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FEBRUARY 16, 2010

Funny People
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The Ricky Gervais Show

Back in 2001—before we fell in love with The Office and Extras—there was The Ricky Gervais Show, a radio program that turned into a very popular podcast (it earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most downloads). Starting Feb. 19, HBO will be airing The Ricky Gervais Show as a new animated series, and it’s every bit as funny as you might imagine.

The show’s animation is nothing to write home about (think low-tech, Flintstones-like drawings), but the lure of the show is in just how pleasurable it is to spend 30 minutes listening to the musings of Gervais, his longtime collaborator, Stephen Merchant, and friend Karl Pilkington (who serves as straight man and butt of the jokes). Topics covered in the debut episode include 20th-century inventions and evolution, and a recurring “Monkey News” segment involves a heated discussion about space-trained, banana-motivated monkeys.

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