There are some comedians despite their mainstream success are just not funny to everyone. I would say Ricky Gervais is one of the most controversial Golden Globes hosts in recent history. Imagine an awards show host who makes jokes about the people being honored, insults the organization (that hired him) behind the show, and manages to turn a celebratory and self-serving event into a mini roast.
So why would the Hollywood Foreign Press Association asked the acerbic comic to return for the fifth time? Ratings. This all comes down to getting TV eyeballs and social media buzz. Basically every TV award shows are struggling to get people to tune in. It’s not hard to image the show producers sitting around the their conference table and say …“Let’s get a seemingly unpredictable (and mean) host shoot off a few controversial jokes to generate some interest and excitement.”
Just look at the NBC promo for 77th annual Golden Globes features Gervais spraying the cameras with champagne as a narrator promises, “As usual, we have no idea what he’s going to do!”
On a recent episode of The Graham Norton Show, Gervais revealed that the producers really don’t know what he’s going to do. When Norton asked about whether they approve Gervais' script, the comic explained, “When I do [the show], I say, ‘I’m gonna say what I want, I don’t have to rehearse,’ and they say, ‘That’s fine.’ But I do have to tell a lawyer [the jokes] just before I go on.” Norton said, “People ask, ‘Why do you go to so much trouble to offend people?’ to which Gervais laughingly replied, "It’s no trouble. It’s easy.”
So what should people at home expect to see? Here’s a quick recap of Gervais most controversial, offensive, biting, occasionally hilarious and downright brutal jokes from his four previous appearances.
In 2010 Gervais was tapped to host after the awards show had gone without a host of nearly six decades. No expectations or an understanding of what was about to befall one of Hollywood’s most fun evenings – Gervais hit the stage and truly shocked everyone with his brand of take-no-prisoners comedy.
Totally unafraid of mocking celebrities right to their face, Gervais brought the same kind of biting, often painfully awkward, fearless comedic sensibilities to the ceremony that he pioneered in his sitcoms The Office and Extras. And, honestly, a lot of people weren’t down with it.
Gervais Kicks Things Off With Genital Humor
“Looking at all the wonderful faces here today reminds me of the great work that’s been done this year – by cosmetic surgeons,” Gervais joked. “I’ve had some work done, too. I’ve had a penis reduction. Just got the one now. And it is very tiny. But then so are my hands, so when I’m holding it it looks pretty big.”
He Pokes Fun at Anglina Jolie’s Adoptions
“Actors aren’t just loved here in Hollywood, they are loved the world over. You could be in the third world and get a glimpse of a Hollywood star and it could make you feel a little bit better,“ Gervais said. "You could be a little Asian child with no possessions and no money. But you could see a picture of Angelina Jolie and you’d think, ‘Mommy!’”
He Starts His Public Comedic Feud With Mel Gibson
“I hope I haven’t offended anyone. It’s not my fault,” Gervais said toward the end of the show, holding up his glass of beer. “I like a drink as much as the next man. Unless the next man is Mel Gibson.”
Gervais Takes Aim at Scientology
“Also not nominated, I Love You Phillip Morris. Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay. So the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists, then,“ Gervais quipped, adding, "My lawyers helped with that joke.”
He Takes On Charlie Sheen
“It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking – or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast.” Gervais said. “Wow, so let’s get this straight, so what he did was, he picked up a porn star, paid her to have dinner with him, introduced her to his ex-wife – as you do – went to a hotel, got drunk, got naked, trashed the place while she was locked in a cupboard, and that was a Monday. What does he do New Year’s Eve?”
Gervais Mocks Hugh Hefner’s Marriage
“Talking of the walking dead, congratulations to Hugh Hefner, who is getting married at age 84 to 24-year-old beauty Crystal Harris,” Gervais said. “When asked why she was marrying him, she said, ‘He lied about his age. He told me he was 94.’”
He Rips Into The Tourist, Accuses HFPA of Taking Bribes
“It was a big year for 3-D movies. Toy Story, Despicable Me, Tron. It seemed like everything this year was three-dimensional. Except the characters in The Tourist,” Gervais siad. “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? But it must be good because it’s nominated, so shut up, OK?”
