Diminutive David Brent

In the new “Life’s Too Short,” the actor Warwick Davis plays a conceited version of himself, who looks at the camera in a fake documentary style, bullies other people and has no idea how annoying he’s being.

Kind of like David Brent in “The Office” except with a short person.

But it’s more than that, say Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who were behind both series.

Brent is in fact “a staple particularly of British comedy [in] that this man’s got a blind spot,” Gervais told reporters at the TV critics winter press tour last month.

“That why we laugh at Warwick and David Brent and many others like Basil Fawlty or any of those people,” he said. “We’re laughing at the difference between how they see themselves and how the rest of the world sees them. The other thing that you’d recognize is the fact that because it’s a fake documentary [with] those looks to camera.”

The slow burn expression to the audience have a history, Gervais says. “I seem to have claimed those of my own but they’re not. Laurel & Hardy did them 100 years ago.”

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