Ricky Gervais and Brad Blanks Discuss the New Netflix Series AFTER LIFE

March 19, 2019
Brad Blanks and Ricky Gervais

(Photo: Brad Blanks)

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Ricky Gervais has a new show out on Netflix called AFTER LIFE. Ricky created The Office in 2001 and since then has been creating shows and stand up specials to global stardom. His latest stand up show, HUMANITY, is a must watch on Netflix. 

Ricky and his girlfriend Jane were in New York City where I caught up with him to chat about After Life. This was our 17th interview together. He once told me I was the 2nd most interviewer of him in America where I asked who was the 1st. He replied, “Dave Letterman.” I asked what the difference between Letterman and I was. Ricky quickly stated, “He’s a professional.”

In this latest interview, the hilarious insults that have been features in our chats over the years were less but the comedy was still flowing. He did call me the “Honey Monster”, which is an British breakfast cereal character that can be found on the boxes of Sugar Puffs!  The weird thing is that my wife calls me that too! 

When I greeted Ricky to start this interview I could tell that he was touched by the outpouring of love for the show. Ricky said, “I was in shock, I’ve never had a reaction like it.”

“People that haven’t seen it assume it's me being me from my stand up, just going around insulting people gratuitously. It's not, it's deeper than that."

I asked him to describe the show where he goes on to tell me, “It hits the ground running, you see me watching a home video of my deceased wife, she’s going through chemotherapy…... funny stuff right!” 

I begin to nervously laugh as he blends the sad premise of the show with a joke. He creates this tone in the show where punctuates these dark and emotional moments with comedy. The timing is masterful as these strokes assist in the telling of a story that is very heartfelt - a man struggling to survive after the loss of his wife. 

On Twitter, fans of the show were quite emotional when voicing their opinion of After Life and how it had made an impact on their lives. When talking about the feedback, Ricky said, "I thank people on twitter. I genuinely mean it. I am really blown away by all the tweets. I can’t even like them all or retweet them.” 

Reading some of these tweets it’s hard to not get emotional. Ricky goes on to say about the tweets, "They are really beautiful….a lot of it is "oh my god Im crying and laughing"….one guy tweeted me a picture of his his wife’s grave with his dog there. I welled up and I said “your tweet made me cry”." 

There is a dog in the show that plays a huge role in giving Ricky's character a reason to live. A huge animal lover, Ricky’s pets of choice have been cats, yet he cherished his time with a dog telling me, "I loved that dog, I had a dog for six weeks in the best summer Britain’s ever seen. On the last day of filming when I was saying good bye to everyone, I hugged the dog and I nearly cried…..  So I can’t wait to do season 2 so I can hook up with my leading lady, the dog again.”

Great news that he has started writing season 2 of After Life. With the social media buzz surrounding the show and even star endorsements from old buddies like Steve Carell, there is every chance that Netflix will make a second season.