When it comes to death for Ricky Gervais, the actor wants it known he is to be “fed to lions“, ‘Daniel in the Lion’s Den’ style, at the London Zoo.
Few can touch the dark-comedy inherent in writer, actor, and all-around comedy czar Ricky Gervais. Gervais, now on the cusp of 60 years of age, says he’s ready for death when it comes. And when it does, he wants to be able to “give something back” – by being fed to lions. Much like the biblical Daniel of the Lion’s Den, as famously depicted by Sir Peter Paul Rubens in his painting above.
While speaking candidly to host Conan O’Brian via video on his night-time talk show, Conan, Gervais gets straight to the point. “It would be good to be fed to lions at London Zoo,” he begins. “It would be good to give something back. We eat animals and destroy habitats and at least then I could give something back.”
Ricky Gervais has death on the mind often, as well, as creator, writer, director, and star of hit show After Life. Indeed, the comedian willingly admits that the thought of visitors being able to view his consumption via the appetite of captive lions “makes him chuckle.”
‘It would be amusing to see the faces of tourists when this fat, naked dead body is thrown out and as it lands some people go “is that the bloke from ‘The Office’?” he jokes, having also created the original, British version of the show.
Ricky Gervais, Lions or Otherwise, Isn’t Afraid of Death
Moreover, the star confesses that while it is an oft-touched topic in his dark comedy, he doesn’t much care how he passes away. He does, however, hope to avoid an “embarrassing death”.
“I’m resigned to it. We’re all going to die,” he says of the topic amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has death on the minds of many. “I don’t care about being dead because I won’t know about it.”
His only stipulations? “I don’t want to die alone or in agony and I don’t want to die an embarrassing death.”
Gervais answers his thoughts on death often as a result of his creation, After Life. Within, he plays Tony Johnson, a widower navigating life after the death of his wife. But to him – it’s only natural for comedians to address the “last taboo”. Death, that is.
“Comedians are drawn to death as it is the last taboo and makes people feel uncomfortable,” he says. And for any who know Ricky Gervais’ work – he’s a master at making others uncomfortable for laughs.
Yet it’s about more than that. “I like taking people to the dark side, it’s like taking them through a scary forest,” he adds on Conan. “No harm can come from going through taboo subjects.”
Gervais Willing to do a Season 3 of ‘After Life’
As for the continued career – and life – of Gervais and his Netflix hit After Life, the star is hard at work on a third season after doubts he would want to do another at all. Gervais famously ends all of his projects after two seasons, wishing never to bleed a concept dry. After Life, however, breaks this mold for him.
“For the first time ever, I would do a season three, because the world [in the show] is so rich,” he adds. “I love the characters. I love all the actors in it. I love my character. I love the town. I love the themes. I love the dog. So I would do a third one. But it’s got to be a real – it’s got to be a real demanded-for encore. I’m not going to just do it.”
Whether the one and only Ricky Gervais is to be fed to lions upon his end, however, remains to be seen. Something tells us the zookeepers at the London Zoo won’t be as keen on his idea.
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