Ricky Gervais is, in my opinion, the funniest man in the world.
He created The Office and has written probably the most subtle type of comedy I've ever seen. Chris Rock describes Gervais as having a very high level of confidence that in turn allows him to be so subtle. Rock himself admits that he screams and yells while telling his jokes because he doesn't have the self-esteem needed to be subtle in comedy.
This type of humor can actually be traced back to the film "This Is Spinal Tap", which Ricky admits to seeing over thirty times in his life. A film so subtle that moviegoers actually thought they were watching the lives of a real rock band on screen, "This Is Spinal Tap" is still ahead of it's time 25 years after it was released.
The first time I watched both "This Is Spinal Tap" and the original UK "The Office", I didn't really get it. I felt like I was on the outside looking in. The reason I missed out on the humor was that I wasn't prepared to watch them as closely as needed to really understand that type of humor. I was a casual watcher. I liked humor to be more in my face, more easy to grasp. I gave them more chances, and on repeated viewings I began to pay closer attention to the subtle parts of each scene: the body language, the eye brows raising, the way jokes were just being thrown out at a dizzying speed. But are they jokes? Where most Hollywood comedies go for the gross-out, over-the-top toilet jokes, Ricky Gervais creates comedy by portraying something that is ultimately so realistic, so close to home, that not seeing the humor in it would be to not see the humor in your own every day life.