The caustic Brit went after Hollywood royalty, making the show dangerous & exciting!
Audiences were split over Ricky Gervais‘ oft-mean spirited hosting gig Jan. 16 at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards — but we thought he made for one of the most compelling award show hosts ever!
Ricky, 49, was fascinating in his willingness to take fresh, risky jabs at many stars who are often seen as critically bulletproof. Although he got in some clever lines at easy targets like Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson, his scathing opening monologue was a brilliant piece of honesty which tackled everything from Scientology to Sex and the City 2.
One of the biggest (and funniest) shocks of the night was Ricky’s tirade against The Tourist. Although it boasted a Best Picture nomination, the film received a lukewarm reception from both critics and audiences, only buoyed by leads Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp. Angelina even admitted that acting in the film was autopilot for her, saying “I wanted to do something that would be a great vacation for my kids. I got a phone call saying, ‘OK, the film’s shooting in Venice,’ and I said, ‘I don’t know what it is, but I’m going to say yes.’”
Ricky called them out on the film’s obvious lack of emotional depth, saying, “It was a big year for 3D movies. Toy Story, Despicable Me, Tron. It seems like everything this year was three-dimensional, except the characters in The Tourist.” Was it kind of mean? Yes. But Angelina has the power to not make fluff if she chooses to do so, and while filming for a paycheck is not a bad thing, you have to be willing to be called out for it.
We saw Ricky’s jabs as either well-deserved (such as an extended riff on Hugh Hefner‘s ridiculous lifestyle) or so absurdist that they were obviously made in jest (such as “quoting” Sandra Bullock as saying, “poor people were gross and smelled bad.”)
Even celebs being roasted were behind Ricky, with Bruce Willis (who Ricky dubbed “Ashton Kutcher‘s dad”) saying the host “was fantastic, he killed it, he did great.”
If Ricky hadn’t been the emcee for the ceremony last night, it would have been spectacularly boring. There were no real shockers among winners, and everything was executed nearly without flaw. But in terms of creating watercooler buzz, nothing beat the indelible roasting Gervais gave to some of Hollywood’s most shameless celebs.
Update: The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Hollywood Foreign Press Association President Philip Berk on Jan. 17 and he discussed Ricky’s hosting, saying, “He definitely crossed the line. 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.”