Love or loathe them, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant introduced the world to a comedic genius. The last few years have been spent trying to increase his public profile, and now his name is associated with record-breaking podcasts, the seven wonders of the world and… oranges.
“What are those things in Gremlins called?”
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you… Mr. Karl Pilkington.
You might have noticed he’s Mancunian, he has a deadpan delivery and his head is perfectly spherical.
But Karl is very funny. I’m not sure he means to be. But some people think he’s a comic creation; that he’s, in fact, an actor called Graham. But I’m not sure anyone could create anything like Karl Pilkington.
“I have learned that my brain isn’t as interested in stuff as I am.”
Gervias, Merchant and Pilkington have presented and co-produced The Ricky Gervais Show, a record-breaking series of podcast-come-TV series based on their various ramblings. But he’s perhaps best-known for his travel series, An Idiot Abroad, in which he visits the Seven Wonders of the World and shares his thoughts on them. Of the Great Wall of China, he said: “I mean, it’s long, but then so’s the M62.”
But he also writes books, a few of which are based on his diaries, including The World of Karl Pilkington, Happyslapped by a Jellyfish, and Karlology. One of Karl’s strengths is his deadpan delivery, and he gets this across in his text with an informal, chatty style. “You’ve got 204 pages to fill,” he says. “Dawdle all you want. Ramble away. I mean, there’s times when I wish I had a stutter, just to get the word count up.”
Okay, so why do I like him so much?
Well, first of all, everything he does is of a very high quality. Writing a book that is as funny as its TV counterpart is – frankly – genius.
Secondly, he’s normal. He speaks his mind and has gut-reactions to everything. He’s inoffensive, has his timing worked to a tee, and – though some of his ideas are bizarre and utterly mad – you can still, somehow, relate.
“Jellyfish are 97% water or something, so how much are they doing? Just give them another 3% and make them water.”
Finally, he got one GCSE; an ‘E’ in History. He failed to register for the rest, so got no other official grades. So why’s this a reason to like him? Well, it’s spurred him on. Far from any idiot you meet down the local, he wants to learn more. Yes, he’s ignorant of a lot, but so is everyone. At least he’s trying to better himself.
Oh, and he’s very, very funny.
And if you’re still not convinced… Karl is at Chichen Itza, in Mexico, where Mayans performed sacrifices. And if you don’t like him after this, you probably never will.
Karl Pilkington: Just can’t get enough.