There are few people in the world that can make me laugh like Ricky Gervais and his character David Brent on BBC’s The Office remains the gold standard for television comedy in my book. For some reason this GQ interview spends most of its time questioning Ricky on whether he fell off, if he secretly enjoys being rich and why his new show Derek is so bad (there also isn’t a single mention of Ricky’s pal and my personal hero Karl Pilkington). But the piece is worth reading just to find out more about Ricky’s friendship with David Bowie. Check this little gem for example:
GQ: Did it feel weird that it seemed for a long time that the song he did in Extras might be the last David Bowie song?
Ricky Gervais: Yeah, it did. But I can’t deny that there are some things that give me a buzz. He’s been a musical hero of mine for thirty years. When I called him up and I’d written “Little Fat Man” [in the episode, Bowie, playing himself, is annoyed by Gervais’s character at a posh bar and makes up a song on the spot: “Pathetic little fat man / No one’s bloody laughing / The clown that no one laughs at / They all just wish he’d die” and so on], I said, “Have you got the lyrics?” and he went, “Yeah.” I said, “Can you do something quite retro, like ‘Life on Mars’?” And he went [deadpan], “Oh, of course, yeah, sure. I’ll knock off a quick ‘Life on Mars,’ shall I?”