Dys­func­tion the joke

Cre­ator Ricky Ger­vais looks back at his suc­cess story

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SATURDAY EXTRA -

RI­TISH comedian Ricky Ger­vais has looked back on his years of suc­cess with hit TV sit­com The Of­fice and penned a per­sonal ret­ro­spec­tive as the US ver­sion of the show en­ters its fi­nal sea­son.

The fun­ny­man and his writ­ing part­ner, Stephen Mer­chant, launched the orig­i­nal UK pro­gram in 2001, star­ring Ger­vais as the main char­ac­ter, David Brent, and it be­came so pop­u­lar, it was adapted for au­di­ences around the world.

The Amer­i­can take on The Of­fice, which starred Steve Carell as the boss, has be­come the long­est-run­ning se­ries of them all, but net­work ex­ec­u­tives at NBC re­cently an­nounced that its up­com­ing ninth sea­son would be its last and now Ger­vais has re­flected on his mem­o­ries and ex­pe­ri­ences on the shows.

In a blog on the Wall Street Jour­nal web­site, he writes: ‘‘With the US re­make of The Of­fice draw­ing to a close af­ter an in­cred­i­ble nine se­ries and ru­mours of a Brent come­back, I thought I’d write a per­sonal ret­ro­spec­tive about my lit­tle cre­ation . . . The Of­fice, like many other sit­coms be­fore it, finds hu­mour in a dys­func­tional fam­ily. The rea­son why we find this both funny and com­fort­ing is that we all be­long to a dys­func­tional fam­ily. If you don’t, there’s some­thing wrong with you . . . NBC’s The Of­fice is with­out doubt the most suc­cess­ful re­make of a British sit­com for at least 30 years. I couldn’t be prouder of its suc­cess but I was keen for it to come to an end as all good things should.’’

That doesn’t mean Ger­vais has killed off his pop­u­lar char­ac­ters for good. Jok­ing about his other TV se­ries, he adds: ‘‘Maybe I’ll do an Ex­tras re­make next.

As for Brent com­ing back? Who knows? (Haha. How an­noy­ing is that?)’’

Fri­day and Mon­day, var­i­ous times, TV1; Sun­days, 11pm, Eleven.

Ricky Ger­vais taps into com­fort and laughs.

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