Karl Pilkington has no filter. "No offense, but I didn't want to do this interview. I have nothing to say," says the 38-year-old Englishman and radio personality who is better known for his unusual life observations on "The Ricky Gervais Show" (returning 9 p.m. Friday on HBO). "You're going to ask me what I'm doing, and I have nothing to say. I'm working on my kitchen now."

While doing this trans-Atlantic chat, he frets over how much battery life his cell phone has left. He searches for the right place to stand to get the best signal, and he wonders if he's paying for the call. Pilkington insists he's nothing special, at least to warrant being interviewed, despite the fact he's usually the center of the humor on "The Ricky Gervais Show" and the podcasts it re-creates in cartoon form.

On the weekly series, Gervais, writing partner Stephen Merchant and Pilkington are seen in animation form, sitting around a podcast studio and talking about whatever comes to mind. Often, Pilkington's musings inspire their own story lines in the show.

In typical fashion, Pilkington will run on a tangent that provokes Gervais to mock him repeatedly. The podcasts have become a cult hit in part because of Pilkington's strange insights.

On the origins of the universe, for example, he once said, "They say it all started out with a big bang. But, what I wonder is, was it a big bang or did it just seem big because there wasn't anything else to drown it out at the time?"

It's this way of thinking that has made Pilkington an Internet darling. He's also emerging as his own star -- in reality TV (his travelogue series "An Idiot Abroad" will debut on the Science Channel in a few weeks). Such outlandish behavior also puts him under scrutiny, with some saying he's merely a clever comic making up this persona. The notion provides Pilkington with another odd turn of phrase.

"People say I am an act. I say, 'Do you like the cake or not? Well, if you like the cake, eat it and stop questioning it,' " he said.

He admits that Gervais' constant teasing annoys him. He can live it with, though. "If it weren't Ricky bothering me, it would be someone else," he said. "It's weird. It's weird."

Other highlights for the week of Jan. 9-15 (listings subject to change; check local listings):


» "The X Life" (10 p.m., VH1). The women who love men in extreme sports are profiled as they juggle their guys' daring professions and their own career goals, too.


» "Tosh.0" (10 p.m., Comedy Central). The comic is back for a new season of taunting instant stars on the Internet. It's the funniest series the cable channel has going these days.

» "Southland" (10 p.m., TNT). The law enforcers and their partners make strange bedfellows in this acclaimed hour starring Ben McKenzie ("The O.C.").


» "Sons of Guns" (10 p.m., Discovery Channel). A gun-shop owner's daily life is chronicled in this new reality series that looks at his customers and his passion for firearms.

» "Off the Map" (10 p.m., ABC). Doctors looking to rediscover zeal for their profession go to South America to help with the struggles there.


» "Winter Wipeout" (8 p.m., ABC). The challenges have musical themes in common, but we're just here to watch people get punched in the face.