Karl Pilkington ― Actor or Chimp? | February 7, 2006

Does he fit Ricky Gervais’ description of being a shaved chimp, or is he a comical eminence as imagined and created by Steve and Ricky ― scripted, rehearsed and acted out?

It’s not that it bothers me. I’ll still enjoy the show as much as I have regardless of him being a preposterously gifted actor or a proper shaved chimp. He’s either playing it up, in which case he’s one of the funniest men alive, or he’s not, in which case he’s definitely one of the funniest men alive. Nonetheless, the question of whether he’s real or an act is an interesting one, and I’d love to hear other people’s opinion of it.

Quite surprisingly, I must say, there hasn’t be an awful lot of debate on this. It seems people are certain in their belief ― at least long-time followers of the Xfm show ― that he’s an actual living chimpanzee in the guise of a human being. A born-and-bread imbecile, intent on displaying his utter stupidity to the world in the name of comedy.

I read an article on The Times Online that I can’t seem to re-trace, which suggested that it all in fact was scripted and rehearsed. The reason for this scepsis was divided: Karl was never thrown off by Ricky’s inane laughing fits; he was never at a loss for words; and the conversations felt a little contructed and a bit too convenient, so to speak. I partly agree, especially on the part about Karl never choking up, not being able to spout some insanely (literally) hilarious drivel at any given time.

On the other hand, does that really entail there being acting involved? I know several people that are like him ― never at a loss for words and with a bizarre imagination exceeding that of most people.

I can’t help but incline towards the thought that it’s all real and that Karl in fact is no less than a shaved chimp with dialect. It’s the whole nature, the feel of the show. If there is any trace of acting going on, they’re hidding it brilliantly.

Of course they’re setting it up a little, of course they’re playing on strings they know in (on?) which Karl will excel. But that’s just in order for the podcast to be funny, and not just 3 people chatting on about some uninteresting topic without really presenting it in a funny way. There has to be a certain degree of pre-show directing and preparation to get the most out of the show, but that still doesn’t entail the use of acting.

That’s pretty much the gist of of this topic, in my opinion. I’d love to hear everyone else’s opinion ― comment at your own discretion.


Posted in Comedy, Debate


  1. To be honest I’m fed up with Gervais at the moment; his on-screen persona spews offensiveness but with the get-out clause of irony (“Don’t laugh at what I’m saying, laugh at my unenlightened attitude!”) meaning he doesn’t even have the courage to be offensive and mean it in the same way that, say, Jerry Sadowitz has; the jokingly immodest references to his success (Golden Globes this, Simpsons that, film offers the other, etc.) are starting to sound like plain old bragging; and even his trusty old standby of characters making embarassing racial gaffes (there’s plenty of it going on in The Office and Extras) is starting to look a little old and tired.

    I listened to the first few of his podcasts and they were kind of amusing, but certainly not laugh-out-loud funny — not to my ears, anyway, and certainly not to be worth proclaiming The Funniest Things Ever Said By Anyone In The History Of All Mankind (or whatever it’s going in the Guinness Book of Records under). Hopefully, the likes of Daniel Kitson and Adam & Joe (no radio broadcast archive that I’m aware of yet) will hurry up and produce podcasts of their own.

    Lest I be written off as a hardcore Gervais-hater, I really liked The Office as well as his earlier stuff with his “offensive Ricky” persona (such as Meet Ricky Gervais and, going further back, his appearances on The 11 O’Clock Show); however, the “offensive Ricky” act is growing very stale now, and perhaps it’s time he found a new character to “be” Ricky Gervais.

    I know none of that is really relevant to the subject at hand but I fancied a bit of a rant. Maybe I ought to do more of that on my blog, though; I might actually get my post count into double figures sometime this year. Oh well.

    Comment by Stu — February 8, 2006 @ 3:22 am

  2. Rant away, Stu, relevancy isn’t a demand yet around these parts.

    I’ve noticed the references he constantly makes to other works of his myself (how could I not), and I agree it can be a bit too OTT at times. I’m unsure as to if it’s wholly meant jokingly – it’s more as if it’s blatant advertising poorly hidden behind a joking tone. Eh, I don’t know really. Ricky’s just Ricky. He’s got a bit of all his characters in him, I guess, obnoxiousness included.

