Stephen Merchant Makes His U.S. Standup Debut, Without Ricky Gervais


In other duos-branching-into-singlos news, Stephen Merchant is making his American standup debut next week as part of his Hello Ladies tour. And comparisons to Ricky Gervais are inevitable: “‘Where Merchant excelled over his accomplice was by avoiding the sneering narcissism that has crept into Gervais’s manner since success has encompassed him,’ Paul Rowland wrote in a review in The Western Mail this fall.” But Merchant sounds funny on his own, too!

He lampoons his own extreme stinginess (“If you go on a Steve date, there will be no popcorn”); his extreme height (he’s 6 foot 7; “I spent a lot of my youth leaning”); and his extreme haplessness, as when an attractive woman in a crowd at Trafalgar Square asked him to wait for her, “because my friends and I have arranged to meet back at you.”