On Tuesday 14th I headed down to Manchester Apollo to see Ricky Gervais V – his 5th standup comedy tour, and first in 7 years. Love him or loathe him, he boasts hundreds of millions of fans worldwide, either for the legendary David Brent, or for his straight-talking, incisive, self-deprecating and provocative standup comedy. But now it seems there’s more reason to like him, as a fully fledged vegan? …
After a brilliant warm up from the one and only Doc Brown, Gervais appears in his trademark black t shirt and jeans, with his usual sarcastic but endearing audience put-down introduction. The title of the tour is Humanity which gave some intriguing clue as to what kind of themes the show would include, but not before he first he launches straight into the highly controversial stuff we’ve come to know so well! Not a stranger to controversy, as 4-time Golden Globes presenter, and also as PETA’s Person of the Year 2013, which at the time called for many to question Peta’s decision to honour someone who’d yet to turn 100% cruelty free.
He soon moves the routine into a bit about ‘controversy’ and what many deem as his ‘offensive jokes’, which, he deftly explains, do not target the subject of the joke but rather holds a mirror up to the audience and receiver of the joke. This is pricelessly illustrated with a bit about the backlash he receives from mother’s of nut allergy sufferers, who furiously tweet him that “you should NEVER joke about nut allergies”, but who apparently give him carte blanche to joke about the holocaust, aids or cancer. Amongst the hilariously provocative material it soon becomes clear that there is a heightened tone to the show. This becomes all the more apparent in the encore when, in talking about his disgust at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival, he delivers a brief albeit clear call for dropping meat and going veggie:
…it’s awful to think of people eating dogs, but some people eat pork. I don’t, but some people do. And a pig is just like a dog, there is no difference between them…
This was a wonderful bit to hear him close on, in a show about Humanity.
“So?” many of us might say “he’s been vegetarian for ages”. Which is true. For several years he’s been posting many similar veggie related posts on social media, so I did a little digging to find out if he’d officially decided to declare his 100% commitment to being animal friendly, and finally use the ‘V word‘. My research led me to a recent video interview from 9th Feb 2017 with Sean Evans for Hot Ones. The Hot Ones interview format is basically Sean interviewing stars whilst they eat spicy chicken wings, each dipped in spicy hot sauce, getting hotter and spicier as the interview takes place until they can no longer take the heat. But the Ricky Gervais one had a welcome twist! In it Ricky opts for “vegan chickn wings from the Temple of Seitan” (London’s first 100% vegan fried chicken restaurant which opened brand new in January 2017). Check out the 60 second clip we posted on Facebook as a vegan Ricky highlight reel:
But, eggs and dairy?!
Yes, but “what about eggs and dairy?” I hear you say. He’ll have to come off these too in order to be completely cruelty-free and live up to his animal welfare values. Aptly during the interview he is questioned about his love of cheese, and he reluctantly fidgets whilst casting his mind back to the tastes of “proper cheddar”. The Interviewer asks for his reaction from “his cheese days”, to which Ricky replies:
yeh, if I, when I used to have, like, you know, cheese, on beans on toast, it was always a mature cheddar…
‘Used to have‘ = past tense 🙂 Found at 15mins into the Hot Ones interview linked in full below.
Watching the hesitant exchange, it certainly appears that his “cheese days” are over. In light of these findings, would it be completely remiss of us to assume that eggs have also made the blacklist on his supermarket visits aswell? Just like many of the UK comedy scene, I think he’s the turned the corner!
Whilst many people can make a heroic snap decision to jump straight to adopting a full vegan lifestyle right away once they “get it”, for many it can understandably take months or sometimes years of transition, from flexitarian, to vegetarian, to vegan, just to undo the lifelong habits, re-educate ourselves about our food choices, and begin to shop consciously and responsibly for all our clothing, beauty & skincare, makeup, nutrition, and lifestyle. In this case it seems our dear Ricky has been on the transition for a number of years, helped along by his film buddies, Ben Stiller amongst others, and the enduring pressure from fans and activists engaging with him on facebook and twitter.
I’m going to say it:
Ricky Gervais is now a vegan!
Now let’s everyone tell him about Veopolis 😀 , our wonderful earth-friendly online Marketplace – so he can shop the awesome brands and products, all ethical, sustainable, healthy, eco-friendly and vegan. Because earth friendly or vegan is NOT an exclusive club, it’s open to all – and each and everyone who tries it, loves it, when they see how super tasty, rewarding and feel good it is to be V. ♥I knew it, @RickyGervais is now officially #vegan! Click To Tweet
The full 22minute Hot Ones interview can be watched in full at Youtube here.