Ricky Gervais Show Review: "Leg Rubber" (2.10)
The Ricky Gervais Show is one of the most consistent shows on television, and fans know by now pretty much what to expect. That consistency is a blessing, since if you like one episode you’re pretty much guaranteed to enjoy the entire series—you’ll never really be let down. It does lead to a certain degree of same-ness though, such that the shows kind of blur together. There are great moments that stand out, but not in the same way that for instance a classic episode of The Simpsons would.
That sameness comes not just from the jokes and the show’s structure but also from the way topics tend to repeat themselves. Monkey news during the first season, for instance, was always news about monkeys. Likewise, endless stories about insects are something you’ll hear about in many episodes, and that’s true of most of the show’s topics. Of course, that’s because these are things Karl’s really interested in so he’s up for going on about them, which is what the show’s humor is derived from. But it can be really refreshing to hear him talk about something else once in a while, and that was what we had with “Leg Rubber.”
For all the strange places these interviews have gone, this is the first time we’ve heard about Karl’s utterly strange tic-tac household, for instance, which led to some killer material. It seems like this story must be completely unique to his family, as I can’t imagine anyone else buying crates of tic-tacs for no real reason. What’s also great about this is the way Karl finds none of this part of his childhood to be at all odd or abnormal, as if everyone had a tic-tac phase.
This point is best illustrated with the section focused on Karl “kicking his height.” As pointed out by Ricky and Stephen, that’s a totally insane thing to say and it’s just played off as completely normal. And while it’s about the body, one of his favorite things to talk about, it’s not freaks or anything, it’s just his weird conception of the world. Listening to the idea is a pretty unforgettable bit of Karl-ness and great fun.
Best of all, though, is Karl’s “leg rubber,” which wouldn’t be nearly as funny if he’d just called the man a chiropractor. It’s a scene that’s half funny because of Karl, but also due to the elaborations by Stephen and Ricky. It’s just one of those stories that gets funnier the more you get into it, and was definitely the highlight of the episode.
The rest of “Leg Rubber” isn’t quite as good, although the idea of Karl’s family universally failing to remember past a certain year is a nice concept. The porno section at the end of the episode is the only part that repeats material we’ve heard before, with it focusing on Karl’s homophobia. I’ve never been particularly fond of those parts in the past and that’s true here as well. The episode doesn’t end on a particularly good joke, either, but that doesn’t detract much from the rest of the material, which was excellent and nicely varied. As we head into the end of the second season it’s nice to see that the show isn’t spinning its wheels yet.
•"Let us never speak of the tic tac incident."
•"When the blind fellow gets in, don’t tell ‘im we’ve done it on mice, say we’ve done it on eyes."
•Ricky and Stephen are correct in saying that I never would’ve guessed that’s what “kicked my ‘aight” meant.
•Professional “leg rubber” is a great occupation
•"Me nerves aren’t long enough for me body."
•"The outside of your body is longer than the inside."
•"You’re the sort of person whose brain is in charge of them."
•"So all you’ve done is met a person who’s as stupid as you."
•"You’ve got jealous bones."
•"You’re the sort of person whose stomach is hungrier than you." – I would’ve enjoyed listening to an episode that was just these comments.
•"The problem was I was still using my eyes even though I had them shut." “So what does that mean?”
•My girlfriend loved the image of little Stephen on the toilet
•The music for “Boyz” really made that bit for me. Raised it above the level of previous homophobia segments.
•And the best line of this episode: “Let’s have a game of chess… cock.”