Here at WhatCulture we have something of a soft spot for Karl Pilkington
, he is to philosophy what the first person who discovered milking a cow was to dairy farming - a sort of deviant, misguided sage. And his discoveries are no less profound - yes he stumbles blindly through a field of ignorance occasionally, but there are too many moments of revellation in his particular brand of naive unwillingness to accept universal truths that should have us all questioning our own established knowledge. We should follow the so-called round headed buffoon's example and pick at every seam, because an infinite capacity to probing, even in the face of complete logic is the fundament of genius and invention. But then, Karl is also a comedy genius - his timing in dropping his pearls of wisdom is legendary, and his capacity to find frustration in the most ridiculous places is somehow one of the most life-affirming experiences a TV watcher can experience. After all, no matter how bad your day has gone, at least you're not as angry with everything
as he is. With the second season of An Idiot Abroad landing on British screens tonight (on Sky One at 9pm), we take a look at some of Karl's greatest moments, and attempt to prove there are two sides to every coin. Which is an appropriate analogy given the shape of his head...
Pearls of Idiocy
Okay, so Karl's not always a sage or some kind of philosophical guru. Sometimes we just talks rubbish... Karl Pilkington:
I sort of gave a go. walked in one day and I had sausages in the toaster. She went mental at me. D'ya know how sausages make a load of mess when you put them in a pan? It was when I first got a flat and I wanted everywhere to be clean all the time Germaine Greer: Now I am beginning to think you might be a tad stupid. "You know how they say people have six senses? There's loads more than that. , that's been around since man and dinosaur were knockin' about." "Does the brain control you or are you controlling the brain? I don't know if I'm in charge of mine." "They keep saying that sea levels are rising an' all this. It's nowt to do with the icebergs melting, it's because there's too many fish in it. Get rid of some of the fish and the water will drop. Simple. Basic science." "They reckon in the future you'll be able to wake up and have a yoghurt that you can have a chat with." "If I was , I would have gone, "Hang on a minute, I've just seen somethin' that looks a bit like this, let it drown", have a bit of a clear out, but he was messin' about savin' everythin... If anythin', like I said, he didn't do us a favour, he saved too much. You can't move out there for stuff." "When you're a kid, I remember really loving going to bed. There was one time where I actually laughed myself to sleep, 'cause I couldn't believe me luck." "There's too many words."
Pearls of Wisdom
The greatest thing that can be said about Karl, and the reason why we continue to keep coming back to his words is that in the sea of banality that comes out of his mouth, he also manages to stumble into the realms of philosophical genius. He also has a beautiful habit - like a child endlessly saying "why?" - of making genuine intellectuals look like idiots by proxy, and because he seems to be able to ask the questions that fundamentally question everything they stand for. Take this exchange with Germaine Greer, in which Karl seemingly accidentally stumbles across a universal truth of the collective human sense of humour - no matter where you are, or what level of intellect you display, it is the basest pleasures and the simplest of jokes that unite us all... Germaine Greer:
You can take home if you like. Karl Pilkington: Can I? GG: Yeah. KP: What, all of it? Brilliant. I'll have me pie and mash, gravy... GG: You're not a wholemeal bread man, you'll be saying "Eh I'd rather 'av me white brid. Don't like that brid! That's got roughage in it. It's going to make meh 'av a big sheet. Eet twill! Beeg and perfectly formed." KP: That's good, that's healthy. GG: That is healthy. KP: So not very good brain but... GG: ...Terrific bowels! KP: She was nice enough and I got some sort of free bread out of it. And it was sort of good know that, er, no matter how different we were in the brain department we could still both have a laugh about me arse. "By 78 you've done everything you're going to do. If you haven't bungee-jumped by the time you're 78 you're not going to do it." The toilet is too far from the sink which isnt what you need in India. Both are often required at the same time. I fell asleep watching Geckos run across the ceiling. Suppose that was one good thing with Artex the sharpness kept the geckos out. "We're just a weed in the universe" On art: "Stop looking at the walls, look out the window." "They say it all started out with a big bang. But, what I wonder is, was it a big bang or did it just seem big because there wasn't anything else to drown it out at the time?" "Cat food. It stinks a bit, but... if you don't put up with the smell, the little kitten will die." "If you haven't got eyes, you shouldn't have wings..."
And then there are those moments in which Karl shows off exactly why his "brand" is lasting. Regardless of how much of an idiot or a genius we think he is, his comic timing is second to none, and he has a way with words that most comedians can only dream of. Will Self:
You're the proverbial 'bird in the hand' man. Y'know, you're worried about grabbing for the bush for fear that you're going to lose the birds you've already got. And what I'm saying to you is nothing ventured nothing gained. You arouse these conflicting emotions in me. On the one hand I really do want to kick you down the road. But on the other hand I want to take all your clothes off and soap you gently in palmolive, clean you and put you to bed. Karl Pilkington: Well both of them sound bad to me. So that isn't even a bird in the hand. WS: That doesn't make me feel very good, you rejecting me in that way. KP: It's just I'm not that happy about me body. "I dont know whether it was to put me off, but my Mum used to say, to be a Hells Angels you needed to shit in your pants, and not change it for a week. After My mum said that about the Hells Angels, my Dad said Well Auntie Nora would easily pass the entrance test." "I was walking past a sex shop an' that. One, it was open early which I never understood, it was about eight o'clock in the morning. Who needs butt plugs then?" "Suzanne's always saying she'd like to hear tiny feet running 'round the flat. I just said let's just get a little midget cleaner." "People moan about drugs being tested on animals. I sort of think it depends innit. If the drug's aspirin and the monkey's got a headache, is it right?" "Neil Armstrong, that spaceman, he went to the moon but he ain't been back. It can't have been that good." Further Reading:
If you want to read further ramblings from the perfectly round head of our hero, he has - somewhat unbelievably - four books available to buy. The World of Karl Pilkington
Happyslapped By A Jellyfish Karlology An Idiot Abroad Oh, and do yourself a favour: go now to iTunes and type in Ricky Gervais. Then download every episode of the Podcasts you can possibly fit on your iPod/iPhone. Just don't listen to them on the bus, as laughing alone that hard on public transport can only lead to bad things, like the wierdos welcoming you in as one of them.
An Idiot Abroad season 2 starts on Sky One tonight at 9pm.