Have any of you seen An Idiot Abroad? It is just so wrong, I love it.
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by John Cole| 61 Comments
This post is in: Television
Have any of you seen An Idiot Abroad? It is just so wrong, I love it.
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Since when does Alaska count as Abroad?
@The Dangerman: No, no, no. You’re thinking of “The Idiot’s a Broad”.
I am so happy to see so many people getting into this show. I saw it on Sky HD a few months ago and couldn’t wait for it to come to the States. If you want more Karl, check out Gervais’s podcasts and audiobooks. They’re just as good.
Mike in NC
But they said Dubya’s people canceled the trip to Switzerland. Is it back on?
@MattR: Win. Shut the thread down now.
@Mike in NC: Although yours is a close second.
Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people)
ETA: asiangrrlMN beat me to it. That was great though.
stop making thread. what are you, atrios?
@asiangrrlMN: @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people): I’d like to thank the Academy for this tremendous honor. I’d like to thank The Dangerman for setting it up for me on a silver plate. I’d like to thank my parents for raising me to believe in my snark and to all my friends and family for their love and support. Finally, I’d like to thank the FSM without whom none of this would be possible. Ramen.
(Slowly) Nooo … I’m pretty sure all the idiots I’ve seen have been domestic. Oh, wait, Ahmadinejad qualifies as Iran’s George Bush, so I guess that’s one idiot abroad that I’ve seen. And Berlusconi is another, and … uh, offhand, that’s about it, but only because I don’t get ITV.
What a coinkydink. Just heard of it and saw it for the first time tonight. Caught the last part of the Great Wall and the whole Taj Mahal episode. What a hoot!
I especially like Ricky’s intro: “Well I hope he hates [seeing the world], then I can laugh at him. This may be the best practical joke I’ve ever come up with.”
@MattR: I feel touched by the noodly appendages. And, don’t forget the little people!
@Little Boots: You are funny as hell tonight. And, since Atrios is your fave, that’s a compliment, right?
OK. People who watch television. I am curious if there is a show out there that would interest me. I like dramas with psychological tension. Must have a diverse cast. Superior writing and no car chases just for the sake of action. I like complicated, rich characters who swear a lot and can also joke around.
Nurse Jackie? Not sure about the diversity. but still, awesome. Okay, and more comedy than drama, but still, give it a chance.
You might like Damages. If you like the Coen Bros movies, you’ll love Breaking Bad.
Unfortunately, I don’t get the Science Channel (downloading the torrents now). But the Ricky Gervais show on HBO is also awesome sauce if you can get your hands on it.
Karl’s head is like a fucking orange!
I love this show! I too watched it on Sky. It’s hilarious. Gervais show is great too.
I liked it pretty good. But the first 3 episodes of the Ricky Gervais podcast from years ago, where they first talked with Karl Pilkington on the podcasts, are pieces of sublime genius. I can’t tell you how hard me and relatives and friends laughed at those first episodes, such as the monkey and the banana dispenser and the rocket.
After that, it’s mostly just cashing in on Karl Pilkington. That’s why I like HBO’s Ricky Gervais show — they supply awesome and hilarious animation to the interview podcasts.
@asiangrrlMN: Castle on ABC?
I still love Balloon Juice. Swear to god, the Atriots are getting on my last nerve tonight.
@asiangrrlMN: Reruns of The Man Show.
Well, you get the quasi-swearing. And the semi-jokes.
I’m liking DETROIT 1-8-7 for all those reasons, but then I’m a sucker for Wambaugh-esque. Sorta the long-form version of that Chrysler 2000 commercial, but with a better script. It’s on Hulu if you wanna check it out.
Well played; thread win, indeed. Since you get the Net, can I perhaps get an appropriate plaque (mounted dial-up modem perhaps?).
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Little Boots: t
Why is Obama The Worst President Ever tonight?
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: ‘
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Little Boots: Just snarking, guessing that the conversation over there remains unchanged from when I last read one of those threads
Thank you, John. 10 minutes in and I am damn near dying over here. Gervais’ amusement is infectious. So funny.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
not that you’re wrong, but what the hell does that mean?
I watch the guy and think “This has GOT to be a spoof”. I mean, seriously, is it possible for someone to be that odd?
Okay, a little slow, but no, it’s not like that.
Ooooh! All these suggestions are intriguing to me. And, Castle has the skeery guy from Buffy. I will check them out on the Hulu or the Netflix. Thanks, all.
