Feb. 1 Update: Ricky Gervais announced on his website's “Golden Globes Diary” that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has asked him to return for the third time as host of the Golden Globes ceremony in 2012. Not long afterwards, the HFPA denied Gervais' claim (which may have been made in jest – just look at those shorts).
Perhaps, though “nice” isn't quite the word for some of Gervais' jokes during the show. Targets included Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, The Tourist, Robert Downey Jr, unnamed (allegedly) gay Scientologists (though we all know to whom he was referring), and the HFPA itself. Even Philip Berk was singled out at one point, when Gervais told the crowd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel that he had been helping the HFPA president put his teeth back in earlier that evening.
TheWrap adds that when asked if Gervais might be invited to return next year, “an HFPA insider” remarked: “It's highly unlikely. Twice was nice. Let's leave it at that.”
Regarding his alleged invitation, Gervais wrote in his Golden Globes Diary: “I don't think I should. I don't know what I could do better. I certainly couldn't get more press for them, that's for sure.” Gervais also claimed he has “yet to find anyone who was actually offended” by his jokes.
Jan. 17 post
Ricky Gervais, Jane Fallon (Image: © HFPA / Hollywood Foreign Press Association)
Ricky Gervais' roasting, ahem, hosting job at the 2011 Golden Globes ceremony was panned by some television critics and most of the winners were quite predictable (The Social Network, Colin Firth, Annette Bening, Natalie Portman, etc.). However, jokes about gay Scientologists, Mel Gibson's reported anti-semitism, oral sex with Hugh Hefner (is that what that was?), Charlie Sheen's antics with a porn star, Robert Downey Jr's former drug addiction, and even the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's alleged kickbacks lured 16.99 million viewers in the United States, up 0.5 percent from last year when James Cameron's blockbuster Avatar took home the Best Picture - Drama Golden Globe and 16.98 viewers tuned in.
Regarding Gervais' performance, Los Angeles Times TV critic Mary McNamara wrote: “This year, he was far better prepared [than last year], and one would imagine, much sweatier, as it quickly became clear that his material wasn't just falling flat, it was making many audience members and presenters uncomfortable and even angry.”
Robert Downey Jr, after being introduced as an actor best known for his stints at the Betty Ford Clinic and the Los Angeles County jail, remarked onstage, “Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show has been pretty good so far, wouldn't you?” (Downey Jr then proceeded to introduce the Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical nominees with the following: “I don't know if an actress has done her best work until I've slept with her.” Pause. “Julianne.” Cut to The Kids Are All Right nominee Julianne Moore laughing. And so on.)
Presenters Tom Hanks and Tim Allen came up with their own Gervais joke while onstage: “We recall when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian,” Hanks told the crowd. Allen then added: “Neither of which he is now.”
Philip Berk, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's president, told The Hollywood Reporter that Gervais “definitely crossed the line. And some of the things were totally unacceptable. But that's Ricky,” adding, “any of the references to individuals is certainly not something the Hollywood Foreign Press condones.” Berk also said that Gervais was never “called on the carpet” or warned to tone things down, explaining that the Golden Globes host's disappearance during the mid-section of the show had been pre-planned.
Now, that doesn't sound like a very stern rebuke – especially considering that at one point Gervais told the audience at the Beverly Hilton Hotel that he had been in the bathroom with Berk helping the HFPA president put his teeth back in.
Unless Downey Jr, Hanks, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Johnny Depp, and the like threaten to boycott the Golden Globes, despite online rumors to the contrary Gervais may well return next year.
In a statement released Monday, a representative for the HFPA said:
“We loved the show. It was a lot of fun and obviously has a lot of people talking. When you hire a comedian like Ricky Gervais, one expects in your face, sometimes outrageous material. Certainly, in this case, he pushed the envelope and occasionally went too far. The HFPA would never condone some of his personal remarks. Overall, however, the show was among the best we've ever had and we were pleased.”