Ricky Gervais Refuses to Admit He’s Pretty Much David Brent Now

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Ricky Gervais gave a nice long interview to GQ as part of their new comedy issue, and, in it, interviewer Chris Heath takes Gervais to task for the David Brent-esque lack of self awareness he’s developed over the past several years. Gervais refuses to cop to it even a little bit, just like David Brent would. Here’s a clip from the interview:

GQ: You’ve often said one reason the character of David Brent worked so well is because he has a blind spot about how people see him.Ricky Gervais: Yeah. That’s exactly what we’re laughing at.GQ: Do you ever worry that could be true about yourself?Gervais: This will sound arrogant: I don’t worry about it at all. I think I’m pretty self-aware. I think I know what I’m doing. You know when you’ve been a prat, you know when you’re being a prat, you know when something sounds pretentious. But you’re right—by definition you don’t know. It’s funny, Christopher Guest said to me—we were talking about comedians we used to like and if people go off the boil—and he was basically saying: “What if we become the people we don’t rate anymore? What if we lose it and we don’t know it?” And I went [grins], “Who cares?”GQ: Surely you’ve already heard people saying that you’ve lost it?Gervais: Yeah. But then I sell 30,000 tickets in an hour. So what have I lost? What do they mean: I’ve lost it? They mean they don’t like Derek as much as ExtrasScience as much as Animals [two of his stand-up specials]? They mean they don’t like me. That’s what they mean. So they’re trying to justify their dislike in a critical response. That’s what I think, if I’m being brutally honest. They have to say The Office was good—they have to. Not because it was, but because most people think it was. But I do love that Joseph Heller quote. A journalist said, “If I’m being honest, I don’t think you’ve ever written anything as good as Catch-22.” And Joseph Heller said, “Who has?”