How’s Ricky Gervais Doing on YouTube?

David Brent generates some buzz, but fades

How’s David Brent’s comeback going?

A few months ago, Ricky Gervais announced he was bringing back his legendary Office character David Brent for a series of YouTube videos. Learning Guitar with David Brent was to become the centerpiece of Gervais; YouTube’s channel—which itself was at the center of a new round of professional, mostly comic talent coming to the platform following the Hollywood-heavy funded channels effort.

I should mention that I love David Brent and Ricky Gervais. Sure, I wish he tweeted about atheism more (because that just never gets old), but the guy is funny, and The Office remains one of the greatest comedy creations of all time. As some big writer once put it, the British version ought to be in the Smithsonian.

Yet despite all that, I haven’t found myself bothering to watch any of these Brent videos. For whatever reason, they just haven't found their way into my regular Web loop (to be fair, I’m not the typical subscribe to YouTube channel type).

Thus it seems like a good a time as any to look at how Gervais is doing on YouTube. While the comic does have 227,747 subscribers and has generated 17.9 million views on his channel, he's been on the platform since 2006. So we'll focus on Brent specifically:

1) The Return of Brent, a preview clip released in March, has generated 1.1 million views on YouTube

2) The first real clip, the nearly seven-minute Life On The Road: Learn Guitar With David Brent has achieved nearly 1.1 million views since May

3) Episode 2, Ooh La La, has exceeded 300,000 views since going live on June 2

4) Released earlier this week, episode 3, Spaceman Came Down, has just 103,000 views as of Thursday evening.

Consider that Gervais has 4.7 million Twitter followers. And a popular podcast. And consider that The Office has broken DVD sales records and is a global phenomenon. Is that good or bad?


Publish date: June 21, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT