Ricky Gervais' 9 Funniest Awards-Show Moments

Thin-skinned celebrities, take cover: Ricky Gervais returns to host Sunday's Golden Globe Awards. From the Emmys to the British Comedy Awards to previous Globes, watch the comedian's funniest awards-show moments.

01.15.10 9:47 PM ET

Golden Globes, 2011: Did He Go Too Far?

Is it possible for Gervais to cross the line with his scathing sense of humor? One might have thought so, based on the brutal headlines following his second stint as Globes host in 2011. In one of his so-called "mean spirited" jokes, the comedian managed to take down an unnamed Scientologist, the cast of The Tourist, and the ladies of Sex and the City all in one breath. Still, the show invited him back for more.

Golden Globes, 2010: Time to Offend the Presenters

What's a good Gervais hosting gig without some boozy barbs at the audience? During his first run as Globes host, the funnyman unleashed on Mel Gibson while offering a toast from the podium. "I like a drink as much as the next man, unless the next man is Mel Gibson," he said, before moving on to his next lush victim, Colin Farrell. The actors, of course, were far from the only guests to feel the wrath of Gervais. Cheers!

Emmys, 2008: Ricky Steals His Emmy Back

Few actors have perfected the art of the cringe like Ricky Gervais—and his American counterpart on The Office, Steve Carell. Put the two together, and you’ve got comedy gold of the painfully awkward variety. In this buzzed-about bit from the 2008 Emmy Awards, Gervais “steals” his 2007 Emmy statue back from Carell, who’d collected it in his absence the year before.

Golden Globes, 2009: Ricky Tells Inappropriate Holocaust Joke

Well, there’s awkward and there’s awkward. Gervais went out on a limb (even for him): shortly after Kate Winslet won a Best Supporting Actress title for her role in the World War II drama The Reader, Gervais joked: “I told you, do a Holocaust movie and the awards come, didn’t I?” (He was referring to Winslet’s 2005 cameo in HBO’s Extras, during which she joked that she wanted to star in a Holocaust film to win an Oscar.) While the audience’s chuckles were muted, Gervais must have struck a chord with someone on the Foreign Press: the following year he returned as the show’s host.

British Comedy Awards, 2000s: Ricky Tells Inappropriate Wheelchair Jokes

Gervais may play an insufferable boss on the British Office, but he must be a spectacular one in real life—because his staff seems to put up with a lot. Year after year at the British Comedy Awards, Gervais has reveled in making fun of fellow Office producer Ash Attalla, who happens to be in a wheelchair. “I've worked with Ricky for four years,” Attalla told The Telegraph in 2002, “and he's still more obsessed by my wheelchair than anyone else I know.”

British Comedy Awards, 2008: Ricky Gets (Very) Cozy

Words don’t do justice to this pre-taped sketch for the 2008 British Comedy Awards… but consider these: George Michael. Pajama bottoms. Kababs.

Golden Globes, 2009: Ricky Insults Steve Carell (Again)

Yes, Steve Carell is an easy target—but Gervais’s incessant mocking of him never seems to get old. “I made him who he is today,” Gervais told Joey Fatone and Lisa Rinna on the red carpet. “If he wins, he gives me the little ball on the top of the Globe.”

Emmys, 2009: Ricky Insults Every TV Actor (But Especially Steve Carell)

While presenting the award for Best Variety, Music or Comedy Series at last year’s Emmy Awards, Gervais was understated (relatively speaking), yet he still managed to entertain and, of course, offend—seriously imperiling TV actors’ vanity.

What’s Really Going Through Ricky’s Mind on the Red Carpet

Don’t be fooled by the clip above—just because Gervais plays nice on the red carpet doesn’t mean he’s actually enjoying himself. In this clip from his Web site, the comedian shares his awards-show fantasy with Office co-conspirator Stephen Merchant. Paparazzi, beware!