Ricky Gervais: people should be sterilized on basis of “stupid, fat faces”


I am in love with Ricky Gervais. I think he’s funny, I think he’s sexy, I think he’s lovely. He’s promoting his new HBO series, The Ricky Gervais Show - which will begin this month. He’s got other stuff going on, but in this new interview with Ricky, there’s some weird stuff. Even though I’m 90% sure he’s saying a bunch of crap just be provocative and funny, there’s still 10% of me that like “Hey, dude, not cool.” Ricky is discussing parenthood, and who society should allow to breed. Now, Ricky is not a father. He and his longtime girlfriend/partner have no children, and that might be contributing to some of this (full article here):

Gervais on his Paul McCartney at the Golden Globes: “Yeah, I was worried about that joke. I didn’t want McCartney to think I was taking the piss and I was worried when the crowd gasped. But he came backstage and I said, ‘Do you hate me?’ And he said, ‘Oh, I loved it, man,’ and gave me a hug. So it turned out okay.”

On the Mel Gibson joke: “But he pretended to be drunk after I said it and anyway, I’d warned his agent… Not only do I not care what the critics say. I don’t even care if they’re right because I’m enjoying myself. I don’t want to do anodyne stuff about the difference between men and women and cats and dogs and why doesn’t it rain when you take an umbrella out.”

On moving back to New York: He’s also probably going to move to America, too. New York, he says, is “a magical place” that — unlike middle America — totally “gets” him. New Yorkers were all over him after the Globes, “like a war hero. Free champagne and puddings. Artists are more revered there”, he sniffs. “People aren’t offended by the word ‘penis’, or beer.” A few months ago he wouldn’t have contemplated a move, “but now, yeah. New York beckons. We’ve got a place there already. I love it more and more and we miss it when we’re here”.

On marriage to his partner of 25 years, Jane Fallon: “Don’t see the point,” he says curtly. “We are married for all intents and purposes, everything’s shared and actually our fake marriage has lasted longer than a real one … but there’s no point in us having an actual ceremony before the eyes of God because there is no God.”

On his “very religious” childhood: Gervais realised he was an atheist at the age of eight. Previously he had been “very religious”, he says. “Went to Sunday school. For a working-class mum, Jesus is an unpaid babysitter.” One day, however, his brother Bob asked him: “Why do you believe in God? And my mother said, ‘Bob!’ and I just knew. I knew she had something to hide and he was going to tell me.” All religions are “rubbish”, he says. “They’re all arguing, my god’s bigger than your god. And they can’t all be right, can they?”

On children: “Just didn’t fancy it. Too much hassle. Not something either of us wanted to do. We just … didn’t fancy dedicating 16 years of our lives. And there are too many children, of course”.

On the population problem: “Yes, but it’s where it’s condensed. It’s not too many people, it’s too many people with nothing, too many unwanted children, too many people who are poor and struggling, as opposed to too many people. If they all had a good quality of life, no one would complain. What there is, is too many useless people. Too many people who shouldn’t have children.”

On sterilization: “Yes, based on … stupid, fat faces,” he snarls. “If there’s a woman in leggings, eating chips with a fag in her mouth, sterilise her.” You think we should sterilise chavs? He laughs: “You said ‘chavs’; I didn’t. I described an irresponsible parent. Chavs could be included in irresponsible, though.”

On Twitter: “I don’t want to engage with a million people and besides there’s something rather undignified about celebrities talking to each other in public”.

On his autonomy: “And beholden to no one. You have to be a complete fascist in art… Yeah, if you don’t want to do it my way. But I don’t apologise for that.”

[From Times Online]

Okay, you have to read the whole piece to understand something: whoever interviewed Ricky was a f-cking snob. The whole piece was littered with derogatory, nasty little asides about Gervais, and I think Ricky comes across as such an a-hole probably because he was being an a-hole to a guy (or girl) who was an a-hole. That’s the way I like to think of it. Because otherwise, I really hope Gervais isn’t this much of a jerk.

Ricky Gervais in London on February 1, 2010, and on January 29, 2010. Credit: WENN.

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43 Responses to “Ricky Gervais: people should be sterilized on basis of “stupid, fat faces””

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  1. SageAdvice says:

    Ricky Gervais isn’t a jerk, it’s his style of humor. Some people like it and others don’t.

