Throw Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant (both of ‘The Office‘ and ‘Extras,‘), and their unusual friend Karl Pilkington into a room with a microphone, animate their musings, and you’ve got the premise for the upcoming HBO comedy ‘The Ricky Gervais Show.’
Created from Gervais and Merchant’s record-breaking podcast – it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most downloaded podcast – the new 13-episode animated series takes on unscripted philosophical ponderings as its central theme.
Pilkington – whom the duo met while working on a radio show – is not a comedian, yet he often serves as the springboard for the more offbeat topics of conversation, which range from the existential, to the mundane, to the just plain ridiculous.
“Some of the things that Karl has come up with are incredible,” Gervais said at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena. “I mean, he thought Anne Frank was just avoiding paying rent.”
To that end, both Gervais and Merchant affectionately refer to Pilkington as a comedic “moron.”
“I genuinely believe he is a comedy genius, whether he knows it or not,” Gervais said. “He’s the funniest man I’ve ever met.”
Watch an exclusive clip from the new series below:
‘The Ricky Gervais Show’ premieres Friday February 19th on HBO at 9 p.m.