Ricky Gervais’s Golden Globes Are Bigger Than Any Award Ceremony

January 19, 2011

It’s award season once again, ladies and gentlemen. A chance for the great and the good of the acting world (or those with bullet-proof marketing) to gather and see if they will be rewarded with various strangely shaped statues doubling as door stops and the rise in stock that comes with them. It was the turn of the Golden Globes on Sunday. The awards were handed out in customary fashion, but two things dominated the news the next day (other than the winners, of course): the women’s fashion, where all the papers predictably compliment the safe options, or the most popular actresses of the day. Not forgetting of course to slag off the one unconventional dresser who couldn’t give a toss (take a bow for 2011, Helena Bonham-Carter); and the host of the evening, who in this instance was one Ricky Gervais.

Ricky Gervais hosting The Golden Globe film awards 2011

Our Ricky. British, abrasive Ricky, who I first saw on a channel 4 show called The 11 O’clock show and couldn’t stand. I have warmed to him since The Office and I now understand his style. It was this style that got him into hot water on Sunday. Here are some of his quotes:

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

‘It was a big year for 3D movies. Toy Story, Despicable Me, Tron,’ It seemed like everything this year was three-dimensional. Except the characters in The Tourist. I already feel bad about that joke. I tell you what; I’m jumping on the bandwagon, because I haven’t even seen The Tourist. Who has? (I’m with him on this one. I saw the trailer and that was enough for me).

“There were a lot of big films that didn’t get nominated this year. Nothing for Sex and the City 2. No, I was sure the Golden Globe for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed that poster. Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza.”

“In I Love You Phillip Morris Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor pretend to be gay … the opposite of some famous Scientologists, then. My lawyers helped with that joke.”

“Ashton Kutcher’s dad.” (introducing Bruce Willis).

Some people were upset. Robert Downey Jr. called his comments mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones. I do think the comment on him was a little harsh as he jumped the hard party and drug ship some time ago. However, the things Ricky said were the kind of things you would say to your mates in a pub and there’s an element of (perceived) truth to most of them, which is why some of us were laughing hard. Oh, poor Hollywood diddums. A half lifetime spent being told how wonderful you are to placate your insecurities, your every whim met, your PR protecting you from those ‘awkward’ questions in a style that would make a dictator proud, and believing your very well paid job will save the world. How could you have such nasty things said about you by a slightly overweight British comic with better than usual British teeth?

Be grateful, Hollywood. You could’ve had Frankie Boyle.



  1. LOL, As much as I never warmed to Ricky Gervais, he has a point. The people he’s poking fun at live in a bubble world of First-class flying, private jets, mansions, personal assistants, nannies, designer clothes and know that a big-bucks lawyer can get them off a multitude of petty crimes and often the very big ones too. Generally they remember little of how the other 95% of the world works and lives.
    How many times do we hear an actor say ” I’m so lucky to be doing a job I love”.. umm, they said the word “Job?” wrong!… you get to play and pout all day and spend half your time in your trailer being pampered. Now the camera people, they work hard to get your best side in shot, the stunt person sports the bruises for your glory, the editors have to sift though kilometers of stuff to try and make something half decent to show us (sometimes they even succeed).
    So yes, in this case it’s rather nice to have some of the bits rubbed in that they would rather have the “adoring masses” forget (or like the judge: overlook) Sadly, I do fear though, that Mr Gervais is fast becoming a carbon copy of these he wishes to parody.

    • I agree that Hollywood should be able to handle a roasting, but would Ricky Gervais do that with the Royals family, Bruce Forsythe or any of the other ‘Great British institutions’? I think not. There seems to be a trend amongst British comics who are taken into the bosom of Hollywood to mock and belittle the very machine that gave them a bigger stage.
      Ricky Gervais is very good at being cruel that can sometimes be funny. It would be more clever to always be funny that can sometimes be cruel.

      • He hasn’t done similar things with the Royal Family and other British institutions? Really? I’m surprised, given that he has done so with almost everyone and everything else. Perhaps that’s a slot Frankie Boyle can fill. Hold on a minute, didn’t he do a joke about the Queen last year?…

        You’re right about his comedy being more cruel than funny, Plumedebiche. Sometimes I find it a little tiring, though I understand the style as I said in this post and I think in this instance, it was well played.

        As you say, Kiwi, it’s the background people who do the work. We all have talents and some of us are geniuses. However, very little is produced without someone behind us, the (usually) unsung heroes. I know there’s a trail of people behind me that have made me what I am today. Mr Gervais may eventually become the carbon copy empty Mr Hollywood (some may say this is happening already), but hopefully he’ll remember his debts.

      • plumedebiche , Not just Ricky, but many British comedians regularly take a crack at the Royals and Great British Institutions.
        If you are in the public eye then you can count yourself as possible material, especially if you lead a lifestyle that brings you into the News for all the wrong reasons. “the machine that gave them a bigger stage” was not obliged to to so, and surely acceptance into Hollywood doesn’t mean that you have to kowtow and be subservient from then on?
        I think that if we are brutally honest then we see that usually comedians target people who have acted irresponsibly on some level, and poking fun at these actions helps to remind us that all people need to take responsibility for their actions and that they are not “stars” begotten with social and moral immunity. Just my personal opinion, but I think that the day comedians stop targeting public figures for their transgressions will be the day these same figures see that they have carte blanche to do what they want with impunity.

  2. The real question is how Hollywood is Gervais starting to look himself? How white were his teeth – and how much other work is going on?

    He is funny, though you wonder what else he can do? the celebs need a bit of British sarcasm to keep them straight – it won’t kill them and for sure, there were plenty of people in the crowd (big names too) who were laughing good an loud.

  3. Like I said, Glen, better than usual British teeth. The turn to Hollywood has started. Nip/tucks, Botox and the best hair money can buy will come in the fullness of time (though it looks like Mr Gervais won’t need to worry about the last procedure: he has a full head of hair). If some of the big names were laughing, then maybe Hollywood hasn’t had a complete humour by-pass. There again, that may be because it was not directed at them.

  4. I found him hilarious in the clips I’ve seen, but he was a bit cruel, especially the “fresh from rehab” quip. Bwhaaaaa though.
    Thank you for popping by the other day and I love your blog, will visit very often.

    • Lisa, what a lovely surprise! I’m glad you like my blog, as I do yours. Please feel free to comment on whatever takes your fancy. Whoever knew that you and me could come together due to the online magic of Invisible Mikey. I love this blogging game!

  5. It’s more civilized to give out awards in a big cocktail lounge setting, the way the Oscars USED to do it. And of course Gervais has roasted the Royals. Whoever said that isn’t familiar with enough of his material. His whole forte is comedy based on creating and savoring discomfort about those who are THERE in the room. No one does it better.

  6. I can imagine Frankie Boyle being inflicted on the the poor little cotton-wool kids of Hollywood. Glorious carnage. The usually sunny LA sky would rain blood and tears and bits of movie stars ripped to shreds.

    • You’re not wrong there. Mr Boyle would make Gervais look like a Chihuahua. They’d be begging to bring him back.

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