Fresh off his Golden Globes controversy, British comedian Ricky Gervais’ latest project has hit US television. An Idiot Abroad is a travel show for non-travelers, featuring radio producer and comedy savant Karl Pilkington visiting the seven wonders of the world. If you’ve seen HBO’s animated podcast The Ricky Gervais show, you’re already familiar with Pilkington’s moronic and occasionally brilliant insights. After expressing little interest in global travel, Gervais and his comedy partner Steven Merchant decided to send Karl around the world (Merchant hopes to expand his horizons, Gervais just sees it as an elaborate practical joke).
In the first episode, Karl travels to China and expresses bafflement with Chinese street food, toilets, and even the Great Wall. The show’s funniest moments come when he experiences moments of culture shock and weirdness common to even the most seasoned travelers. I’d love to see Karl’s take on general travel problems – airport security, flying, and getting lost – as well as more of his interactions with local people around the world. He seems curious and open to the world, and has written a companion book for the series, which will culminate in an eighth episode with his thoughts and impressions about his travels.
Photo and video courtesy of The Science Channel.