Has Ricky Gervais Officially Doomed Us for the Safest Oscars Ever?


Now you've done it, celebrities. You're pretending that Ricky Gervais's zingers were anything but expected at Sunday's Golden Globes, and now he's never coming back. You malnourished spazzes! Would you prefer he can-can in front of a Best Picture montage like Billy Crystal? Wear Pleasantville costumes and flash Oda Mae side-eyes like Whoopi Goldberg? Jesus. Now we're screwed for the awards show we actually care about: The Oscars.

It's important to note that the Oscars were doomed anyway: James Franco and Anne Hathaway are safe emcees, ones who'd never dream of questioning The Tourist's qualifications in front of a congregation of friends and colleagues. They're not even capable of a good "Hitler memorabilia" joke at Meryl Streep's expense. (By the way: What was wrong with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin's performance last year? Why aren't they back again?) We're in for a smiley night of golf claps, and while the strong competition will fulfill the dramatic wishes of Oscar statisticians, the ceremony's bound to leave most viewers -- and most connoisseurs of actual entertainment -- underwhelmed.

Ricky Gervais's barbs towards important Hollywood institutions like Burlesque, Scientology, and Tim Allen haven't helped matters. He's apparently set in motion a hunger for propriety that won't dissipate by Oscar night, and a general distaste for irreverence. Critics claim he was simply unfunny, but I beg to differ: Robert Downey Jr.'s well-documented woes have been public knowledge for a generation, and Gervais's Betty Ford jokes earned a resounding laugh before RDJ came out to remind us it was not very funny. Interesting how RDJ and Tim Allen are the ones who've seemed to color our perception of Gervais's performance, and not Gervais himself. Then there's Judd Apatow, who believes Gervais's humor is comparable to that unmatched comic legend meanie old lady Joan Rivers. Nice put-down, mean Mr. Apatow.

This is insane. Without Gervais, the Globes' would've been pedantic, pure and simple. The argument for more award shows with Gervaisian flair goes like this: Award shows are the most ridiculous, self-important, self-congratulatory ceremonies on the planet. If we can't offset their accolade parade with off-color monologues, there's no reason to have them -- because if all it takes is sardonic host commentary to dampen a trophy night, those in attendance must not believe in the merit of the awards themselves. I'd propose that a good roasting mitigates competitive tension and reemphasizes the humanity that fuels decent filmmaking. I have to hope that Gervais will be back to host another stateside gala soon, but I know better. Said HFPA president Phillip Berk earlier today, "He definitely crossed the line. And some of the things were totally unacceptable. But that's Ricky. Any of the references to individuals is certainly not something the Hollywood Foreign Press condones." Headmaster has spoken.

Meanwhile, now that Gervais has dropped his bomb on Hollywood, I have dimmer hopes for an Oscar ceremony where attendees are challenged to mock themselves and celebrity for half an evening. Once again, expect golf claps.

Or maybe I'm just being too cynical, and Franaway will dress as Zombie Angelina Jolie and Zombie Johnny Depp and do a live reenactment of The Tourist trailer.

Do you think the reaction to Gervais's performance will affect the Oscars?


  • Lester says:

    Does this mean there won't be a James Franco wardrobe malfunction?

  • SunnydaZe says:

    It's all about tone. It isn't an argument about if Ricky G was funny or not but on how he matched the tone of the evening. Yes, award shows are the most ridiculous, self-important, self-congratulatory ceremonies on the planet, as they should be. That is their tone. This is why they are fun to watch on television as you crack wise with your friends. Still, they are a celebration of the art form, not a roast of celebrity. George Carlin is my favorite comedian but I wouldn't want him to host the Oscars. Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal> These were excellent hosts and they didn't play safe but they did know where the line was. Master of Ceremonies is the term and it applies. How can Ricky G or Kathy Griffin be called "Alternative Comedians" if they do it in a mainstream situation? There need to be sacred ceremonies otherwise how can we make fun of them from afar? It's like trying not to laugh in Church, it's hard only because the proceedings are so serious.

  • SunnydaZe says:

    BTW, I miss Joan Rivers doing the red carpet. That worked because it was outside of the ceremony, literally. She was like the kids who didn't go to prom but instead stood outside and made fun of everyone else as they went in. There has to be a line, otherwise it's no fun to be on the wrong side of it.

  • TurdBlossom says:

    I expect a torturous 3 to 4 hour event. I'm hoping Hathaway and Franco have great chemistry, but chances are they won't. Regardless, I'll have one or two bottles of bubbly on hand to ease the pain.