    Personally, I think he’s hilarious, I adore his weird asides and witticisms. His humor is very very British. It’ all odd references and quick, witty comments that you sit there for a second and then go “oh right, ha.”

    But yea, he’s also self-deprecating, which I like. He was on The Daily Show once talking about how he wanted to lose weight because some Brit ragmag had called him a “Chubby Funster”.

    I don’t think he meant anything by it. With his kind of humor it’s all about inflection and context. When you don’t hear him actually say these things and get an idea of the inflection and emphasis and such, the humor is kinda lost.

  2. Susette says:

    I love Gervais, too, and I’ve been a fan for years, but he definitely can be prickly. Most of the time his acting like an asshole is really just an act – part of the joke, but now and then you get the distinct impression that he really can be a jerk. Still love him, though.

    Have to add that SageAdvice is right about the inflection and context. His humor is really better heard than read.

  3. JohnnieR says:

    No offence to the fine American people, but many of them simply don’t get the wonderful, wacky, totally mad-hatter British humour, which I know and love all too well. I can totally relate to Gervais, as my own Irish-Canadian humour can be VERY dry and deadpan, often taken seriously – which it’s meant to be! ;-)

  4. Sumodo says:

    The funniest I ever saw Ricky Gervais was an episode of “Extras” when David Bowie sits down at a piano and makes fun of Ricky (who’s a dumb character on a dumb sitcom on the show) as having a fat face and a pig nose! It was so right, considering Ricky would probably end up getting sterilized. I wonder if he’s had a vasectomy?

  5. vic says:

    No offense to the Brits but 1) we get it and 2) some of us just don’t like it. But I think many do like it. I thought he was great at the Golden Globes but most times he doesn’t do it for me. Guess I’m too American (mad-hatter humour challenged). We rarely like wacky either. sarc Why do the Brits frequently put Americans down if we don’t care for a particular form of entertainment? We “don’t” get it. Please. Judge something for it’s own sake. I’m sure you guys don’t like all American humour, film, tv, comedy, etc. And the Invention of Lying didn’t exactly leave people impressed.

  6. Jorja says:

    I was not expecting to like Ricky at all when he hosted GGs. I had not heard any of his stand up comedy nor seen any of his tv shows. But I thought he was hysterical..every joke was funny and some hilarious (Mel Gibson lead-in was the funniest) but I loved the whole penis thing and how he wished he was home holding it (ahem) rather than standing at the GG podium. Too funny….He confirms what I’ve always said about NYC we are the coolest and the best and that is what we attract. Glad to have you Ricky! Except for his being an atheist, I am a convert (no pun intended).

  7. Brooke says:

    If you read the article from which this excerpt is taken, it doesn’t take any familiarity with British English to read the venom dripping off every snarky aside – the cow who wrote it obviously holds Gervais’ success against him (and for some reason it seems like it is because he is not physically attractive and hence the writer feels he should not be in front of the camera). I like his humor! :)

  8. d says:

    I think he’s right actually, regardless of whether he was joking or not: there ARE too many people, there are too many poor people, and frankly, too many people having children when they should not (not a slam against poor people, more against ignorant people). Not everyone is supposed to or should or whatever. Some people just aren’t equipped to be parents.

  9. Dolkite says:

    His show “Extras” is very funny and is loaded with guest stars spoofing their image. Kate Winslet was on one episode, playing a nun in a WWII drama because she figured she could finally get an Oscar if she appeared in a Holocaust movie. Daniel Radcliffe appeared, bragging about how much sex he had. Best of all was Warwick Davis (the little actor who played Willow, the Leprechaun in the horror movies, as well as a bunch of Harry Potter characters), who tried to beat Ricky up for supposedly hitting on his girlfriend.

  10. bros says:

    of course this doesnt translate to a written transcript. most of what her says could never be funny on the page. the man is a comedian, not a writer, so its all about the auditory signals, inflection, delivery. thank god we dont have to get our humor from our stand up comics in this medium or no one would be funny and everyone would be an ass.

