Belfast Telegraph

Gervais: If you can't fight, joke!

Ricky Gervais was brought up in a family where the worst thing a person could be was boring.

The 53-year-old comedian began on the small screen in British TV show The Office, which has now been remade for countries around the globe including Sweden and Israel. His talent has since taken him to Hollywood in films such as Night at the Museum and Muppets Most Wanted, so it seems Ricky's hard work at cracking jokes as a youngster paid off.

"Before I realised I was funny, I realised that humour was the most important thing, you know? I was surrounded by funny people growing up. I mean, the worst thing you could be growing up in my family was to be boring. You could be a murderer, but if you were able to get a laugh people would rather have a drink with you," he chuckled to The Hollywood Reporter.

"And then, obviously - it’s a cliché, but - if you can’t fight, tell a joke. You know, I think all those things are based in truth and reality. I mean, there’s no class or race or demographic or profession or type of person or sex or anything I feel uncomfortable around except someone without a sense of humour. It’s just too much hard work."

Ricky is set to bring the character who made him famous, The Office's David Brent, to the big screen next year and is also lined up to star in other features including The Little Prince. His humour has got him far in life, but the British star never looked at comedy as a career while growing up.

"Comedy is about empathy, and if you understand every nuance and get every part of it, the reward is so much greater," Ricky explained. "And so no, it was never thought of as a profession. And it’s also a mistake. There’s loads of funny people that think they’re funny, but then they get up on stage and it’s just not right because the format’s all wrong. "

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