Did Ricky Gervais’ ‘Globes’ Jokes Go Too Far?

by | January 16, 2011 at 8:50 PM | Golden Globes, TV News

Ricky Gervais Hosts the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Photo: NBC?Paul Drinkwater)

Ricky Gervais Hosts the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Photo: NBC?Paul Drinkwater)

Did Ricky Gervais‘ “Golden Globes” monologue transform him from Hollywood’s funniest host to its naughtiest?

In the opening minutes of the 68th annual awards show, the British funnyman unfurled jokes that played more like shocking insults, earning a mix of muted laughs and silence. His victims included Charlie Sheen, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, Cher, and the group behind the show itself, the Hollywood Foreign Press.

Golden Globe Awards Winners List

Almost immediately, folks on the Internet were buzzing, and the San Jose Mercury News termed it “The OMG-did-he-really-just-say-that opening monologue.”

This is how it unfolded. First, Gervais’ welcomed everyone “to a night of partying and heavy drinking – or as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast.” No one laughed. “Wow,” Gervais said. “Let’s get this straight. He picked up a porn star, introduced her to his ex wife, took her to a hotel, got naked and trashed the place while she was locked in the cupboard. And that was a Monday. What did he do New Year’s Eve?”

Next, he picked on “The Tourist,” a bomb starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp that was nominated for a Globe. “I haven’t even seen ‘The Tourist,’” Gervais said. “Who has?” Then, explaining he wanted to “quash the ridiculous rumor that the only reason ‘The Tourist’ was nominated was so the Hollywood Foreign Press could hang out” with its stars, Gervais said, “Rubbish. They also accepted bribes.”

That joke was in reference to recent allegations made by the former Hollywood Foreign Press publicist that the organization is less than ethical. But Gervais explained they weren’t bribed – they were taken to a Cher concert. “How the hell is that a bribe?” he asked. “Do you want to go and see Cher? No. Why not? Because it’s not 1975.”

He also skewered the women of “Sex and the City” for their movie poster’s heavy airbrushing. “Girls, I know how old you are,” he said. ” I saw one of you on ‘Bonanza.’” Then he noted that Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor were not nominated for the movie “I Love You, Phillip Morris.” “They were only pretending to be gay unlike two famous Scientologists,” Gervais said to a nervous rustling in the crowd. “My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke,” he added.

After Gervais introduced presenter Bruce Willis as “Ashton Kutcher’s dad,” Willis was so flustered he stumbled over his lines.

But it was “Iron Man” hero Robert Downey Jr. who shot back onstage at the no-holds-barred Brit, who introduced the actor “best known from facilities like Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles county jail.”

“Aside from the hugely mean-spirited and mildly sinister undertones, I’d say the vibe of the show is pretty good don’t you think?” Downey quipped.

What did you think of Gervais’ remarks? Were they funny? Were they in poor taste? Or is anything and everyone fair game at these events?