Stephen Merchant makes dig at Ricky Gervais with ‘After Life’ joke

"The old team, on the scrap heap!?" one fan asked

Stephen Merchant has poked fun at Ricky Gervais’ After Life on Twitter.

The comedian, who co-created The Office with Gervais, made a jab at the existential Netflix comedy by answering the prompt “What is your least favourite bit of movie shorthand?” asked by ITV film critic James King.

In his reply, Merchant said, “Watching old home movies of dead child/wife = inability to move on.” While he did not explicitly name After Life, the series focuses on Gervais’ character Tony who is mourning his wife, who died of breast cancer.


Merchant’s followers were quick to notice the implications, with one tweeting, “Thats it then is it? The old team, on the scrap heap!? @rickygervais”.

Another added their disappointment, saying, “I’m so ambivalent about this. Its hilarious and I hope Ricky can see the funny side. But it makes me sad because I suspect it’s just confirmed that there is issues with their relationship and we will never see the old team together.”

In 2018, Merchant had said he would be happy to work with Ricky Gervais again. He said “there was no reason not to” but also admitted the pair were going in “different directions, creatively.”

He added: “If the right idea was there, it’d be good to do something. But at the moment, there’s nothing on the horizon.”


“We worked together for pretty much cheek-by-jowl for over ten years and I think it’s that feeling of being pulled in different directions creatively.”