Joe Lycett says that new Ricky Gervais specials are “Comedically weak”

Richard Bevan
Richard Bevan
3 Min Read

In a recent podcast appearance on The News Agents, Joe Lycett didn’t hold back in expressing his disappointment with Ricky Gervais’ latest Netflix special, Armageddon. Lycett, known for his activism, criticised Gervais for his focus on anti-woke material. He also took aim at Gervais’ jokes targeting the transgender community, calling it a “waste of skill.”

Lycett emphasised that his concern wasn’t about limiting creative expression but lamented Gervais’ recent work’s perceived lack of comedic strength. “The real tragedy for me was that it was comedically weak,” said Lycett. He also suggested that the material wouldn’t fare well in a comedy club if delivered by a lesser-known stand-up.

“If you removed the Gervais-ness of it, and you gave it to a new stand-up, they’d struggle in a club with the material he had,” Lycett added, emphasising his belief that Gervais’ formidable talent was being misdirected.

Lycett acknowledged Gervais’ past accomplishments but expressed disappointment that such skill was being used to target minorities. “What a waste of that skill to attack minorities. That’s how I feel about it,” he said, declaring his preference for Gervais to use his comedy for more constructive purposes.

Lycett is not the only comedian to speak out about Gervais’ new show, “Armageddon”.

Gervais, no stranger to controversy, has faced criticism for his jokes in Armageddon, including comments about the transgender community and terminally ill children. Alongside Joe Lycett, other comedians like James Acaster and Frankie Boyle have also voiced their displeasure with Gervais’ approach.

Other comedians have joined Lycett in criticising Gervais

Acaster, in a viral routine, mocked “edgy comedians” like Gervais, criticising their tendency to punch down at easy targets. Boyle, in a podcast in 2020, questioned Gervais’ status as a stand-up comedian, labelling him a brilliant actor and writer but not a “f***ing stand-up comedian.”

In response to the backlash, Gervais defended his work, stating that most of the offence came from misunderstandings. The Reading-born comedian has always stated his commitment to pushing boundaries in comedy. Despite criticism, Gervais maintained that comedy aims to tackle taboo subjects and challenge audiences.

Joe Lycett made the remarks on the podcast “The News Agents”.

Joe Lycett’s words align with a growing sentiment among comedians that Gervais’ recent material may lack comedic strength. While Gervais defends his style as challenging modern-day feelings, Lycett and others believe that using comedic skills to attack minorities is a missed opportunity for positive impact.

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