Comedian Ricky Gervais on 8 Things That Annoy Him

Winston Churchill once said, "If you find a job you like, you'll never work again." I realized from an early age that there is no point in living for a holiday or living for a weekend. But as I get older, I'm realizing that all my comedy—all the things I've ever done—is about getting stuff off my chest. In my new film, "Ghost Town," I play a misanthropic guy who hates the world.

He closed his heart years ago and nothing gets through. He likes being a dentist because he can shove things in people's mouths and they can't talk to him. But then dead people start to bother him, and that's even worse. I think I'm slowly turning into that guy. It's gotten to where the slightest thing can ruin my day. For instance:

Unnecessary noise. Let's say there's a construction worker sanding down a door. OK, that's a bit annoying, but fair enough, it's his job. But why does he then add whistling to that? Don't add whistling. It doesn't cancel it out. It's not like mixing an alkaline with an acid. It makes it twice as annoying. Sanding the door—you need to do that. An ambulance siren—you need that. But whistling? It's not like you're whistling Brahms. It's like a cat walking on a piano.

Gossip magazines. The worst is the "spotted" section. "Spotted! Johnny Depp on the set of his new movie." Brilliant. What a surprise, him being there. "You'll never guess what I read: someone spotted Johnny Depp!" "Oh, yeah? Where?" "Miles away, different country, doesn't matter."

Lateness. Drives me mad. Can't stand it. Because I'm always 20 minutes early. So if you're 10 minutes late, well, in my mind, that's half an hour late. Also, I don't want to be alone, so if I'm meeting a friend at the pub, I won't go inside. I'll walk round and round the block because I don't want to be seen sitting there by myself. And besides, how could anyone not want to rush to meet me? I'm famous—I should be the one who turns up late.

People who use the line "I say what I think." No, you're rude, and you're just trying to make it a virtue. People are always going on about how "I'm not two-faced." No, but you are a nasty, fascist, racist piece of dirt. That outweighs two-faced. Next time, be two-faced.

People who think they're "eccentric." What does that mean? You wear lots of different hats? You ride a funny-colored bike? That makes you eccentric? A friend of mine moved out to the country, and the woman next door came round; she was sort of hippie-ish, very long hair, back to nature, all that stuff. And she says, "I've made you a rice pudding, and I've made it with breast milk, because, you know, waste not, want not!" So my friend took it, threw it away, washed the dish and gave it back. He said to her, "Thanks, that was great!" I couldn't believe it. I told him that he should've said, "No, there is no way I'm eating that. Definitely not. Do not bring me any other bodily-function puddings."

People trying too hard to be funny. Like clowns. They put on a big pair of trousers and a big red nose and they fall over. The only way that would be funny is if he was forced to dress up and he was watching his family being tortured, and then he fell over.

Now that's funny.

Conspiracy theories. They were annoying enough when it was just people talking bollocks in pubs. But now with the Internet, there are forums. These people can find each other. There was one great conspiracy theory about the end of our HBO series, "Extras." In the last episode we had a scene with my partner on the show, Stephen Merchant, and Robert De Niro—and the conspiracy theory was that De Niro was not actually in the room with Stephen. "You can see that it's a split screen," they claimed. Right. We got De Niro, but the hard bit was getting Stephen in the same room. That makes sense. It's just people who think they're clever. No, you don't know anything. You live with your mum, you're on the computer all day. You've got three friends, and you've never actually met any of them.

Lazy journalism. I've actually had good luck with the media, because early on I established that I only talk about work. I don't invite magazines around my home. So I've had a great ride. But one of the first times I went out to an award show, this journalist on the red carpet asked me, "What advice would you give to someone who wants to be famous like you?" Like that was my aim—getting famous. So I said, "I don't know. Kill a prostitute?"

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