For a long time, The Ricky Gervais Show was the most popular podcast in the world.

This early comedy podcast, distributed by the Guardian in 2005 and 2006, had its roots in a radio show hosted by British writers and comedians Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The podcast focused majorly on their erstwhile producer, Karl Pilkington, whose stubborn feeble-mindedness soon made him an Internet celebrity. In this particular episode, Karl tries to wash dishes without using his thumbs, says doctors should teach people to give themselves prostate exams, and shares his utter bafflement about the saying “a stitch in time saves nine.” Mostly it showcases the podcast’s signature dynamic: a disbelieving Gervais goading and mocking Karl, Merchant playing the supportive straight-man mediator, and Karl sitting at the center of it all, gloriously persistent and oblivious.

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