After Life follows the exploits of a curmudgeonly widower (Gervais) who slowly rediscovers his lust for life.
“I think The Office is brilliant. I think Ricky’s comedy drama work is of diminishing returns to the point where it’s now abysmal,” he said. “I think it must be very sad.
“If you’re teaching drama or creative writing, how can you make a case for the things that make drama and creative writing good when After Life is a success? Because your kids could just go, ‘But none of those things happen in this!’ And yet, millions people watch it.
“I think it’s one of the worst things that’s ever been made by a human,” added Lee, who has been known to use hyperbole for comic effect in his stand-up routines.
After Brydon pointed out that Gervais had cited Lee as an influence on him, the comedian responded: “Well, I don’t suppose Robert Oppenheimer felt great about having created the atomic bomb.”
Lee’s new stand-up show, Basic Lee, is playing at London’s Leicester Square Theatre from 16 September until the end of the year, before touring nationwide.