Ricky Gervais brings Chicago Theatre run to a hilarious end
Last night, Brit comic Ricky Gervais concluded a three-night run at the Chicago Theatre which will be spliced up for an HBO special slated to run on December 18. The sold-out audience was given a few instructions before the gig began. We were told, “When Ricky comes out, of course, give him a huge Chicago welcome.” And once the show started, no one was allowed to leave his or her seat. A bit inconvenient, but that was it. Once Gervais arrived on-stage, it was funny business as usual in a show marked by his often raunchy comedy. He talked about doing a show in Dublin, a city he described as “our Cuba” and then moved on a bit about a particularly disappointing Christmas gift he received. As the story goes, after he bought a friend a expensive coffee maker at Harrod’s, the high-priced London department store, he received a card telling him that a goat had been given to an African family in his name. “Sending a goat to Africa is like Roots in reverse,” Gervais joked.
He then revisited a childhood book about Noah that he had received for “good attendance.” While flipping through the book, the pages of which were displayed on a giant screen behind the stage, Gervais made fun of the conservation that took place between God and Noah. Other bits about telling inappropriate jokes at a dinner party and flying after Sept. 11 were irreverent jokes that showed Gervais isn’t afraid to step over the line. Though the material often sounded a bit too rehearsed (Gervais has used some of it on his podcasts), the show was generally funny. And during a brief encore, Gervais even indulged a few fans who took to heckling. Going off script for just a minute helped give the show a unique flavor.