He's the "chubby funster" who created David Brent and brought the phenomenal density of Karl Pilkington to a gawping audience.
He's about to unleash a new show about a little fella, called Life's Too Short, and he's working on a sitcom Stateside about an atheist who unexpectedly bags himself an afterlife. Here's a look at the top 10 moments which have cemented his place in comedy heaven.
10 – Free love on the free love freeway
David Brent, at heart, was always a laid-back entertainer, and he decided to prove that on The Office's training day by treating his beloved employees to an impromptu run-through of his self-penned classic. Gareth, get the guitar...
9 – Golden Globes
Most glitzy American awards dos are about as much fun as a Bunga Bunga party at Cliff Richard's house, but Ricky added a massive dollop of irreverence to The Golden Globes when they made the mistake of asking him to host. Highlights included gags about Scientologists, Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey Jr. So many gasps...
8 – Kneeing a dwarf in the head
Ricky enjoyed working with Warwick Davis so much he's written a sitcom starring him, but it might be more apology than anything else, after Andy Millman kneed the little chap right in the fun-sized head after a fight regarding his considerably taller fiancée.
7 – Giving the world Karl Pilkington
Not a specific moment, more of an enduring legacy, Ricky recognised that behind the perfectly spherical head of Karl lay the heart of a comedy giant. A man who comes out with lines like "People moan about drugs being tested on animals. I sort of think it depends innit. If the drug's aspirin and the monkey's got a headache..."
6 – Always surprise them
Never one to miss a chance to prove who's boss, David Brent went out of his way to win the day in a little improv during the Wernham Hogg training day. Playing a hotelier 'for the comedy' he then left the facilitator agog when he came out with the line "there's been a rape up there". Get their attention, always get their attention...
5 – Gay animals
In Ricky's first foray into stand up he took in plenty of the big topics, but one which had his full attention and most scientific concentration was the sexual mores of nature's gay animals. Seeing Ricky Gervais describe their acts of physical expression, using illustrations, is surely the best way to curb Britain's spate of teenage pregnancies.
4 – That dance
It's become his signature, and it is undoubtedly genius, but it's not David Brent's finest hour. That said, the impromptu move-busting by the goateed snakehips is one of the finest bits of physical comedy seen on our screens since Basil Fawlty hung up his apron.
3 – Hitler getting it wrong
In Ricky's second stand up Politics he managed to extract one of his very funniest routines from the unlikely source of Hitler's interpretation of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Not many stand ups would even attempt it, but Ricky's imagined conversation between the two proved he's a class apart.
2 – See his pug-nosed face
It takes a certain kind of man to contact his hero and get them to sing a song about his pug-nosed face, and relative chunkiness, to the nation. Ricky signing Bowie up for Extras was already a masterstroke, but the song he performed was unadulterated comedy gold.
1 – You're fired
Nothing encapsulates Ricky's contribution to the comedy canon better than the moment when Brent gets sacked, while dressed as a comedy ostrich. Ruining Comic Relief and mixing belly-laughs with genuine poignancy is a pretty impressive skill to pull off, especially for a fat bloke from Reading...