John Early Is Figuring Out How to Be Sincere

As the star of the sharp new indie ‘Stress Positions,’ the irreverent comic works in a more serious vein. He tells Cracked why he’s getting comfortable with being earnest — even if he’s scared everyone will think he’s pretentious

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Ricky Gervais’ Campaign to Join Marvel Cinematic Universe Endorsed By No One

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Ricky Gervais’ Campaign to Join Marvel Cinematic Universe Endorsed By No One

Like standup comedy where every single thing is funny and doesn't waste your time? Follow Cracked Comedy Club on InstagramYouTube for exactly that. 

Fans have been buzzing this week about the recently announced cast for Marvel’s long-awaited Fantastic Four movie, due out next summer. As rumored, Pedro Pascal grabbed the lead, joined by Vanessa Kirby, Joseph Quinn and The Bear’s Ebon Moss-Bachrach as the titular four. But there’s a fifth member of the Fantastic Four scooting around in the announcement’s promo art.

Ugh. That’s H.E.R.B.I.E., the robot created to sell toys, er, fill out the FF cartoon roster back in 1978 when the rights to the Human Torch had been temporarily signed away to Universal for a TV pilot. (It was never made, boomeranging the rights back to Marvel.) The H.E.R.B.I.E. character was named by Stan Lee with a design by Jack Kirby, his last-ever Marvel work, so at least the annoying little bot has bona fides. A rumor going around at the time speculated that the Human Torch was nixed from the cartoon because some nervous Saturday morning exec was afraid kids would set themselves on fire. That’s a more fun story, but it’s not true.

With the film’s main cast secured, a fan-run Twitter account shared the entirely plausible if unofficial news that Marvel was looking for a comedian to voice H.E.R.B.I.E.

It didn’t take long for a certain controversial comic to throw his hat in the ring, asking if he would be allowed to exercise his potty-mouth in the role.

When one fan responded with a proposed profanity quota for the character, Gervais confirmed that he could perform under such conditions.

As reported by GameRant, Marvel fans on Reddit weren’t endorsing Gervais’s bid to join the MCU. “He's so god awful at voice work,” complained u/hunters44. “Every role he's had VOing has been garbage.”

“Litterally anyone but ricky gervais please,” begged u/strontiummuffin.

u/Stueykins put it more succinctly: “F*** off Ricky.”

But Redditors aren’t ones to kick a bad idea to the curb without offering better ones. The r/marvelstudios subreddit nominated several other comedians who might make a more inspired choice, including:

  • Bill Hader “This has Bill Hader all over it honestly,” offered u/amexa_castle, a suggestion with 2.4K upvotes and counting in less than a day.
  • Matt Berry “Just imagining him bellowing “REED RICHARDS” and giggling,” snickered u/colderstates.
  • Chris Parnell u/suchalusthoprus jumped on this one: “S*** yes Parnell 100%.” 
  • John Mulaney “could do a nice robot voice,” proposed u/Rexissad, which got a co-sign from u/Rogue_3. “The biggest disappointment of Across the Spiderverse was not getting more Spider-Ham.”
  • Tim Robinson Imagine the energy the I Think You Should Leave star would bring to the group. “Suffice it to say,” says u/Cairne_Bloodhoof. “HERBIE is A LOT.”

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