Earlier in the week, during an interview with Rob Brydon, Stewart Lee called After Life “one of the worst things ever made by a human”. Now, that certainly invokes some crushing hyperbole.
This sorry affair was sharpened given the fact that Lee himself is somewhat of a hero and inspiration for Ricky Gervais. Nevertheless, Lee also mused on this chicken-egg debacle by comically saying, “I don’t suppose Robert Oppenheimer felt great about having created the atomic bomb.”
All that being said, despite what Lee has said about the show (and many others have joined him), it is also beloved by millions, has a huge following, many fans have said it has helped them cope with grief, and it has earned Gervais a pretty penny in the process.
It was this that Gervais referenced when – in the aftermath – he offered up the simple Tweet: “Watch the award-winning, record-breaking #AfterLife Now streaming on Netflix around the world.”
Alongside this rather subtle counterpunch, Gervais also liked several tweets from fans including one that stated, “I don’t even know who Stewart Lee is however, his comments about After Life really makes him look like a sad, bitter individual.”
Then for good measure, in case all of this had been missed, The Office creator shot out a clip from After Life in which he calls someone a “fat, hairy, nosy cocksucker.” While Lee might argue this clip is a case in point of a lack of creativity, it certainly served to kill the subtlety of Gervais’ response.