Ricky Gervais on American Optimism

Ricky Ger­vais, the come­di­an and brains behind The Office, talks here about the dif­fer­ence between British and Amer­i­can humor, and it real­ly gets down to deep cul­tur­al dif­fer­ences. Opti­mism, the belief that any­thing is pos­si­ble, ver­sus an ingrained pes­simism and pen­chant for the under­dog. I won­der whether UK read­ers would agree with this char­ac­ter­i­za­tion. And, more so, I won­der which out­look, the British or Amer­i­can, can bet­ter get you through these dif­fi­cult times. The answer, to me, is not obvi­ous…

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Comments (4)
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  • Jonny says:

    Are we miss­ing a link here? :)

  • Dan Colman says:

    Sor­ry, the video was embed­ded in the post, as it usu­al­ly is. Looks like it might not be show­ing up for some. I now includ­ed a direct link to the video in the text.


  • Stephen says:

    I don’t like a lot of his humor, but as a Brit mar­ried to an Amer­i­can liv­ing in Japan for years, I think I have a good per­spec­tive on both cul­tures, and I tend to agree with his assess­ment.

  • Richard says:

    As a Brit I have to agree with him but i also believe that much Amer­i­can humour is very obvi­ous. The jokes can some­times be seen com­ing a mile off and have to almost be spelt out in the Amer­i­can sit coms and i think this clear in the dif­fer­ences between The UK Office and the US ver­sion. British humour can be a lot more sub­tle. Although of course there are excep­tions such as Curb Your Enthu­si­asm.

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