As you've likely heard, Ricky Gervais has been banned from hosting the Golden Globes next year -- and quite likely forever.
But what you may have missed in the days leading up to his impressively hostile hosting performance -- during which he took jabs not only at Hollywood luminaries such as Angelina Jolie and Robert Downey Jr. but also Hollywood Foreign Press Association honcho Philip Berk himself -- is that viciously making fun of the proceedings is precisely what Gervais had planned to do all along.
Just five days before the awards ceremony, the 49-year-old British comedian told the Associated Press, "I don't think I went far enough [when I hosted in 2010]. Obviously not, because they invited me back. So, I'm going to do a proper job. And I guarantee they will not invite me back."
Added Gervais: "I'm going to go out there, guns blazing, like it's the end of the world."
This blunt mission statement -- and a few more like them leading up to the event -- make me wonder how anyone could be surprised by what happened during the star-studded event on Sunday. It's like that fantastic Chris Rock joke about the tiger attack on Roy of Sigfried and Roy. "That tiger didn't go crazy," goes the line. "That tiger went tiger."
Anyone who has paid close attention to Ricky Gervais' comedy career could have told you that something like this was bound to happen eventually. In fact, it's stunning that the folks behind Golden Globes -- who have bestowed three statues on Gervais (two in 2003 for 'The Office' and one in 2007 for 'Extras') -- could have possibly failed to realize what they were getting into when they hired him.
Just a brief trip down the memory lane of YouTube could have led them to the following highly relevant clip, from the spot-on series finale of 'Extras.' It is essentially a manifesto.
As for accusations that many of Gervais' jokes were too mean-spirited, well, that is a matter of personal taste. I happen to agree with 60 percent of Moviefone readers that he was hilarious; moreover, Gervais didn't make a single joke that I disagreed with. All Gervais did, really, was point out that the emperor wasn't wearing any clothes.
The Charlie Sheen joke in the opening monologue? That was just Gervais recapping Charlie Sheen's bawdy recent behavior. It's not like Gervais is kicking Sheen while he's down, either -- 'Two and a Half Men' was watched by 15.5 million people this past week. Fair game.
'The Tourist' earned $61.2 million on an estimated budget of $100 million. It has a "fresh" rating of 20 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. And yet it got more nominations than 'Toy Story 3.' To paraphrase another loose cannon, you done goofed, Golden Globes!
If anything, Ricky Gervais didn't go as far as he should have. Check out this amazing joke about Mel Gibson that was criminally cut from his performance:
I'll say this to the Golden Globes brass: If you don't want Gervais to host your awards show again and if you won't support his movies anymore because you don't like hearing the truth rubbed in people's faces, that's fine. His brand of comedy isn't for everyone. But don't get mad at him for doing the job you hired him to do.
Cutting-edge comedy is called such because that's what it does: It cuts. So, kudos, Mr. Gervais, for bringing out the knives. If you somehow wind up hosting again in 2012, I'll be watching. More likely, though, we'll both be tuning in to something else next year.
Highlights from Ricky Gervais at the 2011 Golden Globes: