I have a long-standing love of British television – that probably began when I was a child watching PBS. However, my current love of British TV centers mostly around panel shows that I can find and watch on YouTube. My favorite of these shows are 8 Out of 10 Cats, Would I Lie To You, Mock the Week and A League of Their Own. By far my favorite moments of these shows are when they feature British national treasure, Richard Ayoade. Ayoade is best known in America for his role as Moss in the show The IT Crowd as well as film roles The Watch and director of Submarine and The Double. I first encountered Richard on the British comedy show The Mighty Boosh, I became a fan when I saw him play Maurice Moss on The IT Crowd, however, love sprang eternal when I discovered his HILARIOUS public persona while watching The Big Fat Quiz of the Year while vacationing in London in 2013.
When watching British panel shows you begin to get used to a lot of familiar faces, like actors, quality British comedians are also in seemingly short supply. While I have a few favorite comedians, Jimmy Carr, Rob Beckett, and Noel Fielding to name a few. However, Richard Ayoade stands out above the crowd. Richard is famous for his curmudgeonly persona and deadpan delivery. He is capable of amazing wordplay and when he can summon up the energy to rant, he is so hilarious it hurts.
Richard is also the presenter of shows Gadget Man and Travel Man, these shows not only showcase his brilliant fashion sense but also really highlights how clever he is both alone and playing off of other people. If you have never heard of Richard, I would highly recommend Gadget Man as an introduction to this very funny, very British Black nerd.
Of course, his most famous and memorable role is that of Maurice Moss from The IT Crowd. Moss was the original Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. He was the most unforgettable nerd; socially awkward, shy and completely oblivious to social queues. Moss was the most dependable character in a very funny cast of people. He left an indelible mark on the show, which still holds up today.
Richard Ayoade is the ultimate black nerd, he is smart, funny and provides a wonderful example of what it looks like to be completely comfortable in your own shoes. He has made a career of highlighting his eccentricities and has carved out a niche for himself as a television personality but has also been able to explore other creative outlets. He has directed two critically acclaimed films and written a book in which he interviews himself. He embraces his introversion and makes it his mission to point out how absurd humanity is. Richard also represents the height of my anglophilia, his humor is completely British but it has not stopped him from pursuing American projects. While I wish him the biggest success I also hope it doesn’t take him too far away from the things I enjoy most, his appearances on panel shows and presenting Gadget Man.