The Ricky Gervais Guide To... Natural History

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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... Natural History is an audiobook released by Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. It is the second audiobook in the Guide To... series. It was released on 20 January 2009.

Track Listing

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

The Show's Album Art

The show opens with the usual 'Guide To...' music and Ricky introduces himself and the topic of 'Natural History'. Ricky then introduces Steve, along with his qualifications, and Karl, along with his non-existent qualifications, low education and his "head like a fucking orange".

2. Don't Even Give Them A Name (0:01:15)

Ricky starts off by telling Karl that the natural world is so diverse that we don't even know how many species there are. Karl adds his thoughts by asking if the unknown species are worth finding out about and states that spiders won't unlock the key to any mysteries, whereas plants will. Karl adds that they use dangerous spiders in tribes to get rid of headaches and then goes on to talk about how people in tribes use twigs, trees and hedgehogs as cures. Karl then uses an analogy comparing dangerous spiders with venom to policemen and gangsters. Ricky and Karl argue over whether we know about all the dangerous things in the natural world yet. Ricky backs himself up with the discovery of AIDS when he was young, Karl protests this point. Karl says we should leave unknown species alone as they're not causing any problems, comparing it to having an old woman as a neighbour.

3. Einstein, Newton, Archimedes, Dyson (0:04:45)

The conversations turns to useless inventions such as the Frisbee. Karl states that the person who created the Dyson Vac was said to be "up there with Einstein". He says that in the early years it was clear who were the great inventors (Einstein, Newton, Archimedes) whereas these days it's become harder to come up with ideas because everything that's needed has been invented. Karl gives the example of when he came up with the idea of a see-through toaster, only to find that it had already been done. Ricky asks Karl to come up with a better example of being pipped at the post. Karl asks what's causing problems in the world at the moment to which Ricky and Steve reply with several examples.

4. I'm Sick of Playing I Spy, I'm Having a Shit (0:07:06)

Ricky talks about someone he met on a conference once who had sent an entry to Blue Peter's 'Design a Car of the Future' competition. The only innovation was that the driver could have a shit while driving and the shit would then go down pipes and be turned into fuel. Ricky and Steve jokingly discuss the idea until Karl pipes in asking why it hasn't been done already. Karl gives reasons why it is needed and Ricky & Steve point out problems. Karl further debates the idea and says it's only needed for emergencies. Ricky asks for any other useless inventions Karl can think of, to which he replies the Breville toasted sandwich maker and chocolate fountains. He wonders why such things have been invented yet he can't have a shit on the motorway.

5. There Must Have Been Some Sort of Alien Involved Here (0:09:23)

Ricky brings up the importance of the invention of the computer, which is fairly recent. Karl says that the fact that computer chips are just made out of sand baffles him and then goes on to say that an alien of some sort must have been involved. Ricky and Steve are amazed by this and Karl then explains his theory in more detail. He says that people could have found a crashed spaceship somewhere and while examining the contents of it they may have come across computer chips and broken them down to found out how they work. Ricky says that Karl's explanation to human genius is almost as ridiculous (in his mind) as the Adam and Eve theory of how life began on earth. He then mocks the Adam and Eve story further, to which Karl debates with reference to Charles Darwin.

6. Your Own Eyes Are What Come Up With a Lot of Thoughts (0:12:10)

Ricky explains to Karl that Human Beings are genetically closer to the Chimpanzee (98.6% genetically identical) than the Chimpanzee is to the Gorilla. Karl finds it hard to believe as he thinks the species' looks define how similar they are to another species. He says that if there was a line up of a chimp, a gorilla and an orangutan and you had to choose which one was the closest to humans (without any prior knowledge) he would choose the gorilla. After Ricky repeats the statistic, Karl then says that the 1.4% of our genetics that do differ from the Chimpanzee must be the arse.



The show was released to almost universal acclaim on the Pilkipedia Forum with some users calling it 'the best thing since the Xfm Shows'. Users praised the natural flow of conversation, active and lively contribution from all three presenters, as well as interesting topics that hadn't all been discussed on previous shows.



See Also

External Links

The Pilkipedia Forum users' thoughts on the show

The inventor of the Dyson Vac

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Presenters Ricky Gervais | Stephen Merchant | Karl Pilkington
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