Okay, here’s the deal: In 2003, Ricky Gervais (The Office) and Stephen Merchant (his writing partner) made some hysterical training films for Microsoft for a tidy sum. The fee is rumored to be in the six-figure range, and it was on the condition the films were never made public.
They popped up on You Tube this month. I saw them before they were yanked, and the were very very funny. Fans of The Office will find them hysterical.
The latest rumor is that Microsoft has "started an investigation after two supposedly private training videos made for the software company by the comedian appeared on the internet."
This raises the question of just why these two hilarious Faux Training videos were yanked from You Tube in the first place. You cannot blame Microsoft for the content, which is mild compared with even Comedy Central, (forget HBO). And the gentle insults to Bill Gates? They are so soft-handed, it couldn’t be that.
You would think Mister Softee would be more PR savvy by now . . .
Faux Trainging Video Part I
Faux Trainging Video Part II
YouTube reveals ‘what not to do’ at Microsoft
Aug 25, 2006
David Brent’s top tech tips
Brent’s secret Microsoft Office
The Times, August 24, 2006