7 January 2020
Award shows will never be the same again after the way Ricky Gervais tore Hollywood hypocrisy apart at the Golden Globes. His awesome eight-minute monologue mixing searing truth with brilliant gags has made the British comedian a global hero, and left audiences wanting more.
Surely it’s now obvious that a return to lame and tame showbiz ceremonies is unacceptable and outdated. The producers of next month’s Oscars, currently without a host, should be on the phone to Ricky’s agent immediately, otherwise the flagship event of awards season is just going to be another self-congratulatory snoozefest with no edge or unpredictability.
By pulling no punches in his clever comedy, Gervais has made award shows exciting again and, as far as I’m concerned, he should host all of them.
He makes it look easy, but – and take this from someone who has hosted a few – award ceremonies are the toughest gig in showbiz. The audience in the room doesn’t care what the host has to say, they only care if they are going to win an award.
As Ricky has wisely realised, the key with these televised awards is to play to the audience watching at home, sat on the couch in their pyjamas, rather to the privileged few in the room wearing tuxedos and ball gowns.
By doing so in his latest and greatest Globes gig, he gave a voice to the voiceless who had clearly been thinking many of the things he was bold enough to say about the stars, who were left choking on their canapés by his savage putdowns. As a result, Gervais picked up 300,000 extra Twitter followers on the day after the ceremony; he has a larger social media following than Bill Clinton.
It’s another career high for Ricky to rank alongside his breakthrough success with The Office – but I’d argue this is also a moment for reflection on our culture.
Whether you call it ‘woke’ or ‘PC’, has this obsession about which jokes can be laughed at in this current climate gone too far? Perhaps so – and Ricky is the perfect host to deliver that message.
Listen to the latest episode of Sandro’s podcast ‘Who’s the Best…’ to hear guests including ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ star Greg Proops discuss just where the line can be drawn with gags these days – and who does it best.
And while we’re talking about promoting shows, how publicity savvy was Ricky to sneak in plugs for his latest TV series After Life within the Globes monologue? He’s not just a master of satire but of self-promotion too.
Not being part of the Hollywood community, the London-based funnyman had the freedom – both financially and career wise – to say what he wanted whether it was about the morally questionable corporations behind hit movies and TV shows or slamming the stars’ belief that they should be delivering political speeches on such occasions.
His remarks ripped through Los Angeles like an earthquake – and the aftershocks might well be felt for some time.