The Ricky Gervais Guide To... Medicine

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The Ricky Gervais Guide To...
Series One
Episode List


  1. Guide to... Medicine
  2. Guide to... Natural History
  3. Guide to... The Arts
  4. Guide to... Philosophy
  5. Guide to... The English

The Ricky Gervais Guide To... Medicine is an audiobook released by Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. It was the first audiobook released in the Guide To... series.

New Format

Rather than the typical banter of the previous podcast and audiobook series, it was decided that each new audiobook would feature discussion around a specific academic subject. The first one being medicine. Ricky and Steve discuss a specific aspect of medicine and ask Karl his opinion of it, which typically results in non sequitur nonsense.

Track Listing

1. A Man With No Qualifications (0:00:00)

The Show's Album Art

The show opens with new theme music and Ricky blabbering on about the history of medicine. He then introduces himself, Steve and the "Fuckin' orange" head of Karl Pilkington. He then lists Steve and Karl's qualifications and education, which for Karl, turns out to be none.

2. Is He Right?.... What Did He Say? (0:01:03)

Ricky asks Karl if war is as bad as people make it out to be, which of course brings a hilarious response. Steve brings us back to prehistoric medicine techniques and asks Karl his opinion on it. Karl explains about "Tutankha-moon" and how he learned about him through "video footage" at an exhibition, but did so without headphones as they were too expensive. The conversation turns to primitive man, and the removal of the top of the skull to release demons. Karl claims that if he were around back then he'd know that the brain was in the skull as it "makes sense" for it to be there.

3. Put It Next To AIDS In The 'Kia Ora' Bottle (0:06:04)

Karl takes it too far again, by misconstruing the intentional exposure of children to small amounts of germs so as to build up a stronger immune system as "Feed a baby... eat mud an' all that" and that newborn babies are "drugged out of their eyeballs." The gang discuss the irradication of smallpox and how some countries may still have retained some so as to potentially use it in case of biological warfare, which Karl likens to James Bond villains not killing him when they have the chance. The invention of the first antibiotic on a piece of bread is brought up and Karl wonders whether it's down to hard work or simply Alexander Flemming being "scruffy." He also wonders what he would think if his cleaner chucked it out. "Scruffy Sandra" is introduced, who, despite her smell, was never ill since no one would sit near her and she wouldn't pick up their germs.

4. I'm Gonna Let You Know Now, What A Swift Kick In The Bollocks Feels Like (0:14:44)

How colds spread through shaking hands. Karl's been ill, with a "sweat on" again, but on the other hand, he's come up with a new invention to help doctors diagnose patients via a sort of virtual reality machine where the doctor can experience the patients' symptoms first hand, but Ricky and Steve discuss how he'd have to learn each symptom beforehand, such as a kick in the nads and a spike up the arse.

5. If I'm Wearing It Long Enough, That Brain Thinks It's You! (0:19:44)

Brad Pitt has been stealing Karl's ideas. Ricky points out that it wasn't even Karl's idea. The bald mancunian then puts himself in the line of fire with an attempt to quote Einstein, which like his old Rockbusters clues, changes every time, but ends up with the point that ideas are always mental to begin with. Karl has come up with this year's "watch that counts down your life" with a new invention (that apparently "came out last week") that lets him see through Steve's outlandishly bulbous eyes. He believes this would eventually lead him to feel what Steve's feeling, but still can't comprehend the difference between him and his brain. Karl would market this to little fellas with no arms or legs.

6. Don't Put Half A Pineapple On Your Cock (0:27:20)

Steve brings up the old-fashioned methods of contraception, i.e. bung half a lemon up there. Karl isn't convinced, wondering whether it would work. Ricky says it would as no woman would be enticed by a man looming up on her with an orange decorated penis. Karl is concerned by the lack of fruit being eaten by today's youth and sees an opportunity to kill two birds with one vitamin enriched stone.

