“Could the world fall?”
“You never see a black ghost.”
“If you're not happy looking a knob(male genitalia) in the face, there's something wrong.”
“You never see an old man eatin' a Twix.”
Karl "Head like a fuckin' orange" Pilkington (1972 - c. 2050) is an English philosopher, sociologist, logician, poet, author, broadcaster, producer, actor, polymath and pudding-headed oddity. The world famous The Ricky Gervais Show and The Ricky Gervais Guide to... revolve around Karl's education and enlightenment of chubby funster Ricky Gervais and frog-faced Tower of London Stephen Merchant. Karl's books The World Of Karl Pilkington, Happyslapped by a Jellyfish, Karlology and "An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington" have sold over 2 million copies each worldwide and have been translated into 36 languages. Karl now resides in Kent, England.
Karl was born in Manchester, England to a penniless sandwich shop owner, Dad and his wife Mam. Karl was not an outstanding student - a teacher, Mrs. Mathews, stated that Karl would never be a 'high-flyer'. Karl has since commented on his failure in school, possible causes could have been the strong winds of the seventies, the lack of bonobo chimpanzees in his class and his IQ. Karl graduated with an E at GCSE history, a subject he was not aware of taking. While at school Karl ventured into the only career he ever truly loved; a paper boy. After leaving school Karl took a number of jobs and moved to London to pursue a job as a producer at Xfm, a localised radio station.
It was here that Karl first met Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, Karl decided to take them under his wing. He scripted and produced a radio show in which Gervais and Merchant come accross as amusing. Within weeks of meeting Karl, The Office became the biggest show on the BBC and Gervais and Merchant were propelled into stardom...well Gervais was. Karl was not credited for the success, and many speculate he asked not to be. Karl also used the radio show to muse his philosophical ideas, something he repeated later on in life through the medium of podcasting. Karl left his job as a producer in 2005 and asked Gervais and Merchant once again if they would like to take part in a broadcasting project, this time a podcast. Ironically dubbed The Ricky Gervais Show, it broke world records for downloads. Karl began to write shortly after the first series and has received major acclaim for his work. This is most incredible as Karl cannot read or write, but can only write books by talking to his typewriter, forcing it to write books before losing hope in humanity and killing itself in a whirlwind of melancholy and apathy. Most notably fellow author Will Self physically knelt down at Karl's feet during Karl's one off television programme Satisfied Fool, as a symbol of his undying adoration for him.
Karl has been very open about his personal life throughout his career, especially about his family and friends. This shouldn't really be a list but why not:
- Suzanne - Karl's girlfriend, Suzanne, is a secret agent working undercover at BBC Sport. Although no-one has ever seen her, Suzanne is rumoured to look like Dave Hill from Slade.
- Dad - Karl's father, Dad, is a convicted criminal and one time sandwich shop owner. His crimes were notorious throughout the North Wales area and he became known as "Dai Thief". One of his more controvertial crimes involved sticking a Forrest Gump kid in a wheelie bin.
- Mam - Karl's mother, Mam, is an animal lover who likes to paint spiders with correction fluid. She has also been known to shave her cats to "make them less sick on themselves." She is the only woman in existence who does not need a DNA test to determine that Karl is her son, as it is so so obvious. She is currently in search of a magazine named "UFO Data".
- Mark - Karl's brother, Mark, is a former soldier and male escort. He is best known for going for a packet of cigarettes in a tank while in the army.
- Me Sister - Karl's sister, Me Sister, lives in a car park in Wales, UK and has 47 children.
- Auntie Nora - Karl's aunt, Auntie Nora, is perhaps the most famous Pilkington family member other than Karl. She has broken the landspeed record twice, she was the first woman in space and she founded the Society for the Blind. Oh and she has a minge like a ripped tennis ball and she once farted for five minutes.
- Uncle Alf - Karl's uncle, Uncle Alf, slept in a rubber dinghy in a bedsit. He also had two television sets; one with no picture and one with no sound, together they worked. In 2005 he was asked to talk at the UN but declined stating health reasons.
- Tattoo Stan - Karl's Dad's friend, Tattoo Stan, was so called because he was covered in tattoos. These included his children's names and a map of Syria.
- Miss Piggy - fat woman on Karl's estate, communicated with people via a little mirror. Convicted for stealing biscuits.
- Benny - Karl's father's friend. He thumped a monkey.
- Colin Makin - Karl's childhood friend, started the DJ service named "Pilkie's Makin Music."
- Graham - an imaginary gay man who loves Karl.
- Shorts Man - a childhood neighbour of Karl's who wore really tight short shorts. He would walk in long strides to force his penis to pop out of his shorts.
- Uncle Hazel - the name Karl affectionately gives to his lesbian Aunt Hazel.
- Jimmy the Hat - man on the estate Karl grew up on, famous for never wearing a hat.
- John the Screw - he owns a DIY store.
- Woman with a head like a bag full of spuds - her head looks like a bag of spuds, also known as the 'elephant woman', first met when karls Dad was a taxi driver, she was going to London zoo, presumably to find a husband.
