Ricky Dene Gervais is hands down one of the best comedians of our times. His words and voice are honest, and they need to be preserved because there is a lot of truth in the way he speaks about topical and general things around us. He has the habit of looking at the scene and blurting out the most honest opinion of it. We all could be thinking it, but Ricky would just say it out loud for many to chuckle or feel awkward about.
Ricky has had several television shows, stand-up specials, and movies, yet the man is unstoppable at the age of 60. To think that in the day and age of ‘tokenism,’ a person like him could still keep going and be relevant through the kind of jokes he writes and presents via this medium. As stated, his last stand-up special, Ricky Gervais: Super Nature, received a lot of flak, but at the same time, it was also the most watched special on the platform. This is exactly what his new special on Netflix is about. Ricky Gervais: Armageddon is the brand-new special that was released on the platform on December 25, 2023. Everyone would expect it to be about Christmas, but there is a lot to take away from this special. It is also important to understand that not everyone has to get offended by a joke.
A stand-up stage is a place where the comedian is just being themselves and presenting their opinion on any subject. Ricky Gervais, through his new special, managed to pick up the most talked-about word and subject in the last decade, ‘woke.’ He claims himself to be ‘woke’ just like any sane person in this world. But his definition is very different from the current generation’s understanding of it. Ricky Gervais: Armageddon was not at all sugary, spiced, or anything nice. In fact, people who are familiar with his style of comedy should wait to be tongue-tied, and for a moment, someone might say, ‘Oh, he went there and made that joke,’ followed by a chuckle. There is a lot to take from what Ricky Gervais has to say in the stand-up show.
A comedian should not be asked to censor his jokes just because a community might feel offended, followed by a call for a boycott. Freedom of speech does not work like that. Ricky Gervais was brutally honest about many subjects, and he went ahead and spoke about topics that no one would be willing to see the humor in, so he added graphic detailing to it as well.
This stand-up show was only one hour and two minutes long, but Ricky managed to cover some taboo subjects and made the audience laugh with nervousness, awkwardness, and plain horror. Ricky Gervais never took the safe route and managed to poke fun at even cultural appropriation by talking about China and the stereotypes people have of it. His hilarious take on ‘wokeness’ and illegal immigrants, followed by the subject of Viking conquest, is as honest as anybody would get, and no one else would portray this version in any stand-up special or television show. Ricky could have easily taken a safer route. Case in point: Trevor Noah’s special, which was released last week, had no substance that could make anyone laugh.
Ricky Gervais took a jab at every controversial topic and threw it right back at the audience in a way everyone could savor a good laugh instead of just clapping out of sheer gratitude. Some jokes cannot be mentioned here, keeping in mind the readers and their sensitivity, but one needs to watch the show to understand why laughing over these subjects could be a good way to just look at things as a joke and not something that needs to be taken seriously every time it is brought up. There is sensitivity in the humor Ricky deals with, but it is layered beautifully and refuses to make it look like it panders to the audience watching it. The entire stand-up special needs a trigger warning for those who might have been victims of certain topics that Rocky Gervais has mentioned. But in the end, laughter does cure everything. There are anecdotes from his childhood that would help the audience and viewers to see something similar from a different perspective. It would be easy to understand why certain subjects may need to be brought out in public to talk about so that there are no murmurs regarding them anymore.
The audience in the auditorium was also going with Ricky and understanding this point of view, and there was more laughter than applause. This is a sign of a comedian saying the right thing with the right words. Words, it is always this construction that could make or break you. This is what makes Ricky Gervais one of the best stand-up comedians of the generation. In this special, there is little to take offense, because he utilized the right kind of expression for a topic that wouldn’t just drive people to switch off the television. Ricky Gervais could well get trashed for this special, but there would be many who would log in to Netflix to deduce what the controversy was all about.
The show did get flaky in the middle, and there was a point at which one would realize Ricky Gervais may have lost the plot, which is where he brings up the last act of the show. The last ten minutes are hilarious, and there is a sense of wonder that adds flair to his humor and gives the show a perfect ending. It was hilarious to watch Ricky call out what the actual word woke meant and how it is reduced to being a synonym for bullying. There might be a lot in the audience and among the viewers who will agree with what Ricky opines. Ricky Gervais: Armageddon is a must-watch stand-up special to watch over a glass of wine and some delicious takeout dinner.