It’s not easy to always be in someone else’s shadow — but it’s particularly difficult when you’re 6’7″ — you’re supposed to be the shadow. Stephen Merchant — co-creator with Ricky Gervais of The Office, An Idiot Abroad, and Extras – is able to literally rise above in his standup one-man show, Hello Ladies. Merchant quips in the show that he’s returning to standup “so he doesn’t have to share the profits with anyone,” but it’s also a chance for Merchant to introduce himself as a presence apart from the shows he’s helped create and apart from seemingly constant man of the hour Gervais (particularly the week after the Golden Globes).
At the recent Los Angeles stop on his brief American tour, Merchant delved into questions of self-esteem, bedroom antics of the height-enhanced, and the perils of having less-than-cool parents (especially when you are already less than cool). He’s ostensibly on a search for a wife, and in a world filled with YouTube videos featuring a girl with 12 cats that proclaim to women “this is why you’re single,” it’s refreshing to see Merchant’s mug coming at you from a fisheye lens, showing his less than sexy bedroom eyes, admitting “this is why he’s single.” READ FULL STORY »