TV review: Ricky Gervais - Out of England 2

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

When Ricky Gervais wrote a musical number for David Bowie that skewered Gervais' "Extras" character, Andy Millman - "he's benign and facile, he's a fat waste of space, see his pug-nosed face" - it was possibly the most insensitive, nasty verbal assault he'd ever cast, and it was against himself.

That was until Gervais blasted out his wonderful politically incorrect HBO showcase "Out of England" in 2008.

This Saturday's follow-up special may actually take his unrelenting offensive hilariousness a step further.

During it, Gervais brashly says just about anything - whether it garners uproarious laughs or disgusted gasps.

Early in the set Gervais tells the Chicago crowd they'll be treated to possibly exclusive bits because he's testing material for later tour dates. Jokes that tank will never be used again, therefore making them exclusive - or, as Gervais refers to them, "s--- bits."

Thankfully, there's not one joke or routine that fails. A few are as appalling as they are funny, and those, consequently, are the best parts of the act.

When one joke - about driving while drunk and almost killing an old woman only to end up doing something else to her - may have taken things a bit far, Gervais quickly jumps ship and goes right into discussing spiders.

The joke itself isn't the most abhorrent of the night, but its lightning-quick punch-line delivery induces shock before laughter.

Other victims of Gervais' unabashed wit include fat people, the Irish ("England's Cuba") and, most wickedly, religion.

An "acts of God" bit is particularly great because, by Gervais' definition, all acts are "acts of God." Therefore, volcanoes and African babies with AIDS are considered "acts of God."

See? Offensive, but also really funny.

Ricky Gervais: Out of England 2

10 p.m. Saturday on HBO

3.5 stars out of 4