This lengthy article on Ricky Gervais gets into his attitude towards the controversy he often stirs up, and it also makes the very good point that it’s sometimes hard to square Gervais the public figure and Gervais the TV writer:
Gervais’s stand-up act can be difficult to reconcile with his TV work. Attired in a black T-shirt, jeans or black pants and a headset microphone that recalls the aggressive seduction expert played by Tom Cruise in Magnolia, Gervais may variously riff on the first doctor who had to tell a patient he had AIDS, or the differences between Dustin Hoffman’s character in Rain Man and a real-life autistic man he met (who, Gervais jokes, he promptly whisked off to a casino). His stand-up act possesses little of the sentimental heart of The Office or even of Extras; it can be ruthlessly funny, but also belligerent and a little bit paranoid. As a stand-up, Gervais seems to take a childlike glee in going directly at all the topics he’s been told to stay away from. At the end of a long rant in his 2010 HBO show, Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2 he declared, “If I have offended anyone, and I’m sure I have, I don’t apologize.”
Not that that lack of an apology should surprise anyone. I would bet a million dollars that Ricky Gervais will never apologize for anything. (Not that that’s a bad or good thing, necessarily.) And if he did apologize and made me lose that bet, I bet another million that he wouldn’t apologize for that.