Even Ricky Gervais seemed fed up with Hollywood and the awards season Sunday night.
As expected, the host pulled no punches when he opened the 77th Golden Globe Awards, broadcast live from the Beverly Hilton. The comedian gleefully brought his off-color humor to his opening monologue, ripping everyone and everything from Felicity Huffman, Hollywood icons and Ronan Farrow to sexual predators, Marvel, the state of cinema, corporate entities and especially “Cats.”
He made irreverent jokes about the widely panned musical with expletive-laced attacks on James Corden and Judi Dench that we can’t repeat here.
“You’ll be pleased to know this is the last time I’m hosting these awards,” Gervais began. “I don’t care anymore — I’m joking — I never did. NBC clearly don’t care either.”
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The comic, who hosted the show for the fifth time on Sunday, even addressed his own preshow controversy: A transphobic tweet that could have cost him the hosting gig — much like comedian Kevin Hart lost his Oscars hosting job last year — but, he joked, lucky for him, the HFPA doesn’t speak English and doesn’t know what Twitter is.
“I got offered this gig by fax,” he said, adding that they’d be laughing at the association’s expense. “Remember they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon and there’s no sequel.”
He was sure to mention that the organization was extremely racist and that’s why there were so few nominees of color, addressed Martin Scorsese’s remarks about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and alluded to Huffman’s jail time for her involvement in a college admissions scandal.
Barbs aside, he plugged his Netflix series, “After Life” and gave kudos to the streaming giant, which dominated the Globes nominations this year.
“No one cares about movies anymore. No one goes to cinema. No one really watches network TV,” he quipped. “Everyone’s just watching Netflix. This show should just be me coming out going, ‘Well done, Netflix. You win everything. Good night. ' But no, we gotta drag it out for three hours. You could binge watch the entire first season of ‘After Life’ instead of watching this show. ... It’s still more fun than this.”
The comedian remained largely apolitical, aside from a few jabs about Jeffrey Epstein and Britain’s Prince Andrew. He also expertly skewered the corporate entities that are now in the film and TV production business, particularly iPhone maker Apple and its series “The Morning Show.”
“You say you’re woke, but the companies you work for, I mean, unbelievable — Apple, Amazon, Disney — if ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?” he said. “If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. 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 [teen climate activist] Greta Thunberg. So, if you win: Come up, accept your little award thank your agent and your God and ... off. It’s already three hours long.”
Before the show, Gervais said he writes his own material and took great pains to make his jokes “bulletproof” not just now but in 10 years.