January 17th, 2011
06:11 PM ET
[Want to hear more from Ricky Gervais? You can catch him on "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Thursday, January 20 at 9 p.m. ET.]
If Ricky Gervais was secretly aiming to dominate the general conversation for hours after hosting the Golden Globes, then we have one thing to say: Well done, Mr. Gervais.
Although, maybe he really didn’t expect all of the shock and awe and “did you hear what he said about ‘The Tourist’/Scientology/Robert Downey Jr./Bruce Willis?!” reaction to his 2011 Globes jokes – it’s not like he’s never said the same type of thing before.
Exhibit A: His hosting job at last year’s Golden Globes. Gervais aimed and fired at Mel Gibson – “I like a drink as much as the next man, unless the next man is Mel Gibson” – as well as Sir Paul McCartney.
“We actually came over on the same flight, but I didn’t get to speak to him. I was up in the front in first class, and he was behind me in coach saving money. He spent an awful lot last year,” Gervais quipped in reference to McCartney’s divorce from Heather Mills.
That Hollywood Foreign Press Association crack he made last night, about the organization accepting bribes? He made a similar one in 2010: “One thing that can’t be bought is a Golden Globe,” Gervais told the audience. “Officially.” He then shrugged, adding, “I’m not going to do this again anyway…But if you were to buy one, the man to see would be Philip Berk.”
And then there was his crack to Kate Winslet at 2009’s Golden Globes. (Is anyone seeing a pattern, here?) "Well done, Winslet. I told you, do a Holocaust movie, the awards come, didn't I?...The trouble is with Holocaust films is that there's never any gag reel on the DVDs."
Oh, and then there was the Emmys in 2008, when Gervais went off-script and demanded that “Office” star Steve Carell give him back the Emmy he'd won the year before.
After giving some brusque advice to the nominees on how to deliver the perfect acceptance speech – “keep it short, please…particularly if you’re not on-screen talent; don’t cry, it’s pathetic, it’s just an award” – he played a brief clip of Carell being handed Gervais’s Emmy by “The Daily Show’s” Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert of “The Colbert Report.”
“Look at his stupid face," Gervais remarked at the end of the video. "Couldn’t actually win one of his own so he stole someone else’s...Have you even been to see 'Ghost Town' yet? I sat through 'Evan Almighty,' now give me my Emmy."
But occasionally, the Brit's sense of humor does land him in real hot water.
Back in 2007, Gervais told a story on his "Fame" tour about a time he was asked for advice on how to become famous. His answer? "Go out and kill a prostitute." In the weeks prior, five sex workers had been murdered in Suffolk, according to the U.K.'s The Independent.
Although Gervais did add, "I won't do this bit in Ipswich," he ended up having to defend his comment later, stating that the story he was referring to had occurred five years earlier, and was in reference to those who will do anything to see their names in lights.
Clearly Gervais isn't one to change his style to suit the sensitivities of others, and it turns out that after all of the hub-bub, the HFPA didn't expect him to.
"We loved the show. It was a lot of fun and obviously has a lot of people talking," the association said in a statement to CNN. "When you hire a comedian like Ricky Gervais, one expects in your face, sometimes outrageous material. Certainly, in this case, he pushed the envelope and occasionally went too far. The HFPA would never condone some of his personal remarks. Overall, however, the show was among the best we've ever had and we were pleased."
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