At the 2016 Golden Globe Awards, Ricky Gervais made his much-anticipated return as host. To say he was scathing is an understatement, since, after all, he’s got a reputation to uphold. But what did the critics think? See a review roundup, along with video highlights right here!
After his three-year-absence — which saw Tina Fey and Amy Poehler take over — Ricky Gervais was back to host yet again. Has the passage of time blunted the memory of the bluntness of his humor? Well, likely, the organizers of this 73rd annual show were hoping that wasn’t the case! Yes, he was controversial, but yes, he got us all talking and when he returned the following year, we were eagerly awaiting (or dreading, alternately) yet another round.
Well, now he is back. Right from the start, as the familiar host took center stage, we knew it would be an occasion to remember, if not for the awards and the acceptance speeches certainly for the host himself Ricky Gervais who has set the bar high — or low, depending on one’s point of view — as far as polarizing humor. So yes, there were all the usual targets; Hollywood as a collective entity and there were the expected barbs at easy targets like Caitlyn Jenner and Donald Trump.
Some may call it brilliant and lancing while others may call it petty and mean-spirited. It’s what drives the ratings, after all, and it’s what draws in viewers who might not otherwise sit through three hours of an award show. And of course, there’s the second life, those viral videos for those who didn’t want to slog through that many minutes waiting for the proverbial water cooler moments.
The reviews greeting the returning host who took to the once again podium at the Beverly Hills Hilton have been all over the proverbial map. Here’s a roundup.
“….Mr. Gervais, hosting for his fourth time, seemed to realize he had a character he was now expected to play. “Shut up, you disgusting, pill-popping, sexual deviant scum,” Mr. Gervais told the crowd. He cracked transgender jokes about Caitlyn Jenner, the “Transparent” star Jeffrey Tambor and the movie “The Danish Girl.”
He delivered the expected Donald Trump gag. He brought out Mel Gibson for some awkward joking about the actor’s history of anti-Semitic comments. There was even a Charlie Sheen crack that the dry cleaner might have left in his pocket after his last hosting gig. ….” — The New York Times
“….“Kill me,” moaned Golden Globe host Ricky Gervais, far past the point-of-no-return of Sunday’s schlocky telecast of Hollywood’s most meaningless (but by reputation loosey-goosiest) awards show. But the thing is, nobody really wanted to kill him for anything he said during the show – and only in this day and age could that could be seen as a disappointing breach of contract. We’ve developed a bad habit in our culture now, bleeding into our politics and our civil discourse as well as some of our awards shows: We demand the worst, so we get the worst…..” — The Washington Post
“….First in his sights was the Globes broadcaster, NBC, “the only network with zero nominations.” That was followed by a promise that he’d changed. Though “not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously.”
So no, obviously he hasn’t changed, and thank goodness for that. That doesn’t mean every joke landed — a bit about about Jeffrey Tambor was more crude than funny— but the ones that didn’t work were quickly followed by others that did…..” — USA Today
“….Ricky Gervais’ impish approach to comedy revels in making audiences wince and squirm – hardly a custom-made formula for the worshipfulness of award shows, even one that cultivates a loosey-goosey image like the Golden Globes. The British comic’s fourth turn as host produced the expected barbs, but more awkward moments than genuine, funny or spontaneous ones weighed down the bloated, ungainly telecast that surrounded him. However much the producers and NBC relish the publicity that Gervais generates – and apparently, they don’t know how to quit him – it’s time they put more effort into shaping the broader ceremony. …..” –Variety
“….Midway through the Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais slumped toward the beer that was perched by his microphone and grumbled, “Kill me.” He might as well have been speaking for the rest of us. When was the last time the Globes were this painful to watch? The jokes weren’t funny. The winners were far more senseless than usual, even for an awards show that prides itself on erratic choices. The acceptance speeches weren’t nearly tipsy enough. Worst of all, it was boring. ….” — Entertainment Weekly
“….Can we all agree Ricky Gervais has pretty much exhausted his usefulness as a subverting presence on the Golden Globes Awards show? Even Gervais must agree with this judgment, since he spent the second half of the broadcast on Sunday night feigning bored exhaustion, moaning about what a slog it was. And usually, I’d agree with that sentiment when it comes to three-hour awards shows…..” — Yahoo! TV
“….Here’s the thing: Very few people watching actually think the Golden Globes are important. It’s meant as the sort of distraction Gervais himself has spent his career producing. And even those limited number of people who, for some reason, tuned into a three-hour awards ceremony despite their utter contempt for Hollywood celebrities, might wish for something more creative than Gervais just calling actors notionally being honored for their work “filth” or “scum.”….” — TIME
“….Whether he returned this year to outdo outgoing hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey or because he felt armed with a new bag of punches isn’t clear. But he was funny and mean enough to enliven a pretty dull night.
He tackled everything from Sean Penn‘s El Chapo interview and Caitlyn Jenner to the inequality of women in Hollywood and Jeffrey Tambor in a dress. It was exactly as Gervais kept insisting: He really didn’t give a crap. ….” — The Wrap
And with that, Ricky Gervais fourth time skewering Hollywood and its various personages and entities has come and gone. A fifth time perhaps? It wouldn’t be surprising in the least. Meanwhile, until such time, check out some of the video highlights below of the 2016 Golden Globes!
Pictures: PR Photos