Stop Calling Ricky Gervais’ New Show An ‘Atheist Comedy’

Haven’t we learned anything from The God Delusion?

Weren’t we all supposed to have our consciousness raised?

Don’t we know that TV shows shouldn’t be given a religious (or non-religious) label before it’s ready to make that decision on its own?!

We have to stop mentally abusing these TV shows…

So get this right: Ricky Gervaisnew show Afterlife is not an “Atheist Comedy.” It’s a comedy that features an atheist character.

Memo to publications with a religious bent: Don’t dismiss the show because you assume it’s about promoting atheism. Gervais elaborates:

I can’t win. ‘The Invention of Lying’ proposed an alternative world where there was no God. That was an atheist comedy too. Seems the existence or non-existence of God in my work has no bearing on whether it’s an atheist comedy or not. It just is. Because I wrote it right? That’s so weird.

I love ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. I’m not threatened by its premise. I don’t start shouting, “Religious propaganda!… How dare they assume that heaven and angels exist?” It’s a work of fiction. And a great one.

Here’s what I suggest you do; wait till ‘Afterlife’ is finished then watch it. Or not. But if you watch it then you’re allowed to have an opinion. You can gladly slag it off. You can start a campaign to get it banned. You can hate it. And trust me, it’s so much more fun saying you hate something once you’ve actually seen it.

So, please wait, watch and find out if it’s controversial or inflammatory first, yeh?

Anyway, I play God…

… [God] thinks he’s the best thing ever because… well, he is. (He invented sliced bread by the way.) He also loves welcoming atheists to heaven with a smug grin on his face.

He likes atheists deep down though. Or rather he likes good atheists. He admires the fact that they were moral people even though they didn’t believe they would ever be rewarded with everlasting life.

Still sounds like a pretty awesome show…

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    I’m an atheist and Invention of Lying went too over the top for even my liking. It was a comedy more concerned about making an atheist message than trying to be.. you know… a comedy. It just tried too hard.

    Extras and The Office aren’t called atheist comedies though, so that comment about his work always being atheist comedy just because he wrote them isn’t true.

    • http://profiles.google.com/cartman86 Brice Gilbert

      Did Extras and The Office have any episodes about religion? Besides they were British shows. Only in America would reports say atheist comedy. His point about It’s a Wonderful Life is spot on. No one calls that a religious film.

      • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

        The Office was remade for US and is still mainly written by Ricky Gervais.

        I haven’t seen It’s a Wonderful Life so I can’t really comment on that, but even I would call Invention of Lying an atheist movie. That entire movie was about pushing the message that God is a lie.

        “Seems the existence or non-existence of God in my work has no bearing on
        whether it’s an atheist comedy or not. It just is. Because I wrote it
        right? That’s so weird.”

        By that, he’s saying that his work is always considered atheist comedy no matter what, simply because he wrote it. that just isn’t true, as I pointed out.

  • http://www.theaunicornist.com Mike D

    I’ve always thought that if I’m wrong and I meet God in the hereafter, he’ll either commend me for my skepticism and good life, or he’ll be an almighty douche and I’ll happily cannonball into the lake of fire.

  • Trace

    He Who Cannot Be Named!

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    I’m looking forward to seeing a show.  I hope it will be carried by my cable provider.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Ani Sharmin

    “Here’s what I suggest you do; wait till ‘Afterlife’ is finished then watch it. Or not. But if you watch it then you’re allowed to have an opinion. You can gladly slag it off. You can start a campaign to get it banned. You can hate it. And trust me, it’s so much more fun saying you hate something once you’ve actually seen it.”

    I love this part, especially the last sentence.  I actually often like books and shows with a religious premise, God, the afterlife, etc. if they’re done in a thought-provoking or fun way.

  • Pitch

    Christians are all delusional scum.  Don’t be shy about saying it.

  • Timothy

    When is this slated to go on the air?  I look forward to seeing it.

  • Zac

    “I’ll be playing God”
    I doubt his ego would have allowed otherwise.


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