Ever wonder what it’s like to live the life of a showbiz dwarf? Life’s Too Short is the observational sitcom series crafted by the infamously talented comedy duo Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant from a concept that Warwick Davis was playing around with – and not suprisingly, it’s an instant smash hit. As a short person (I’m 4′ 11″), I’m overjoyed to see the little things that make us small-statured people crazy (like not being able to reach simple things people who are average in height take for granted), get shown in a whole new comedic light.
Better known for his roles in Return of the Jedi and Willow, Davis originally co-starred with Daniel Radcliffe in Gervais and Merchant’s series Extras, where he shared his real-life stories with the show’s creators in between setups. Gervais and Merchant were so amused by his trials and tribulations that they decided to create a series together based on them, which combined influences from Extras, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and One Foot in the Grave, “but with a dwarf”. From that, comedy genius was born.
Davis plays a slightly off-kilter fictional version of himself – he’s a talent agent for other dwarves (which he actually is in real life), and is quite full of himself due to the illustrious films he’s been in and he arrogantly shows off his memorabilia and tells stories about working with George Lucas, and tries to manipulate situations to fall into his favour. But it’s the awkward moments that he runs into continuously that are flat-out hilarious. When he meets with Gervais and Merchant and asks them to throw a little work his way, they try to avoid committing to anything and are quick to try and push him out the door. Strangers don’t recognize him when he asks for help with something out of his reach and conceitedly name-drops. His wife is annoyed with him and wants a divorce – she changes the locks and he tries to get in through the dog door. It’s beyond fantastic – it’s magical.
The cameos in this show are also what makes it wonderful – Johnny Depp, Liam Neeson, Helena Bonham Carter, Steve Carell, Right Said Fred (yes!), and Sting are a few among those who thread themselves in and out of Davis’ life in the show. I wonder who they’ll cast for the next season…
The show first aired on November 10th of 2011 on BBC Two. HBO picked it up shortly after and recently began to air the first series on the 19th of February, 2012. Gervais has recently tweeted that they’ve also been picked up for a second series so that will be in the works in the near future – aiming for Spring 2013. The only thing too short about this show in my opinion, is it’s running time.