Ricky Gervais had everyone laughing as he hosted the Golden Globes on Sunday—everyone except the stars in the room. Gervais’ jokes at the expense of terrible movies did not go over with the people who made them, nor did his quips about scandalized celebs and Scientology.
But the narcissists of Hollywood have never made for a good audience. Remember when Jon Stewart fell flat at the Oscars? It must have been because he’s not funny. What other explanation could there possibly be?
Media reviews of both performances are quite revealing. Half report that the star-studded audiences did not like what they saw, the other half parrot the star-studded audiences. Much of the entertainment press, it seems, considers itself part of the family, eager to defend thin-skinned celebrities from “snotty and abusive” comedians.
Judging by the comedies it mass-produces, the entertainment industry thinks humor begins and ends with people falling down or walking into something. When confronted with actual jokes, as Hollywood’s elite were Sunday night, they recoil in horror. —PZS
The Los Angeles Times said his jokes set “a corrosive tone” for the night, while TV critic Mary McNamara said: “The opposite of dull and deferential is not snotty and abusive.”
“It would not have been surprising to see a hook emerge suddenly stage left or to learn that the host had taken ‘suddenly ill’,” she added.
The New York Times said the comic was “merciless from the start” while the Hollywood Reporter said it would “undoubtedly be his last hosting gig for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (and, who knows, maybe any Stateside awards)”.
However Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker had nothing but praise for him: “Thanks once again to Ricky Gervais for bringing the sort of funny rudeness and effrontery ... that make an awards show such as the Golden Globes engaging to watch.”