Ricky Gervais responds to Stewart Lee criticism of ‘After Life’

Lee called it "one of the worst things that's ever been made by a human".

Ricky Gervais seems to have responded to criticism levelled at his show After Life by fellow comedian Stewart Lee.

In a recent interview on Rob Brydon’s podcast Brydon &, Lee took aim at the Netflix series, labelling it “abysmal” while comparing it to the “brilliant” The Office.

“If you’re teaching drama or creative writing, how can you make a case for the things that make drama and creative writing good when After Life is a success?” he said. “Because your kids could just go, ‘But none of those things happen in this!’ And yet, millions people watch it.”


He added: “I think it’s one of the worst things that’s ever been made by a human.”

Stewart Lee
John Virgo’s let himself go. CREDIT: Tristram Kenton

Although he didn’t respond directly, Gervais tweeted: “Watch the award-winning, record-breaking #AfterLife Now streaming on Netflix around the world”.

The comedian has also liked a series of tweets that take aim at Lee, one saying: “Stewart Lee is one of the worst things made by a human. @rickygervais is a legend and so is #Afterlife and #TheOffice.”

Another said: “I think Stewart Lee may have watched this on the radio,” while a third he liked said: “I’ll still be re-watching @rickygervais’s After Life long after I’ve given up trying to find out exactly who Stewart Lee is/was.”

After Life benches
Ricky Gervais with Tony’s pet dog Brandy from ‘After Life’ CREDIT: PA/Netflix


After Life, which follows a man grieving following the death of his wife, ran for three seasons on Netflix, the final one released earlier this year.

Back in May, a bench installed in Nottingham’s Arboretum to encourage people to talk about their problems in the wake of the show was vandalised, with Nottingham City Council calling it “unacceptable and heart-breaking” (via BBC News).

Meanwhile, in NME‘s four-star review of After Life‘s final season, we wrote: “They don’t make television like After Life anymore. They don’t make them much like Ricky Gervais either.

“This, the third and final instalment of the polarising writer/actor/comedian’s Netflix dramedy about grief is unapologetically nasty, saccharine, lovely and poignant. It’s also often a bit of a mess, a little bit like life itself.”