Ricky Gervais is one of the biggest comedians in the world, known for his dark, uncomfortable and particularly British brand of humor. (He’s British. So that makes sense). With the release of his newest stand-up special through Netflix, titled Humanity, we decided to take a look back at how The Office creator came to be one of the richest comedians on the planet.
Ricky Gervais Net Worth 2018: $99 Million
With nearly $100 million to his name, Ricky Gervais holds the current benchmark for comedians with the riches to match their fanfare. So how did he get here? Take a look below and find out:
Early Life & Career Beginnings: 1961 – 1998
Gervais, 56, was born on June 25, 1961 in Reading, England. He began attending University College London in 1980, changing his major from biology to philosophy within the first two weeks. It was during this time that he met Jane Fallon, whom he’s been in a relationship with since 1982.
Gervais held a number of odd jobs throughout the 1980s, acting as manager for the band Suede prior to their mainstream breakthrough and even embarking on a musical career of his own in the band Seona Dancing. While Seona Dancing never achieved success, they were signed for a time to London Records, with whom they released two singles — “More to Lose” and “Bitter Heart” — the former of which became something of a teen anthem in the Philippines.
In the 1990s, Gervais began working in radio, eventually moving to head of speech at alternative radio station Xfm. It was here that Gervais would meet his longtime-collaborator Stephen Merchant, whose application to be Gervais’ assistant at the radio station was the only one Gervais even looked at before hiring him. In 1998, as Xfm was being purchased by Capital Radio, leaving Gervais’ job in jeopardy, he was getting his first television exposure on Channel 4’s “Comedy Lab” pilots. Gervais and Merchant would end up producing a pilot about a video store owner who has an unhealthy obsession with David Bowie, titled Golden Years.
Breakthrough Success and Stardom: 2000 – 2018
In 2000, Gervais and Merchant were given the green light for a full pilot of The Office, the result of a short film Merchant had been commissioned to make while on a BBC production course. While the show didn’t initially ‘wow’ audiences, word-of-mouth and DVD sales following the first season led to increased anticipation for the second season. Following the second season, Gervais was named the most powerful person in TV comedy by the Radio Times. In 2004, The Office would win a Golden Globe Award for Best Television series: Musical or Comedy, becoming the first British comedy to ever win the award.
Following the end of The Office, Gervais made a jump to stand-up comedy and films, achieving success in both fields rather quickly. Gervais went on three major comedy tours, titled Animals, Fame, and Politics respectively, between 2003 and 2007. He wrote, directed, produced and starred in the movie The Invention of Lying in 2009, and did the same for the film Cemetery Junction in 2010.
His other television pursuits since The Office have likewise received a great deal of popularity and acclaim. In total, Gervais has created and starred in six television shows since The Office: Extras, The Ricky Gervais Show, An Idiot Abroad, Derek, Life’s Too Short, and the game show Child Support.
Gervais has hosted the Golden Globe Awards four times, doing so most recently in 2016.