12 September 2013 9:58 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

My favorite Ricky Gervais bit is one from his "Fame" stand-up tour in which he talks about befriending the autistic son of one of his new neighbors. Told the boy doesn't get out much because he doesn't have friends, Gervais offers to take him to the zoo, but after waving goodbye to his teary mother, takes the kid to a casino instead and attempts to take advantage of what he assumes will be "Rain Man"-type gifts. It's a brilliant riff on the obnoxious, narcissistic persona Gervais has adopted on the stage, a more inflated version of the obliviously petty tyrantisms of David Brent, the character Gervais played in "The Office," the landmark comedy series he co-created with Stephen Merchant. It's his own ridiculousness that's the butt of the joke, not that of the fictional kid, but Gervais is also upending expectations of a treacly anecdote about the disabled -- an "in the end, »


- Alison Willmore

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"The Office" (2005)
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