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 maybe, 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.”
You could almost hear the 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.”
“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 surprisingly, said it was all: “hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones.”
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…-ed).
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, because: look. We have our very own Bill Hicks!
“The next presenter is a true Hollywood icon,” Gervais introduces.
“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.”
(We played around with an alternative title. 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)