Controversial comedian Ricky Gervais has sparked both celebration and criticism with his new hour-long comedy special, Armageddon.
This is Gervais’s third show for Netflix, which garnered record-setting international sales during its live tour from 2022 to 2023.
In the special, Gervais fearlessly tackles taboo topics such as sex, death, paedophilia, race, religion, disability, free speech, global warming, the holocaust, and even Elton John.
Released on Christmas Day in Australia, the special currently holds a 62 per cent audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Fellow comedian and YouTuber Daniel Howell, pointed out the irony of Gervais being paid by Netflix to complain about the word “woke” for an entire hour, highlighting the absurdity of the situation.
Gervais, known for his unapologetic style, opens the special by addressing the backlash to his previous Netflix special, SuperNature, humorously responding to critics with a simple “You can [say that]. I did.”
While some fans on a Ricky Gervais-themed subreddit expressed discontent over reused jokes, others defended the comedian’s anti-“woke” stance. Gervais himself expressed confidence in the success of Armageddon, teasing that it may become his “biggest special ever” and joking that it’s a win-win situation for him and the animals he supports through charitable donations.
Throughout the special, Gervais also confronts other weird and controversial topics, including immigration, Viking history, Taylor Swift studies, and more.
He pushes boundaries by questioning the usefulness of prayer, critiquing the majority of the population, and even delving into the sensitive topic of language.
As the special concludes, Gervais thanks the audience for their support and emphasises the importance of humour in navigating through life’s challenges. He asserts that he is woke in the traditional sense, but passionately rejects the puritanical and authoritarian aspects associated with the term.