Open Forum Friday: Did Ricky Gervais Go Too Far at the Golden Globes?

At the beginning of this week, Ricky Gervais’ hosting job at the Golden Globes was a hot topic of debate; many people felt that the British comedian had taken a few too many inappropriate jabs at the various celebrities in attendance, while others thought he was the only interesting thing about the entire show. Either way, I didn’t really expect that people would still be talking about it by the end of the week. But they are. Clearly this has been a massive boost of publicity for him, and the ratings for the Golden Globes were also up 5%, so it should have been a win/win, right? Not necessarily.

Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Philip Berk said that Gervais “definitely crossed the line” and that “some of the things were totally unacceptable.” The general belief seems to be that Gervais will not be invited back a third time, and some people even implied that (get this) he would never be eligible for a Golden Globe himself. Somehow I doubt that. The HFPA later released another statement that seemed to approve of the show, and many actors piped up on Twitter afterward in support of his humour. What do you think? Did Ricky Gervais make this year’s Golden Globes memorable, or did he turn them into a second-rate roast? Were his jokes all in good fun or did they get too mean-spirited? Should he be invited back to host again next year? Give us your thoughts here on Open Forum Friday.

  • Gil

    I think he went just far enough. Personally, I thought it was awesome.

  • Jurassicalien

    I thought it was great. As much as I love movies and the “art” of it all, at the end of the day it is people creating worlds of make believe and they can take themselves a little to seriously from time to time, especially around award season. It was great to see someone come in and stir the pot. Also Gervais is a comic, I think some people just think of him as a lead in so-so romcoms but if you’ve seen his stand up or heard/seen what he does to Karl Pilkington I’d argue some people got off easy.

  • Robyn

    I loved it. It was just on the edge of too much.

  • He was brilliant. I loved it.

  • They knew what they were getting into with Gervais, right? He hosted once before, correct? It’s one thing if you hire someone that’s never worked an awards show and it turns into a trainwreck, but he’s done this sort of thing before and taken his shots then too, so they really have nothing to be surprised about and no one to blame but themselves. What’s more insulting, Gervais taking shots at easy targets, or movies like The Tourist and Red being nominated for “Best” anything (what is this, the fucking MTV Movie Awards?) at what’s probably the #2 (tee hee…) awards show behind the Oscars? They should just suck it up and be happy that they’re getting the attention.

    I’d like to see someone cast Gervais in something that’s sure to be Golden Globes fodder JUST to see if the HFPA sticks to their guns on the whole “we’ll never nominate anything he’s in” issue. What’s the next big HBO mini series? Yeah, put him in THAT!

  • Brendan

    He’s the reason I watched and I wasn’t disappointed. He was on Conan a few days before and he said he wasn’t going to ask permission for anything so they couldn’t say no. Obviously a good strategy because they would’ve shut him down. They should have know what to expect. I guess the HFPA doesn’t have a sense of humor about themselves. Then again, I guess they don’t have a sense of humor period, considering what they nominated for Best Comedy.

  • The Golden Globes are generally irrelevant so this is a great way to make them interesting and much more edgier than the Oscars. If they relent and tone it down it will remain second-rate.

  • Burgus

    Its not like ha made fun of a homeless heroin addict. He made fun of a couple of moviestars. With all the luck in this world. They can fuck off.. If they cant handle a couple of jokes.

  • rjdelight

    Gervais rocked the Globes, and he’s already said he won’t be hosting them again – even if he’s asked back.

  • MikeH

    Gervais was the highlight of the Globes and i really think that the Oscars should grab him. and hollywood knows what they are getting when they hire him. i hope he comes back for a third time.

  • Even the promotional poster was a sign of things to come.

  • HES THE ARMOND WHITE OF AWARD SHOWS!! seriously, mean is in because ‘search counts’ and ‘hits’ are in. I’m going to get me some – REED YOU’RE A NAZI MOTHER SCRATCHIER!!!

  • I personally think he went way to far, but I love that he did. The only joke I could of done without was the athiest one, and this is coming from an athiest. Don’t quite know why Gervais is so obsessed with his own athiesim.

  • Mark In Ottawa

    No way.

    You want too far – try Bill Maher’s nose.

    That my friends is way too far.

  • Jes

    I feel like no one has seen his stand-up if they think he went too far…He’s usually making fun of cancer patients and Catholics. Steven Merchant said the other night that to remember Gervais was making fun of “actors” not nurses or soldiers. Why is everyone sooo surprised and outraged?

  • Maybe to far isn’t the right term… but he’s making these jokes right to these peoples faces, thats what makes it shocking. It’s refreshing though, I find it really interesting seeing these kind of things cross over into the celebrity world.

  • Fatbologna


    “Don’t quite know why Gervais is so obsessed with his own athiesim.”

    This seems to be really in with UK comics and comics in general as they usually tend to be astutely jaded people with a distinct distaste for religious folk.

  • Captain N

    The looks on Depp’s and DeNiro’s faces were worth it.

  • Claudette

    I absolutely love Ricky but a couple of observations – hasn’t he himself been trying to infiltrate hollywood & is now doing the whole makeover thing (which he said he’d never do), and so, in some ways is wanting to embrace the very lifestyle he’s poking fun at. He’s hilarious & few can touch his stand up but his films REEK! So I don’t think he’s doing his credibility as a comedian any favours as it could’ve looked like sour grapes. I don’t know, but to me he came across as grudgingly envious & somewhat hypocritical. It wasn’t a roast. He systematically targeted people at an awards ceremony. Why? If he’s sincerely sickened by the superficiality of celebrity he should stop trying so hard to be one, decline hosting offers, go back to Slough (metaphorically) & do what he does best. No, you don’t have to insult & belittle people to be funny, he just wanted to.

