Ricky Gervais: The Office's Star-Studded Finale Jumped a 'Big' Shark

Ricky Gervais — who is no stranger to saying exactly what’s on his mind (See: 2011 Golden Globes) — took to his blog Friday to weigh in on The Office‘s guest star-studded finale, drudging up sternly worded (if somewhat ironic) allegations.

“If you’re going to jump a shark, jump a big one,” wrote Gervais, who himself made a cameo as his U.K. Office character, David Brent.

“Still, we’ve a had a good innings,” Gervais added, employing a British idiom meaning “a long and successful period of time in a job.”

The actor/comedian’s stream of consciousness-style entry opined that the long-running NBC series’ season-ender served up cameos for cameos’ sake, rather than advancing the storyline of a Michael Scott-less Dunder Mifflin (which, in my opinion, couldn’t be more true).

“Don’t get me wrong,” he said, “I’m very proud of the US version. It was not only a very, very good network comedy, but it was also a massive success story. But you know, I did [the original U.K. version of The Office] for different reasons, ambitions and with slightly different emotional attachments to the project.

“I did my version for the art,” he said. “That’s why I stopped it after a few hours [14 episodes] of telly.”

As for anyone who genuinely thought David Brent was actually a genuine contender to replace Steve Carell’s Office boss, Gervais had this message: “Once and for all… I would never ever in a million years take a permanent role in the show as an actor.

“It really would be f–king mental,” he added. “You don’t start a company to work on reception.”

What say you, Office fans? Do you agree with Gervais’ shark-jumping claim — even just a little? Or are you still Team Dunder Mifflin ’til the end? Hit the comments and let us know!

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45 Comments
  1. Louie says:

    Am I the only one in the world that doesn’t find Ricky Gervais funny?

    • Amanda Abate says:

      No. Personally I do think he’s hysterical but I’ve met plenty of people who disagree with me. He has a type of humor that just isn’t for everybody.

      • Snsetblaze says:

        I find him funny most of the time – but not with these comments. I liked the episode last night (expecially Pam and Creed).

        • Raisa says:

          Completely agree with you! I find his sense of humour quite hilarious most of the time, but I beg to differ with these comments. It almost seems like he’s trying to compensate for something by trying to appear above everything all the time.

    • Michelle R says:

      Louie,
      No one is the only one in the world for anything, let alone something like that. But you knew that.

    • Ana says:

      No, you’re not. He can be funny in small doses, but he’s not half as talented as he thinks he is. The British The Office was boring and had a remarkably slow pace, yet Gervais obviously think it was the height of brilliance. He’s not alone, he does have his fans, but I think it shows why he so often misses the mark in the North American market. His movies always bomb here. (And by the way, I was born in England and spent my early years there, so it’s not because I’m unable to appreciate their different types of humour).

    • brian says:

      Nope. He is not funny. He thinks he is though. He’s his own biggest fan.

    • XK says:

      Nope. I find his act tiresome in the extreme.

  2. Sam says:

    I just love Ricky Gervais. Yeah, he’s vain and self-important, but that comes with the territory when you have one of the most reliable names in comedy.

  3. Dieseled says:

    I think The Office just needs to choose a boss. I’m sick of rotating ‘interns’ like House and Bones have done in the past. Just pick a new character and be done with it.
    If the new character works (like Jo on CSI:NY) I will continue to watch if the new character doesn’t (like Seaver on Criminal Minds) I won’t.

    • brian says:

      I don’t watch House, but I watch Bones and I kind of like how they switch off. They don’t have big roles, they just all have their own little thing.

  4. Tucker says:

    I run hot-and-cold with Gervais, but he is spot on about the finale. It literally offered nothing in the way of advancement toward a solution for Carell leaving. None of the guest stars would serve as great ongoing presences on the show and the dynamic would just be off to promote from within (even though that is likely what would happen in the real world).

    Spader got some chuckles with his creepy weird vibe and Tate gave me the slightest smirk. Carrey was completely underused and Romano didn’t do anything for me. Buffett was an ironic laugh but sort of encapsulated everything wrong about the guest stars. They were there as sight gags and nothing more.

    Nice way to call out your own show Ricky. Now, perhaps you can convince them to do something about it.

  5. Teresa says:

    This season finale proves that the Show should have ended in this season.

    • KevyB says:

      This SEASON proves that the show should have ended LAST season. This show jumped the shark early in the season and then kept giving us encores!

