Ricky Gervais Replacing Steve Carell On The Office?

It's rumored that Rick Gervais, who starred in the British original version of "The Office," will reprise his role of David Brent and replace Steve Carrell on the American version of the show.

Perez Hilton passes on speculation that Ricky Gervais, who starred in the British original version of “The Office,” will reprise his role of David Brent and replace Steve Carrell on the American version of the show.

Gervais is denying the rumor but that doesn’t make it untrue.  Regardless, I agree with Hilton that the idea is “brilliant” and “inspired.”

For whatever reason, while I very much enjoy Carell’s other work — and love Dilbert and the “Office Space” movie — I’ve never liked “The Office.”  The characters just fall flat for me and the plots seem contrived.   But I realize that’s a minority view.

And, in any case, Gervais is an extraordinarily talented fellow and completing the circle in this way would be a classic move.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. sam says:

    Ever see his stand-up? Words fail, almost….

  2. Franklin says:

    The American version of The Office was pretty good in early seasons, it’s pretty bad now.  I’ve got DVDs of the British version, and despite my difficulty in understanding their accents, I think Gervais can do the uncomfortable boss thing at least as well as Carell.
     
    /Like my British friends say, “don’t let our common language come between us!”
     

  3. The reason you like Office Space and Dilbert, but not the Office, is that the first two have a likeable “sane man” in the story for the audience to identify with.  In the Office, EVERYONE is an unlikable crazy person such that you have no reason to really care about anything that goes on in the show.

  4. James Joyner says:

    SD:  I think that’s right.  “The Office” is punch lines without the developed characters that most serial television is built around.

  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    I came late to an appreciation of The Office.  The characters are actually very well-developed, and Carrell makes Michael likeable — he’s quite a good comic actor.  But it’s a very slow build.  You have to give it a long time.  It doesn’t have a hook.
     
    By the way, people should really check out LOUIE on FX, the network that gave us the great and appalling IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA.  IT’s very smart and very funny, and speaking of Gervais, had a great cameo from him.

  6. Trumwill says:

    //In the Office, EVERYONE is an unlikable crazy person such that you have no reason to really care about anything that goes on in the show.//
    Jim and Pam (and Tim and Dawn in the British version) are the intended sane voices. The problem with The Office is that their plot lines have been more-or-less settled. So they’re likable and uncrazy, but now kind of boring.
    As for the main point of the original post… I’m not sure I really see it. There’s no easy way to integrate the British and American versions of the show into the same universe. David Brent moves to America and walks into a different paper sales company (okay, printer sales now) that also has a documentary being made about it? Besides which, he’s a D-list celebrity for his appearance in the British documentary. You can bring him in as a new character, but then it loses some of its original appeal. And lastly, the difference in tone makes it so I’m not sure the Brent version would really work all that well.

  7. <blockquote>Jim and Pam (and Tim and Dawn in the British version) are the intended sane voices.</blockquote>
    Yes, but we’re not really seeing the show from their point the way Office Space is seen from Dave Gibbon’s viewpoint or Dilbert is largely seen from Dilbert’s viewpoint.  We see the Office as kind of a disembodied thrid person observer, with no real stake in what goes on.  It’s just a bunch of crazy people hurting themselves.  It doesn’t really impact us one way or the other, so it lacks tension.