervais is a dedicated advocate of scientific rationality and evidence-based reasoning which has affirmed him as one of the most publicly outspoken Atheists and rationalists. It’s this very mentality that has formed the direct and apologetic style of Gervais’ comedy which has manifested itself in different forms, whether TV shows, movies, podcasts, animated podcasts, a travel show, and hosting the Golden Globes. He’s done it all, and he’s nowhere near to be done.
As a part of his latest standup tour, the first in seven years, Ricky Gervais filled Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall on Saturday with hundreds of his fans. Being the second of three Toronto shows, the venue was completely filled up with cheering and applauding audience who welcomed Gervais to the stage, through lasers, lights, and AC/DC’s Hells Bells. “Shut the Fuck up” Gervais got his first laugh with his unique way of expressing appreciation for the warm welcome. He started by introducing the new tour, Humanity, pointing out how he’s unsure of why he named the tour Humanity. “I like dogs more.” he revealed an already well-established fact for his fans and followers. “I think dogs are better people than people”. Whether agree or disagree, Gervais went on to prove his point by accurately and thoughtfully addressing the current state of Western humanity by making jokes about everything and anything imaginable and unimaginable, from a Caitlyn who used to be Bruce, the equal right for Gervais to self-identify as a chimp, the pedophiles in the “good old days”, why not having a kid is the Right option, the Right to offend and the Right to not respect one’s opinion if the opinion is as dumb as claiming the world was created 6,000 years ago, Gervais’ Twitter battles and wars, and how he is better than Jesus because he “actually showed up”.
Gervais finished his nearly two-ours long set just to come back on the stage for a quick reminder, that since we’re all going to die, we might as well “have a laugh”. Making his final point, and perhaps the main point and the theme throughout his career, it was this beautiful articulation of the man’s appreciation and passion for absolute freedom of speech that I believe will continue, as it has, to resonate with his loyal fans and followers. “If it’s funny, you should say it” Gervais shared the words of his brother, Bob, who never gave up on comedy, even at their mother’s wake.
Ricky Gervais is a legend and a gift to humanity. And a much better gift than Jesus, because he’s real.