On last night's Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais delivered a number of his jokes—possibly closeted actors who are Scientologists, Hugh Hefner's fiancee waiting for him to die while pleasuring him, the alleged corruption at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (which runs the awards)— to some awkward silences. On TV at least—at home we were laughing out loud. But comedy being relative, it looks like Gervais' performance (when he wasn't missing for half the telecast) split opinions all over. Where the Daily News thinks that Gervais is already "the front-runner for 2011's worst performance by an awards show host," others at Time his performance was hailed as the Hollywood version of Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents' Dinner (which, uh, seems a bit generous).
Was Gervais too mean? The NY Times wasn't sure ("at times it almost looked as if Mr. Gervais and Mr. Bale were intent on bringing to Hollywood some of the incivility and extremism that veins political discourse.") while the LA Times was (headline: "Host Ricky Gervais was just too nasty."). But it wasn't like the beautiful rich people were taking his barbs lying down, on the contrary many lobbed insults right back when they got to the podium (and this was still the most awkward part of the evening). Also? None of this should be a surprise! This is a man, after all, who last month told the LAT: "I quite like people hating what I do. I quite like the fact that some people hate me so much they don't sleep, they make themselves ill."
In case you weren't watching, here's Gervais' opening monologue:
That wasn't too bad, was it? Other folks have selected more clips here and here and here if you've got time to kill (today is a holiday). Like NPH at the Emmys (sigh), we're hoping Gervais gets this gig for life—but that's just us. Would you like to see more Ricky at the Globes?