The Globes Will Be Different Without Ricky Gervais

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The Golden Globes are far and away my favorite awards show in Hollywood. It could be because they combine movies and television, so I get to see all of my favorite stars in one place, or it could be that the Golden Globes are the only awards ceremony in which a dinner (read: a ton of champagne) is served. It’s the drunkest night in Hollywood, and it always seems like the most fun. Even the hosts are fun, depending on how you define that word. Jimmy Fallon is hosting this year's show, and yes, that means Ricky Gervais isn't hosting the 2017 Golden Globes, despite having the job in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2016.

Many viewers will likely wonder why Gervais isn't returning to the stage, which is funny, considering that his past stints were controversial, to say the least. Some especially notable moments at the 2016 Golden Globes were when he made an offensive joke about Caitlyn Jenner and comments about the Hollywood wage gap that totally missed the point. He's also been accused of being too mean and crass due to jokes like, “You’re global megastars with amazing talent. Most of you. Some of you just married well. You know who are you. We all do,” and, “He’s the only person Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to,” when announcing Matt Damon. Eesh, right?

Not all of Gervais' material was as problematic or cruel, so there were other jokes that I'd find myself laughing along with. But perhaps his style of humor would be better served at a roast, when people are expecting to be mocked, rather than an awards show.

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Gervais certainly won't be causing controversy at this year's show, even though, according to Deadline, he claimed after the 2016 Golden Globes that he’d already been asked to return to host. Instead, Gervais is currently touring through the UK with his show Humanity and Fallon will take the reins. Besides the fact that, as The Independent pointed out, the Tonight Show host is a safe choice less likely to cause backlash, he’s also a pal to a lot of the stars who will attend the ceremony. Perhaps the HFPA itself (who did not escape Gervais’ wrath, that’s for sure) and other celebrities didn’t love the idea of being skewered for a fifth time and wanted a more lighthearted host to bring the mood up for a change.

After all, lighthearted is essentially how Fallon was described when he was first announced as the 2017 Golden Globes host in August. The chairman of NBC Entertainment, Robert Gleenblatt, said in a statement at the time:

"This is the most spontaneous and uninhibited award show on television, and Jimmy’s playful, disarming comedic brilliance makes him the ideal host to enhance and elevate the sense of fun and irreverence that’s made the Golden Globes one of the premier events of the entire broadcast year."

Similarly, the HFPA's president, Lorenzo Soria, said in a statement, "[Fallon's] charm, wit and incredible spontaneity will play exceedingly well both to everyone at the show as well as the millions watching at home from around the world."

With the current state of the world, award shows really should be a time for fun, and if anyone can bring the fun to a group of half-drunk celebrities, it’s Fallon. He'll be the happy-go-lucky host we’re used to seeing on The Tonight Show, and he just may bring a little bit of bite. When he tweeted about hosting the Golden Globes, he made a crack about meeting the HFPA before President-Elect Trump deports them all.

With the exception of a few more pointed jokes like this, I think Fallon will make the 2017 Golden Globe Awards a night of good cheer and a departure from Gervais' tone that comes at the perfect time.