Hollywood gets the Ricky Gervais treatment
Gervais warned NBC he’d be a high-risk Golden Globes host - and he didn’t let them down
So, how did he do? Ricky Gervais, star of The Office, acknowledged weeks ago that he was a high-risk choice to host the Golden Globes and a senior executive at NBC, the network that broadcasts the ceremony across the Uinted States, admitted to being anxious. "He's just slightly dangerous," said Barry Adelman ahead of last night's ceremony. "He's always teetering on a should-I-really-say-that-edge."
In the event, Gervais, who had refused to rehearse or tell anyone what he was going to say, embarked on a typically risque monologue and within minutes Adelman must have been wondering if he had made the biggest mistake of his life (apart from moving Jay Leno to the 10pm slot, of course).
Unshaven, though snazzily turned out in a black shirt and tuxedo, Gervais ripped into NBC, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association - the body that hands out the Golden Globes - and skewered Hollywood itself and as many individual actors as he could find time for.
Just to make everyone comfortable, he began with a couple of penile surgery and masturbation jokes - just the ticket for American network TV - before quipping that the American version of The Office had gone downhill. This he declared in front of the actor who plays the David Brent character in America, Steve Carell. "I will break you," mouthed Carell in response.
Then he was onto bigger themes. "Actors aren't just loved here in Hollywood, they're loved the world over, because they're recognisable," he said. "You can be in the Third World, and you get a glimpse of a Hollywood star, and it makes you feel better. You can be a little child, a little Asian child, with no possessions, no money - but you see a picture of Angelina Jolie and you think, 'Mummy!'"
Aware he was treading on thin ice, he said: "Let's get on with it before NBC replace me with Jay Leno."
Two men on prize-giving duty he took digs at were Sir Paul McCartney and Mel Gibson. He said the former Beatle had flown out to LA economy class. "He's saving money... He spent a lot last year," he added, referring to McCartney's expensive divorce from Heather Mills.
As for Gibson, Gervais held a beer in his hand as he introduced the actor-director. "It's not my fault. I like a drink as much as the next man," Gervais said. "Unless the next man is Mel Gibson" - a reference to the actor's notorious drink-driving incident when he went on an anti-semitic rant with an LA cop, an incident Hollywood would rather forget.
If there was a truly awkward moment, it came when Gervais took on the 84-member Hollywood Foreign Press Association which doles out the GGs.
"One thing that can't be bought is a Golden Globe," he said to laughter from the audience. Then, to sudden silence, he went on: "If you want to buy one the man to see would be Philip Berk," referring to the HFPA president.
There was no word last night on whether Gervais would be invited back. But then, as he himself acknowledged at one of the more risque moments in the evening, "I'm not going to do this again, anyway." ·
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