Animals is the debut solo stand-up comedy show by Ricky Gervais, released on VHS and DVD on 17 November 2003. It was filmed at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London.
The show ran for a two week residency at London's Bloomsbury Theatre. The entrance music was the song "Animal Nitrate" by British fops Suede, who Gervais assisted in their pre-record contract days. Gervais promoted Animals extensively in the media, prompting negative comments about the show from Newsnight Review and Ian Hislop, who claimed that "[Gervais] obviously had cobbled the show together", criticising his choice of subjects as clichéd and describing the show as "a bit flat" . Despite said criticism the DVD "sold well" according to Gervais, speaking on his Xfm radio show. The show was a resounding success, and ended with Gervais calling Hislop a "little ugly pug-faced cunt."
A short film plays at the start of the set featuring footage of African lions mating with an added commentary by Gervais in a documentary style. This fits with the tagline of the tour: “Life on Earth: the bits David Attenborough left out.” Gervais talks about the importance of reproduction in the animal kingdom through sex. According to Gervais, the female lion is “a little slut,” while the male lion “likes to fuck and kill.” The film then compares this to the mating habits of humans. The film then shows Gervais on a date with a woman. He takes her back to his place, but when she asks him to make love to her he confesses that he just “knocked one out” in the bathroom. The actress in the film is Stirling Gallacher, who played Jennifer Taylor-Clarke in The Office.
The show centers on the topic of animals and nature, including: ecological diversity (zoologists quota filling to get to 1,000 species of bats); endangered species (pandas that refuse to shag); bestiality (getting off with a mermaid); and homosexuality in the animal kingdom. He even shares a textbook that has hand-drawn illustrations of gay animals. At one point Gervais, a known atheist, reads from Genesis in the Bible and deconstructs the theory of Creationism.
- You can lead a cow upstairs, but not down.
- The daddy long legs has the strongest poison known to man. It cannot administer the poison, however, as it has no teeth.
- Starfish have no brains.
- Stroking a spider can cause it to go bald.
- The finger prints of koala bears are so similar to humans that they could be confused at the scene of a crime.
- Polar bears will cover their black nose with their paw to disguise themselves more completely during a hunt.
- Montana mountain goats will sometimes butt heads so hard that their hooves fall off.
- Elephants have been caught swimming up to two miles offshore in the Indian Ocean.
- Ricky Gervais: You know who Polpot is? The bloke in charge of Cambodia. Um, he killed 100,000 people, he’d shit himself if he saw that. (points to giant gorilla). This is absolutely true, he rounded up anyone he thought was an intellectual and had them executed. Absolutely true, 100,000 of them. And how he told whether someone was intellectual or not was whether they wore glasses. If they’re that clever, take them off when they see him coming. They’re thick.
- Ricky Gervais: I could solve the world’s problems if I… cared.
- Ricky Gervais: Chapter three: his difficult third series. He’s gonna get criticized whatever, innit.
After all the good he did in one and two.
He should just leave it there.
- Ricky Gervais: I can have a go at the French cause I’m half French half English with a stupid name like Gervais. No I am, I’m half French half English and um I’ve got qualities of both, French and English which is good, so um… I am crap in bed but at least I’ve got bad breath.
- Ricky Gervais: That’s what turned Stephen Hawking mental, too much thinking… “The universe is expanding,” course it is Stephen. Take a day off, go for a walk- not a walk but I mean- open a window, watch a bit of telly, Robot Wars is on, you like that.
- Ricky Gervais: He…
(points to dolphin on top)
is fucking him…
(points to dolphin on bottom)
in the head!
- Ricky Gervais: What sort of nutter strokes spiders?
- Ricky Gervais: My fucking feet have fallen off.
Some of the material from Animals can originally be heard during Gervais’ Xfm radio shows. This is pointed out on the shows by Stephen Merchant on 22 November 2003 when he says, "You probably heard most the stand-up observations on this show."
- 30 November 2002 - Bod Pod
- 02 November 2002 - Rik Waller
- 15 December 2001 - The Falkland War (also used in Meet Ricky Gervais)
- 12 January 2002 - Man weighing 70 stone
- 11 January 2003 - Dry wipe cat (encore)
- 24 November 2001 - Ricky’s go-cart (encore)