How Bad Was Gervais as Golden Globes Host, Really?

by Anna Klassen

He's certainly an acquired taste. Ricky Gervais' brand of humor is aggressive, not always politically correct, and very in-your-face. Nonetheless, the comedian and actor will be back again to host the 2016 Golden Globes. The Office actor has hosted the show in 2010, 2011, and 2012 and it seems he did a tolerable enough job to be asked back for another run.

But it's sort of an odd choice, given the amount of unsavory reviews that were published post-show. Even Gervais himself thinks so. He offered this message to the Associated Press before his last hosting gig: "I guarantee they will not invite me back." And I think we're all a bit surprised they did.

Granted, there never has been (and surely never will be) a host of anything — the Oscars, the Globes, the Emmys, the Puppy Bowl — who will walk away entirely unscathed from critics' vicious rhetoric. Personally, I love Gervais and think he did a top notch hosting job — even if some of the jabs he made at celebrities seemed a bit below the belt. But according to reviews, I'm not the majority, and a lot of people disliked him in a hosting hat. Here's a look back at the most scathing reviews written about Ricky Gervais' role as host of the Golden Globes, because there's always room for improvement, right?

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1. Uproxx Called Out Gervais' Scientology Joke

When discussing the film I Love You Phillip Morris, in which heterosexual actors Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor play gay characters, Gervais segued into a joke about famous Scientologists doing the opposite. Aside from a few laughs, the audible collective gasp in the crowd was loud enough to serve future NBC sitcoms as a “gasp track.”

2. Robert Downey Jr. Didn't Appreciate His "Mean Spirit"

Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far, wouldn't you? ...I think it's great to be funny, but it's better if you can do it without hurting people."

3. Tom Hanks Called Him "Chubby"

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The Toy Story actor fired offered this quip after the show:

"We recall when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian..." Tim Allen quickly added: "Neither of which he is now."

4. Harvey Weinstein Had A Death Threat

Famous Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein said:

There are seven people that we've hired to kill him and deservedly so. Knowing that Ricky Gervais will never work again means a lot to me, I'm going to make sure of it.

5. The New York Daily News Called Him "Nasty"

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Those jokes might have seemed just slightly redundant and dated if the audience hadn't also clearly found them tasteless bordering on nasty. Gervais has always worked that high wire between naughty and unpleasant, of course, and here's the difference: The former feels like good fun, and the latter feels uncomfortable. Sunday night was uncomfortable.

6. Philip Berk Offered Some Sage Advice

"The next time you want someone to qualify your movies, go to another guy," the HFPA president said. This of course was in response to Gervais saying he had to help Berk "off the toilet and pop his teeth back in."

7. Time Said He "Shoved His Foot in His Mouth"

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There's a fine line between playful and mean-spirited... Ricky Gervais bulldozed over the nuance. The British comedian shoved his foot in his mouth moments after the curtain rose.

8. LA Times Called Out Gervais For "Unncessary Roughness"

The opposite of dull and deferential is not snotty and abusive... Gervais was called out for unnecessary roughness by so many stars both backstage and on that it would not have been surprising to see a hook emerge suddenly stage left or to learn that the host had taken "suddenly ill" and so Jimmy Fallon (who killed at last year's Emmys) would be filling in.

9. The New York Times Guessed Gervais Wouldn't Be Back Again

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He was merciless from the start... It was Mr. Gervais’s second chance to host the Golden Globes; he may not get a third.

10. The Hollywood Reporter Promised He Wouldn't

Gervais was scathing and hilarious in a way that made for entertaining television but no doubt bruised some egos and all but killed any chance he'll host again.

11. King's Speech Director Tom Hooper Was Also Skeptical

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I thought he was hilarious but will he ever present another award show again? I don't know but if he went out, he went out burning.

Well, looks like anything goes in Hollywood. Congrats on the third time hosting gig, Gervais. We'll all be tuning in to see who you skewer next.