Gervais out of character

Z ON TV

November 14, 2008|By david zurawik | david zurawik,david.zurawik@baltsun.com

For comedy fans, there is not much debate about what the big TV event of the weekend is. It's Ricky Gervais: Out of England on HBO.

The creator and star of BBC's The Office and HBO's Extras performs in a stand-up comedy concert taped last summer in New York, and he's an offbeat delight. The topics include the misguided morals taught in pre-school and the perils of being overweight if you're an English celebrity like Gervais.

Standing sideways on the stage, for example, so that the audience and cameras get a good look at his rotund belly, he asks rhetorically whether it was fair for a tabloid to show him in profile with a one-word headline: "PREGNANT?"

Walking a tightrope of political incorrectness, Gervais also riffs on what he calls "fat people" - mocking the notion that obesity is a disease. His suggestion is "Just eat less!"

The most daring part of his act involves commentary about charity concerts he performs. But he veers into a piece about charity events for kids with cancer that viewers might find problematic. Great comics help us laugh at the things that scare us most. But if you wind up being offended, don't say you weren't warned. (9 p.m. Saturday, HBO)

LATE NIGHT GUESTS Bill Cosby visits the Late Show with David Letterman. Miley Cyrus performs on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

online Read more from David Zurawik at baltimoresun.com/zontv

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