  11. Ron says:

    I live in LA. I was at my local grocery and there was a much shorter than usual line so I saddle up and put my collection of goods on the belt. Yeah! Wait a minute…I am going to be standing here for 15 minutes because the woman in front of me with 5 kids at least 2 if not 3 under the age of 5 is paying with WIC and Foodstamps. Boo. By the time she left with her brood I was peeved. The clerk said if you ever see someone with one of those booklets, don’t walk, run to another line. I had never heard of WIC prior to this. To which I have to say I am lucky that way. But, if she can’t take care of her 3 kids under the age of 10, what in the hell is she doing with 2 more?? I agree. Sterilize her already! I have never had any interest in kids, even when I was one, I wasn’t amused. And if you are married and have kids you pay less tax in the US. So…since I am single and can;t legally marry I have to pay more out of my pocket to support….those kids. Go Ricky GO!!

  12. lucy2 says:

    Hilarious yes, sexy…not so much. But I think he is really funny.
    I could see people not familiar with him being offended by this, but if you are familiar with him, it seems like typical Ricky Gervais.

  13. Carrie says:

    Just watch Extras- Ricky Gervais is not above taking the piss out of himself at every possible opportunity.

    He’s fabulously talented and funny.

  14. Samantha says:

    Americans don’t get mad hatter humour, and the British don’t get how a toothbrush works. I hate stereotypes, lets just toss them forever, mmkay?

  15. Ally says:

    Wow, this Camilla Long woman really has a problem. Fun fact: the paper, The Sunday Times, is owned by Rupert Murdoch of Fox. Also, the Brits hate anyone who succeeds, especially in the States (see also: Hugh Laurie) — as Gervais describes it in the interview: lots of scrutiny, sniping and “cynicism”. Note the sneering three-time mention of the town of Reading where Gervais was raised.

    And now for your entertainment: all the gratuitous snarky bits from Miss Longface’s article:

    …toe-curling mess of fatuous jibes … shamelessly promoted his own work … the little oik from Reading looked more like the boy who burped in church … fidgeting uneasily in his office, a boxy, beige hutch above an estate agent’s … In a bed-to-desk uniform … tanned, tired, ferrety … he crows defiantly … he sneers, his vowels flat, round, Reading. … Quite funny, really, the creator of Extras — a satire on celebrity pretension — jetting off to New York, although I guess he had been leading a pretty highfalutin existence in Hampstead already, pinballing around in his media chalet with its gym and pool in the basement and Jonathan Ross round the corner. … Apart from that, Gervais apparently has no solutions to poverty and destitution. … It strikes me as quite a cold thing to say but then that’s Gervais. Cold. A cold, cold operator. I don’t believe him about the interviews — he obviously loves them — but there’s something hard-nosed in the way he describes this exchange as “a contract”. … Often, at a good gag or new idea, he’ll let out a pterodactyl squawk of excitement. But once the squawks die down he’s still just another little git with razor fangs and a limp goatee. As the son of a hod carrier growing up in 1960s Reading, he lived on “a very working-class estate, kids playing in the garden with bare feet, hitting a dog with a stick”, he says. … “And beholden to no one,” he trills. … I suspect he is uppity to work with, probably petty and intransigent and obsessed with punctuality and weird stuff such as having silence on set. Even he admits he can be tricky … He doesn’t go out much: most evenings it’s a quiet night in for a box-set marathon with Fallon and a bottle of wine. He offsets his slobbery by working out ferociously … he’s fighting a tired little paunch … “That’s us done, I’m afraid”, and a switch flicks off. He’s talked for twice as long as he needed to, but maybe he doesn’t like interviews after all.

    I wish interviewers would just grasp that they’re not celebrities’ buddies, and just get over it when the celebrity doesn’t invite them to stay at their house and party down with them and Jonathan Ross or whoever. There’s such a jealous high school vibe to so many interviews. Yawn!

  16. Essie says:

    I don’t get British “humor” and I refuse to even try. Gervais has been a bomb in America and it’s not just because “middle America” doesn’t get him. Nobody gets him and this interview doesn’t help his case. The man is NOT funny!! Period!! No other explanation needed.

    Moving to NY won’t help but at least he will get lost in the big city and maybe we won’t have to hear about him again.

