At this point, it's hard to discern exactly where that line is between insinuated drama and actual drama. The only nugget we can really rely on is the fact that host Ricky Gervais didn't hop on a missile and perform a comedic kamikaze mission from out of nowhere. He knew what he wanted to do, and he made no secret about it.
Picture to the right is courtesy of Ellen Degeneres' Twitter feed.
Perhaps Conan viewers just thought he was being boastful and cheeky when he told the talk show host that he had hoped to kick off the awards show by comparing Hitler and Mel Gibson.
But Gervais went ahead as planned, maybe not with a carefully devised outfit, but with a series of targets that he zeroed in on. None of the comments were truly out of nowhere, but picked up on truth, satire and public opinion. When the mass of guests groaned at his Scientology joke, one has to wonder if it was because he made a joke about those that follow Hubbard's writings, or because their minds immediately filled in specific faces about which possibly gay men play hetero.
After he declared his -- no surprise -- atheism and the curtain dropped, a media whirlwind of fighting opinions descended -- from passerby, editorialists and even the targets themselves. While some applauded his non-nonsense, no pomp-and-circumstance approach, others cite Gervais as a sign of the death of true hosting. Not even responses from Gervais himself -- he says he had post-Globes drinks with Tim Allen and Tom Hanks -- could quell the uproar.
In the celebrity world, Judd Apatow went to Twitter to see if the public could come up with better jokes than Gervais. Letterman took to his show to call the Brit comedian a "funny guy." Hugh Hefner said the host used cheap shots, before commenting on so-called irony that "living with three young girls prompted a hit TV show, but marrying one prompts humor." (Guess he doesn't realize that fans of the show just might be following it was amused curiosity.) And a bunch of actors declared their appreciation of Gervais' humor, including Christian Bale, Danny Huston, Paul Giamatti and Al Pacino.
And let's not forget Jennifer Lopez joking with Ellen Degeneres about threatening the Brit comedian with Bronx payback:
Though some HFPA people supposedly swore up and down that Gervais was not only banned from hosting, but that his future work will also be banned from consideration, as a unit, the association issued a passive response, saying they loved the show and their host offered "sometimes outrageous material. Certainly, in this case, he pushed the envelope and occasionally went too far." "Too far" may have been when he made fun of HFPA president Philip Berk and then commented on the ongoing bribe controversy.
Ultimately, however, Gervais could care less if HFPA doesn't want him back. As he told TMZ, he never wanted to host more than two. This is it for the Brit ... let's just hope that doesn't mean this is also it for funny and truthfully scathing ceremony hosts. For even more on this bizarre controversy, check out our Brian Childs' piece right here.