The last time Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globe Awards four years ago, he hugged it out with Mel Gibson and made some jokes about Caitlyn Jenner that have haunted him ever since. So how did he top himself when he returned to host for the fifth (and supposedly final) time Sunday night?
Well, he began, beer in hand, by promising that this would be his last time hosting. “So I don’t care anymore,” he said. “I’m joking, I never did.” As the audience of celebrities grew increasingly more nervous, Gervais offered up a word of advice. “Remember, they’re just jokes, we’re all going to die soon,” he said. “And there’s no sequel.”
After a few shots at Felicity Huffman, William H. Macy and Joe Pesci, who he referred to as Baby Yoda, Gervais moved on to the lack of diversity among the night’s nominees. “Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about that,” he said. “The Hollywood Foreign Press are all very, very racist.”
Gervais then plugged his own Netflix show After Life, in which he plays a man who wants to kill himself. “OK, spoiler alert, season two is on the way, so in the end obviously he didn’t kill himself,” he said. “Just like Jeffrey Epstein.” As the crowd groaned, he added, “Shut up! I know he’s your friend, but I don’t care. You had to make your own way here on your own plane, didn’t you?!”
That may have been the most don’t-give-a-damn joke of Gervais’ opening monologue, but it wasn’t the last. He called James Corden a “fat pussy,” joked about Judi Dench “licking her own [bleep]” and then for his coup de grâce, took on the big new corporate-run streaming services—and the actors who eagerly sign up to work for them.
“You say you’re woke but the companies you work for—Apple, Amazon, Disney... If ISIS started a streaming service, you would call your agent, wouldn’t you? So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech, right? You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world.”
“Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg,” he continued. “So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god, and fuck off.”