  17. Carrie says:

    I read the full article and the author CLEARLY doesn’t like Gervais- she insults his clothes “from bed to work ensemble”, his office “a boxy beige room above an estate agent”, his physique “he has a paunch, he’s a slob”, and his accent “hard vowels of a Reading accent”. She also goes off on a little bit of conjecture, imagining what it is probably like to work with him; not surprisingly, she writes that in her imagination, Gervais is a petty tyrant whose idiosyncrasies are tiresome.
    So it’s a chicken or egg: who was the bigger (and first) asshat?

  18. pd says:

    love ricky, he is hysterical and the sterilization comment is funny. there are too many people having kids that should not.

  19. JohnnieR says:

    Samantha wrote: “Americans don’t get mad hatter humour, and the British don’t get how a toothbrush works. I hate stereotypes, lets just toss them forever, mmkay?”

    What’s up YOUR arse, darlin’? And it aint a stereotype; it’s all how one looks at things and can ascertain a theory or mind-set which exists outside certain narrow parameters. Mmkay?

    Essie wrote: “I don’t get British “humor” and I refuse to even try.”

    It’s HUMOUR, sweety; just for the record, we’re not illiterate in Canada or the U.K. And that’s the problem with some (not all) Americans; they simply refuse to stretch and try anything that’s not home grown. I guess some (not all)Yanks need that damn laugh track to be induced into giggles.

  20. girl says:

    I have enjoyed what I have seen him in. I think if one is an atheist, more power to them but his characterization of religions, if he is not just trying to be controversial and funny, shows a deep misunderstanding and gross simplification of the religious mindset.

    But personally, I think he is just trying to be controversial and funny.

    And as for overpopulation, I think there are too many greedy people (and no, I don’t think that people who choose not to “breed” are greedy necessarily). I think there are far too many people who don’t give a damn about other people and cause starvation and disease and death by negligence (I’m looking at most politicians from just about every area of the world square in the face, liberal or conservative or what have you.) And I also disagree with the supposition that there are just too many people, full stop.

    rant over :)

  21. ! says:

    If people with stupid fat faces need to be sterilized Ricky, then you’ll be the first to go. Jerk off.

    Also, I find it reprehensible that its assumed that the writer is “jealous” of Gervais because she refused to kiss his ass. Its called journalism for a reason, people. You’re always bitching about writers who have their nose up celebrities’ asses, then one doesn’t seem so enchanted with someone YOU happen to like, and suddenly its all petty and childish? Make up your mind. I doubt you’d have seen it as petty and sniping if a man had wrote it, in fact, you’d probably wonder to yourselves if there was something terrible about Ricky that you didn’t know about.

  22. bros says:

    !: journalism is usually a bit more objective. its evident from the consistent negative slant and snarky adjectives and tone that the writer does indeed find Ricky repugnant, but she should make a full journalistic disclosure rather than presenting this as something like an objective interview with him.

  23. Tia C says:

    @ Ron: I’m with you, buddy! [slightly off topic]: Although I have no problem with people receiving help like WIC, but yeah, when you see someone like that who has had more than their fair share of kids, on the dole, it does tend to get the blood pressure up. They should just have a separate line for WIC and EBT cards at the supermarkets. I would think that would decrease the tension for all parties.

    Not a big fan of Gervais, but I do appreciate his wit. He seems to play doltish, dim bulb characters, but obviously from his comments here, he is pretty sharp.

  24. wow says:

    I’m not an atheist, but I find RG to be hilarious! I can also see why he would want to settle in NY as oppose to LA too.

    I still don’t understand why he recieved gasps after his Paul Mc. joke. Those fuddy-duddies were probably saying the same type of stuff about others only in lowered gossipy voices during those commercial breaks.

    @ Ron. Very valid points. It seems like if you’re single you get “punished” more by the government. It even costs more to stay at a hotel if its single occupancy. I’ll also add that I know a few married couples who I wish were sterile because they just don’t make good parents or even fully understand the concept properly caring for children.

  25. Kathie says:

    Ok then! Lets not start another war with the British please we are even now and that is the way we need to leave it. Not all humor appeals to everyone for instance let me confide that I am apparently the only person in the history of the world who didn’t “love” Lucy it just didn’t appeal to me. On the other hand I enjoy a wide variety of stand up and sitcoms, funny movies etc..including a lot of Brit humor. Can we please stop fighting about comedy? Its more than my irony quotient can handle at this hour.