    One thing that definitely irritates me though, is how he gets pissed off at Karl and slags his stories off even before he’s told them. Surely it’s deliberate, but it takes away some of the fun of it. He’d be much better off firing them up, throwing new angles and questions at him to make things even funnier.

    “Maybe I ought to do more of that on my blog, though”

    Yes. Your blog’s got tons of potential. Get to it.

    Comment by Haarball — February 8, 2006 @ 8:42 am

  3. From what I’ve heard (and I’ll freely admit to only hearing their first few podcasts and none of his XFM shows) there seems to be a lot of “Karl has a slightly logical but mainly stupid idea / Ricky and Steven take it in turns to ridicule Karl / Karl has a funny story about monkeys / Ricky and Steven take it in turns to ridicule Karl / Karl says something Northern and funny / Ricky and Steven etc. etc.“.

    I suppose I really should go and listen to some more of the podcasts before I write them off completely though; I think they archive the last 4 weeks’ worth, don’t they?

    Anyway, there’s blogging afoot; to the tossrmobile, away!

    Comment by Stu — February 9, 2006 @ 2:39 am

  4. Why do I want to see all those front covers on Ricky on his website He’s way too in love with his publicity. Glad to see people are picking up on old material being presented as new on the podcasts. On Karl Pilkington, this is from wikipedia

    Chris Campling, a journalist writing for the The Times has speculated that Karl Pilkington is not a real person, but an actor portraying the role of a scripted character created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant[1]. Campling pointed towards the fact that Pilkington’s views on Chinese people had been stated on Gervais’ radio show, before he stated the same thing on his interview with Gervais, on the Politics DVD, which Campling found suspicious. Merchant and Gervais have denied claims that Pilkington is a creation of theirs, claiming that Gervais encouraged him to bring up his view on Chinese people because it has comedic value. Merchant also stated that he would be ashamed if the radio show was scripted. Ricky agreed, stating, “We spend 3 months on a half-hour script, how could we script a two-hour show every week?” Merchant added: “If we came up with a character as good as Karl, we would never use him on a poxy little radio station like this one (Xfm London)”.

    Comment by Debbie — February 9, 2006 @ 10:37 am

  5. Even though I am an American I can appreciate Ricky Gervais’s sense of humor and comedic style. I’m still waiting for Season 1 of ‘Extras’ to be released on DVD so I can NetFlix it. I heard that show is hilarious.

    Comment by Will — February 9, 2006 @ 4:04 pm

  6. I think you can get a hold of all the released episodes quite easily, Stu. Try the iTunes podcast.

    Debbie; cheers, I think that’s the one I read. Interesting points from Campling – Gervais’ and Merchant’s counter-points equally so.

    Extras is brilliant, Will, and isn’t the dissapointing follow-up you’d expect from a success such as The Office. It’s very different, but also quite similar as it’s built on the same ’embarassment’-type comedy The Office was. I guess Arrested Development is the closest you get in the US.

    Comment by Haarball — February 10, 2006 @ 1:45 pm

  7. Well I’ll stick my neck out and say I love the Gervais podcasts and Karl constantly cracks me up. Whether it is an act or not doesn’t really concern me. No doubt he hams it up for the audience but either way he still makes me laugh.

    Here’s a good clip of Ricky Gervais interviewing Karl Pilkington taken from “Politics”. It’s a tad long but if you liked the podcasts this will tickle you too.


    Comment by katherine — February 14, 2006 @ 12:14 pm

  8. Check pilkington tshirts :

    Comment by Pedro Costa — February 15, 2006 @ 2:24 am

  9. With all due respect, Pedro, that’s a rubbish store.

    Mine, The Knob Shop, is slightly less rubbish.

    Comment by Haarball — February 15, 2006 @ 10:26 am

  10. Much better T-shirts here:

    I suggested that they produce a Karl shirt and they came up trumps! they will be all the rage in the summer!!!

    Comment by Bruce — February 15, 2006 @ 3:11 pm

  11. In answer to Debbies’ post, Gervais has hammed up his own success
    since winning lots of awards with tongue firmly in cheek, his website being a prime example….and yes, Karl is a real person-Never met a Manc stoner before?

