After last year's headline-making roast of Hollywood's elite, and his promise to take no prisoners this year, it's fair to say that expectations were high when Ricky Gervais took to the podium to host his third Golden Globe Awards last night.
"Nervous? Don't be. This isn't about you," he began - before going on to list the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's list of rules, followed by what can only be described as fairly tame pops at targets such as the Kardashians, Kate Middleton, Mel Gibson, Eddie Murphy and Dame Helen Mirren. Gervais rounded it off his six-minute opening by plugging his own show Life's Too Short - of course - which was a canny segue to introduce the night's first presenter, Johnny Depp.
And with that, Gervais was gone for most of the evening. Although as many have pointed out: that's par for the course. Remember last year, when we all thought he'd got fired midway through the night?
Despite E! Online (ex)claiming that he "broke all the rules again!" - well, they are the broadcasters of the awards - commentators have been quick to point out how tame the supposedly "fearless" Gervais was.
"He danced up to the line with a naughty joke about the Jodie Foster-directed 'The Beaver," noted Variety's Brian Lowry, "but otherwise there was nothing to make the room or the censors blanch." The Republic called Gervais "markedly respectful and restrained... leaving one to wonder why he bothered to take the gig at all (except for the money, of course)"; while writer-director Ruvin Orbach told the Daily Telegraph: "Ricky Gervais was unusually muffled tonight, maybe he decided that he needed a career in Hollywood after all." The Guardian's live blog called Gervais "smuggishly smug" and hated "how winky and self-referential" his opening monologue was.
Instead, then, it was left to Madonna's comedy accent, broken microphones, E!'s bleeping of offensive words (including the word "globes" at one point, it seems) and a video of Morgan Freeman in a casket to provide the largely unintentional laughs throughout the evening. Including possibly the most delightful moment of all - at around 2:40 during Gervais's monologue below, when Amy Poehler and Tina Fey failed to laugh at his "tiny penis" joke. Enjoy.
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