David Bowie just turned 66 the other day, so I thought it would be a laugh to include him in our Friday Fun this week.
In the role of Andy Millman, Gervais spent the first season encountering real life stars on set and hustling his original script for a TV sit-com called ‘When the Whistle Blows’…in season 2, Andy gets his script developed and picked up by the BBC and it goes into production with Millman in the lead role, only to be executed in the most broad, cheap, over-the-top way by the network. Millman finds his dream of ‘stardom’ being realized, but in a classic case of “be careful what you wish for”, he becomes increasingly desperate as someone who becomes famous at the total expense of his integrity and thwarted in his original intentions for his script.
Oh the humanity. Gervais is excellent as Millman; as a writer, Gervais constantly made Millman the butt of the joke, and this was never better than in Season 2, episode 2, in which David Bowie guest stars as himself. ‘When the Whistle Blows’ has its premiere and does huge numbers; Andy Millman starts to get recognized in the street and in pubs, despite the fact that the show gets terrible reviews for being exactly what Millman feared it would be; cheap and over-the-top.
At a night out at a posh exclusive club, Andy Millman finally feels he might’ve arrived by getting in alongside the likes of Bowie, playing himself, and gets a moment with Bowie to confide his concerns and perhaps ask his advice, only to discover that the beautiful people are only too aware of his show’s terrible reviews and broad, old-fashioned, un-hip style.
When I first saw this scene, I watched it, jaw-dropped; I actually could not believe how far they took it, and how straight they played it.
So for your Friday Fun: David Bowie and Ricky Gervais play it razor-straight as… David Bowie and poor Andy Millman.