UK classic comedy character revivals: New “David Brent” from Ricky Gervias, “Alan Partridge” from Steve Coogan

What’s a decade for comedy nerds to wait for their beloved British characters?

Over the weekend, we saw the rebirth of not only Steve Coogan’s “Alan Partridge,” but also Ricky Gervais’ “David Brent.”

Coogan’s fictional radio and TV talk-show host has popped up in various projects over the past two decades; before now, most recently in a Sky Atlantic special in 2012 in which Partridge took viewers along for a tour of Norfolk. In the new movie, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, we’ll presumably see him caught in a siege at a radio station. The first teaser trailer appeared on Friday. Roll it!

And yes, comedy uber-nerds, that trailer did use a very similar approach to Louis C.K.’s teaser this month for his upcoming stand-up comedy special! Discuss.

As for Ricky Gervais and the character that launched The Office franchises and propelled him to comedy stardom…

David Brent made a cameo or two in the American version of The Office as “Michael Scott” exited Dunder-Mifflin. Brent’s full re-emergence over the weekend, however, was part of both the UK’s Comic Relief (in the UK, Comic Relief never stopped raising money) as well as the launch (RE-launch?) of an official YouTube channel for Gervais. His first video, uploaded Friday, imagines David Brent now as a hip-hop artist and rap producer.

“Working with YouTube is a fantastic opportunity for new content to be made available without the limitations of schedules and international restrictions,” Gervais said, as reported by Deadline. “Viewing habits are changing. And anyone who doesn’t realise that will be left behind. I am very excited to be working with a platform that is so instant and accessible. And to catch up with David Brent is going to be fantastic.”

This is the music video for “Equality Street.”

And in his own words, here is a piece Gervais wrote about revisiting David Brent.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

View all posts by Sean L. McCarthy →