He’s currently in the midst of his Humanity tour, which has seen him already perform a string of one-man shoes across the UK.
But Ricky Gervais reportedly left bereaved parents deeply distraught on Tuesday night, when he is said to have made a joke about a dead baby during his show at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall – prompting them to storm out in horror.
To further add insult to injury, Ryan and Suzi Gourley revealed that they had attended the show for their first night out since the July stillbirth of their son Eli.
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In an interview with Belfast Live, Suzi said: ‘I know people take things differently and I know our emotions are raw, but why joke about a baby being dead? It’s just wrong.
‘Some people might read this and think we’re over-sensitive and maybe we are – but it’s just not funny. We went and hoped to have a bit of a laugh. It was our first night out together – I’d heard of this comedian but I’d never seen him.
‘I didn’t know what his jokes were like but I wouldn’t have expected that in a million years from anybody.’
The couple’s complaint has prompted the Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Support NI to post a warning about the comedian’s ‘dead baby joke’ on its Facebook page.
A spokesperson for Waterfront Hall, where Ricky also performed on Wednesday night, said in a statement: ‘Unfortunately we have no control at all over the material artists choose to use on stage, but we do of course appreciate this particular theme will have caused distress.’
MailOnline has contacted a representative for Ricky Gervais for comment.
While the couple appeared to be distressed by the contents of his show, Ricky appeared to be thrilled with the reception he received in Northern Ireland.
On Wednesday night, he took to Twitter to write: ‘Thank you Belfast! You are f***ing amazing. You are very sick people for laughing at the awful things I said, but I love you anyway.’
He also retweeted a number of messages from apparently satisfied audiences members, who sung the praises of the show.
Last month, Ricky revealed that he endured a health scare while performing at Bristol’s Colston Hall – and was forced to exit the stage for 10 minutes.
After returning to complete the remainder of his show, the 55-year-old comedian later took to Twitter to write: ‘Thanks to the amazing audience in Bristol tonight. They even laughed when I thought I was having a heart attack. #Humanity.’
Staying true to form, the former star of The Office proceeded to share a series of selfies, showing him pulling faces, as he made light of the situation.
Alongside a shot of himself relaxing beside his cat, he 11.9million-strong army of Twitter followers: ‘Have a peaceful night. (If I die in my sleep, you are totally allowed to make jokes about it.)’
On waking up, another wacky selfie from bed was added to his account, alongside the caption: I don’t think I died, but I’m not a doctor.’
He also gave an update on the state of his health, tweeting: ‘Think I’ve got a little bug of some sort. Blocked up, bit hot, sore stomach. Also I’m foaming at the mouth and terrified of water. Weird.’
After sharing a snapshot of Dioralyte and Day Nurse, he disclosed that he was getting some rest before returning to the same stage that night.’Lunch, flu drugs, and now a little nap before tonight’s gig,’ he wrote beside a picture of himself posing cross-eyed with dishevelled hair. ‘Live fast, die old. #Humanity.’
Despite the scare, the British funnyman’s fans flocked to Twitter to gush about how much they enjoyed the show, which has also won over critics.
One wrote: ‘@rickygervais Was brilliant at Colston Hall tonight. Even managed 10 minutes of great bonus content when he thought he was dying.’
Cooed another: ‘@rickygervais was fantastic tonight. Even half dead he’s still the one.’The once-portly comedian embarked on a regime to shed over 40lbs almost eight years ago, after toning down his excessive love of pork sausages.
He also took up running, telling Men’s Health in 2013: ‘It’s so easy. Get out there, do it and enjoy the results. Why does it always take me so long to work these things out?’
Poor taste? Ricky Gervais reportedly offended a grieving couple when he made a joke about a dead baby during his one-man Humanity show at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on Tuesday night b-error
Grieving: Ryan and Suzi Gourley revealed that they had attended the show for their first night out since the July stillbirth of their son Eli
Warning: Their complaint prompted the Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Support NI to post a warning about the comedian’s ‘dead baby joke’ on its Facebook page
Happy: The comedian appeared to be thrilled with the reception he received on Wednesday
Scare: The report comes a month after Ricky suffered a health scare during a show in Bristol
Gratitude: He thanked his audience and admitted that he thought he was having a heart attack
Jokes: The jokes continued to flow from the comedian as he prepared to retire for the night
Selfies: He posed for a series of wacky selfies after waking from his slumber the next morning
Can you stomach this? His flood of selfies also included an unflattering shirtless pose
Cure? He shared a shot of the medication that he’d hoped would help alleviate his issues
Nap: That afternoon, he revealed that he’d be getting some rest ahead of his next show
Symptoms: He candidly wrote about his feelings and symptoms on the micro-blogging site
Praise: He retweeted a stream of glowing reviews – and mocking messages – after the show
Rise to fame: The 55-year-old Berkshire native shot to fame on the hit BBC show The Office