7. Toot-en-kah-moon (0:30:07)

Ironically, Steve brings up the topic of eye surgeries in old times. Doctors apparently were penalised for a cocked-up surgery by the removal of their hand. Karl is not impressed, wondering why people bothered getting their eyes fixed as there was "less to look at back then." It's not a good time to be blind, apparently, as it was less dangerous if you fell over in the past. Doctor's aren't allowed to make mistakes any more, so Karl wouldn't become one. He's also unimpressed with the amount of time it takes to become one. Ricky hates those who are involved in cosmetic surgery, both doctors and patients, labeling liposuction patients as "lazy, fucking, fat pigs." Karl is apparently not a fan of fatties either, and wouldn't treat them if he was a doctor. Steve closes the segment by saying something funny concerning stools.

8. He's Just Stuck Onto Her Like A Stag Beetle Clinging Onto A Leaf (0:36:42)

Some favourite topics come up in the form of disabled fellas havin' it away. Karl is aghast by nurses who would help these unfortunate people and adds this to the list of things he would never, ever do, as it's not "important enough," likening it to his attempts to play the guitar - if you can't do it, don't do it. Ricky then role plays with Karl about two little dwarf fellas with no arms and no legs who are trying to make love, but unfortunately, Karl's the only one who can come to the rescue.

9. Your Arse Takes On The Morphine From The Doctor Penis (0:40:48)

The lads discuss the scientific journey through Da Vinci and modern anatomists, who cut up criminals as a punishment. Karl likens this to people today who volunteer for scientific tests for 20 quid, as happened to a 20 year old lad who turned into the elephant man and says people should only volunteer as a last resort to be healed. Auntie Nora comes up again when they discuss trying out various drugs. This is why she farted for so long in the infamous "Great Fart of 1989." Karl needed some drugs when he was writhing around in pain in the A&E during his kidney stone fiasco. Ricky asks Karl about a hypothetical situation involving a gay doctor. He's ready to numb Karl's pain with some homo-erotic loving, which Karl surprisingly considers, but only after Auntie Nora's recommendation.

10. Today's Cure Is Tomorrow's Legache (0:47:31)

Back to the beginning, and the ethical disputes concerning medicine. Karl is not a fan of experimental medicine, as that what led to The Hulk, and he sums up the subject of medicine with "People are living too long." People who get plastic surgeries look wrong, according to Karl. Karl says they should just change their head instead of just the face, and then bends logic once more with the oxymoron, "A problem solved is a problem caused." Karl then realises his parent's dream and becomes a doctor to a man (Albert) who has an inflamed scrotum, played by Ricky, who Karl continuously tries to force tablets upon. Albert's symptoms become increasingly worse, with his ball skin eroding completely and his arse becoming increasingly itchy. Karl links this to the diminishing number of doctors in operation

11. Out February! (0:53:28)

Ricky plugs the next audiobook The Ricky Gervais Guide To... Natural History quickly to end the show.


Karl: "Today's cure is tomorrow's legache."

Ricky: "And this, doctor, is what a swift kick to the bollocks feels like."

Karl: "If your brain was in your foot it would takes ages for you to saying anything."

Karl: "They're not tough babies any more."

Karl: "Because I've been in my body for years..."

Karl: "Now sometimes I don't know if I feel well."

Karl: "Every new idea is a bit mental."

Karl: "A burger's not gonna be helpful for anyone!"

Karl: "A problem solved is a problem... caused."

Ricky: "The arse is the itchiest arse I've ever had."


  • Karl's ageing backwards idea is likened to the plot of the film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Release Date Controversy

While the original audiobook was intended to be released on New Year's Eve 2008, it was released on the 23rd of December on iTunes and, much to the delight of American and European fans. However, fans in the UK were unable to get the shows as it had yet to appear on the UK iTunes store or


The show was generally very well received by fans on the Pilkipedia forum, with users praising the new format and interesting points of discussion. Some users however, were slightly disappointed at Steve Merchant's role in the show being somewhat undermined by the new format.

See Also

External Links

Series 1 | Series 2 | Series 3 | Series 5
The Podfather | Video Podcasts | Other Podcasts... | Guide To...
Presenters Ricky Gervais | Stephen Merchant | Karl Pilkington
Features Monkey News | Rockbusters | Karl's Diary | All...