- Forrest Gump Types - People who have the same mental handicap as Forrest Gump. On the way to Blackpool, Karl's father, Dad, took one and placed it in a wheelie bin.
- Fred the Faggot - He brought the Pilkington family vegetables.
- The Big Headed Lads - former classmates of Karl's. These two boys had really big heads and webbed hands. They weren't related and they were not friends, because that'd be too obvious.
- Karl's Neighbors - Karl's neighbors once let a horse into their house. Another of Karl's neighbors was a witch. Another of Karl's neighbors had a kid who was beautiful when born; but, when the child grew up, it got a patchy head, ran sideways like a crab, and chased cars.
Using the mediums of radio and podcasting, Karl's extensive and tireless work in the field of philsophy has stretched over a decade. Over the years Karl has refused to leave a subject unturned, making his work famously impossible to summarise.
- Major Topics
Knowledge - Karl states that we are aware of too abundant an amount of information, and that this makes it impossible to develop new ideas and thoughts as a species. In short, Karl concludes that a state of ill knowledge can be of benefit to a man's soul, so long as he pursues more knowledge. The constant state of pursuing knowledge is what drives mankind forward as a species.
Life - in his famous analogy to life as a book, Karl explores the meaning of turning the pages within life. Karl insists that a man can discard his life and simply request a new one. Critics see this insight as second only to Plato's cave allegory.
Religion - Karl condemns religion strongly as he states that it is too far removed from modern man to make any impact. He is critical of the major works of religion, musing why Noah would save jellyfish and why nobody knew Adam and Eve's surname.
Love - Karl describes the intimate connection between human beings in one seminal phrase; "When Suzanne says 'Do you love me?' I say 'Yeah you're alright'.
Science - Karl remains a healthy criticism of science and new endeavours, he questions aloud the meaning behind our constant experiments and developments into technology. Karl dismisses the laws of motion and the theory of relativity in favour of the video player and the frisbee. When asked to comment on a robotic arm being operated by a primate, Karl answered 'give it to a worm instead' causing years of funding to be immediately redirected to making this a possibility.
Fatalism - You're having chicken.
Jellyfish - I don't know what they do. Get rid of 'em.
- Books and Poetry
Karl has authored three books. They have sold over 2 million copies each worldwide and have been translated into 36 languages. Amazingly, Karl did not market or advertise any of these books - instead he relied on people's good judgement.
- The World of Karl Pilkington - in this book Karl attempts to deconstruct the universe as he sees it. He does this in order to better gain a clarity on world history and present day events he feels should affect him. The book also contains transcripts from the philosophical podcasts.
- Happyslapped by a Jellyfish - in this hair raising account of Karl's near death experience we are granted access to his thoughts on life, death and the question of divinity. He calls on his experiences travelling the world in order to best draw his conclusions.
- Karlology - in this award winning book, Karl attempts to create his own unique school of thought on every intellectual subject. A lengthy and ambitious project, it was met with both surprise and delight on its release - prompting the academic community to christen Karl the new father of modern thought.
Karl's poetry has spanned topics as varied as ennui, vital organs, moths, jellyfish and fundamentalism. Although he has never published a collection, his poetry has been acclaimed by critics worldwide.
Karl has starred in a pornographic film called Bomberos! Set in an idyllic Spanish hotel room, the film starts off with a hetereosexual love scene involving Karl and his on screen girlfriend. However, there is a knock at the door and a fireman arrives to tell Karl that the hotel is on fire and he must evacuate. Karl seems in no rush to move when he spots the Ricky Martin lookalike in a fireman uniform donning a moustache, and events move on from there.
Karl has also been in talks over his much anticipated screenplay, A Love of Two Brains. Both Clive Warren and Rebecca deMorney have agreed to take part in the project if Karl negotiates the role of director. Rumours have also begun circulating of a new screenplay in progress being written for Tom Cruise and Ted Danson. The movie will explore the question, "who are we?"
Karl has created numerous television programmes. For a brief period Karl made a multi part philosophical mini series dubbed '3 Minute Wonders' in which he pondered several subjects. The musings were received well, prompting English newspaper The Sunday Times to print a high praising review. Karl also made a one off programme entitled Karl Pilkington: Satisfied Fool in which he questioned the meaning of knowledge and its effect on the human psyche. As well as these groundbreaking pieces of television, he has made several appearances on the BBC programme The Culture Show exploring natural history and art. More recently, Ricky and Steve sent Karl around the globe to visit the seven wonders of the world where he gave his insight on the culture of these places and the wonders specifically.
Karl made a surprising entry onto the Gay Club scene with his dance track I Could Eat a Knob at Night which peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart in 2006.
As well as using the radio to promote his thoughts and ideas, Karl also redefined the genre with his original and compelling gameshows and features.
- Rockbusters - Karl would deliver a fiendishly cryptic clue from which his listeners had to decipher a band or artist. Famous for being notoriously difficult, examples included "I was in Texas, I fell over and got part of my leg wet. Initials: WH. Answer: Whitney Houston (Wet-knee in Houston) and "These people from the East-Midlands swear a lot. Initials: TTB. Answer: Terrence Trent D'arby (Tourettes Trent Derby)"
- Fifteen Taiwan - arguably one of his most successful ideas, Karl would bring fifteen items into the studio - one of which would bear the insignia "Made in Taiwan". The listeners would then call up and guess which item it was.
