Kicking it with Karl | Both the ball and head are round

Gervais: And he turned quick as a flash and went, “I’ve scored once. And that’s because I was being chased by a bee.” [Merchant hoots with laughter.] And I went, “Save it.” He went, “No.” I said, “Please, please save it,” ’cause I wanted us to use that. You can continue now.

Merchant: Please tell us the rest of the story. You’ve scored a goal once because you were being chased by a bee?

Pilkington: Yeah, you’ve done it now really.

Merchant: There must be more to that story. Eh, man?

Pilkington: I was in the school team. I wasn’t that good as a kid, at football, to be honest [Gervais giggling], mainly down to—I think it’s because me Dad wasn’t into football, and I think that’s the way it works, innit? If your Dad’s into it, then you can be a footballer when you’re older, because you’re into it. So I was in the school team because I got on with the other lads. They let me in the team.

Merchant: Popular guy.

Pilkington: Yeah, I was stood there doing nothing, ’cause I didn’t really know what to do. I never knew which way I was meant to be shooting. Got all that messed up. I just stood there with me hands behind me back. Something landed on like this part of me thumb.

Gervais: You can’t just point, it’s radio.

Pilkington: It’s this bit here.

Gervais: The fleshy bit, the fleshy bit of the thumb.

Pilkington: And I thought, “Oh, what’s that?” And I looked down …

Gervais: It’s a thumb.

Pilkington: It’s a bee on me. So I start running, try and get away from it. And that’s just something interesting about bees: more chance of getting stung by a bee in windy weather than any other sort of weather.

Merchant: That’s incredible. [Gervais snorts.]

Pilkington: Anyway, so I’m running away …

Gervais: And he said there was no more!

Merchant: Extraordinary. I’ve already learned many, many things. You’re being chased by the bee, it’s windy …

Gervais: It’s on your thumb. Is it still on your thumb?

Pilkington: It’s sort of gripping on to me like a stag beetle.

Gervais: [Howling.] Like a stag beetle!

Merchant: A bee? [Gervais laughing.]

Pilkington: So I’m running, I’m running towards like the goal. Oh, god. And the ball comes to me. Wallop. Get it in.

Merchant: Brilliant. What happened to the bee, though? Did it sting you?

Pilkington: They die though, don’t they? [Gervais sniggers.]

Merchant: I mean ultimately it died, sure. But at that particular moment …

Gervais: This is probably about 20 years ago, so I imagine …

Pilkington: No, no, no. Once a bee stings you …

Gervais: Yeah, but did it sting you?

Pilkington: Yeah.

Merchant: Right, that was the question.

Gervais: When did it sting you?

Pilkington: When I was playing football. [Gervais laughs.]

Merchant: Karl, do you mind me asking? You say you were on the school football team. Was there just 11 boys in your school? [Gervais cackles.] Was that how you got on the squad?

Gervais: Listen, listen, Karl. All I mean is, at what point in this story did the bee sting you? Straightaway or …

Pilkington: After halftime. [Gervais howls.]

Merchant: Play a record, K-Man. [Beat starts.]

Gervais: Oh, he’s the best!

Finally, we should not ignore Pilkington’s segment on 16 Aug 03 on the “monkey football team” of Costa Rica. The regular Monkey News feature offers ample opportunity for Gervais and Merchant to heap scorn on their friend, but Pilkington shines as a storyteller. Showing his gift for improvisation, Pilkington says that the Costa Rican chimpanzee/goalkeeper has been obtained on transfer from another club. The goalkeeper also has a Ph.D. in physics. The other chimpanzees on the side, according to Pilkington, “haven’t done that much.”

The Ricky Gervais Show ends its 24-show run this week.

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