David Brent visits the (Microsoft) office

101446__ricky_lWhen I say the words “Microsoft training video,” what pops into your head? Regular polygons? Corporate jargon? Images of you, slitting your own wrists? Surely, a cheesy training video from a company synonymous with Establishment must be the most intolerable 27 minutes this side of Yes, Dear.

Well, if you’re an employee of Microsoft U.K., you’d be dead wrong (or, in “English,” wrounge). For the Brit branch of the software behemoth has gone to the training video expert and hired David Brent (a.k.a. Ricky Gervais) to lay out their corporate values in these two brilliant half-hour bits, both of which should win some kind of international corporate training video Oscar. With Stephen Merchant as his interviewer and ever-annoyed foil,  Gervais-as-Brent embodies the opposite of the company’s personnel goals. (This might be a dry run for Microsoft’s answer to the “I’m a Mac/I’m a P.C.” ads.) He goes reliably off-topic on every bullet point, rhapsodizing about his hero, Nelson Mandela (“Thirty years in captivity. He’s been out for, what, 13 years. And he hasn’t re-offended. He’s going straight.”), and defining “time management" thusly: “There’s no reason why you can’t utterly satisfy a woman in 20-30 minutes, do some paperwork, get eight hours of sleep.”

Oh, yes: And there’s a new Brent folk song. About homelessness. Brent fans, today is another day in paradise. Dare we hope the American HQ will not commission a Steve Carell version?

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Comments (4 total) Add your comment
  • Ellipsian

    I can’t be the only one… my God, that was just…rad! Brent rules, and let’s hope that Michael Scott is asked on to the bandwagon. Hilarious.

  • Sarah

    Yay!!! David Brent! I love Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. OKAY…and Karl too!! EW, you have made me very happy today, giving me both an interview and news about with and about Ricky. Props…haha. Happy times!!

  • DBD

    Damn! They’re not up there anymore!

  • Ep sato

    I love Ricky Gervais and hope he gets to be famous for being himself for the rest of his life. Much like Sasha Cohen and Will Farrell, there are some guys who are just naturally hilarious, and the characters they create stick with us. And Mr. Brown, your idea for a new Office video is brilliant. As the guy who came up with the idea, you are now in charge of organizing the staff, renting out the office space and writing the script. Oh, and we’re out of coffee in the breakroom…

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