- The Rice is Right - Karl reads from two menus, one from an Indian restaurant and one from a Chinese restaurant. The listeners would have to guess which rice went with which meal.
- The Film Thing - Karl would place dub his own voice into an audio excerpt from a film, the listeners were then asked a trivia question about the film. This was also later referred to as "Hollywoodn't".
- Songs of Phrase - As Karl's quotes and ideas became world famous, Karl would make up one of his quotes using cuts from songs. The listeners would then have to name the band behind each cut. Famous examples include 'You'll never see an old man eat a Mars bar' based on Karl's thoughts on the elderly never eating a Twix and 'Tell me why tell me why tell me why don't they play the game of swingball' referring to Karl witnessing a tennis match between two wheelchair bound players.
- Pilkington - Karl would interview an expert every week, mainly on the topic of natural history.
- Monkey News - Karl would amaze Gervais and Merchant each week with an account of a primate achieving amazing things. Some examples are a chimp took part in a Formula One race, a chimp that won the Tour de France, a chimp optician and a chimp that broke out of a laboratory by dressing in drag.
- Big Mother - Never took off on the show, but another great idea. The premise was, the listeners could phone up and if their Mum was heavy, they win a CD.
- Cheap As Chimps - If ever there were no Monkey News, Karl would interview a scientist to determine how expensive it was to (insert idea) for a chimp. Ideas included feeding, keeping, washing, etc.
Memorable Quotes and Ideas
- "Went to a bar. Didn't have much to do, because everyone was looking at a cat licking its own balls."
- "[...] and there... a homeless Chinese guy. Never seen one of them."
- "Watching a slug eating some bird poo. Pretty depressing, innit?"
- "Cockroaches - do we need 'em?"
- "Last week, I just sat in the garden slavering... just to see if it would ever run out."
- "Why do people take pictures of mimes? Everyone looks like a mime in a picture."
- "Although pigeons have wings, they walk a lot. [...] If they're about to get run over, they don't take off, they just walk faster."
- "I'd rather be a blind moth."
- "Watching a frozen lake... the ducks seem worried."
- "I don't like bags."
- "Fish have more rights than us"
- "There was this little gay fella..."
- "Learn the language, all pull together... anyway what was I on about?"
- "How would I know which one I was if I was facing a doppelganger?"
- "The coldness got rid of the badness."
- "I don't check my balls, I don't like the feel."
- "Seals... they're in between a fish and a dog."
- "If you don't have eyes, you shouldn't have wings."
- "Bricks don't fall in wars."
- "Jellyfish are 97% water. Couldn't we give them another 3% and make 'em water?"
- "There are too many words. They should get rid of the word 'dodo'. The bird's gone, the word's gotta go."
- "Testicles should be behind the ears."
- "Think about this idea: see-through skin."
- "It would be spiteful to put jellyfish in a trifle."
- "There was a fella outside our house who hit a lamp post, he had a helmet on, but his head come off."
- "I could eat a knob at night."
- "There's this hairy Chinese kid."
- "Trousers will stop being made."
- "One day you'll be able to wake up, and eat a yoghurt you can have a chat with"
- "The 'allright' wall of China."
- "I don't like fun."
- "Man moths?"
- "Are you in charge of your brain? Or, is your brain in charge of you? I don't know if I'm in charge of mine."
- "I was trying to use me eyes even though I had them shut."
- "If you go to Argentina and have a steak, you can wake up with breasts."
- "Chinese people don't age well. You never see one who's about 30".
- "I've always wanted to kick a duck up the arse."
- "What were those things in 'Gremlins' called?"
- "Every noise has been used at least 5 times, there's only so many noises."
- "There's this shadow in America ... it was knockin' people off their bikes."
- "Just sat 'ere... havin' me 'ead squoze."
- "I don't know how it will work, but you will inject it in the temple (Karl Pilkington on future aging medician)
- "If I was [Noah], I would have gone, "Hang on a minute, I've just seen somethin' that looks a bit like this, let it drown", have a bit of a clear out, but he was messin' about savin' everythin".
- "They say it all started out with a big bang. But, what I wonder is, was it a big bang or did it just seem big because there wasn't anything else to drown it out at the time?"
- "People moan about drugs being tested on animals. I sort of think it depends innit. If the drug's aspirin and the monkey's got a headache, is it tight?"
- "Congress tart."
- "I saw a bowl with 7 bananas in it, and I thought, that’s dangerous. I’ve heard that fact, that is you eat more than 6 bananas it will kill you."
- "You won't get anything done by planning."
- "If we didn't have planes an' that would we have wings now?"
- "Were those presents the three kings brought Jesus for Christmas or his birthday?"
- "I’m energy efficient because I am bald."
- "What I think is... I don't know what to think!"
- Ricky Gervais: 'Karl, you are the strangest person I have met!' Karl: 'You've never been to China.'