Ricky Gervais AfterLife series 2 – comedy star says it needs to be dark and ‘feel real’

Posted on 1 May 2020
By Andy Johnson
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Caustic comedy star Ricky Gervais has declared that comedy needs to ‘feel real’ and enter dark territory without fear of offending people to work.

After Life series 2 has been delighting fans since it landed on Netflix this week, and takes us further on the life voyage of journalist Tony, who is struggling to recover from the grief of losing his wife to cancer.

The Office creator spoke out about how he doesn’t feel clever about always negotiating ‘final edit’ calls on his shows, but insisted that comedy needs to cut to the bone to reflect life.

Ricky, 58, said: “To be fair, I could sit here pontificating about how brave I am and how I always get final edit on any project, but I think most people start out and go, ‘Right, I’m going to do something that’s un-compromised.’

“But then someone says, ‘We could put it on at 9 o’clock if you lose that word and you’ll get more viewers,’ and they go ‘OK.’ And ‘Maybe don’t show this,’ and soon it’s good, but it’s got all the stuff taken out of it…

“Why are we second guessing what adults can take? People say these things at home, to their kids.

“They say these things all the time, but then someone in charge thinks, ‘Oh, no, it will be too much.’

“But that’s where the comedy comes from, actually. Even though it is dark and I want people to feel sorry for Tony – I wanted it to be real… I mean to start a sitcom with a woman in chemo leaving a message and you know she’s dead – that’s not Terry And June.

“But that’s what makes you root for this man who’s nasty to everyone – even kids.”

After Life series 2 is out now on Netflix.