GERVAIS: GOLDEN GLOBES’ MOST CONTROVERSIAL HOST

Sexy dress! Sexy dress! Sexy dress. Sexy tux! Oh look Angelina turned up! Sexy dress…How do you solve a problem like making an overblown awards ceremony interesting?

For many, the 68th Golden Globe Awards spelled a night of back-patting and Academy Award predictions. For others, it’s watching the motion picture elite swan around, dine on tiny plates and sparkle outside the celluloid. For some, it’s a chance to see journalists at their most trying – trying not to fall in line with a consensus view that the Golden Globes suck. For the rest of us, it’s an evening of arguing over the actual award winners and for me, getting excited about dresses, seeing directors in the flesh and shiny balls on sticks.

For Ricky Gervais, his second (and most likely, last) stint as Golden Globes host meant once again tossing out the proverbial PR lines for jokes which do not calibrate with the more, ahem, traditionally sober lines fed to him from the A-Lister lawyers.

Only this time – he went too far.

Apparently.

“Talking of the Walking Dead: congratulations to Hugh Hefner, who is getting married at age 84 to 24-year-old beauty Crystal Harris. When asked why she was marrying him, she said, ‘He lied about his age. He told me he was 94′. Just don’t look at it when you touch it.” *vomming faces*

You could almost hear punctures of Hollywood egos as Gervais went on.

“It was a big year for 3-D movies,” he said. “Toy Story, Despicable Me, Tron. It seems like everything this year was three-dimensional — except the characters in The Tourist.”

And on.

“There were a lot of big films that didn’t get nominated this year – nothing for Sex and the City 2. I was sure the Golden Globe for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed that poster.”

He even went so far as to offend the President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (who run the GGs), Philip Berk, by making a joke about how he needed help to “get off the toilet and pop his teeth back in.”

Berk has recently said: “He definitely crossed the line,” to The Hollywood Reporter.  He continued: “And some of the things were totally unacceptable. But that’s Ricky.”

“Any of the references to individuals is certainly not something the Hollywood Foreign Press condones.”

Gervais is not scared of Hollywood. In fact, he said himself: “For three hours every year, Hollywood is scared to death of me. It’s great.”

And it’s visibly clear to anyone who stayed up to watch last night. Piers Morgan stayed up too (naturally), and his Twitter feed read, pretty much at exactly the time Gervais had been on stage for just three minutes: “Gervais already causing complete outrage at Golden Globes – go get ’em Ricky.”

Take the opening lines for the ‘Globes, for example:

“It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking. Or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast.”

There’s a perfect moment of self-consciousness (the vain type, not the philosophical type) following the Hugh Hefner joke, and the camera cuts to a zoom on Halle Berry, who, once registering that her reaction is live to about 50 million viewers, laughs nervously through alligator-stiff teeth. Steve Buscemi watched on, frozen. Even Johnny Depp squirmed, pushing his laughter deep down into the crevices of his false pirate soul as soon as the camera swerved his way. The hardiest celebrities and the most prestigious reviewers appeared to be the ones with the heaviest criticism. Robert Downey Jr, quite surprsingly, said it was all: “hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones.”

(C) Getty Images/FilmMagic

Ah, Ricky Gervais. A comedian who falls into the Acquired Taste category (lordy, how you do not want to be the in the Banal category, here’s looking at you Michael McPredictableandtired. Ew, imagine if he presented it. Flat. Flat. Flat.) I mean, who else other than Ricky G would make the following, indescribably genius-inspired joke: “Mark Zuckerberg is worth $7 billion. Heather Mills calls him: ‘the one that got away’.”

It’s a shame that the old adage is true: a genius is never understood in her/his own time. Or in Gervais’ own time, when he disappeared an hour after being on stage, before re-emerging, sparking a torrent of internet rumours about being pulled for a ticking off by those en haut.

The Golden Globes is an awards ceremony which draws all of the above: gasps of disgust, ironic appreciation and of course, over-enthusiastic, flaky appreciation. See, the dresses only go so far in the entertainment stakes. What you need is a comedian. A comedian who will gladly take the piss out of everyone and everything – and one who is clever enough to know that headlines which basically say “attractive wealthy famous people offended by comedian” will be printed in his dust. Everyone needs to wake up a bit: Look. We have our very own Bill Hicks.

“The next presenter is a true Hollywood icon. In ten of the biggest blockbusters of all time, he has shown his extraordinary acting versatility. He has played a boxer … and Rambo. Please welcome Sylvester Stallone!”

I almost died laughing last night. I have a horrid feeling our Ricky won’t be coming back. And so I’ll never watch the Golden Globes again.

… Well, at least Christian Bale had something nice to say.

“That’s what comedy’s supposed to be about,” he said. “The guy’s a genius.”

(article AKA: “Complaining that Ricky Gervais was too rude is like inviting a shark to your paddling pool and moaning when it bites all the children.” – Piers Morgan)

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4 responses to “GERVAIS: GOLDEN GLOBES’ MOST CONTROVERSIAL HOST

  1. POSTSCRIPT: Gervais has since given his own statement about the event. His blog:

    “Thanks to the twitterverse, the blogosphere, all the journos and the coolest stars for coming to my rescue.

    It was heartwarming to realise I wasn’t losing my mind. Some reactions nearly had me believing I’d gone too far too. Nearly.

    Can’t wait for the people who thought it was over the top to see my stand-up shows. Fuck me, they will shit themselves.

    Oh, and fans, take this opportunity to tell the world about Karl Pilkington. Tweet about that fucking head now!

    All new Ricky Gervais Show this Friday on HBO and An Idiot Abroad on Science Channel 22nd Jan.

    A genuine thanks by the way for all your support.

    Cheers.”

    http://www.rickygervais.com/thissideofthetruth.php/ [his blog]

    His press statement:

    “I enjoyed the Globes more this year. I think I had better gags. More along the lines of the Mel Gibson one last year. Obviously the rumour that the organizers stopped me going out on stage for an hour is rubbish. I did every link I was scheduled to do. The reason why the gaps were uneven is because when I got the rundown I was allowed to choose who I presented to. I obviously chose the spots that I had the best gags for. They couldn’t move around the order but I could move around however I wanted. All the same conspiracy theories as last year too… ‘So and so was offended‘… ‘hasn’t been invited back yet’… exactly the same as last time. ‘Paul McCartney was furious‘… no he wasn’t. And nor was Tim Allen and Tom Hanks. I was drinking with them after.”

    http://rickygervais.tumblr.com/ [fansite]

    (Hello, apologies for not clarifying this before, copied&pasted his words in a mad rush, xx J)

  2. Love it!! The only bit they cut was when he said “For christ’s sake” after the Bonanza gag! My favourite bit last year was when he did the joke about plastic surgery… then they quickly stopped doing close-ups! OK, second favourite, the Mel Gibson gag was good.

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