    Comment by neil — February 15, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

  12. It is true that those who doubt whether Karl Pilkington is a real person and not a character i’m guessing have never met a real mancunian before. Yes it can be annoying that Gervais writes off the majority of Karl’s stories before he finishes them, however that is his personality so if you want him to create a character for himself which is agreeable to you, you are a hypocrite.

    Comment by Daniel — February 15, 2006 @ 6:52 pm

  13. The point about Gervais interrupting Karl is that the holes in Karl’s shaggy dog stories irritate him. Karl is unpeturbed because he’s doggedly trying to tell his story. You all know people who have to plough on with jokes even though they are struggling. The best part of the podcasts are Karl’s diary extracts – v. funny.

    Comment by Alexei — February 15, 2006 @ 7:38 pm

  14. I’m an American – I love Ricky’s work but I must say I’m surprised that more is not being said about what seems to me to be a couple of ‘students’ just bashing someone from the North. Nothing new there, but Manchester certainly doesn’t need Karl as a spokesperson. What I find strange is I that have never heard Pilkington laugh.

    Comment by Paul — February 18, 2006 @ 9:03 pm

    • he has laughed especially on the xfm shows and he did laugh on the last episode of the ricky gervais show season 2. all in all karl is real

      Comment by andrew — January 20, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

  15. Karl fansite:

    Comment by Karl fansite — February 20, 2006 @ 4:36 pm

  16. I am quite shocked that anyone woukld think that Karl is an act.
    I have met many people like this and it isn’t that it is a typical Mancunian that he is ‘portraying’ but more the type of guy you seem to find in lots of towns in england…scotland too, where they have and live the simple life. I envy him in some ways. Nothing is not of some fascination or interest value to Karl. He is like the child that will never grow up yet at the same time, I sense he has a genuine heart of gold.
    Of course Gervais and Merchant will capitalise on the best bits of Karl…the monkeys on typewriters and the chinese or Gays comments but that isn’t to say it is scripted!!??
    They recognised like I did, that those were some of the funniest things he has said.
    After listening to every XFM and podcast show as well as seeing Kalrl on other media, I can almost guarantee you that Karl Pilkington is a bona fida person. A genuine ‘village idiot’ if you like…but he aint no fake!

    Comment by HitMeWithIt — March 1, 2006 @ 2:50 pm

  17. This is referring to the rants about Gervais; which I am by no means saying ‘NO do not mock someone I like’ as free speech is what we have all earnt, well when I say earnt I haven’t done anything to earn it. Like someone has said everything Gervais says is very tongue in cheek, if you actually read the articles on he is a modest man who doesn’t seek publicity and in most cases wants to avoid it… which adds to the irony of having all the front covers on his front page. I guess it’s like all things; you either love him or hate him, cringing comedy is my type of humour but I know it’s not everyones. It kills me when I invite mates round to watch something I love and they sit there not laughing, maybe one day I will learn people have their own opinions. Long live Gervais, and back on topic, Karl Pilkington!

    Comment by Paddy Rogers — March 11, 2006 @ 1:46 am

  18. Here is the link to the Times Online article:,,14934-1653726,00.html

    It might also be worth pointing out that there are usually DVD-R’s of all of the XFM shows, albeit with the songs cut out, available on eBay. I didn’t get one. Oh no. That would be breaching many copyright laws, I’m sure.

    IMO, I suspect that Karl is 90% straight up. I think they – Ricky & Steve – figured out early on that the madness contained inside Karls spherical head was comedy gold, but I have to believe that 10% of it is being “played up” somewhat.

    I cannot believe that anyone could be as truly stupid as Karl appears to be and still be able to breathe unaided.

    However, having heard all of the XFM stuff, and the 12 free podcasts, it is getting really really old…Gay stay out late, hairy chinese kid, Auntie Nora farting for 5 minutes, Rockbusters clues aren’t cryptic, and the more recent habit of ripping Monkey News to shreds before he’s even started it are getting very tired indeed. And whilst I’m not particularly offended by the semi-racist stuff that pops up from time to time, I think its a little cowardly to hide behind the “Brent” persona, or the fact that Karl “isn’t having a go at anyone” schtick.

