The burning question for Ricky Gervais fans is whether or not Karl Pilkington is a concocted character. I mean, he can’t be real, can he? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Ricky Gervais, the comic genius creator of the Office (BBC version), and his co-creator (Steve Merchant) have been doing a record-breaking podcast, The Ricky Gervais Show, over the past few months, and the producer, Karl Pilkington, has become an internet (and beyond) phenomenon as a result of his surreally odd musings on the show. I think he’s a character, but they continue to insist that he’s really like that and it’s certainly possible. If you haven’t heard the show, it’s downloadable through a free subscription to the podcast on iTunes (you don't need an ipod to do this) and it’s hilarious. Start from the first show to fully appreciate the emergence of Karl as a phenomenon. Here are some clips of Karl (courtesy of Screenhead) that predate the podcast which make me think he might be real, but I’m still not sure. In any case, he's hilarious.
On a related note, I was thinking the other day about how the Business Casual Stag Devil Death Boy story is going to be viewed post-Office, even though it was written a good year or so before I became a fan of the show. And now, it occurs to me that one of my main characters, Carl Caperton, is going to be seen at least as a nominal rip-off of Karl Pilkington. Goddamn you, Ricky.
update - in the last of the podcasts, Karl Pilkington has solved the existential problems posed by Kafka in The Metamorphosis. Well done, Karl.