“And I’d like to crush this ridiculous rumor that the only reason The Tourist was nominated was so that the foreign press of could hang out with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie,” he added. “That was not the only reason – they also accepted bribes.”
He Goes After the Women of Sex In The City
“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. Great job,” Gervais said. “Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza.”
“For any of you who don’t know, the Golden Globes are just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem,” Gervais joked. “The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton: A bit louder, a bit trashier, a bit drunker and more easily bought – allegedly. Nothing’s been proved.”
“But who needs the Oscars? Not me. And not Eddie Murphy,” Gervais continued. “He walked out on them. And good for him! But when the man who said ‘yes’ to Norbit says ‘no’ to you, you know you’re in trouble.”
He Pokes Fun at Natalie Portman’s Decision to Be a Mom
“Last year, our next presenter won both the Golden Globe and the Oscar for her work in Black Swan. This year, she took some time out to have a baby. Consequently, she’s been nominated for nothing. Really pathetic,” Gervais joked. “But she learned that valuable lesson you all already knew – never put family first. Please welcome the very foolish Natalie Portman.”
He Also Attacked Hollywood’s Sweetheart Colin Firth
“He’s also swooned over by women. I don’t see it. Good luck to him. … What you don’t know about Colin Firth is he’s very racist. I mean, really nasty stuff. I’ve also seen him punch a little blind kitten,“ Gervais deadpanned. "Please welcome the evil Colin Firth.”
Finally, in 2016
Gervais Sets the Tone Right Off the Bat
The comedian kicked things off with exactly the kind of satirical abuse people expected, amped up to 11, telling the star-studded audience, “Shh. Shut up, you disgusting, pill-popping, sexually deviant scum.”
Gervais Jokes About Caitlyn Jenner’s Transition and a Fatal Car Accident
“I’m going to be nice tonight. I’ve changed – not as much as Bruce Jenner. Obviously. Now Caitlyn Jenner, of course,” Gervais said. “What a year she’s had! She became a role model for trans-people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers. But you can’t have everything, can ya? Not at the same time.”
“The excellent Spotlight has been nominated. Yeah. The Catholic Church are furious about the film as it exposes that 5 percent of all their priests have repeatedly molested children and been allowed to continue to work without punishment,” Gervais explained. “Roman Polanski called it ‘the best date movie ever.’”
Gervais Makes a Good Point About the Gender-Based Pay Gap In Hollywood
“All-female remakes are the big thing. There’s a female remake of Ghostbusters. There’s going to be a female remake of Ocean’s 11,” Gervais explained. “And this is brilliant for the studios because they get guaranteed box office results and they don’t have to spend too much money on the cast.”
He Jokes About Using His Own Golden Globe as a Sex Toy
“Remember if you do win tonight, no one cares about that award as much as you do. Don’t get emotional, it’s embarrassing. That award is, no offense, worthless. It’s a bit of metal some nice old confused journalists wanted to give you in person so they could meet you and have a selfie with you, okay? That’s all it is!” Gervais said, “I’ve got three Golden Globes, myself. One’s a doorstop, one I use to hit burglars with and one I keep by the bed to… doesn’t matter why. It’s mine! I won it fair and square. It’s just the right shape and size… It’s nothing.”
“So, to be clear, that was a joke about me shoving a Golden Globe, that I won, up my a**. And they asked me to host four times!” he added.
He Makes Things Awkward for Matt Damon
One of the most audible gasps of the night came when Gervais brought Damon out as a presenter and introduced him as “The only person Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to.”
He Finally Shares the Stage With Mel Gibson
After savaging Gibson multiple times during his times as host, Gervais finally had to share the stage with the controversial actor – who was asked to come out and present a tribute to Mad Max: Fury Road, which was nominated for Best Picture.
“I’m in the awkward position of having to introduce him again. Listen, I’m sure it’s embarrassing for both of us. I blame NBC for this terrible situation. Mel blames…we know who Mel blames,” Gervais said. “Listen, I still feel a bit bad for it. Mel’s forgotten all about it apparently, that’s what drinking does. I want to say something nice about Mel before he comes out. So: I’d rather have a drink with him in his hotel room tonight than with Bill Cosby.”
Gervais will take the stage for his fifth and (supposedly) final time when the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony kicks off live coast-to-coast on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 5 from 5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET from The Beverly Hilton.