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An Idiot Abroad

4.4 out of 5 stars 176 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In this hilarious series Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, co-creators of The Office and Extras, send their friend Karl Pilkington (The Ricky Gervais Show) around the world...against his will! Karl thinks he’s visiting the "Seven Wonders" but along the way the “Little Englander” must endure camel rides, jungle treks, tribal customs and local oddballs while dining on toads and testicles... and searching for a clean bathroom. How does a man who prefers vacationing via camper cope with being an idiot abroad?

Amazon.com

An Idiot Abroad demonstrates that it takes a unique mind to reduce the Seven Wonders of the World to a string of dirty, far-flung tourist traps, but if the mind in question is that of Karl Pilkington, the feat is less extraordinary than expected. The perpetually nonplussed foil for Office and Extras creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant on The Ricky Gervais Show--later seen in the United States in animated form--Pilkington has a baffling (and baffled) take on humanity, which has made him a sensation in his native United Kingdom, and An Idiot Abroad marks Gervais and Merchant's weekly televised attempt to broaden his horizons by dispatching him to the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. That's not entirely true--Gervais and Merchant have actually sent the poor fellow packing to laugh themselves silly at his utter bewilderment and discomfort in foreign places, and one's appreciation of An Idiot Abroad will hinge largely on whether you consider this practice exceptionally cruel or absolutely hilarious. Those who fall into the latter category will be slack-jawed in amazement at Pilkington's attempt to preserve his shuttered sense of well-being while faced with fried scorpions at the Great Wall of China, a berserk fireworks display in Mexico, naked yoga in India, and gales of garbage at the Pyramids in Egypt. At each stop, Gervais and Merchant fairly bust their sides while encouraging Pilkington to investigate his surroundings, which results in his near-breakdown in a Mexican bullring and various unfortunate gastronomic encounters. Viewed as either a perverse documentary look at a (thankfully) singular mind or 21st-century Theatre of Cruelty, An Idiot Abroad is guaranteed to produce astonished laughter, and is a worthy addition to Gervais and Merchant's ever-expanding canon of uncomfortable humor.

An Idiot Abroad encompasses all eight episodes of the show's first season, which aired in the United Kingdom in 2010 and the United States in 2011, in their original, uncut format (which translates into some rough language and male nudity). Extras include a 23-minute preview show, which outlines Karl's travels, and a lengthy review in which Karl shows exactly how much he's learned from his journey (not much). Eight deleted scenes and a gallery of stills round out this sidesplitting disc. --Paul Gaita


Special Features

Deleted Scenes
Photo Gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 350 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (176 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004EPYZHQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,127 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "An Idiot Abroad" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on March 21, 2011
Format: DVD
Fans of Ricky Gervais will undoubtedly be familiar with daft and mercilessly funny Karl Pilkington. Gervais and partner Stephen Merchant have transformed Pilkington into an international superstar in previous programming--most notoriously, he is the undisputed star of their podcasts which have also been turned into "The Ricky Gervais Show" for HBO. Pilkington has a precious and skewed world view which combines faulty logic with unsubstantiated facts, yet for all its absurdity--there is often a nugget of wisdom in Pilkington's ramblings. An endless source of mockery and taunts from his co-workers, you might be inclined to feel sorry for the maligned Pilkington if he weren't so darn funny. A certified homebody, never having traveled further than Wales, Gervais and Merchant designed a new and inspired way to torture their little buddy. Why not send him around the world, ostensibly to view the Seven Wonders, and put him into situations that he will absolutely hate? Thus, "An Idiot Abroad" was conceived.

I must admit, the cruelty in the idea is apparent from the start--Gervais even relishes in it. But Pilkington is a willing stooge, and off he goes. Expected fish out of water hilarity ensues, but don't be surprised if Pilkington is up for the challenge. There is very little that he refuses to do--and in those instances where he puts his foot down, I am in full agreement. There are moments that remain fresh and absolutely memorable--cave dwelling in Jordan, a visit with cannibals along the Amazon, avoiding the dangers of a street festival in Mexico, an unexpected spiritual dip in an Indian river. Pilkington, always reluctant if not outright resistant, generally embraces the tasks he's given with a more open mind than I felt possible.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
This Blu-Ray set is not region-coded, but it runs at 50i, so it does NOT PLAY in most Blu-Ray players sold in the USA. On my Sony Blu-Ray player, the opening logos play and then it shuts off. After a long backorder I was thrilled to receive this amazing show on Blu-Ray and I can't watch it!

This is an incredibly funny show, but Amazon needs to wait until they release it properly at the correct framerate! Or at minimum, label it properly! It should be labeled as a PAL-framerate set!
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Format: DVD
This might be, and with absolutely no hyperbole, the funniest thing I have ever seen in my entire life. X-D

Without trying, completely spontaneous and genuinely insightful - our man Karl Pilkington is hands down the funniest guy living on Planet Earth today.

Certainly there have been moments - in my own life and those that come from the entertainment field - that have had me in tears, crying so hard from laughing. The first time I saw the late Sam Kinison, the moment when a friend ate his entire meal then discovered a fat cockroach at the bottom of his bowl, the combat/spear and hippo birth scenes in 'Ace Ventura, When Nature Calls'. Moments that I'll carry with me the rest of my life.

But this guy Karl - this guy is beyond humorous. He's like the Dalai Lama of comedy, delivering the rawest, most truthful, insanely funny things ever uttered by man.

He's added to my moments of hilarity by a hundred fold.

And to be fair, everyone who 'gets' this show, owes a debt to Ricky Gervais. Despite the fact that he's a self-absorbed, cruel, arrogant smartass, the bottom line is: Without his efforts there would be no one outside of England who would understand, could possibly understand, the phenomenon of Karl Pilkington.

There is NO WAY any single post or review can adequately capture the essence of Karl - the purest laughs he creates. No way.

So I'll say this: Watch, listen and be in awe.

I only wish there were a 17-star rating on Amazon.

UPDATE 6.1.
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2 Comments 37 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Blu-ray
Note: This particular Blu-Ray is NOT designed for most United States players.

Fans of Ricky Gervais will undoubtedly be familiar with daft and mercilessly funny Karl Pilkington. Gervais and partner Stephen Merchant have transformed Pilkington into an international superstar in previous programming--most notoriously, he is the undisputed star of their podcasts which have also been turned into "The Ricky Gervais Show" for HBO. Pilkington has a precious and skewed world view which combines faulty logic with unsubstantiated facts, yet for all its absurdity--there is often a nugget of wisdom in Pilkington's ramblings. An endless source of mockery and taunts from his co-workers, you might be inclined to feel sorry for the maligned Pilkington if he weren't so darn funny. A certified homebody, never having traveled further than Wales, Gervais and Merchant designed a new and inspired way to torture their little buddy. Why not send him around the world, ostensibly to view the Seven Wonders, and put him into situations that he will absolutely hate? Thus, "An Idiot Abroad" was conceived.

I must admit, the cruelty in the idea is apparent from the start--Gervais even relishes in it. But Pilkington is a willing stooge, and off he goes. Expected fish out of water hilarity ensues, but don't be surprised if Pilkington is up for the challenge. There is very little that he refuses to do--and in those instances where he puts his foot down, I am in full agreement. There are moments that remain fresh and absolutely memorable--cave dwelling in Jordan, a visit with cannibals along the Amazon, avoiding the dangers of a street festival in Mexico, an unexpected spiritual dip in an Indian river.
Read more ›
Comment 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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