Did you ever see The IT Crowd? Remember Moss - the half-African dude with the afro? Well that’s Richard Ayoade, a hyper-literate comedian/actor/writer/director/television personality with a witty, self-effacing shtick. Of Nigerian and Norwegian heritage, Ayoade has graced some of Britain’s most prized television exports – including the aforementioned The IT Crowd, Nathan Barley, The Mighty Boosh, Gadget Man and most recently, Travel Man.
Add to that list a steady stream of stand-up, quiz show and talk-show appearances, and you’ve got a deep mine of comedic gold yet to be explored by the Aussie masses. So we grabbed a shovel and dug up some of his best, and we hope you dig the dude as much as we do.
Richard disses interviews during an interview
When tasked with explaining his dislike for regular interviews, he cited those who partake as sociopathic. Here he also explains his tendency to play the geek, claiming, “I’m unlikely to be cast as a Robert Redford type.”
Richard and Chris O’Dowd destroy a snow globe
In the premiere episode of season two of the idiosyncratic lifestyle show Travel Man, after The Sapphires’ Chris O’Dowd pretends to almost drop a pricey globe and in the process, actually drops it, Richard spews out a few neurotic one-liners, and steers the owner toward a different wing of the store with the remark: “Let’s look at the other room of breakables.“
Richard’s Best Actor acceptance speech at the BAFTAS
In 2014, Ayoade picked up Best Actor for The IT Crowd at the 2014 British Film and Television Awards and killed it in his speech, claiming that he thought thanking the Academy was something he’d only ever do through fan-mail to Fame Academy, and then thanking the actual Academy “for codifying this clerical error”.
Richard puts Krishnan Guru-Murthy in his place
When Guru-Murthy, that Channel 4 presenter who lives to push celebrity buttons, sat down with Richard and spewed out every antagonistic and faux-serious question under the sun, each one was met with an absurd, lateral answer.
In doing so, he highlighted the ludicrousness of the celebrity interview, and likened its forced dialogue to everyday commuting – something that he doesn’t love but understands has to be done.
It was the best takedown of Guru-Murthy since Tarantino’s famous “I’m shutting your butt down” rant.
Richard has no idea how to put out a fire in The IT Crowd
Making fun of a nerd’s inability to engage with problems that don’t require IT support, Richard Moss takes to an errant fire like a robot with way too much time on its hands.
Richard steals the quiz show while talking about Robin Thicke
On The Big Fat Quiz of the Year – a very British panel quiz show comprised of notable comedians – Richard grabbed the biggest laugh with his sarcastic comments about sexual consent.
Richard tries out new fitness tech on Gadget Man
“I’m lean like a wildcat” and “A man so buff, his head looks like a bicep – TV presenter Steve Jones” are just two of Richard's witty one-liners as he introduces his guest to a bunch of bizarre nu-fitness inventions, including a running finger-ring with a bell attached and a smart hat that gathers data as you run.
It’s not easy nailing the “-tainment” part of “info-tainment”, but Richard manages to make it work.
Richard REALLY wants this moment to end
On the premiere episode of quotations-based quiz show Was it Something I Said?, Richard speaks a single gag then expands on it until the whole room is in hysterics, leaving Jimmy Carr with no choice but to concede.
Richard finally calls Jimmy Carr what everyone’s wanted to call him
When Richard’s on a panel, he bides his time until he’s got a really solid joke, and in this clip from Was it Something I Said?, he waits until the most opportune, yet seemingly inappropriate moment to liken Carr to a particular sportsman.
And of course, Richard goes on to riff on the initial joke, gaining more and more laughter from the audience as he improvises.
Richard directs Andy Murray: The Movie
In this short film for charity, Richard made a mock behind-the-scenes video about the casting of Andy Murray: The Movie, using an unnecessary megaphone while he and the real Murray audition Michael Sheen, Ed Sheeran and Pharrell Williams for the titular role.
Travel Man premieres on Thursday, 10 March at 8pm (AEDT) on SBS 2.