Even though NBC promoted Ricky Gervais as “the host we can’t control,” the Hollywood Foreign Press Association clearly dictated that Gervais’ Golden Globes monologue (and other jokes) would be markedly less mean-spirited than last year. Instead of making the awards show a cringefest by attacking nominees with too-true jokes, he went for easy targets. And honestly, we liked it. Some highlights from his opening speech:
- “So… where was I? Nervous? Don’t be. This isn’t about you.”
- “You get Britain’s biggest comedian, hosting the second-biggest awards show on America’s third biggest network. It’s four? It’s fourth.”
- “For those of you who don’t know, the Golden Globes are just like the Oscars—without all that esteem. The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton. Bit louder, bit trashier, bit drunker, and more easily bought… allegedly, nothing’s been proved.”
- “[Eddie Murphy] walked away from the Oscars, and good for him. But when the man who said yes to Norbit says no to you, you know you’re in trouble.”
- “Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler, between the two of them, played all the parts in The Help.”
- “[The Hollywood Foreign Press] actually gave me a list of rules… No profanity; that’s fine, I’ve got a huge vocabulary. No nudity; see, that’s a shame ’cause I’ve got a huge… vocabulary, but a tiny penis. No smut or innuendo, and I’m not to libel anyone. And I mustn’t mention Mel Gibson this year: Not his private life, his politics, his recent films, and especially nto Jodie Foster‘s beaver. I haven’t seen it myself. I speak for a lot of blokes here when I say I haven’t seen it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.” (Check out Jodie’s reaction, and many other great ones, in our gallery!)
- “A marriage that lasted 72 days… I’ve sat through longer James Cameron acceptance speeches!”
- Regarding the Justin Bieber paternity test: ”What a waste of a test! The only way he could have impregnated a woman is if he borrowed Martha Stewart‘s turkey baster.”
Here’s the whole video:
Our favorite joke might’ve been his smirking jab at Johnny Depp when he asked if Johnny — who had fallen so low that he had to work with Gervais on the reality show Life’s Too Short – if he had seen his own lackluster film The Tourist. Johnny’s response? “Uh, no.” Zing!
Something Ricky does well is incite celebrities to try their hand at equally biting retorts. Some of our favorites included Antonio Banderas‘ rapidfire Spanish rant — we’re trying to track down a translation — and this gem from Best Song winner Madonna:
If I’m still just like a virgin, Ricky, why don’t you come over here and do something about it? I haven’t kissed a girl in a few years…on TV.”
This, right after he ran away from her:
It seemed as if 2012 has a humbler, but still smirking, Ricky Gervais. We’ll be curious to see if the HFPA thinks his barbs this year were acceptable enough to make 2013 his fourth year of hosting.