  6. april-ann says:

    The uncalled-for stuntcasting notwithstanding, this was a disappointing season finale for The Office at best. Loyal fans deserved so much better than that. I’m sure it’s a real challenge to keep it fresh after this long, and if they are unable to do that, then it’s “quittin’ time”.

  7. Em says:

    Didn’t they have a whole year to plan this transition? The lack of knowing the direction they are going in just left me cold. I spent the whole season wondering who would take over. Now I almost don’t even care because it all has gone on so long. Dragging this into another season was not the answer.

  8. Jason says:

    After seeing the episodes that followed Carell leaving the show, I’m completely confused as to why they didn’t make him leaving the season finale. The following episodes weren’t terrible, but they did nothing to bring us closer to an answer about who the next boss will be. So now we’re in this spot where we still don’t know who the boss will be. I feel like they would have achieved this same cliffhanger by finishing the season with Scott leaving for Colorado, but we would have gotten 3 more episodes with Carell. I see no reason that these past three episodes couldn’t have led off Season 8. (unless of course they didn’t want people to have to come back to DeAngelo Vickers)

    • Serenity says:

      The shows with Will Farrell weren’t very good, unless they were the parts focused on Carrell leaving, but since his departure, the show had been excellent! I thought the final show was great, anyone that has had to conduct real job interviews can relate to the strange (and unqualified) people that turn up and act badly. It’s also a homage to Steve I think, that lets us know he won’t be easily replaced. I think it is a good way to set up Andy or Darryl as the new manager.

  9. Jack says:

    Most disappointing episode of the season. Watching all the stars walk on, say a few words, and mug felt like improv sketches that never quite got off the ground. Did the show’s writers break for hiatus before the finale?

  10. Buffy Freak says:

    I don’t really care that we’re no closer to a new boss…I just wish the episode had been even remotely funny. Other than Angela’s digs at Pam about the wedding it was pretty boring.

  11. newbie says:

    The Office this season decided to “F&CK UP THE CHARACTERS” and they did a damn good job of it. This show is T-O-A-S-T next season and will end abruptly.

  12. Sourabh says:

    Well it’s not like he was wrong. The finale wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t much good either.
    And he did say that his words are being twisted a little.

  13. Sarah says:

    Yea gotta completely agree with RG here, he’s totally right. Cameo’s for cameo’s sake that added nothing to the show, especially for it being a season finale.

    • dee says:

      Oh sure, it should have been like just about every other show’s finale this year, and killed off a main character. Give me a break! It was an original way to showcase famous actors/comedians in a justifiable way. I’m looking forward to being surprised by the new boss in the next year. Part of me thinks Pam would be ideal in that position, not that we’ve seen a hint of this yet….

      • desi says:

        The season finale was good imo, but I haven’t like Jim in the last few episodes.. he’s been too bitter. Out of the choices they showed I would choose James Spader, just tone him down a bit. I think if he became manager him and Dwight would become dominant characters and would be really fun to watch!

        As for Ricky, I think he is alot more humble they people perceive him to be. He just gets it and that’s what makes him brilliant!

  14. Michael says:

    He’s right…..although a few years too late. It’s funny how a steady stream of wonga (money to my American friends!) has the ability to seal someones lips. We’re talking about a show whose pinnacle was Season 2…..and yet we’re STILL talking about it.

  15. Daniel says:

    Solution: 26 episode final season

    *Hire James Spader for a 5 episode arc, he leaves or gets fired
    *Hire Catherine Tate for 5 episodes, she quits or gets fired
    *Kathy Bates becomes acting manager for an an episode
    *Ricky Gervais, maybe a 1 episode show with 3 or 4 scenes in total while focusing on rest of cast – gets fired
    *Will Arnett may be available for a 3 episode arc – gets fired or quits
    *Warren Buffet takes over for 1 episode – ends up dying of old age or stress, 2 or 3 scenes
    *Jim Carey may be available for an episode, gets fired or realising he’s neglecting his family
    *Andy becomes manager for 6 episodes, ends up leaving to live with Erin
    *Kelly snags position, gets fired from company within 2 episodes by getting caught having sex with Ryan by Jo
    *Series finale – Michael and Holly decide to move back to Scranton after taking care of her parents by putting them in a home. Michael gets his old manager position job back at Dunder Mifflin. Final scene is Michael sitting at his old desk in his old office with all his close and oldest friends. Proving once and for all, he is truly the only one that can manage the office.

  16. David says:

    I got the feeling during the season finale that Catherine Tate was the frontrunner but I don’t agree with it. She had that whole goofy act similar to Michael but I was really hoping that instead of doing that maybe they would go a different route. I think James Spader is who they should go with though. It would bring a different dynamic to the show and I don’t see the “search committee” choosing someone goofy like Michael with his issues.

