Award-winning actor/comedian Ricky Gervais' first-ever HBO stand-up special features his unique takes on such disparate issues as fund-raising, autism, fame, nursery rhymes, Nazis, moronic friends, obesity and more.
Stephen Merchant, despite his impressive height (he's 6'7), has spent an awful lot of time in the shadow of Ricky Gervais. There's nothing wrong with that, essentially, when the working relationship works as well as their one does, but it's nice to see times when Merchant gets to go it alone and . . . . . . . stretch his legs (no pun intended).
This live stand up show is based on Merchant's search for the love of his life. He recounts a number of interesting encounters, often wringing laughs from either his perceived nerdiness or his inability to just shut up and go along with social norms like splitting restaurant bills and paying for things while out on a date.
The great thing is that, as with all good comedy, there's a lot that rings true. Most men will certainly think so and laugh in recognition while women will also concede that he makes a few good points. Whether you love or hate what he says, he gets away with it thanks to a child- like lack of understanding regarding social etiquette and when to stop saying what has gone through your mind.
All in all, this is funny stuff, but it's also clear that Merchant isn't a natural stand up comic. He makes the experience a good one, but I don't think he should push his luck in this particular area.
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