Ricky Gervais mulls the end of humanity in his Netflix special “Armageddon.”
Pandemics. Nuclear war. Climate Change. It all could happen someday, he argues.
The British comic’s material hopes to extinguish a more current threat to Western civilization.
Gervais’s “Armageddon” skewers what Elon Musk dubbed the “woke mind virus” over and again. Each attack is funnier and more precise than the last, ending with a semi-serious take on the subject that perfectly captures his thoughts on the matter.
It’s brilliant. All of it. And when the usual woke suspects dub the special “boring” you know Gervais hit the bullseye.
Even better? “Armageddon” serves as a saucy TED Talk on comedy and culture, with Gervais gently scolding us for being “offended” by jokes that don’t fall into neatly contained boxes.
“I have some terrible f***ing thoughts,” he admits at the outset, acknowledging how the human mind works. Every human mind. “You can’t choose your thoughts. They just appear. It’s too late.”
The “Office” creator launches into the woke mindset next, from open border policies to the Word Police.
Every woke warrior is a comedic target, from people putting “anti-fascist” in their X bios – “they protest too much!” – to how certain words go from “offensive” to acceptable over time.
“Just be patient,” he cautions.
His “n-word” routine, not be spoiled here, is an instant classic that shreds a core woke principle.
The best comedians use humor to illustrate points even the brightest minds can’t articulate as well. Gervais does so repeatedly, much like his comic peer Dave Chappelle did in recent Netflix specials.
Gervais also takes some shots at organized religion, a favorite target over the years, along with the folly of human nature and Biology 101.
His personal anecdotes prove crisp and witty, and there’s never a moment in the hour-long special where the material stalls.
Those looking to be outraged will find plenty of reason to rage against “Armageddon.”
Gervais brings up pedophilia, the disabled, racism and more, all without flinching. His bit on contributing to the Make-A-Wish foundation scores because, as he notes, he’s playing a wicked character on stage, not unlike Anthony Hopkins in his Hannibal Lecter garb.
The comedian also takes a quick, decisive jab at late-night propagandists without mentioning any names.
“I don’t like it when a comedian just spouts his own political views and it relies on the audience agreeing with him to get a round of applause. I think that loses something comedically … a joke shouldn’t have a political wing,” he says.
Bingo. And ouch.
His attempt at a “woke” joke will enrage the usual suspects, though he doesn’t delve into trans issues as he did with 2022’s “SuperNature” Netflix special.
Gervais shrewdly pushes the envelope and acknowledges it at the same time, willing the audience along with him. Only at one point does he suggest he went too far, sensing the audience fading for a second.
They’re the ones he cares about, the ticket holders hungry for a good laugh. Not the Twitter scolds eager to take him out of context or even “in” context, given how far he goes.