Whether you approved of his Golden Globes performance or not, Ricky Gervais is undoubtedly one of the most significant voices working in comedy today.
As one of the masterminds behind the brilliant comedy series The Office, Gervais gave audiences some of the edgiest mainstream comedy in years, constantly pushing the limits of our social mores via his obnoxious character, David Brent. Likewise, as an executive producer of the American version of The Office, Gervais also left an important imprint - namely by choosing not to be too involved in the creative process.
That decision, which many original Office fans were nervous about, allowed the U.S. Office to take shape on its own and become one of the most popular television shows of the last ten years. Interestingly, Gervais is now set to return to the American version of The Office as the character that started it all, David Brent.
In an interview for Piers Morgan's new CNN show Piers Morgan Tonight, Gervais talked about his decision to make a cameo appearance on The Office and why he told Steve Carell that he was doing the "right thing" in leaving the show after its seventh season.
Check out the segment below:
Even though he can come off quite brash, I really admire Gervais for his attitude toward comedy. In all of their shows thus far, Gervais and creative partner Stephen Merchant have never forced a show past its expiration date. For example, the UK version of The Office ran for only 14 episodes, yet it is continually hailed as one of the best comedies in recent memory. Likewise, Gervais and Merchant's show Extras only ran 13 episodes. They both know how to quit while they're ahead.
Some would argue (and many have) that the American version of The Office has gone on too long - and there are good arguments for either side. The important thing to remember, and the thing that Gervais gets across the most in his interview, is that the American Office is something special all by itself and that, regardless of what happens to the show after Steve Carell leaves, it was something to enjoy.