And, I do like comedy, but I have a quirky sense of humor, so it’s very hit and miss with me.
By the way, the first season of Murder One was amazing. I loved that very much. I watched it on DVDs, and I watched them all within a very short amount of time. That was a great TV show.
Suck It Up!
I love that show. Could not get over seeing that Indian guy wrap his ding sing around that stick. YOUCH!!!
My best friend and I have a mutual friend we’ll call Jay. Jay is unbelievably talented at tactics and gaming. He’s a wiz at chess, and he’s a smart enough guy, but in his day to day thinking, he possesses some absolutely stunning notions, like one day as a kid he imagined a model of the universe and how certain things work, and nothing ever erased the random idea that became reality back when he was 6 or 7 and came up with it.
Last winter we went to dump a cooler out outside after having used it, and he insisted we dump it in the driveway because “ice kills grass”.
One of us had a toothache, and he went “Man, I hate that, like how after you brush ’em, your teeth are sharper? That sucks if you bite your tongue or your cheek, yeah?”
We’re resigned now to calling them “Jay-isms”. He’s an odd guy.
@asiangrrlMN: House is pretty good and I think fits most of your requirements. I’m a bit partial to Sons of Anarchy (currently on hiatus) but I don’t know a lot of women who like it (it’s about a motorcycle gang, and quite violent). Rescue Me is pretty good (also on hiatus), but I’ve missed most of the last season, so I don’t know if it’s lost it’s appeal. I also like Bones. Parenthood is half decent, but not something that I watch regularly.
@Comrade Luke: the Ricky Gervais Show pod casts are on iTunes, I’m pretty sure it’s not an act.
@KG: I liked both House and Bones, but they both got a bit too repetitive and formulaic after a while. House definitely ran into that problem before Bones, which I still sometimes leave on if I come across it.
@KG: Thanks for weighing in. I did not like House. I tried. I really did. I love Hugh Laurie. I just could not get into the show. Bones, I should check out. I love the books. And, Angel!
@asiangrrlMN: Deadwood (boxed set). Best show ever in terms of writing, cast, action and character development. Don’t get turned off by thinking it’s a Western if you hate that genre. You’ve never seen anything like it, I promise.
@asiangrrlMN: David Boreanaz. Nuff said. Though he doesn’t get naked nearly enough. And Emily Deschanel isn’t bad on the eyes either. Though knowing you I see you mad crushing on Michaela Conlin. On the show, her dad is the guitarist from ZZTop and she’s openly bisexual. It did get formulaic for a bit but they stretched a few of the story lines. And their resolution for the sexual tension between the characters is, um, interesting.
Angry Black Lady
@MattR: “Ramen”. Ha!
Like Mercy better than Nurse Jackie. Fuller story, and a new twist on vet issues. No real mystery but a pretty good medical/drama/some comedy show as those things go.
Castle is the best, I mean Nathan Fillion! And great writing (perpetual references to Firefly, Buffy, too, make it really fun … I think it was in the Season 2 Halloween episode where there was both a Buffy reference and Nathan wearing his Captain Mal uniform :-))
I’m also a huge Leverage fan. Great writing, complex characters, who aren’t afraid to embrace the crappy side of their characters, but whom I love anyway! (Grifters/Hackers/Thieves who use their talents to bring down bad guys.)
I like Bones ok, but it’s no longer must-see for me.
Have fun! :-)
If this is an act, he’s basically been doing an act for a good what, five years now if not more without once breaking character?
He’s fucking hilarious. I just saw the Jordan episode. Someone amidst all the idiocy was the most touching moment of him being moved by the inhumanity of the Israeli-palestinian wall.
The show works because of Pilkington first, but also because Gervais is intent of showing the real poor and problems of the world. This isn’t Anthony Bourdain eating great street food (I love Bourdain but come on man). This is really putting someone in the shit. And better, it’s not someone who wants to be there. It’s really the ultimate liberal show, like what if Undercover Boss was real instead of a faux populist bag of nonsense.
Anyways, yes, HEAD LIKE A FUCKING ORANGE.
@Comrade Luke: All evidence points to him indeed being that odd. If not, then he is the most deeply method actor of all time [Kanye]OF ALL TIME![/Kanye].
BTW, the original Ricky Gervais XFM broadcasts make excellent road trip listening.
Thank you, you just made my work week.