    I hope the Gervais/Merchant Axis of Comedy can come up with something new and fresh next….

    Phil Timm

    Comment by Philip Timm — April 4, 2006 @ 10:41 am

  19. Stu, Jerry sadowitz doesn’t mean what he says, he’s being offensive for the sake of being offensive. Bernard manning is someone who says ignorant things and means them. Sadowitz is just trying to alienate the audiance, which he does very well – (at the end of his gigs he now legs it across the stage completely naked).

    Comment by Joe — April 13, 2006 @ 7:27 pm

  20. GENIUS

    Comment by Mouse — April 23, 2006 @ 10:12 pm

  21. I’d have to agree with HitMeWithIt and Philip Timm on the Pilkington issue. He does remind me of some of the backwoods characters I’ve met on trips to Ireland– every small town there seems to have one village kook, spouting similar ideas to Karl’s…Whether Karl is actually one of them or just playing, I’m still not sure. It seems a bit unlikely that a London radio show producer (Mancunian or not) could be that simple, though.

    Comment by P. Renault — May 4, 2006 @ 12:45 am

  22. I’m in agreement Haarball, there’s def. (despite their protestations otherwise) some prep work and prodding from Ricky and Steve to get Karl to go to the previously mined stock (yes they already know what he thinks of the chinese aging) of humorous views and comments.
    I think that’s the point of the Times article as well, that this character is culled and brought out by R&S, the question is how much is scripted (in a “lets talk about eating kangaroo bits next, Karl thoughts?” way) and how much is genuinely new to them as well.

    Gervais laughs everytime anyway, and I can’t help it either when Karl say something like, “did i ever tell you about me uncle tattoo stan” you know whatever comes out next is going to be priceless, Karl knows his story is funny too. So is there a guileless commentary, a point at which they are just having a chat? I’d like to think that none of them had considered knob for AM vs PM dining before.

    Comment by luus — June 13, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

  23. I just find it peculiar that with all the rumours and discussions in the media around the identity of Karl Pilkington no journalists seem to have managed to track down Karl’s mates, family or somebody who knows him. I don’t know anything about this man apart from what he tells us himself during the shows.

    Comment by Miriam — July 11, 2006 @ 11:37 am

    • theres one video were they talk about his mates from school and they found them by using a website which says all your old school mates AND karl worked with christian O’Connell for 5 years (he said himself)

      Comment by andrew — January 20, 2013 @ 9:05 pm

  24. Karl Pilkington is mint, ricky gervais is mint, steve merchant is mint, stop having a go at them, they have achieved more than all you people so just respect em for being as funny as they are, if the podcasts and that were so rubbish they wunt be worldwide or wot would they?

    Comment by joe — July 19, 2006 @ 7:19 pm

  25. The fact that the shows are even suggested as scripted is pathetic to say the least, can you imagine them scripting THAT? come on, get real! YES they do repeat alot of stuff but what comedians dont? i’ve heard say Jack Dee on top gear using material from numerous stand-ups as if they were on the spot jokes. All comedians do this and as already stated the XFM show wasnt really that popular so of course they would repeat this classic stuff to get it heard…I do believe karl plays up to his sort of now seen character but he is real, IF not then that’s the most realistic acting i’ve ever seen but I seriously seriously do not believe that to be the case, he’s real!

    Comment by Nicholas Sullivan — August 3, 2006 @ 4:30 am

  26. THIS STUFF IS GOLDEN!i dnt believe it is scripted! who could ever script this?! The simplicitys brilliant! Keep it up! Peter Kay is a fantastic comedian but even he repeats jokes asif hes just made them up on the spot! Its a trick of the trade y shud ricky karl n steve be any different, i love how ricky presents a perfectly sane idea n Karl just develops it such as the idea of flogging a dead horse, priceless!

