Ricky Gervais Wants a Crack at the Emmys
With HBO special on the way, Ricky Gervais says he'd like to host the Emmy Awards: "I think I'd quite like to host the Emmys...if I could do it with Steve Carell."
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/9/2008 7:00:00 PM
I know a lot of people agree with me when I say that I want to see a lot more Ricky Gervais on television here in the States. But unfortunately, No We Can't.
Gervais told me in a phone chat last week that he would love to host a late-night talk show and even the Emmys here in the U.S., but finding the time is a whole other issue. His new standup special hits HBO this week, and he is totally wrapped up in a film career.
But he is a fan of U.S. television, and one project he would love to do one day would be a talk show—or “chat show,” as they say across the pond. And his preferred format is not only already formulated, but tested. He did a series of specials in Britain in which he sat down with subjects such as Larry David, Garry Shandling and Christopher Guest for some wonky talk about their trade.
“More like a comedy version of Inside the Actors Studio than Conan O'Brien,” is how he described it to me.
Gervais says HBO already approached him about taking the idea Stateside. And while it was one he had to pass on for now, he would like to circle back to it one day.
“I quite like the idea, when I'm not so busy,” he says.
The other project he would like to carve out some time for would be to host the Emmys, the awards show he basically stole this past September in a hysterical bit with Steve Carell. He says he would be up for it, but wouldn't want to go it alone.
“I think I'd quite like to host the Emmys—if I could do it with Steve Carell,” he says. “Or maybe a bunch of us like Carell and Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.”
Um, Emmy people, you may want to be picking up that phone. Now.
Gervais says he'd step into the show despite his admission that awards shows “aren't fun anyway.” And he puts this past September's show in that category.
“I was sitting there looking around me at Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and J.J. Abrams and Glenn Close, and I just kept turning around to them and saying, 'Kill me, please, kill me.'”
As for rumors about him being offered the Oscars, he says a categorical no thanks. “The rumors turned out to be that I was on a list,” he says. “I might be No. 323, after everyone from Billy Crystal to David Letterman has turned it down. If they asked me, they'd really have to be in dire straits. But seriously, that just wouldn't be right for me.”
Gervais says he usually likes to be working on only one project at a time, and now he is working on This Side of the Truth, a film due out next year with a star-studded cast including Jennifer Garner, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill. From there he goes straight into production on another film with Stephen Merchant, his partner in crime on projects such as HBO's Extras.
He would love to do the talker, or even a sketch show he and Carell have talked about, but it doesn't seem likely for the next couple of years.
So we'll have to settle for his new HBO special. And don't be expecting to see a warm and fuzzy Gervais in that. He comes out of the chute with guns blazing, which actually led to one of the great moments of my recent life: getting Ricky Gervais to burst out laughing.
I told him that we're all basically a--holes here in the States (well, at least you New Yorkers), so when you start a TV special by making fun of cancer, fat people, autism and AIDS as this one does, you really hit the American Zeitgeist.
“I may have to use that as a quote one day,” he said, laughing. “Thanks for that.”
E-mail comments to email@example.com
No related content found.
No Top Articles