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Published on January 21st, 2009 | by Sharilyn Johnson

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Inside the Comics' Studio

I can stomach James Lipton if it means I get to hear a brilliant comedic mind talk for an hour or two. So when Ricky Gervais’s episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio aired on Bravo on Monday night, my stuck-with-Canadian-cable self excitedly waited for the torrent to become available.

While it’s definitely worth the watch, I found myself wanting more. And not in a good way. Skipped completely was his work in Ghost Town. His standup only warranted a few moments of discussion. There was a hilarious couple minutes of penis talk, which is something I’d rather see on Letterman or Conan. And I fastforwarded the 5 minutes following Lipton’s “can I speak with David Brent” embarrassment. (Do actors ever say “no” to that? They should.)

vlcsnap-1591668But when you get down to it, it’s Ricky Gervais, talkin’ about The Office and Extras for about an hour, and that’s just plain fantastic. If you missed it, there might just be an easy download somewhere around here. *cough*

Next Monday night, Conan O’Brien’s episode airs. I’m head over heels in love with the preview clips Bravo has released. You can view them on Bravo’s website, or watch them all handily embedded in this post on OhNoTheyDidnt.

This is a 2-hour episode, and they certainly had a lot of material to work with. This article from TV Squad describes a brutal 4-hour long taping. I had concerns the end result would feel just as tedious, but I’m excited to see the rest.

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If you’re into this whole talking-about-comedy thing, and find yourself in New York City next month, I strongly recommend Carl Arnheiter’s Inside Joke series at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre. His guest on February 16 will be Janeane Garofalo (she made a quick appearance at the Zach Galifinakis one I went to last year), and tickets just became available – mere moments ago – on the UCB website.

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Episodes 3 & 4 of the PBS special Make ‘Em Laugh airs tonight! Don’t miss it.

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About the Author

is the author of the book Bears & Balls: The Colbert Report A-Z. Called "one of the city’s most discriminating comedy critics” by NOW Magazine, Sharilyn has been covering comedy for longer than she cares to admit. She served as the comedy reporter for Winnipeg's Uptown Magazine for five years, and was the host of the radio show Laugh Tracks for three seasons. Her work has also appeared in the Toronto Star, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Apiary, and on CBC Radio's national comedy programs LOL and Definitely Not the Opera.



One Response to Inside the Comics' Studio

  1. Chica says:

    It may be considered sacrilege in Britain, but I am none too fond of Ricky Gervais. The Office was great, but I prefer the American version, to be honest. Extras got more and more preachy as it went on and pretty much every acting job seems to be some variation on the same character (and that includes the stand-up). I just find him to be a bit of a one-trick pony and people don’t realise how crucial Stephen Merchant is to that writing relationship.

    People talk about The Office as if it’s the greatest, most original idea ever, but it really isn’t. Years before there was People Like Us, which is single camera, fake documentary, no laugh track, it just took a different set of characters every week and the only constant was the voice-over of the documentary maker.

    James Lipton freaks me out.

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