Four days ago, Entertainment Weekly reported that ‘The Office’ and ‘Extra’s’ creator Ricky Gervais joined forces with ‘Dexter’ showrunner Clyde Phillips to create a new comedy called ‘Afterlife’.
‘Afterlife’ will be a comedy about an atheist who dies and goes to heaven. I bet you’re thinking it’s Gervais who plays the Atheist, right? Well you’d be wrong.
In typical Gervais style…he’ll be playing god. Here’s the transcript of Gervais’ latest blog post which explains his role and his lambastation of the media calling his new project an ‘Atheist comedy’.
So just about every news source picked up on the new show. Which is great. Thanks.
But, all I said was it was called ‘Afterlife’ and is about an atheist who dies and finds himself in heaven.
At least half the publications went with “Ricky Gervais’ new Atheist Comedy.”
How is a show called ‘Afterlife’, about an atheist who dies and goes to heaven, an “Atheist Comedy”?
He goes to heaven. Therefore in this work of fiction heaven must exist. So does God by the way. Turns out the atheist was wrong.
How is that an atheist comedy?
Maybe they’re once again confusing me with my characters. I played a dentist in ‘Ghost Town’ who talked to ghosts. I don’t believe in ghosts. But it was a film not a documentary.
I can’t win. ‘The Invention of Lying’ proposed an alternative world where there was no God. That was an atheist comedy too. Seems the existence or non-existence of God in my work has no bearing on whether it’s an atheist comedy or not. It just is. Because I wrote it right? That’s so weird.
I love ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. I’m not threatened by its premise. I don’t start shouting, “Religious propaganda!… How dare they assume that heaven and angels exist?” It’s a work of fiction. And a great one.
And, because I created ‘Afterlife’ with Clyde Phillips they’re assuming it’s also going to be a twisted bloodlusty anti-religious fest – based on his ‘Dexter’ credentials.
I think he may have created as much comedy as me. We’ve come up with this show because we think it will be fun, different and entertaining. Not to undermine the moral fabric of America.
Here’s what I suggest you do; wait till ‘Afterlife’ is finished then watch it. Or not. But if you watch it then you’re allowed to have an opinion. You can gladly slag it off. You can start a campaign to get it banned. You can hate it. And trust me, it’s so much more fun saying you hate something once you’ve actually seen it.
So, please wait, watch and find out if it’s controversial or inflammatory first, yeh?
Anyway, I play God…
Ha ha. That’s true.
But he’s a slightly different God to the one you may have seen in Bruce Almighty and other Hollywood films. He’s an arrogant, wisecracking son of a bitch, who thinks he’s the best thing since sliced bread. (So another stretch for me as an actor then.)
Actually he thinks he’s the best thing ever because… well, he is. (He invented sliced bread by the way.) He also loves welcoming atheists to heaven with a smug grin on his face.
He likes atheists deep down though. Or rather he likes good atheists. He admires the fact that they were moral people even though they didn’t believe they would ever be rewarded with everlasting life.
At least there’s nothing in this blog entry that could be taken out of context.
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