"With a head like a f*cking orange," Karl Pilkington first came to U. K. prominence during the early 2000s as one of the most distinctly oddball voices of bizarro, deadpan humor in that nation's rich history of comedy pioneers. A Manchester native and onetime radio producer, Pilkington flipped to the performance side of the microphone while producing "The Ricky Gervais Show" for Xfm London, starring comedic national treasures, Gervais and Stephen Merchant, creators of "The Office" (BBC, 2001-03). The comic team soon discovered their producer's bone-dry, often absurd observations and anecdotes were worthy of air-time, so made Pilkington the show's centerpiece as it essayed into a podcast format in 2005, quickly becoming the most downloaded show delivered via digital order. Fanned by Gervais and Merchant's own growing show-business influence, Pilkington became a cultural phenomenon, his observations from the show and elsewhere spun into books and song remixes, as well as his media presence expanding from radio to television projects like Sky1's "An Idiot Abroad" (2010), which followed his grudging meanderings around the world to visit the Seven Wonders. In 2010, HBO introduced Pilkington to a broader U.S. audience in an animated TV retread of "The Ricky Gervais Show" podcasts, also carrying that title. Droopy-lidded, orb-domed and quite literally monotonous, the subject of endless chatter as to who he really was, Pilkington was hailed as one of the funniest men in Britain, not to mention one of the least likely multimedia stars imaginable, a kind of real-life Charlie Brown.