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Ricky Gervais believes no subject should be off-limits for comedians
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The pandemic changed Ricky Gervais's morning routines. The comedian and director, 60, wakes up at 7:30 a.m., two hours earlier than he used to. He drinks coffee, checks his emails and eats breakfast with his partner, author Jane Fallon. The couple is out of the house by quarter to 9 for their daily hour-long walk around Hampstead Heath, the grassy woodland park in London. It's another habit they started during the pandemic. "We do it for exercise to get our steps up," he says. "We're slaves to our FitBits, but it's also to meet dogs." Gervais estimates that he knows 200 dogs by name at this point. Getting to pet a handful of them sets him up for a successful rest of the day.
Gervais, who was born and raised southern England, has been doing stand-up since the late 1990s. He rose to fame in the early 2000s for playing David Brent, the lead of the British version of the mockumentary sitcom "The Office," which Gervais also co-wrote with Stephen Merchant. He's since written, acted and voiced series including "The Ricky Gervais Show" and "An Idiot Abroad," which were also collaborations with Merchant and comedian Karl Pilkington. In his most recent show, "After Life" on Netflix, Gervais plays Tony, who loses his wife to breast cancer and decides to spend the rest of his time on earth saying and doing whatever he wants. The series, which aired its third and final season on Netflix earlier this year, won the UK's National Television Award for best comedy series in 2021.
Gervais is also known for the comedic takedown of celebrities and celebrity culture. He's hosted the Golden Globes five times. As the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences continues to search for a host for this year's Oscars ceremony, Gervais says he's not the right man for the job.
"I don't want to ruin those people's nights," he says. "I don't want to see me there! When I first got money I went to a posh restaurant and I felt sorry for them. I wouldn't want them to see me walk in."