While not as hilarious as David Bowie's earlier appearance on Ricky Gervais' Extras, the musical turn from Coldplay's Chris Martin on Sunday night's episode (already aired months ago in the UK) was a fine job of Martin "having a laugh" at himself. While shooting a PSA for drinking water in third world countries, Martin complains:
Can we get on with this? I've gotta do AIDS and Alzheimer's and land mines this afternoon, and I wanna get back for Deal or No Deal. Plus, Gwyneth's making drumsticks.
And this is after trying to get the agency shooting the spot to promote Coldplay's new Greatest Hits album coming out in the fictional near future (see video). But some of the real fun comes later when Martin agrees (insists) to appear on the Andy Millman (Gervais) comedy When the Whistle Blows, and Martin sings "Fix You" for the factory employees because their radio stopped working. What are you doing here in a factory in Wigan? It's mental! Apparently trying to sell Coldplay records. Later on, Chris Martin sings the theme song (Cat Stevens' "Tea for the Tillerman") and after the credits, sings "Fix You" again as a duet with Gervais as Andy as When the Whistle Blows' Mr. Stokes.
Ricky Gervais' Extras continues to be hilarious in spite of the fact that much of the context is beyond us here in the states. I consider myself a bit of a comedic anglophile, so seeing Black Adder II's Stephen Fry sending himself up as a pompous BAFTA winner was spot on, but I (like the rest of the country) am pretty unfamiliar with comedian Ronnie Corbett and actor Richard Briers, both of whose appearances seem to hinge on being part of the viewers' cultural vocabulary. That being said, there were still plenty of subtle things that had me laughing, like a BAFTA award being given out for a movie titled The Woman Who Gave Birth to Herself. The fact that creators Gervais and Stephen Merchant don't bother to translate for US viewers seems to show they're not interested in letting their creations end up like Andy Millman's When The Whistle Blows. Either that, or they'll franchise the series to other countries like they did with The Office.
Previously: Bowie's Little Fat Man (Extras - Episode 2.02)