Once upon a time, Ricky Gervais used to spend his time writing good comedy and having a laugh.
In his own opinion, he’s still doing that. But to a lot of people, these days he’s no better than all the alt-right geeks you see on YouTube, taking a hardy-har glee in being deliberately grim about a certain topic or people and then saying “It’s called FREE SPEECH! Don’t like it? Not my problem!”
It’s presented as daring and niche in a world apparently ruined by political correctness but just comes across as pathetic, to be honest. The jokes, which are really just punchline-less insults, are nothing your thickest friend couldn’t come up with at the click of a finger. Lowest common denominator stuff which purely seeks to incite anger and not laughter.
But then what do we know? We’re not comedians. Here’s what he tweeted recently: “I was going to dress up as something weird and creepy for my Halloween party, but I’m bucking the trend this year and I’m going as brave female activist Jessica Yaniv.
“This also means I don’t have to wax my big old hairy balls.”
Fans were not taken with the tweet about Jessica, a 34-year-old Canadian journalist who made headlines after trying to sue several beauticians who refused to wax her when they found out she had male private parts.
They tweeted: ‘I like you, Ricky. I find 99.9% of your jokes very funny. But I really, REALLY wish you’d stop with the trans jokes. JY is an awful predator, true. Her demands were ridiculous. But as a group, trans ppl are already beaten down so much. Poking fun at them is just a**eholey.’
Another added: “I’m not upset because you made a joke – that’s what you do. But good comedians (which I believe you are) know it’s all about timing. Not just yours but society’s. And I gotta say, the timing’s *way* off.”
Gervais responded, saying: “This tweet upset some people yesterday so I think I should apologise and delete it and never make offensive jokes like this again.”
Call me a sceptic, but I think he’s joking!