    Comment by Laura — August 8, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  27. Because I have written a few Monkey Newses for Karl I can say I know that he isn’t fake though diverges way off subject. The last five Monkey Newses on Xfm were all written by me as were the ones about a monkey racing driver, monkey super hero, monkey escaping from a lab and ex-NASA monkey being made a colonel. I simply made up a story, put it in a form I knew Karl would like, told him I had cut & pasted it from elsewhere and sent it to his address karl.pilkington& with the note “you have probably already seen this but just in case…” He would take the already dubious information and make it even weirder.

    In case you may have been wondering, nothing ‘was said’ as such between the monkeys in the sanctuary but the offended one shot another with a tranquilser dart from a gun he’d lifted from a keeper’s belt. That’s how it would have ended if Ricky hadn’t shouted Karl down.

    Karl took the info and made it even more mental but he’s certainly not a fake. Much respec’ to the K-Man. And yes anyone who wants me to forward Karl’s replies to me asking for more monkey news are more than welcome.

    Comment by Mark Darkus — August 20, 2006 @ 7:47 pm

  28. I honestly don’t care if Karl is a scripted character or a real person, what dissapoints me is how he has evolved into such a predictable idiot-stereotype.

    If you can track down some of the early shows that arent on, you’ll see that he started off shy(-ish), laughed every now and then when Gervais’ piss-taking just got to be too much for him, and generally came out with some brilliant stuff that didn’t seem scripted or rehearsed in any way.

    I’d say that the reason all the material seems planned now is that it has usually already been done on-air at least twice. I genuinely loved the XFM shows and even some of the podcast material but until they let Karl have his personality back, I doubt I’ll find much else they do interesting.

    Comment by Nick — August 22, 2006 @ 9:32 pm

  29. Of course Karl is an act. He often says things in such a contrived manner that it must be scripted. No-one could be that ignorant and live, have a partener and have had a directorial job for a major radio station.

    Comment by Hugh — May 21, 2007 @ 11:24 pm

  30. “directorial job for a major radio station”?? He was a producer (read: ran the mixing desk) on XFM, hardly a major station. A monkey could do that. I have about 80 hours of material from the XFM shows, the podcasts and other sources, and Karl has never broken character once. I’m sure he knows what’s expected of him, but I seriously doubt it’s any faker than that.

    Comment by CJ22 — January 3, 2008 @ 4:04 pm

  31. i don’t know if the show is scripted or not. i’d have to guess just from an entertainment standpoint they’d have to at least have an outline. and i do think that’s all they have. even in improv you have your staple references and jokes that you know any idiot will laugh at. however, i have to side that karl is a character. he NEVER laughs. how can you not at least crack a smile. even the most ridiculous person laughs at themselves, no matter how much they believe something, when they realize how crazy they sound. or else he seriously has no humor bone in his body. no, he’s got to be putting on a character. i’d love to really find out one way or the other one day…

    Comment by kat — February 21, 2008 @ 5:29 am

  32. i guess what i meant to say is it’s all just a bunch of improv between 3 thought up characters. that was much simpler put wasn’t it? :o)

    Comment by kat — February 21, 2008 @ 5:55 am

  33. you are all really stupid its jsut comedy.. i dont see you all bee like ‘oh yes the situations that arise in family guy would never arise in real life’ its pretty clear that Karl is real and really funny u could go on about ‘oh hes acting etcetc’ i couldnt care less and after hes been reading these kind of low life comments ure leaving about things u dont know jack about he said he dontwana do any more shows so i hope ure happy morons ure pedantic look into something that doesnt even matter ruined 1 of the funniesthings around i hope your real happy.

    Comment by dan — April 11, 2008 @ 1:05 am

  34. Too late to give a comment?

    First of all, I love the podcasts. I have listened to them so much that I’m now starting all my answers to peoples’ questions with an insecure ‘uuuhmmm’.

