The Comedy of Ricky Gervais: Critical Essays

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
K. A. Wisniewski

For over twenty years, Ricky Gervais has entertained audiences with a brand of comedy all his own. The groundbreaking sitcom The Office pioneered the mockumentary genre and has influenced countless programs. Subsequent projects have continued to propel comedy into  new directions, forms, and platforms.

The editor of the forthcoming anthology, The Comedy of Ricky Gervais: Critical Essays, is currently soliciting chapters that analyze any aspect of Gervais’ career: as comedian, as actor, and as writer-director.  Essays may examine a single work by Gervais or take a comparative, thematic approach. This work is wide-reaching and hopes to survey as much of Gervais’ work as possible.  This includes the television programs The Office, Extras, The Ricky Gervais Show, An Idiot Abroad, Life’s Too Short, Derek, and Afterlife; films, including The Invention of Lying, Cemetery Junction, Special Correspondents, and David Brent: Life on the Road; and his stand-up comedy specials, including Animals, Science and Humanity. Although this collection focuses film, television, and stand-up comedy, the editor also seeks original essays that address Gervais’ music, Flanimals book series, radio shows / podcasts, and social media presence. 

The anthology is already under contract, and this second call for proposals hopes to fill in existing gaps in the project. Junior faculty and graduate students are welcome and encouraged to submit.

Potential topics might include the following:

  • Comedy, parody and satire
  • Stand-up comedy
  • The mockumentary
  • Politics & class
  • Race and race relations
  • Gender, sexuality and LGBTQ
  • Science and medicine
  • Philosophy, religion and atheism
  • Writing and rhetoric
  • Language and linguistics
  • Music and sound
  • Celebrity culture and the industry
  • Recurring collaborators
  • Social media
  • Animal rights and veganism

To complete this anthology, the editor encourages proposals related to Ricky Gervais and animal rights; stand-up acts; radio broadcasts; book series; and Afterlife.

Please send a 300-word abstract and 150-word biography to the editor K. A. Wisniewski at  The deadline for proposal submissions is May 15, 2021.  If accepted, a 5,000-7,000-word will be due September 2021.