During his past stints presenting the Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais has earned himself a reputation as the most unpredictable host the ceremony has ever had, and he reminded everyone why this was the case when he returned to the host the 77th awards on Sunday night.
Whether you’re one of his biggest fans or can’t stand him, the After Life creator certainly knows how to create a stir, name-checking everyone from Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew to Greta Thunberg and yes, even Baby Yoda during this year’s ceremony.
“You’ll be pleased to know this is the last time I’m hosting these awards,” he explained at the top of the ceremony, “So I don’t care anymore.”
And (for once) he wasn’t joking...
Referencing the Kevin Hart debacle in the lead-up to last year’s Academy Awards
“Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars over some offensive tweets. Hello!” he began, before continuing: “Luckily for me the Hollywood Foreign Press can barely speak English, and they have no idea what Twitter is. I got offered this job over fax.”
Poking fun at the recent Felicity Huffman scandal
“You all came here in your limos. I came here in my limo and the licence plate was made by Felicity Huffman,” he joked, alluding to the Desperate Housewives star’s recent imprisonment.
He added: “It’s her daughter I feel sorry for. That must be the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to her – and her dad was in Wild Hogs.”
Discussing the cast of The Irishman
Looking over to the table where the Netflix epic’s cast were seated, he commented: “There’s Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Baby Yoda… oh that’s Joe Pesci. I love you, man, don’t have me whacked.”
Later in the show, he told viewers: “In a little while we’re going to see a short clip from The Irishman. It’s 88 minutes long.”
Reflecting on the #MeToo movement
“These producers all have one thing in common, they’re all terrified of Roman Farrow,” Ricky said, referencing the journalist who many accusers shared their accounts of Hollywood misconduct with.
“He’s coming for you,” he continued. “And speaking of you perverts, it was a big year for paedophile movies. Surviving R Kelly. Leaving Neverland. The Two Popes… shut up, I don’t care.”
Weighing in on the lack of diversity among this year’s nominees
Ricky commented: “People of colour were snubbed in major characters. Nothing we can do about that, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association are all very, very racist.
“I was going to do an in memoriam, but when I saw the list, it wasn’t diverse enough. It was mostly white people. Maybe next year.”
While we’re not sure how sincere Ricky was being with his remarks, it turned out there was a real lack of diversity among this year’s winners, with the majority of the acting prizes going to white performers.
Sparking controversy regarding Jeffrey Epstein
Discussing his own Netflix show, Ricky joked: “You could binge-watch the entire first season of After Life instead of watching [the Golden Globes]. A show about a man who wants to kill himself because his wife died of cancer. And it’s still less depressing than this… spoiler alert, he didn’t kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein.”
When this comment was met with groans, Ricky quickly responded: “Shut up, just because he’s your friend.”
Tearing into the Marvel franchise
“Their job isn’t acting anymore,” Ricky said of actors who take roles in superhero franchises. “It’s going to the gym twice a day and taking steroids! Have we got an award for most-ripped junkie?”
From there, it seemed only natural that he should bring up Martin Scorsese’s recent claims that Marvel films aren’t real cinema, and are more comparable to theme parks.
“I don’t know what he’s doing hanging around theme parks. He’s not big enough to go on the rides,” the comedian added.
Giving Leonardo DiCaprio a grilling
After mentioning the long running time of Leonardo’s hit film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Ricky continued: “His date attended the premiere and by the end of the film she was too old for him. Even Prince Andrew was like ‘come on, mate, you’re nearly 50’.”
Some obligatory Cats references
First, Ricky suggested that in 2019 “the world got to see James Corden as a fat pussy”, alluding to his recent appearance in the critically-mauled Cats film, after which he started on co-star Judi Dench, but was bleeped before he could finish the joke.
“It’s the last time, who cares?” he added.
Getting heated as he speaks his mind about political speeches
After accusing Apple of hypocrisy over their nominated series The Morning Show (whose stars would take to the stage just moments later), Ricky later spoke out about what he sees as hypocrisy in Hollywood.
“If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d all call your agents! So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech, right?” he moaned.
“You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world.”
Taking a fairly cheap shot at Greta Thunberg, he continued: “Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. If you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god, and fuck off.”
That last bit, obviously, was censored during the live broadcast.
Addressing the ceremony’s vegan meal
Before introducing the Golden Globes boss, Ricky said: “Welcome back. Still having a good time? As you know, the meal tonight was all vegetables. As are the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.”
But there was one celebrity who was safe from his jokes
“I’ve got nothing negative to say about these next two presenters because the big one could snap me in half,” Ricky said, before introducing Jason Momoa.
It’s a shame he’s not better at thinking on his feet, as it would have been a good opportunity to address the fact the Aquaman star had spent half the ceremony sitting round in a vest top.
Ricky saved what was probably his most shocking joke till almost the end, when introducing Sandra Bullock to the stage.
Recalling her recent film Bird Box, the After Life star said it was a film where “people survive by acting like they don’t see a thing. Sort of like working for Harvey Weinstein”.
To groans from the audience, Ricky then told the celebrities in attendance to “fuck off”.
A fitting end to his final three-hour jaunt as Golden Globes host, really.