'[Humor] Gets Us Over Bad Stuff': Ricky Gervais Defends Often-Offensive Jokes On 'Late Night'

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Lindsay Cronin

Ricky Gervais caused a stir on Tuesday night's episode of Late Night With Stephen Colbert. But, as fans of the well-known comedian well know, that's not much of a surprise. After all, Gervais is known for pushing the limits on what one should and shouldn't say.

Ricky Gervais Was On The Show To Promote His Netflix Special 'SuperNature'

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Ricky Gervais was seen on the May 17 episode of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, via ET Canada, to promote his new Netflix special, SuperNature, which he began working on in 2018, years before the world shut down as a result of the spread of COVID-19.

When host Stephen Colbert wanted to know if Gervais was forced to change his jokes amid the pandemic, the comedian admitted that his performances are "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“There was a thought, ‘Will this be out of date?’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… so they’re not going to, they don’t date,” he stated.

Stephen Colbert Was Immediately Taken Aback By Ricky Gervais' Nod To Hilter

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"There is no audience that isn’t going to love that,” Colbert noted of Gervais' suggestion that Hitler jokes are evergreen.

"Boo! Not Hitler! It was a long time ago,” Gervais replied.

According to Gervais, his audiences seek him out because they want to "feel good."

"The aim is to make them laugh and they do laugh, but they know 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," he explained.

Ricky Gervais Believes The 'Smart' People Understand His Jokes

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While Gervais knows that many of his routines include jokes that many would deem as "taboo," he also noted that there are many people who understand them better.

"Smart people know you can deal with anything, particularly when dealing with something like irony,” he stated. “[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… it’s an inoculation to the real things that are going to happen."

Ricky Gervais Is Not Afraid Of Getting Canceled

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Not only is Gervais not afraid of cancelation, he's also seeking it out. During an interview with Heat, via Daily Mail, Gervais addressed his stand-up show 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," he admitted. "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."