It's Ricky Gervais' birthday, and his madman's laugh is a gift to the world

ricky-gervais-53rd-birthday.jpgRicky Gervais celebrates his 53rd birthday Wednesday (June 25), and he does so as one of the most influential comic voices of the 21st century to date.

His accomplishments -- "The Office," "Extras," "Derek," unleashing Karl Pilkington on the world -- are many. He's a prolific and occasionally contentious social-media user. And he has perhaps the greatest laugh of any celebrity currently walking the earth.

Lots of actors and comedians break up on camera, but no one does it with the abandon of Gervais. He can go from straight-faced to doubled over in a matter of seconds, unleashing a borderline-maniacal cackle that almost sounds like he's faking it, doing some exaggerated take. But as best we can tell, it's all real.

Below you'll find a compilation of Gervais laughs from interviews, outtakes and other sources. It's kind of great, and one more reason why Gervais holds a special place in our comedy hearts.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images