Shocked? Excited? Wondering who the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is?
Join the club on that third one.
You have every right to be excited. Gervais is a funny man. But the fact that this is being built up as a chance to see him once again roast those thin-skinned celebrities who can’t take a joke and should totally get over their selfish selves is, in fact, rather pointless considering nobody was offended last year.
For those of you who don’t know (count your blessings), last year Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes for the second time in two years. As in the previous year he turned up the heat and made some hilarious observations about things like how the not-a-comedy Johnny Depp-Angelina Jolie stinker The Tourist got three nominations in the Comedy category, Mel Gibson’s drunk/racist outbursts, Charlie Sheen’s insanity, gay Scientologists — every celebrity, basically. And in turn the celebrities he was ribbing went along with the joke and ribbed him back, like Robert Downey Jr. and Tim Allen. Everyone had a great time and celebs were shaking Ricky’s hand at the end of the night thanking him for a fun show.
Which the critics of course took as “Ricky Gervais stuns world, insults people’s messiahs: celebrities offended and consider lives in exile!”
The day after the Globes last year, critics and Gervais’ fans flocked to their computers to declare the celebrities too full of themselves and that they should learn to take a joke. Yet, nobody could offer one report of any celebrity present at the ceremony last year actually being offended.
There’s a reason for this. They all know and many have worked with Ricky Gervais. They know what he’s like. So they played along with him and it made for a nice, fun show.
Take his exchange with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, for example.
Gervais introduced the two presenters: “One is an actor, producer, writer and director whose movies have grossed over 3.5 billion dollars. He’s won two Academy Awards and three Golden Globes. And the other one is Tim Allen.”
Tom Hanks rose to the occasion by saying, “Like many of you we remember Ricky Gervais when he was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian.”
“Neither of which is he now,” added Allen.
You likely have one of two reactions to this exchange. The first might be: “What a funny bit of banter between three comedians. I’m glad they can have the opportunity to showcase their comedic gifts on the same stage like that. I bet they had a nice laugh backstage.”
The second reaction might be: “Man, I can’t believe Tim Allen said that to Ricky! Tim Allen should learn to take a joke! And Tom Hanks, call me when you’re relevant again!”
I’ve been bored and irritated by this story being blown way out of proportion. Some people were offended, yes, but they were mostly the older generation. Gervais’ style of humour is probably just not their thing.
Once we all realize that it’s okay if some people don’t find Ricky Gervais funny, we can all be happier in general. We must also remember that if Ricky Gervais ribs an actor, it’s okay for that actor to rib him back. It’s called humour.