Ricky Gervais has defended joking about taboo subjects after mocking trans people in his new Netflix special SuperNature.
The comedian, despite claiming he’s supportive of trans rights, made several controversial gags in the newly released special, including saying that ‘old-fashioned women’ are ‘the ones with wombs’.
He also joked about transitioning to become ‘Vicky Gervais’.
Joining Jermaine Jenas and Alex Jones on The One Show on Tuesday night, Ricky was asked whether he’d always worked on creating a ‘feeling of tension’.
‘Well, I think that’s what comedy is for really, to get us through stuff and ideally taboo subjects, because I want to take the audience to a place hasn’t been before even for a split second,’ Ricky replied.
‘And you know, most offence comes from when people mistake the subject of a joke with the actual target, so it starts there. “What’s he gonna say?” I tell the joke. They laugh.’
‘You know, it’s like a parachute jump,’ Ricky continued. ‘It’s scary, but then you land and it’s all okay.
‘And I think that’s what comedy is for, getting us over taboo subjects. They’re not scary anymore. So, I deal with everything you know.’
He added: ‘And then I think we second guess the audience too much. Even in narrative stuff, like After Life, you know, people saying, the audience hate this, of course they can, real life is much worse. These are just jokes.
‘They don’t mean anything. They’re just for you to laugh for an hour or so. So that’s why ideally taboo subjects. Yeah.’
Ricky’s new special, SuperNature, launched on Netflix on Tuesday with an 18 rating that warned of ‘language, crude humour’ and ‘discrimination’.
In the opening minutes of the programme, the 60-year-old said that ‘old-fashioned women with wombs’ are ‘dinosaurs’, before adding: ‘I love the new women. They’re great, aren’t they? The new ones we’ve been seeing lately. The ones with beards and c**ks, they’re as good as gold, I love them.’
About three quarters of the way through the special, the After Life star emphasised his support for the trans community, saying: ‘Okay, full disclosure. In real life, of course I support trans rights.
‘I support all human rights and trans rights are human rights. Live your best life, use your preferred pronouns. Be the gender that you feel you are.’
After this statement received a few cheers from the audience, he then added: ‘But lose me halfway ladies – lose the c**k. That’s all I’m saying,’ a comment that sparked far more cheers, whoops and clapping.
Ricky’s special, which has been accused of being ‘transphobic and ignorant’has been bet both positively and negatively.
Piers Morgan was among one of the fans, branding it ‘absolutely outrageous, fabulously offensive’ and ‘hilariously funny’.
The One Show airs weekdays at 7pm on BBC One and SuperNature is available to stream on Netflix.