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'I get rejected by classy women' - Merchant

Wednesday 19 Dec 2012 10:05 p.m.

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Stephen Merchant is one of comedy's greats. With Ricky Gervais he created The Office, then they went on to do Extras, and a podcast that's been downloaded over 300 million times.

It's true what they say: he is tall, clocking in at 2.01 metres. And yes, his eyes are quite “oggly”.

It's also true he's a bit of a comic genius.

From the improv, to the way it was shot, The Office changed the way people thought about televised comedy.

Now he's flown down to New Zealand for the first time to do his own stand-up comedy shows, and meet this mess of a so-called "reporter".

The show is called ‘Hello Ladies’, and is based around the fact that despite good looks, he finds it hard to get a date.

“I was never a great success with woman when younger, and then I got successful and now my standards have gone up but what happens is I am getting rejected by far classier women than I used to. I have been turned down by some of the most beautiful women in the world,” he says.

Naturally it makes for good comedy.

He's already done two shows, and has one more at Auckland’s Town Hall tomorrow night.

Overseas it's been so successful that HBO has commissioned an eight-part TV show.

After our interview Merchant was off to write more of the new show in his hotel room. But not before imparting some wisdom.

“It's been a pleasure. And can I give you a word of advice? Wear a tie next time. Or at least a clean shirt.”

Insulted by the Oggmonster himself. I'm pretty much in heaven.

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