'Smart people don't get offended': Ricky Gervais defends joking about AIDS, cancer and Hitler in Netflix special SuperNature - and tells Colbert he WANTS to get canceled

  • Ricky Gervais has explained why he's willing to joke about anything without fear of being canceled
  • Speaking on his new Netflix special, Gervais says that 'smart' people won't be offended because they'll understand his 'irony'¬†
  • Gervais said he was unsure if COVID jokes would date, but thinks it's an 'evergreen' topic for dark humor, like AIDS and Hitler¬†
  • The British comedian added that he tackles taboo subjects because he 'wants to take the audience to a place they haven't been before'¬†¬†

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Ricky Gervais has defended his decision to joke about 'taboo' subjects including Hitler and AIDS by saying he wants to take 'smart' audiences to a place they haven't been before. 

The 60-year-old English comedian doesn't hold back in SuperNature, which will drop on the streaming platform next Tuesday, but insisted that 'smart' people won't get offended as they will understand the 'irony'. 

Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, Gervais explained that he had added new material to the special, which he had taken out on tour before the coronavirus pandemic.   

'Smart people don't get offended': Ricky Gervais revealed he jokes about AIDS, cancer and Hitler in his Netflix special SuperNature as he appeared on The Late Show on Tuesday

Asked if he had to change jokes due to a long touring break in lockdown, Gervais said: 'It was always evolving. 

'There was a thought, "Will this be out of date?" And then I realized that when you're dealing with, you know, famine, AIDS, cancer, Hitler, those dudes are evergreen. Yeah, so they're not going to, they don't date.' 

Colbert, 58, said: 'There is no audience that isn't going to love that.'

'Boo! Not Hitler! It was a long time ago,' Gervais said facetiously while laughing.

'Get over it!' Colbert added while also cracking up.

Pandemic project: The 60-year-old English comedian during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert was asked if had to change jokes due to a long touring break

Good times: Colbert cracked up while interviewing Gervais on the CBS talk show

Colbert noted that people have to know they will be forced to deal with offensive subjects at one of his shows.

'Like, you don't go to a Ricky Gervais concert for just feel good,' Colbert said.

Gervais responded: 'No, they do feel good, and the aim is to make them laugh and they do laugh, but they know that I deal with taboo subjects. But I deal with taboo subjects because I want to take the audience to a place it hasn't been before and there is a tension.

'And I think people get offended when they mistake the subject of a joke with the actual target, and smart people know you can deal with anything, particularly when dealing with something like irony.' 

Evergreen comedy: 'It was always evolving. There was a thought, 'Will this be out of date?' And then I realized that when you're dealing with, you know, famine, AIDS, cancer, Hitler, those dudes are evergreen,' Gervais quipped

The Office creator said that he explains irony at the beginning of his new show.

'Humor gets us over bad stuff. That's why I laugh about terrifying bad things. You know, that's why comedians are obsessed with death because, you know, it gets us through... t's an inoculation to the real things that are going to happen.'

Gervais started working on SuperNature in 2018 and Colbert also asked how long it usually takes to put together a show.

'Well, I do like 40 or 50 or even more warm-ups, and then I go on tour, and I might do 150 gigs. So I'd done the warm-up, I started gigging the end of '18, through '19 and it stopped the end of February, and started again in July '21, and I finished it,' Gervais said.

Taboo subjects: 'But I deal with taboo subjects because I want to take the audience to a place it hasn't been before and there is a tension,' Gervais said

Gervais also said the show was titled SuperNature because he tries to 'debunk the supernatural'.

'I don't believe in anything supernatural. I believe that anything that exists is by definition part of nature and is explainable. If not now, but then eventually,' Gervais said.

'And SuperNature, because I think that nature is super enough. I don't need angels and unicorns, I've got the duck-billed platypus,' Gervais said.

'It's pretty strange,' Colbert said.

Pandemic delays: Gervais started working on SuperNature in 2018 and Colbert also asked how long it usually takes to put together a show

'It's a fact. I do actually talk quite a lot about animals. I'm fascinated by animals. The duck-billed platypus is a monotreme and it produces eggs and milk. And I say, it could make its own custard,' Gervais said.

'It also produces its own poison from a fang at the back of its leg. So it could be a poison custard,' Colbert added.

'A poison custard, that's your next novel,' Gervais quipped.

SuperNature title: 'I don't believe in anything supernatural. I believe that anything that exists is by definition part of nature and is explainable. If not now, but then eventually,' Gervais said while explaining the title of his upcoming Netflix special

Gervais previously revealed he wants to get 'cancelled' and is keen to push boundaries as far as he can with his long-awaited return to stand-up comedy.

The actor admitted he's determined to turn up the shock-factor, even if it has a negative impact on is long-term career prospects.

He told Heat: 'One thing I've decided to definitely do, and can't wait to start on, is my new stand-up show, which is going to be called Armageddon.

'I'm treating it like it's my last one ever. It won't be, but I want to put everything into it. I want to try and get cancelled. No, I just want to go all-out there.

'It's about the end of the world and how we're going to destroy ourselves for lots of reasons, whether it's media stupidity, or the actual end of the world.'

SuperNature will be available on Netflix on May 24.

Animal lover: 'It's a fact. I do actually talk quite a lot about animals. I'm fascinated by animals. The duck-billed platypus is a monotreme and it produces eggs and milk. And I say, it could make its own custard,' Gervais said

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Ricky Gervais defends joking about AIDS, cancer and Hitler in his Netflix special SuperNature 

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