Before we get into this, let me remind you that I was on the Barack Obama train very early.
With that out of the way, I have the uncanny ability to be late on fads or technology or movies or music. I still don't have a smart phone. I just recently bought an HDTV. I don't own a Lady Gaga CD. I'm always tardy to the party.
This struck my mind as I watched the season finale of HBO's "The Ricky Gervais Show." I laughed so much my chest ached and my eyes watered. The show gives an animated interpretation to the podcasts of Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington.
Back in 2006, the Schaibles tried to get me hooked on that show. For a myriad of reasons, I failed to follow the lead. I was very, very travel weary by that time in San Diego and I was in a post-gradution, pre-employment funk. Years later, I realize they were right all along, because this show (which applies to the podcasts) is hilarious.
Some may not like the cartoon aspect, but I think it makes Pilkington's odd statements that much funnier. There's the part where they talk about the ghost of Pilkington getting a rectal exam, haunting a doctor's office. The drawing of said ghost nearly had me cackling on the floor. When Pilkington talks about having a conversation with a worm, the pictorial interpretation cracks me up.
The highlights of this program are plentiful. Karl talking about finding a strange home with a note that had a list of baby items to buy, then on the back it said, "Nevermind. Baby dead." I lost it. The part where they talk about the monkey in space and Ricky asks how the monkey finds the moon and Karl says, "He turns left." Hilarious. The part when Stephen asks how Karl would walk if his head was facing the opposite direction. Would he walk backwards, which would make it forwards for him in that case? No. Karl says he'd walk sideways so no one would notice. I'm not sure that makes any sense, but it's damn funny.
How does one describe Mr. Pilkington. He's not stupid, but he says a lot of stupid things, but these stupid things have some strange logic to them. This logic plays off great with straight-laced Gervais and Merchant. I love when Pilkington says something crazy, meaning every word of it without a hint of irony, and Gervais screams at him, "You're talking absolute bollocks!" I love everything about this show.
Too bad I'm four years late.
That's not all. Last summer I bought "Only by the Night" by Kings of Leon (thanks in large part to the urging of Zach Hossem). The album grew on me quickly. They've been described as the southern Strokes, which is appropriate but not the whole story. They have a gothic, Radiohead sensibility. Finally, I purchased another album from them, "Because of the Times."
I bought it blindly, based on the strength of "Night." Lo and behold, this album gets four stars. The genesis of "Only by the Night" can be heard in this 2007 release. Catchy, moody, fresh, mid-tempo rock. In particular I enjoy "On call," "Arizona," and "Fans."
I bring up the Kings of Leon because I had the chance to see them in concert in June of 2008 and completely whiffed. They were opening for Pearl Jam in West Palm Beach. At that point, I had only heard "Bucket" and wasn't completely awed by it. So my friends and I stayed in the outside area while the Kings played. Note this was the day before my infamous trip to New Zealand.
Now that I know how great this band is, I'm very upset that I twiddled my thumbs while they played their set. Thankfully, they're returning to the area later this year.
So yeah, I'm late with many things in our popular culture. Kings of Leon have been around for years and it took me this long to discover them. Shameful. Same goes for the wonder of the world (and "round-headed buffoon") that is Karl Pilkington.
But ... I knew back in 2004 Obama would be president someday! Never forget that. I'll make sure you don't.