In the relatively quick pace of internet trends, I’m the old guy waving a cane. This is because I don’t IRC, and only IM with mates, family and co-workers who are just as blindfolded as I am. So you might have followed the Ricky Gervais radio show, or podcast if you want, for a long time already. I just stumbled over it a couple of days ago, and since then I’ve listened to the entire first season, twelve shows in total. They are hilarous! No wonder they reached the Guinness’ book of records for most downloaded show ever.
The evil scheme is this: Ricky, Steve and their former manager, Karl, sits around the table and throws questions and theories at Karl. Karl is a .. well, unique feller, with an amazing world-view, a certain love-hate attitude towards chimps, and a perfectly round head. They take mails from the listeners, read excerpts from Karl’s diary – which are brilliant – and let’s not forget the most popular feature, Monkey News, where Karl gives us an update about serious chimp business all around the world. In one of the shows where they discussed the idea of eating animal genitals, Karl made himself an instant celebrity with the phrase "I could eat a knob at night", which has spawned off many trance and clubbing tracks all over the globe. The phenomenon that is Karl Pilkington is simply breathtaking, and it’s even written a book about it, called The World of Karl Pilkington, and let’s not forget Pilkipedia.
Here’s a taste of the show, unless you want to go straight to the downloads.
If you haven’t heard of it, there was a campaign this christmas where you could give a goat (Norway or international) to a family that needs it by buying a card. Here’s a transcript from the 4th episode, 1st season, where Karl explains why he wouldn’t consider giving a goat a good christmas present:
Steve: But as soon as I heard about the [Oxfam gift] idea, knowing Karls view on charity and giving, especially this time of year, I wondered what his view would be.
Karl: Are they happy with the present over there. Like, the people who are getting it?
Steve: What the African family?
Karl: Yeah. Is the African family sort of going: «oh, I hope someone gets us a goat»?
Steve: That’s nothing to do with x-mas. They’re not sitting around going «I hope that Santa brings us some food». It’s a long-term thing. These happen all year, I assume. It’s not like they got- ah- You’re an idiot! You think an African family wakes up and there’s a little goat with a ribbon tied around it? «Oh, look what Santa brought us?»
Ricky: Look! And that minced pie is gone and that glass of milk!
Steve: You’re such an idiot!
Karl: No, no, no. But what I’m saying is: does that family want a goat?
Steve: It’s not that they want a goat, they need a goat. What do you think this organization is?
Ricky: – Arbitrarily giving goats to people-
Steve: It’s not like they say: «Oh, but I wanted a Nintendo..» What are you thinking?
Karl: All I’m saying is, let me put myself in their shoes. Say, I’m one of them, right, over there. I’m hungry, right? I’m sat there, it’s Christmas day, right, I open it up, open the present, little goat there. Right?
Now, if I was one of them I’d be going «Not another mouth to feed»..
At the end of the day there’s not enough food to go around for themselves, nevermind the goat. Don’t they saying like having a dog and that is quite expensive, some times they say you know «what, with all the injections you’ve got to give it, the tinned food and everything mounts up», and what I’m saying is that it’s all very well giving a goat but who’s looking after it?
Steve: Well, I assume it’s got all the injections, and is given to them so that they can milk it and have milk and cheese and whatever. I don’t think it’s a burden. What is- What d’you mean they wake up Christmas day and they open a present? It’s not like that!
Ricky: So there’s a goat-shaped thing in wrapping paper. «I wonder what that that could be? I hope it’s that goat we asked for.»
Steve: It’s just a nice marketing way of distributing wealth. It’s a way of going ‘this is a nice gift’, it’s like people sometimes saying ‘don’t send flowers to the funeral, give some money to the local hospits’.
Karl: But the thing is, why do they want that goat? What’s the main reason? What does a goat give you?
Steve & Ricky: Milk!
Karl: Right. Now wouldn’t it be easier to just send them a bottle of milk, without all the hassle and headache that come with it? That’s all I’m saying. And the other thing is, think about the goat. That was happy over here. Suddenly it’s on barren land. No grass.
Steve: I’m gonna burst! What do you mean?
Ricky: They don’t send a goat from here.
Karl: I’m saying, who’s happy at the end of this? Right? You’ve got a fella over here who hasn’t got a present ’cause the mate bought him a goat, right? So, yeah, let’s do this properly. So there’s a tick: he’s not happy. Right?
Then you’ve got the person who’s opened it, who like you said wanted something else, right, it’s a goat, they go: «who’s gonna look after this?» Right? It’s a tick. They’re not happy.
And then you’ve got the goat going: «What am I doing here?»
\ End transcript
And here’s an extra little gem from his diary (episode 11):
Sunday. Got up. Sunny day so I went for a walk in the park. There was a bloke walking down the street who was whistling some kind of annoying tune. He seemed quite happy with himself. Do people only whistle when they’re happy? I don’t whistle very much.
The lake was frozen over where I was walking. The ducks look worried.
They were sat on the edge of the lake, waiting for it to melt.
I asked Susan [wife] why ducks don’t use their wings that much. They seem to walk and swim more and don’t bother using their wings. Susan said she had to call her mum and dad so I never got an answer.
There was a marathon type run going on in the park. It reminded me of the time when we were moving flats. It was on the day of the London Marathon. Me and Susan were walking down the middle of the road, taking some stuff to our new flat, I was carrying a lamp and a kitchen bin. People were clapping me, thinking I was doing some kind of fun-run.
On me walk back from the tube I saw a jogger who was pushing a pram at the same time. The kid looked terrified.
Got me signs book out. It says that the static you get from the tellie when it isn’t tuned in properly is radiation that is still knocking about from when the Big Bang happened. I thought about the Big Bang, and wondered if it was really a Big Bang, or did it just sound louder as there was no other noise to drown it out.