  26. Goosie says:

    He seems to have issues with fat people, because this isn’t the first interview he’s given where he’s made incredibly rude remarks about overweight folks.

    I’m on the fence about him….I think he’s really funny, but probably kind of a prickly dick in real life. Which is fine, I don’t necessarily need my entertainers to be sunshine & roses when they aren’t entertaining me, as long as they aren’t complete a-holes.

  27. Goosie says:

    Yup, here we go:


    ETA I guess that stuff from the article is from an audio book of his? He’s a self-hating fattie, I guess.

  28. whateva says:

    he’s a genius. and he couldn’t be more RIGHT. he’s preachin’ right to my choir and i LOVE it!!! boo-hoo y’all…

  29. Shannon says:

    I love Ricky!

  30. Kelbees says:

    The other day while I was at work I had a woman come in and spend almost half an hour playing scratch off tickets at the counter. During this time, she left her four and two year old out in the car near the gas pumps. It was 15 degrees outside, the car was not running. She probably weighed ’bout 95 lbs. After spending around 125 dollars, she left. So…not only the fat faced ones should be sterilized.

  31. YoureSoooCool... says:


  32. Tazina says:

    I totally love everything he said.. It’s what a lot of people are thinking but don’t say because of the negative backlash they would receive. I mean religion is the oldest scam ever known to mankind. I wouldn’t say just fat faced stupid people make bad parents – lots of skinny ones too. But it was funny anyway.

  33. Mark says:

    He’s funny. I love him.

  34. p3rp3tu4 says:

    Fun. Brilliant! Enjoyable.

  35. MrEd says:

    We have a winner!

    JohnnieR is the biggest assshat here!

  36. NO says:

    People who like Gervais are generally passive-aggressive loser types, who _wish_ they could walk around throwing insults at whatever makes them cranky, but lack both the intelligence and nerve to do so.

    And yes, we in the vast, savage “middle America” do get Brit “humour,” you pretentious sack of butter. We just don’t find it funny.

  37. Dan says:

    i’m british, and yes we get his “jokes”, we just dont all think he’s funny. stop trying to make out it was the interviewer everyone knows gervais is up his own arse, its funny he says people who have stupid fat faces should be sterilized, i would imagine by that definition he’d be the first in line?

  38. Phowie says:

    British humor is great. Monty Python, Are You Being Served, 2.4 Children, Little Britain, Sacha Baron Cohen, Wallis and Gromit, the Kumars, Spitting Image. No, it doesn’t always translate well to people in other cultures, but its very multicultural in itself and very funny, just in a different way. Even their TV commercials are incredibly clever. But mostly because the concept behind it all is ‘the joke’s on me’ and in America we don’t like the joke to be on us. We like to laugh, but not at our own expense. Just watch Borat. Cohen based his whole concept (and characters like Ali G.) on we Americans not being able to laugh at ourselves and taking ourselves and our country way too seriously.

  39. guesty says:

    as if he’s some prize!

  40. Whitey Fisk says:

    Agreed, Mr. Ed! Congrats Johnnie!

  41. snapdragon says:

    “People who like Gervais are generally passive-aggressive loser types, who _wish_ they could walk around throwing insults at whatever makes them cranky, but lack both the intelligence and nerve to do so.”

    kind of like people who insult others on celebrity chat boards.

  42. piedlourde says:

    I find Gervais the funniest when he’s performing material (co-)written by Stephen Merchant…

  43. piedlourde says:

    Phowie: Besides the ever brilliant Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Wallace & Gromit, I’m not so fond of any of the shows you mentioned (especially not the awful Little Britain which was funny/shocking for the duration of the first episode only). I prefer the works of Morris/Iannucci, Wright/Pegg, Linehan/Matthews, Armstrong/Bain, Mitchell/Webb and of course Merchant/Gervais.

    I’m Swedish and us swedes have always had a good eye for British comedy, we “get” it. Thanks to the internet I’ve discovered shows like Black Books, Spaced, Ideal, Father Ted, The Day Today, I’m Alan Partridge, Brass Eye, Jam, Big Train, Peep Show, That Mitchell & Webb Look, Phoenix Nights, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, How Do You Want Me?, The Peter Serafinowicz Show, The IT Crowd, The Office, Extras… I could go on and on and on!) :D