    As much as Ricky and Steve have denied claims that Karl Pilkington would be a character, I think the discussion on the “the true nature of Karl Pilkington” is still a legitimate one. I mean, could anyone really be that stupid?
    Karl Pilkington the phenomenon, I think, should be treated as such. As for Karl Pilkington the real person, it might be somewhat different. Now, I’m not suggesting that he’s an actor. As a matter of fact I think he’s quite “real”. But even if he might not be the brightest guy on earth, I don’t think he is as stupied as he’s being portrayed.
    Just as Steve and Karl knew which conversation themes that were funny and sort of set them up, I’m pretty sure Karl knew (or at least over time started to get an idea) of what was working to get the expected reactions from his co-hosts. Half the podcast are, in my opinion, those reactions, in particular Ricky’s.
    I’ve mostly been listening to Season 3 of the podcast and there are some things that are interesting. I’m thinking about parts such as towards the ends of episode 3 where he is talking about the octopus and “how weird” it is. He pictures the scenario of being from another planet and being introduced to the different species of the world (“here’s man, woman, dog, cat, octopus…” – I’d go “hold on a minute, what is that?”). Now, this might be coincidence, but anyone who’s into comedy will know that the way he says this has this almost perfect classical timing to it.
    As for the fact that Karl never laughs during the podcasts, I was very happy to see the clip on Youtube where all three watch Brokeback Mountain together, and he can’t hold it back when Steve after Steves mocks him a little for saying that he wants to see more. There’s just something about that laugh that tells me that he can’t be that stupid. But then again, you can be stupid on different levels.

    Finally, I just have to say that I love the “Behind the Scenes” clip of The Ricky Gervais Show where Ricky is all of a sudden going crazy and just has to squeeze Karl’s head. I find it hilarious.

    Comment by Daniel N — May 12, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  35. Of course he’s not fake, as in made up. But of course he’s hamming it up. He’s a performer, but of course it’s not scripted. He isn’t stupid. He does know he’s funny and he knows why he’s funny. But he still thinks the things he thinks.
    I bet the performance Karl is just a more extreme version of the real Karl.

    Comment by Steve Collis — June 25, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

  36. Mark Darkus, i would love to hear more about your involvement with monkey news if you are indeed not lying.

    Comment by Vee — December 2, 2008 @ 8:57 pm

    • Hey Vee, only a year late with a reply – I’m not lying, basically when they were on Xfm it wasn’t the same phenomen as the podcasts, it was tinpot local. But when Karl did the story about a monkey winning the 100 metres in the Olympics and Gervais said that had been made up by a listener and he believed it I thought ‘ooh, interesting’.

      So just sent in the monkey in space colonel thing because it had one foot in reality (a monkey had been in space) with a follow up no one could know for sure but is defintely not true – that because no humans had been up there yet he was the most senior ranking officer in the force? Army? Air force? In the thing that they have ranks in.

      It was just for fun, but Karl was clearly getting stressed out for a change about having to find actual stories involving monkeys so I’d send in the outlines of things I’d ‘heard’ and Karl would run with it.

      Probably he must have known some of them were ridiculous, but they wanted Monkey News, and that’s what he gave them. Every time he would elaborate on the sterile facts to fill out the story and make it even less plausible then the original tale I’d written and way more funny.

      I love Karl, and I hope his boiler gets fixed one day.

      Comment by Markdarkus — August 2, 2009 @ 8:14 am

  37. it is weird how he always doesnt get the date and where his stories are , he leaves holes on purpose so stephen and ricky can pick holes and show how funny they are. and always do the same gags. im certain most of it is scripted. i think karl is stupid but they’re making him act more stupid because fans like it . its put on for sure

    Comment by geg — February 19, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

  38. That’s it, isn’t it. Karl’s performance persona is the bits of his real persona that he knows are funny, so he plays up on them and amplifies them to get a rise out of Ricky and Steve – and by extension, us the audience.

    Comment by JayCee — March 9, 2009 @ 6:10 am

  39. pilkington is 100% real i have heard every xfm show, podcast and guide to.., as well as shortlist, nme and everything i can find on youtube, i agree that gervias and merchant promp and manipulate pilkington into revealing his past. I am sure that after all the hours of bradcasting the team has done that Ricky and steve know what buttons to push with pilkington, but to consider pilkington an actor hired to perform on this show is as strange as a hairy chinese kid!!

    Comment by mat christie — June 24, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

    • That’s the thing, those XFM early shows: when he produces those movies “mash ups” he displays a consciousness of what is funny and outrageous about his persona that shows he’s a character.

