Gervais asserts that he plays a character on stage, ironically presenting himself as better or more knowledgeable than the people in the seats. But it's a bit harder to laugh along with the school bully than it is with the class clown.
Imagine sipping a latte at your local coffee shop, and some crazy dude in the rest room throws open the door and hollers for more toilet paper. He's perched on the bowl, hairy legs spread apart. What would you do?