  • JJ

    I thought it was brilliant. It was comedy, it showed who could take a joke and who couldn’t. If you can’t take a jab/joke then you need to get out of show biz.

    Worse than Gervais, was Robert Downey Jr.’s snide town toward his comedy, THEN making an extremely distasteful (AND WORSE) not funny joke in his presentation.

  • Rolf

    I would have loved him to go even further and mock all that awards crap. Hollywood celebrating itself really needs to get its ass kicked. Especially Portman who praised her shagging skills… man, those folks NEED people like Gervais to tell them WHAT they are! :D

  • Niklas

    I thought it was funny. These actors and actresses are so used to yes men that they can’t take a joke.

  • bert belgium

    i only heard the clips on the keith and the girl podcast, but i really liked his jokes. Good guy that Ricky!

  • pcch7

    No, I thought he was funny

  • Big Hungry

    I think it was needed and funny… (maybe like an ambush roast)

  • Henrik

    Which actors supported Gervais on twitter?

  • Ricky Gervais, Benny Hill, Are You Being Served… Americans pick some fucking awful British comedy to fetishise.

  • Have you seen the shitty stuff of OURS that plays well internationally? Lesser Adam “I’m just talking in a funny voice and making gay and/or shit jokes” Sandler films do just as well internationally as they do here in the States most of the time, so if you want to talk about falling for the wrong stuff, then Americans that dig Ricky Gervais hardly have the worst taste in exports.

  • anton

    wow. impressive.

  • I know Elizabeth Banks said she thought he was hilarious and that actors have thick skin and can take it. Andrew Garfield and Christian Bale also supported him. I can’t remember who else.

  • kyri

    You know.. Cora Berger died last night..
    (also known as SexyCora)

    Hope PornStar deaths don’t come at 3 as well..

  • Strand0410

    People should lighten up, there was nothing that particularly divisive about this. He was just trying to lighten the mood in what’s usually delegated as “Academy Awards-lite.”

    Whoever feels offended by this, takes themselves way too seriously. You’re actors for god’s sake. You play a character in front of a camera, not a bishop.

  • berserker01

    This was hilarious. Like a roast.

  • Werner

    Funny that the majority throughout the interwebs keeps proclaiming how irrelevant the Golden Globes are – yet it seems EVERYBODY makes a fuss about it……

    Btw: Gervais was perfect.

  • I didn’t appreciate his comments about The Tourist. He’s the last one who should talk about being two dimensional.

  • I was hoping Gervais would be funnier. He made all the obvious jokes. Also I think he did a poor hosting job in not moving the show along.

    Yes, actors are people, so it’s not nice to make fun of them, even in jest. I am guilty of making jokes at other people’s expense as well.

  • Matt

    He was absolutely the only bit of the golden globes worth watching, apart from January Jones. And he was taking the piss out of movie stars that are paid extortionate amounts of money for what they do and should have slightly thicker skin. They need to take a concrete pill and harden up a bit. As do the muppets at the FHPA. And the thing about God was a snarky (and quite funny) dig at all the movie actors that thank God whenever they get an award, despite carrying on in a manner that God certainly wouldn’t approve of at other times. Hypocrisy, it’s an American institution.

  • Hugh

    My opinion of Mr Gervais is that he is often mean spirited and smug.

    I thought that The Office was very good and Extras had a quirky humour too it, however, I just don’t enjoy listening to him being interviewed or any of his stand up.

    A know that a lot of people do enjoy him and that it is very much a subjective view.

  • Jason_Miami

    I loved it. His humor has always been like that. I think the problem is that after his punchlines the camera would cut away and you couldn’t see him laughing jokingly while walking off or waving at the stars who walk out. I thought it was more funny in a shocking way and I would have preferred some more clever stuff but I was laughing a lot.

    But the bigger problem is not that Gervais is smug, it’s that these stars are so smug and stuck up their own asses that they think they’re above having jokes told at their expense. These award shows are the equivalent of a man sucking himself off so bringing in someone who can tell jokes about them was really refreshing. These people need to lighten up and get a sense of humor.

    P.S. Everyone is hung up on Gervais, but how about Robert Downey Jr. doing the most creepy, off-putting, and unfunny award presentation ever.

  • Jake

    Gervais is talented enough that his comments are not undermined by his work.

    I think he just doesn’t give much of a shit. He’s seen Hollywood from the inside and is tired of seeing people in the ‘biz licking arse till their jaws ache and their tongues are caked in shit, like a stubby turd hanging out their mouth, wildly shaking it all over the place as they try to order their de-caf latte, spraying nuggets of crap all over everone’s croissants.

    Also he’s not really that vicious. From what i’ve heard and seen him do he’s a nice enough guy.

    And i’m British so i’m an authority.

  • Eleanor

    Whether or not you enjoy his humour is totally subjective. I thought he did a great job, and I don’t think he’s smug at all – I think it’s an act that he puts on to help his comedy – like Jack Dee acting like a grumpy old man when he does his stand up. It’s just a persona.

    Gervais is from Reading! My home town!

  • TheAllKnowingGod

    Another modern “comic” who rather than making clever and funny jokes spends their time taking mean spirited shots at other people.

    Steve Buscemi looks like he’s going to feed him to the woodchipper.

  • GfC

    Did his jokes go trough any regulation by the Golden Globe guys? My friend says it must have, because of the R. Downey Jr. introduction.

  • Your Bro, Me

    Johnny Depp loved it, so did many others i pressume. Robert Downey Jr’ Bit wasn’t serious either.