RSS Blog

Gervais at the Globes: Gone Too Far?

January 18th, 2011 by Ben Collins Editor

Ricky Gervais may never be invited back to the Golden Globes after telling some jokes in his monologue Sunday night.

This is too bad, of course. Because if Ricky Gervais’ jokes set the bar for getting banned from some buildings, most of the things said about Charlie Sheen in this country would prohibit any American from going within 200 yards of a school zone ever again.

Yes, Ricky Gervais just told some very coherent, very structured, very PG versions of the jokes we’ve all been telling our friends and muttering to our cats while watching awards ceremonies for years now.

And now a bunch of people with nice suits but no real problems are angry at Ricky Gervais.


But that’s not the bad part. The bad part is that those well-dressed folks got some reporters and average Globes-watchers to feel bad for Angelina Jolie because her bad movie was called bad.

It’s a little dumbfounding, really.

This is the equivalent of Brett Favre walking into a bar, stealing your girlfriend immediately, then you yelling “Hey, Brett Favre, nice jorts!” very sarcastically in retribution, only to have the whole bar turn on you for the rest of the night, even while knowing the whole story.

The media is yelping out one loud, “You really shouldn’t have said that mean thing about Brett Favre’s jorts!” right now. And they’re getting a lot of people to regurgitate it as their own opinion under the tempestuous allure of mock outrage.

“Ricky blew it big time,” a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (which puts on the Globes) told Popeater. “It’s one thing to make fun of celebrities but it’s another to make them totally uncomfortable.”

You’re right! The best way to make fun of celebrities is to make them comfortable. Who can forget Billy Crystal’s classic one-liner from the 2004 Oscars: “Mr. Kingsley, you have a very nice face and your voice is brusque and warm. Let me massage you gently with this nice, hot towel.”

Wait, that didn’t happen. Why? Because discomfort, to a large extent, is comedy. It’s taking people out of their comfort zone so they have a better, less serious view of reality.

Problem is, the people Ricky was offending had no grasp on reality to begin with. That’s why it was so funny to the rest of us.

“He certainly was rough,” said one Huffington Post recap.

Certainly was he?

There were some very hands-off topics last night that Gervais could’ve tackled last night with a controversial joke or opinion. But Gervais — even if it’s weird saying this today — has lots of tact. He didn’t touch them.

He’s not an idiot or unconscious to the repercussions of calling out movie stars who have it coming. He wanted to do exactly what he did last night.

“I don’t think I went far enough (in 2010),” he told Conan last week. “Obviously not, because they invited me back.”

Of course, there is always the Hugh Jackman option, where the host plays out the Hollywood fantasies he dreamed up in a pillow fort when he was 9 years old. It leaves the audience clapping out of politeness. Mind you, this option is also called the Just Put On The Discovery Channel Until Best Actress Comes Up Option. And it’s also now called The Only Option From Now On.

Thanks a lot for being so damn funny, Ricky. You made our night and ruined awards shows for all of us.

Ben Collins
Assistant Editor, Hulu

Comments are closed.