  17. Matt says:

    Honestly I thought it was a good way too end the finale. But why get rid of will ferrel? The writers develped his character so much!

  18. Josh says:

    I agree that the cameos could easily be seen as gratuitous but I do think they serve a purpose. Without Carrell the show might easily be seen as a star-less show, a show without teeth, a bunch of B-rate actors who, despite some second billing in a film or two, couldn’t carry the series. The cameos sent a message: the show is bigger than S Carrell in fact the show can pull in very elite/expensive talent without him.

  19. Mel. says:

    I think Ricky was spot on. It’s typical of the US networks to run shows into the ground, rather than end them sooner. The Brits are smart with their series, only running a couple of seasons and then only a few eps per season. Leave the fans wanting more.

    On another note, it would be nice if they could give people a chance to watch a show and see if they like it. Cancelling after two episodes is ridiculous. And then replacing new, struggling shows during sweeps and moving them all over the schedule doesn’t help either.

  20. Vigvee says:

    Wow, that looks like a lot of fun dude.

    http://www.privacy-online.us.tc

  21. Lexx says:

    The original version of the office was genius. There is no doubt that the man is extremely talented and funny. What I have enjoyed about the Seppo version is that even though the humour had that typical American lameness where everything is spelled out to you in case you are retarded – it allowed time for me to get to really know the characters and invest in them. Overall (and going against my convict heritage) I have to say that the American Office was more than genius, it has been the greatest piece of American sit-com ever produced!

  22. Bob says:

    Will Ferrell, a terribly overrated actor, was awful on The Office. Just awful. The shows he was on were funny except for the scenes he was in. Any chance to give Creed a little more screen time is greatly appreciated. He’s hysterical.

    I didn’t have any trouble with the finale. Even though it had a lot of big names it didn’t feel like stuntcasting because everyone of them treated their parts seriously. Except for Jim Carrey, they weren’t there strictly because they were famous. They were the right actors for the parts. James Spader and Ray Romano were fantastic.

    We are no closer to resolving who is to replace Steve Carrell but other plots advanced during the show which compensated for it.

  23. pat says:

    you are morons, these actors were guest stars, none of them have any intention to actually do the show…. like will ferells gonna give up 20 mil a movie to do a sitcom….these were all just guest stars to save what is clearly a sinking ship,….i love the office with all my heart, but i know when i smell burnt toast…

  24. jules says:

    I thought the finale episode was just fine. They gave each of the regulars some time and attention, they interviewed a whole bunch of very funny people who were different from each other, and it all worked for me. Although I ended the episode thinking Stanley should be the boss, and he didn’t even interview, so… I’m thinking I won’t get my wish. Catherine Tate didn’t work very well for me, however. Hoping it’s not her. I really don’t need any of the outside people. Stanley, Andy, Darrell… Or let’s just give it to Jim and give him a raise so he makes as much as he made in sales, and we’re done.

    All in all, I definitely disagree with Ricky Gervais. Love him, but I suspect this whole “jump the shark” thing was just to keep people talking. Buzz, buzz, buzz, you know? He likes being provocative and cheeky.

  25. Lisa says:

    I’m interested to see where they’re taking this next season. And the subplot of Angela getting engaged to the gay senator was hilarious.

    I predict Pam is going to be the manager next season. She seemed to be the only one trying to hold the place together (by keeping Creed from talking to actual clients), and I think the manager is going to end up being someone we aren’t expecting.

  26. Sarabi says:

    James Spader was HILARIOUS! Although I’m not sure his character is appropriate for this role. (And I was worried by his forehead bald spot. :/ ) I still hope that they plan to introduce Portia de Rossi and surprise us! :)

  27. chuck fan says:

    Yes! Portia de Rossi in a character similar to the one in Better Off Ted – that would be awesome!

  28. Jeff says:

    Hasn’t Ricky Gervais done absolutely nothing since creating the BBC Office except make a few snarky remarks about things? He’s tossed of a couple of good jokes in the past six years, but methinks I smell a desperate plea for attention.

  29. coachsixstring says:

    The Creed/Pam part of the finale showed that this show doesn’t need all of these guest stars. I expected more and was vastly disappointed in the finale. Ray Romano, talented, could’ve been funny. Was Jim Carrey even there? Will Arnett was about as funny as his

    I agree with Gervais, this was a stretch. I hope it doesn’t hurt the show at the start of next season.

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