Despite his atheist sensibilities, comedian Ricky Gervais told late-night show host Stephen Colbert he has “no problem” with faith or spirituality.
Gervais, perhaps best known as the creator of the beloved sitcom “The Office,” has never been shy about his atheism. In 2010, he penned a column for The Wall Street Journal in which he similarly explained he sees “nothing ‘wrong’ in believing in a god,” adding, “I don’t think there is a god, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that’s fine with me.”
So it was no surprise when, earlier this week, he made a similar case to the CBS show host, who is Catholic.
Seeking to better understand Gervais’ worldview, Colbert asked him, “Is magic and faith the same to you? Because they’re different things to me.”
The 58-year-old comedian said he doesn’t see them as the same thing, claiming he feels a sense of “spirituality” when he convenes with nature.
“That’s it. That’s all they have in common,” he told Colbert. “And I have no problem with faith or spirituality — I feel it in different ways. I feel it when I see nature.”
However, though he often finds himself in “awe” of nature and the world around him, Gervais is not convinced there was — or is — intelligence and purpose behind its existence.
He explained, “We know how amazing nature is and how good people are and how amazing dogs are — dogs are amazing. However, I just don’t think there was a will to it.”
Colbert related to Gervais to an extent, admitting his faith is “anemic” — sometimes present and other times fleeting. “It comes and goes,” the show host explained. “I have a firefly of a faith: it comes and goes, it shows up ever so often.”
Gervais is currently making press appearances to promote his Netflix series “After Life,” which follows the life of a man named Tony whose wife, Lisa, died, prompting him to feel the urge to do and say whatever he wants. Following his wife’s passing, his dog becomes his closest confidant.