The Style Guy Glenn O’Brien joins GQ Deputy Editor Michael Hainey for a Google Hangout at GQHQ at 11:30AM EST today. Tune in!
“I got this in 1979 and it has a lot of miles on it—some motorcycle miles, and it was my regular outerwear during the days when New York streets could be risky. It probably saved my life when I resisted a two perp mugging at knifepoint on Avenue D. (Or maybe it was the Sacred Heart of Jesus pinned inside it over my heart.) Some guys wore tagged leather jackets back then. One day I asked my friend Jean-Michel Basquiat to draw one of his crowns on the back of mine. Jean was so into kingship he smoked Chesterfield Kings. My friend George DuBose had nicknamed me Leroy because he said I acted like a king. This jacket made me feel even more like one.” - Glenn O’Brien
Long Live Basquiat.
Just for creating The Office, his comedy-god status can never be revoked—and his career has only mushroomed since. But the bigger Ricky Gervais gets, the harder it’s becoming to tell if he’s still sending up rich, self-important celebrities or turning into one. (In his forthcoming Netflix comedy, he plays an uplifting simpleton. Yikes.) Gervais, for his part, says not to worry. He’s still the same run-of-the-mill comic genius he’s always been:
GQ: Last night you tweeted “Hope you enjoy my stand-up. If you don’t please let me know because I don’t give a fuck.”
Ricky Gervais: Yeah. We’d been out to dinner, and I’d just got back. It was because I was getting loads of tweets that Science was on TV, and everybody was tweeting me lovely things, so instead of going, “Oh, thank you so much, I really appreciate it,” I thought it was more in character. My stand-up persona of not giving a fuck. I was going along with the persona of the comedian that says the unsayable. Which isn’t true. Comedians who say the unsayable don’t usually get TV specials. I’m very considered. I can justify every joke I’ve ever made, really.
GQ: You once went on a British chat show and when the host noted that you were looking newly fit and trim and asked how come, you replied, “AIDS.”
Ricky Gervais: The joke there is that it was small talk. If that was the answer, I wouldn’t have said it. But what’s wrong with it? How would people be offended?
GQ: Well, to joke about a disease that is killing loads of people…
Ricky Gervais: I do that all the time! I do it all the time. If you can’t joke about the most horrendous things in the world, what’s the point of jokes? What’s the point in having humor? Humor is to get us over terrible things. That’s all it’s for. That’s why you should laugh at funerals. Of course it’s the wrong thing to say. That’s why it’s funny.
“Reading a chapter from Warren Buffett’s Tap Dancing to Work the other day, I was surprised to find myself chuckling out loud. Now this guy is kind of funny, I thought to myself as I turned the page and grabbed another Danish. This guy is kind of making me laugh. And those thoughts that I had quietly, in my head, to myself, made me realize just how rarely I do have those thoughts in my head. And that thought led me to another thought, which was: why is that? Why, on the whole, are men just not that funny?”