Ricky Gervais has performed his first full-length stand-up show in the US, delighting American fans with his trademark banter.

“I’m getting the hang of this stand-up lark now,” he told the New York Daily News before his appearance last week.

“I’ve gotten to the stage that I always wanted to get to, and that’s being totally relaxed. Talking to 5,000 friends like you chat in the pub,” he added.

“I don’t want to resort to catchphrases and funny wigs and comedy songs.”

Tackling everything from charity work to nursery rhymes in his own inimitable style, Ricky’s 45-minute set at New York’s Tribeca Performing Arts Centre was the first of two warm-up gigs before his debut at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Having tailored half of his current UK stand-up tour with material from previous tours, Animals and Politics, for the US audience, Ricky received a rapturous reception.

And Ricky’s date at the Garden sold out in less than 24-hours, proving that he’s becoming as big a star in the US as he is at home.

Appearing in New York as part of the recent Highline Festival, curated by David Bowie, Ricky told the newspaper about his fondness for the singer.

“It’s great that David Bowie has got behind something like this,” said Ricky, who also worked with Bowie in Extras. “He’s always there, isn’t he? I think of him like this strange futuristic sort of genie in the basement – rather like The Man Who Fell To Earth. He knows about everything.”