  • zahdio says:

    Good riddance! Quit pretending this guy was fun. He is just annoying.

  • Anonymous says:

    I watched that Robt Downey Jr clip again and Downey seems to be "in" on the joke. Although Gervais was talking about old news. But I get the sense that these comic types take these barbs all the time.
    He'll be back next year.
    As for the Oscars -- Must we?

  • Mary Clark says:

    It was funny, people need to get a sense of humor. He was stepping on toes last year, so they should have known what he's capable of. Shame on them for curtailing him. These so called big Hollywood stars he offended, aren't gonna make any less money, or be in any less movies, or even be any less thought of because a joke was made at their expense. in fact, those who can handle it, are probably more respected. Loser crybabies.

  • Dimo says:

    As long as they bring back that fabulous backdrop made of lampshades, I'm good.

  • Chris Taus says:

    Not sure what he said, but you hire him and you get Ricky. I am offended that the Golden Globes would use their award as a punishment­. What they are saying is even if Ricky gave a great performanc­e they would withhold an award from him. If his comedy album is seen as the best of the year, they will give the award to Wierd Al. If I were a famous person, I would not accept an award from them until they made it clear they would not punish Ricky by with holding an award from him.

  • JPC says:

    Bite a cougar, get botulism. Eat soup, throw it up. Does any thing in Hollweird make sense? Frankly, roasts are hysterical...that Hasselhoff one was fantastic. And I do miss Joan Rivers saying things like it looked like Natalie Portman had a cherry Cruller on her chest, or saying "She Bangs" about Sandra Bullock's hairdo. Come on. They get paid millions to be entertainment and then go to therapy for feeling "objectified". Really? Charlie Sheen lost a watch valued at what I've made in 12 years of 70 hour work weeks? So yes, we like them if we can level them a bit. Who sprouts feathers from their arse and expects to be taken seriously?

  • Mike Doc says:

    Honestly, the only thing I'm finding more ridiculous than the well-I-never! reactions to Gervais' jokes? Are the long-winded defenses of same. "Ricky Gervais' Monologue May Cause Hollywood to Make Oscar Ceremony Boring" is not a headline that's gonna keep me up at night. I *work* in this freakin' industry and vomit out movie trivia all the livelong day, and even I'm at half-past give-a-shit. I mean, I don't wanna get all hippie-dippie and start shouting things like, "There are more important issues!" and "First World Problems!", but...can we just treat this as the mildly amusing non-issue it is?

  • Ariel says:

    Not only celebrities need some sense of humour, it seems.

  • Ariel says:

    It's a movie site. What are they gonna talk about?

  • G says:

    Baldwin and Martin were boring and awkward. Bring back Jon Stewart or Ellen !

  • AJones says:

    Half-way into the awards I exclaimed to my friend, "I want him to be the host of everything forever!"

  • Lisa says:

    Thank you!!!!

  • Eldergothfather says:

    While he is one of the absolute best, you are speaking of ignorant Americans who can't even begin to fathom his humour. I didn't watch this because I don't give a rat's ass about award shows. And if I did I would've stepped out of the room while the recipients masturbated their awards and their egos along with their awards. All anyone need do is watch Mr Gervais in 'Extras', 'The Invention of Lying' and his Youtube segments on religion to understand that he is one funny fuck. Sod America for 'not getting it'...

  • Mike Doc says:

    My issue wasn't with discussing the topic -- more with the overly dramatic treatment of it. "Celebrities' Hurt Feelings May Lead to a Boring Oscar Ceremony" is not a topic worth worrying so much about, because the majority of Oscar-watchers would call the broadcast boring even if Gervais shot flaming arrows at the audience for three hours.

  • Benny Palone says:

    I found him to be hysterical. *shrugs*

  • Ken says:

    I'm American and I love Ricky Gervais. Don't lump all of us in with these Hollywood cunts.

  • Take a joke and suck it up or go home.

  • I really found Ricky Gervais really funny. These Hollywood people take themselves too serious. They should really learn to laugh at themselves just a little bit. Robert Downey Jr's response was just as good as a reply as Ricky Gervais gave out. Anyway your readers my enjoy the piece that we wrote about the hosting abilities of Ricky Gervais. Please check it out. http://www.spunkybean.com/ricky-gervais-weve-got-your-back/

  • Lamar Dahlka says:

    Just read about Oprah and her half sister. It always bothers me when someone uses that term. If we share at least one parent, i refer to you as my brother or my sister...there is no half . I would have thought that she would have met every one of her relatives after she made her first hundred million .