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Characters / The Ricky Gervais Show

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Ricky Gervais

The host of his radio show. Prefers snarking on the stories of the other two rather than sharing his own, though he occasionally pitches in.


  • The Bully: His bullying of Karl becomes gradually more vicious as the show goes on.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Sort of. He still does plenty, but it mostly revolves around Karl, not him.
  • Fat and Skinny: Fat to Stephen's skinny. And talked about in great deal during one of the final podcast series, where both Steve and Karl maintain that looking at the modern Ricky and looking at images of him in his New Romantic, star of a band days in the Eighties is like looking at two different people.
    Steve: It's like one of those Weight Watchers before and after pictures, only reversed.
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  • Fat Bastard: Spends most of the show giving Karl a hard time.
  • The Hyena: Depending on your opinion of him, Ricky's laughter is either very contagious or very annoying.
  • I Was Quite the Looker: He was actually slim and handsome as a teen.
  • Jerkass: Constantly insulting Karl even when he's in the right.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: He believed Rasputin to be a creature that lived under a bridge, only for Ricky's girlfriend to point out he's thinking of Rapunzel. Ricky then corrects her, saying that Rapunzel was the story about guessing the antagonist's name...except that was Rumplestiltskin, not Rapunzel.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Ricky is the mean one, as his belittlement of Karl is the main focus of the show.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He prefers lashing out at Karl's stupidity at every chance he can get.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: He tends to come off as the least sympathetic of the three due to his general behavior.
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Stephen Merchant

Ricky's friend and writing partner. Frequently tells stories of the awkward situations he's gotten into. Tends to be the most levelheaded of the trio.


  • Adorkable: Frequently tells anecdotes about awkward social situations he's placed into.
  • Fat and Skinny: Skinny to Ricky's fat.
  • Jerkass: Less so than Ricky as he's willing to hear Karl out on his viewpoints. Though since the intention is still to mock him he's arguably just as bad.
  • The Lancer
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Steve is the in-between. He joins Ricky in his ridicule of Karl most of the time, but he will take Karl's side if he does make a good point. He also gets really annoyed when Karl is trying to tell a story and Ricky constantly interrupts him to call him out on the impossibility of it, so he'll yell at Ricky to let Karl finish.
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  • Only Sane Man: He's not an idiot like Karl or quite as mercilessly cruel as Ricky.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: He prefers listening intently to Karl make a fool of himself rather than actively taunt him.
  • The Scrooge: His tightness with money is often made fun of by Ricky and even Karl.
  • The Smart Guy: The most educated and informed of the three, and it shows. While Ricky is quite sharp himself, he's quite prone to slip ups and misinformation, to the point of needing Steve or even Karl to correct him.
  • Unlucky Everydude: Bad things seem to happen to him for no apparent reason.

Karl Pilkington

Ricky and Stephen's sad producer/friend who they recruited onto the show after realizing how bizarre he was.


  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: A big problem Karl has is his inability to focus on one thing before getting bored. Part of the reason why he says so much drivel is that whenever he finds an interesting article, he tends to just read the headline, or at best, up to a point where he thinks he has enough information, which is usually just a few lines in the first paragraph, and then move on. When pressed by Ricky and Steve, he'll either fill in the gaps in the story with assumptions, or treat their questions as unimportant.
  • Butt-Monkey: The show is a solid hour of the other two mocking him.
  • Breakout Character: Started as just the guy who pushed the buttons and played the records, and wasn't even supposed to speak on-air. However, after Ricky and Steve realized just how strange Karl was, the show slowly started becoming about Karl.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: He tends to have... interesting ideas of how things work.
  • The Comically Serious: Almost completely stoic at all times.
  • Deadpan Snarker: On occasion, much to the surprise of Ricky and Steven. Though he has a tendency of failing at being one just as frequently as he succeeds.
  • The Eeyore: He always seems glum, to the point where Steven and Ricky occasionally feel sorry for him.
  • Genius Ditz: For all his gaffes, it's noted a few times that Karl does have several profound and interesting thoughts, and that he's generally a bit more clever than Ricky and Steve give him credit for. Unfortunately, he's constantly defeated by misremembering or misinterpreting the information that fuels those thoughts, or by lacking the linguistic skills to properly articulate them, leading Ricky and Steve to frequently dismiss what he says regardless of how much insight or truth lies behind it.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Karl tends to speak with authority on stories that he's only half-read, if even that, and doesn't understand why Ricky can't just accept the stories as fact.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Karl is the nice, as he never does anything out of malice, but with that said, he can still be Innocently Insensitive, and is brutally honest whenever the topic of Steve's looks comes up.
  • No Sense of Humor: Occasionally cracks an intentional joke but is otherwise completely deadpan.
  • The Stoic: It's hard to get a reaction out of him, which is part of why he's so great to poke fun at.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Of the three members of the show, he's the only one who believes in any supernatural phenomena. He's already stated on the show that he believes in ghosts (states he won't be an eye donor because he's afraid of being a blind ghost), Heaven (states he wouldn't want to be reunited with dead relatives because he already spent time with them in life), and the tale of Noah's Arc (because it's written down).
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