      Comment by Mauricio Habert — August 11, 2011 @ 9:36 pm

  40. i love the show, it dos’nt look like acting to me …but im no expert, everyone says poor karl ..being taken the mick out of but if he had that much of a problem with it why didnt he quit.. ir say something ,and of corse they have preped topic to talk about other wise it would be as boring as dust ,
    every one says its manipulated to be funny but so are half the things on tv, get over it !

    Comment by i heart karl — June 19, 2010 @ 10:39 am

  41. he is really tht dumb. he got one e in his gce’s the rest he failed

    Comment by elliott — September 2, 2010 @ 11:32 am

  42. Wow, these comments go back a long way! Actor or chimp? I’ll say chimp, but Ricky nd Steve can sometimes make the whole affair seem a little contrived. I find Ricky’s hyenna laugh very irritating, especially when I’m listening to a podcast in bed.

    There’s something utterly relaxing about Karl’s demeanour not dissimilar to Bob Ross in The Joy of Painting, which I’m “listening” to right now actually.

    In summary, my ideal podcast would comprise only of Karl so that I could enjoy him talking at length without Ricky interupting and casting doubt on the authenticity.

    By the way, check out my site if you get a moment. It’s a modest fan site compared to the big communities, but a valid tribute nonetheless.

    Comment by darren — January 24, 2011 @ 3:20 am

    • “karl” is not an idiot, he is a very skilled comedian/actor. watch an idiot abroad carefully and pick up on the inconsistencies.

      Comment by mike — January 30, 2011 @ 8:00 am

  43. Watching an idoit aboard on youtube, I would guess he is fake.
    First he was qiute unfaced about the whole kidnapping story, and the indian festival with the paint seamed also abit staged.

    He does a brillant job as “Carl” though, amazing improvising akills.

    Comment by Anna — January 30, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  44. I truly believe he is a literate chimp! I too know people of similar un-intelligence who are never at a loss for words and have the most ridiculous ideas or theories. None on the level of Karl but similar. I don’t think it’s fake but rehearsed or topics discussed before hand to find the most ridiculous

    Comment by Kris — May 14, 2011 @ 5:53 am

  45. I’ve heard pretty much every podcast and seen all the TV shows and my assesment is that Karl has average intelligence, extremely low education and a very strange mind. I think he has a naturally comic mind that could be most easily likened to Steven Wright or Mitch Hedberg. I also think that he’s very ill educated and his background and overall incuriousity and laziness has kept him in a state of childlike simplicity. I think he knows that when he says the first thing that comes into his already strange mind, instead of waiting a few seconds to think of something sensible, Ricky and Stephen laugh and the podcast works. If you were to meet him at a party, you would probably find him a little funny, strange and maybe even dull. But the reason he is famous is he is aware of what happens when he allows his brain to produce its first reaction to the clever setups RIcky and Stephen throw his way and Ricky’s reactions are about half the comedy.

    Comment by Peter Kavelin — June 20, 2011 @ 12:38 am

  46. I’d don’t think Karl is an act at all. Yes the podcasts etc are Abit scripted but only to set Karl off on his rants. He’s not stupid at all he’s just ignorant and speaks his mind, having an answer on the spot for everything proves hes quite quick and witty. And to those people saying he doesn’t mess up on what he’s saying that proves he genuinly beleives it, just like me saying it’s not an act isn’t going to change your thoughts on the situation, you’ll just come back with an answer. And no one can put that voice on lol. Also he does smile and laugh in an idiot abroad, yes not much but he does.

    Comment by Tom — July 7, 2011 @ 4:42 am

  47. Karl is a carefully scripted creation as is all of Gervais’ humour. There’s a just a little more deceit in this serving.
    “If it looks like dogshit and smells like dogshit….don’t step in it!”

    Comment by John Smith — July 15, 2011 @ 3:26 am

  48. Excellent blog right here! Also your site so much up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink in your host? I want my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol.

    Comment by how yo get your ex back — August 22, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

  49. oh my god. The lot of you are more retarded than Karl. He is a comedic genius doing his stand-up. He obviously prepares some of his material ahead of time and the rest is improv. It is soooo obvious.

    Comment by banksy91 — September 2, 2014 @ 3:13 am

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