Host Ricky Gervais Is Planning Another 'Unpredictable' Golden Globes Night
Comedian Ricky Gervais is set to host the 2020 Golden Globes ceremony and is promising -- or perhaps threatening -- that the broadcast is going to make for some uncomfortable viewing.
Gervais was first called up to host the film and TV awards night in 2010 and was initially considered a welcome change from the highly-scripted, back-patting banter that had become the norm at the Globes.
The 'Office' creator's first set included some very 2010-era jokes that raised eyebrows at the time but would now be considered quite tame.
Gervais began by calling out U.S. 'Office' star Steve Carrell for plagiarism and referring to Bruce Willis as Ashton Kutcher's dad, and went on to directly address Sir Paul McCartney in the audience, making light of his recent, costly divorce from Heather Mills.
The comedian was invited back the following year for what was considered another mostly successful gig, poking fun of Scientology, roasting the presenters he introduced and getting a lot of mileage out of Charlie Sheen's eventful year.
There were plenty of unnecessary, and incorrect, low-blows (why would anyone think making fun of Cher would go down well?) but Gervais managed to receive mostly positive reviews.
It was in 2012 when the British comedian was more widely criticised for blatantly racist, sexist and homophobic remarks.
After a handful of penis jokes that were both self-deprecating, and targeted at then 18-year-old Justin Bieber, Gervais 'joked' about Jodie Foster's sexuality, said he couldn't understand "a f***ing word" that native Spanish speaking actors Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas were saying, called Colin Firth, "very racist" and Natalie Portman, "pathetic" for taking maternity leave.
After a three-year hiatus, during which Tina Fey and Amy Poehler took over hosting duties, Gervais returned to the Globes in 2016 and was called out by LGBT+ rights group GLAAD for transphobia.
Gervais deadnamed and misgendered Caitlyn Jenner and made light of the fatal car accident she was involved in just months earlier in 2015.
Jenner has since featured prominently in Gervais' material -- with the comedian opening his 2018 Netflix special 'Humanity' with three 'jokes' about Caitlyn deemed too offensive for the Golden Globes.
Gervais has maintained that he'll continue to rally against "PC culture" with his comedy, explaining in a recent interview with Graham Norton that the Globes producers are fine with his ad-hoc approach -- as long as someone from legal is hovering just off stage.
"I say, ‘I’m going to say what I want and I don’t have to rehearse,’ and they say that’s fine, but I do have to tell a lawyer just before I go on,” he told Norton.
“I know the law. I know what I can get away with.”
But, in 2019, regardless of the law, audience members are more divided over his controversial material and upcoming return to the Globes stage.
The first promo clip for Gervais' 2020 hosting gig shows the comedian ignoring a producer's request to "just say the line and pour yourself a drink" as he reaches for a champagne bottle and proceeds to spray it all over the camera.
"As usual, we have no idea what he's going to do!" a voiceover teases.
The promo has prompted two very strong responses from Twitter -- those who are buzzing just thinking about his "no-one is safe" style of comedy and those who are questioning why Gervais was chosen for the role again.
While hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh kept the Golden Globes ratings steady-ish earlier this year, the return of Gervais could be an attempt to inject a few more zeroes into the broadcast's viewership.
But whether he'll draw in -- or repel -- a larger audience is yet to be seen.
The 77th Golden Globe Awards will air in Australia on Monday, January 6.
Main Image: NBC.