The veteran provocateur, with his usual equal offensiveness policy, is amusing when he isn’t railing at straw men in this revival of his 2019 show Supernature
“I’m a white heterosexual millionaire,” says Ricky Gervais, and as such, in a smaller minority than black, Asian or queer people. But do you hear him complain? That’s the level in Supernature, the touring show now revived after a two-year hiatus and Netflix-bound. His high social status is among the reasons some of us find Gervais’s ostentatiously provocative standup less compelling than, say, Jerry Sadowitz’s. Gervais is choosing (as he keeps telling us) to be obnoxious, whereas with Sadowitz, it feels – hilariously – like he can’t help it.
There remains, though, a huge audience for Gervais’s off-colour comedy – for all that he claims (with a running joke about the Netflix edit) that this stuff is verboten. “Louis CK has been cancelled,” he cites in evidence, even as the same Louis CK embarks on a 30-city US tour. But then, plenty of these jokes need an air of taboo to inflate them – or failing that, Gervais’s own tittering, deployed constantly to force the funniness of his routines.