Ricky Gervais and David Bowie, together at last

If you happen to be a VSL subscriber living in Britain, you surely already know that something of staggering, historic proportions recently occurred on BBC2: Ricky Gervais and David Bowie made beautiful music together.

Okay, not so beautiful — but hilarious.

Ricky Gervais, of course, has a post-The Office series, in which he plays hapless actor Andy Millman, who’s perpetually cast in the bittiest parts — usually as a mere extra. (The first season of Extras aired on HBO last fall; Season 2 just started up in the U.K., but won’t air stateside until 2007.)

Which brings us to last Thursday’s Extras, portions of which have turned up on YouTube. Millman and his loser buddies invade a club’s VIP area, where they meet Bowie. Millman tells him about his struggle to hold on to his integrity as an actor, inspiring Bowie to compose an impromptu tune (“Pathetic little fat man, no one’s bloody laughing…. See his pug-nosed face — Pug! Pug! Pug! Pug!”) at the piano.

Bowie’s joyous rendition is a cringe-inducing pleasure — but watching Gervais quietly suffer through it is delightfully, excruciatingly funny.

“>WATCH the “Little Fat Man” (a.k.a. “Chubby Little Loser”) segment of Extras (3:39)

“>VIEW Extras Season 1 reruns on HBO. (The box set, tragically, is available only — at least for now — in the U.K.)

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Ricky Gervais and David Bowie, together at last