The star of the hit British sitcom talks about writing comedy, making his co-stars laugh, and being successful

By Leah Reisman-Senes
November 26, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

The curmudgeon behind The Office Special

On comedy writing We never overdo a spoof. There could be things that in the short term are funnier because they’re bizarre, but if you want something to resonate, the closer it is to truth, the funnier it is.

On cracking up his costars That’s when I’ve won. Like a fat little 43-year-old toddler who throws his toy in the dog bowl.

On being successful There are people who are rich and famous, but I think, ”How do you sleep at night? What you’re doing is rubbish!” I don’t do anything for money. My batting average is more important than my wages.

On selling himself ”Ricky Gervais is an annoying, lazy man who will work for free, but you’ll hate every minute of it.” If that doesn’t get me work in Hollywood, I don’t know what will.