I’m watching that right now. He’s sitting against a rock in Petra talking about how EASY shit was to invent back in ancient times. “Oh, me hands are wet, that gives me an idea for a towel. Brilliant! This soup’s hard to eat! Boom, Spoon! Go and get it done! I had an idea for a see through toaster to see if your toast is done yet, but I looked it up, and somebody had already invented it.”
Funniest thing I’ve seen on TV in ages.
God, I loved that “all right Wall of China” remark!
Yeah, people like him exist. A friend of my wife went on a diet once that consisted solely of pickles and jelly beans. The pickles covered her vegetable needs, and since the jelly beans were all different colors, they covered everything else. (She must have heard that having lots of different colors on your plate helps ensure good nutrition.)
While on this genius diet, she would still drive through McDonald’s for cheeseburgers. Not for her, of course – they were for her dog. But since they were for her dog, I guess it didn’t count against her diet if she “shared” a bit with the dog.
And you don’t want to know her theory on Asians and driving…
Your wife is friends with Ben Quayle?!
Ricky Gervais is brilliant. His discovery of Karl Pilkington grew into podcasts and from there other ideas took off, like sending Karl abroad and recording his experiences.
If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend The Ricky Gervais Show which is conversations with Karl Pilkington.
Samples are on YouTube, like this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qzzqx_b1SSc
Karl is completely genuine. He’s not “an act.”
No, but they would perhaps make a perfect match…
If you like the podcasts download the XFM radio shows where it all began.
HBO carries an animated version of the podcasts, also called
the Ricky Gervais Show. The second season just started, the first season
played in it’s entirety recently. My wife and I agree, Karl is the funniest
thing on TV and the Idiot Abroad show is great as well. It’s not your
typical travelogue (which is why it’s on the Science Channel). Karl is hilarious as
usual, but some of the grim realities in the countries he visits are sobering,
to say the least.
I was disappointed, it seems the whole point of the show is to make the idiot uncomfortable and unhappy. I see the “how the rest of the world lives” vibe others talk about but I don’t see that as the point of the show, more as an excuse to make the idiot miserable. It is one long practical joke on the same guy. And the joke about it – “Oh! He is really going to hate this, this will really suck”. It was a lot less funny than I expected.
Yes, definitely, this. They have got to get some interactions with monkeys planned out with him before too long.
Karl’s comments onthe chinese parable about the toad at the bottom of the well still make me laugh when I think about it.
The point is to make him uncomfortable, yes, but you also see him do things he’d otherwise never get to do and he seems to be a genuinely nice person like when he swam in the river with the Indian swami. They’re not making him do dangerous things, just things outside of his comfort zone.
Hooray! I’ve been asking everyone I know if they’ve seen it yet, and all I get in response are quizzical looks.
It is wrong on so many levels. It is also about the funniest thing I’ve seen in forever, and combines my two great loves, travel and the kind of comedy that puts people in uncomfortable situations. There isn’t a more perfect “fish out of water” than Karl, either.
I’ve seen China, Jordan and India so far. Am I missing any?
Ed in NJ
You seem to be pretty much describing The Wire.
@JenJen: Nope, those are the first three. 4 more to go plus an eighth show in which Karl, Rick and Steve talk about all the stuff he’s done. Definitely make sure you catch the next one, Mexico. It’s my favorite of the series by far.
The series is funny beyond words. Karl’s obsession with local sanitary facilities is epic. Ditto his take on local cusine.
So you thought that Gervais was joking when he says, during the intro to every show, “Nothing is funnier than Karl Pilkington in a corner, being poked with a stick. I am that stick.” Interesting.
What makes this really funny is that Karl is a natural straight man, the foil of every single joke that comes along. Unlike some straight men who have to work at it, he just goes along being himself, in the same way some people are just naturally funny without having to tell setup jokes. Fold in classic British discomfiture-based comedy, and it’s a double whammy. Great comedy. Probably pretty easy to write – “hey, where can we send Karl, where he’d be most uncomfortable and disoriented?” Letterman could have come up with something like this in his early days. If he was british, and dropping acid.
Best line from this week’s Ricky Gervais show on HBO:
“So basically, you’re watching some one else wank off.”
Head Like An Orange
I proudly present…
I highly recommend the Download section. The old XFM shows are where it all started off and they are pretty amazing.
“Letterman could have come up with something like this in his early days.”
My memory is hazy, but I’m pretty sure Dave sent Larry “Bud” Melman somewhere on a bus and after a day or so Larry begged to go home and they had to scrap it.