The Ricky Gervais Show is an animated version of Gervais' podcasts that earned a spot in The Guinness Book of World Records for the most downloads. It is voiced by Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and colleague and friend Karl Pilkington.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant briefly explain the ongoing experiment of turning their pointless conversations with friend and colleague Karl Pilkington into an animated series - and then settle down to pointlessly discuss a range of topics. Included: the pros and cons of various inventions (past and future), Karl's proposal for a new circle of life, his reinterpretation of human and dinosaur history, a story about a cursed tankard and bad vibes. They introduce a recurring segment called 'Monkey News,' in which Karl describes the role banana-trained monkeys played in early space exploration.
Stephen provides conversation fodder in the form of fan emails, leading to discussions about a lion that laid waste to Cambodian midget fighters as well as thoughts about sex stuff (including metal pants, nob sticks and butt plugs). Karl shares his experiences of being conned when he's given in to his charitable instincts, thoughts on nudist organizations and the pitfalls of sneaky looks in gym locker rooms. Plus, another installment of Monkey News.
Karl revisits his concept for improving the life cycle, fending off Ricky and Stephen's ridicule. Pilkington also shoots holes in the practice of donating a goat to an African family in lieu of giving a holiday gift, and finds flaw with the assumption that space travel is pleasurable. Also up for discussion: Karl's preferred super power, the true greatness of great sayings and the homeless. In "Monkey News": A Moscow chat show has to turn to a chimp in a staffing pinch.
Karl defends facials as more reasonable than enemas, and the friends discuss the customs of tribes in Papua New Guinea. Ricky ridicules Karl for enquiring about the newest items at an antique store which leads to Karl criticizing the spurious rationale for bestowing plaques and sainthood in the olden days. Fan email raises the specter of armed dolphins and, in Monkey News, Karl relays the tale of a lonely monkey brought home by a zookeeper.
Fan email sparks discussion about Karl's previous observation about the dearth of Chinese homeless people and which of the Top 50 "Freaks of All Time" Karl would like to meet. Ricky and Stephen challenge Karl's interpretations of famous sayings such as, "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Stephen questions Karl on what he's learned since his New Year's resolution to learn something new every day. In Monkey News, Karl relates a story about the NYC fire department enlisting a monkey to rescue people from a burning building.
Responding to fan correspondence, Karl considers what body part he could do without and explains why he likes to do the dishes. Other headier topics include Descartes and Plato's untimely demise, as well as Karl's feelings about the usefulness of the saying "A stitch in time saves nine." Ricky and Stephen question some of Karl's vocabulary and urge him to overcome his fear of prostate exams. In Monkey News: A union-busting chimp willing to work for peanuts.
Karl is back from holiday where he decided to start a diary. Ricky begs to read some of it, revealing a new invention Karl has come up with: A watch that counts down the days and time to one's death. Other journal musings include random observations about fellow vacationers and whether people think in their accents. Stephen reveals his lifelong desire for a nickname and recalls his childhood attempt to be called "Spud." Karl shares some of the codes from his CB radio days. In Monkey News: A bobsledding simian Olympian.
Responding to fan emails, Karl is put on the spot about whether he would choose Ricky or Stephen to rescue from a sinking ship. The guys read from Karl's new massive diary. Other topics include: face transplants, Karl's lessons for children and suggestions for redesigning various creatures (the camel, the octopus). In Monkey News: An airline with striking workers resorts to a chimpanzee co-pilot, but is busted by an older female passenger in search of nuts.
In a newly minted segment "Questions for Karl," the anointed pundit discusses time travel and adult diapers. Stephen reads more entries from Karl's diary, which entertain Ricky immensely. In Monkey News: A 1950s gangster is duped into using a monkey as jockey in an important race.
Karl holds forth on what his approach would be to teaching. He throws out a few examples of provocative discussion topics including a dishwasher being found on Mars and dinosaurs as a form of population control. Questions from fans lead to a discussion about the viability of changing the length of a day. Stephen reads from Karl's diary, highlighting observations about whistling, worried ducks and a different kind of doppelganger. In Monkey News: A man with failing eyesight who ends up at a chimp doctor.
A fan letter asks Karl to reveal the most romantic thing he’s done for his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. Another fan asks him to interpret Wittgenstein’s statement “If a lion could talk, we could not understand him.” From Karl’s diary: He creates a jingle after giving a homeless man some change, and describes his trip to Malaga, Spain. In “Monkey News”: Karl relates the story of Enos, a monkey who flew in the space shuttle in the 1960s.
Stephen asks Karl questions posed to guests on “Inside the Actors Studio,” such as: “What sound or noise do you love?” and “What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?,” leading to a discussion of organ donation. From Karl’s diary: A news report from India about an elephant who had a giant pair of slippers, and Karl’s belief that scientists should give up trying to kill germs because it will only make them stronger and bigger.
Another question for Karl from “Inside the Actors Studio”: “If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you enter the pearly gates?” From Karl’s diary: A news report that humans will have spoken to aliens by the year 2025 leads him to worry that aliens will try to read his mind, while a story about a baby who looked like a frog makes Karl think life would be more interesting if there were different types of humans. Plus, Karl’s top five freaks.