I love movies and I love television, so I was most definitely among the many viewers who tuned in to the Golden Globes Sunday night. When I first heard that Ricky Gervais was hosting, I was as giddy as a school-girl. His past performances at awards shows, even those he wasn’t hosting, have always been more than memorable (see example here). Gervais hosted last years Golden Globes and the result were increased ratings. This years outcome appears to have been the same, with a 5% rise in viewers. With these sort of results, Gervais would appear to be a shoe-in for hosting any number of award shows. unfortunately, his performance has brought in mixed reviews.
I would like to comment on the mixed reactions to Ricky Gervais’ hosting. As I watched the Golden Globes, it was clear that Gervais was playing with fire, pushing the envelope with several of his jokes. The reaction from the audience present was a mixture of laughter, half-hearted “ohhhh”s, shocked gasps, and uncomfortable (and forced) chuckles (mainly from the butt of the jokes). His opening monologue was particularly harsh, commenting on everything from Hugh Hefner’s sex life to Charlie Sheen’s outrageous antics. After reading some reviews of the show, it appear that the most controversial remark he made was in reference to Scientology and the closeted homosexuals who practice it:
“Also not nominated was ‘I Love You Philip Morris,’ Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor.
Two heterosexual characters pretending to be gay.
So the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists, then.”
This thinly veiled joke seems to have upset much of the online community who have called Gervais’ performance as everything from “rude” to “cringe-worthy.”
When you hire Ricky Gervais, expect nothing less than Ricky Gervais.
He is a notoriously malicious comic. His jokes make fun of others as well as himself. And good for him–his unrelenting and unforgiving, an attitude that seems especially necessary in modern-day Hollywood. If someone really is to blame for his indiscretions, shouldn’t it be the producers of the show who a) hired him (back) and b) failed to look over this prepared script?
Luckily, some of the stars seem to have taken Gervais’ quips with a smile. After commenting that Robert Downey Jr. is probably best known for his stints in prison and rehab, the ever good-humoured RDJ took the stage and made his own risqué (though hilarious) jokes.
Others seem to have not been so happy with the comments. Reports say that several celebrity reps have already been in contact with the producers to voice their complaints.
My final word: It’s Hollywood. Celebrities are in the spotlight, and when they end up making ridiculously stupid decisions (Charlie Sheen’s shenanigans for instance), they can’t expect to escape the inevitable jokes that will be made at their expense.
So Congrats Ricky Gervais! Show well done, and much enjoyed!