As I mentioned the other day I did not watch the awards ceremony, I really could care less about a slew of rich and mostly snobby Hollywood people gathering together to celebrate their achievements at the cost of all of us hard working Americans. So when I looked at the winners I wasn’t so surprised but that wasn’t the big thing no it was Ricky Gervais comments. I was a bit confused. Why was Ricky Gervais being assaulted by the Hollywood people? Did they not realize how his humor is? Have they never heard his podcast turned HBO television program? Have they never once seen the original The Office? I doubt they thought he’d go off that way…
The British born comedian hosted the awards ceremony for the second straight year. But last year the creator of The Office didn’t have nearly as many problems as this year. Right off the bat Gervais seemed to strike a bad chord with the audience by stating how this will be a night for heavy drinking and partying, or what Charlie Sheen calls breakfast. Clearly most Americans don’t get how British humor works, it’s very to the point and depreciating. Of course there were laughs from the audience but it might have been forced.
Gervais continued his full frontal assault on the audience with a comment about how almost all movies were in 3-D this year with the exception of The Tourist‘s characters. While this may be true it’s been drilled into people’s heads that you don’t tell an actor that their movie was awful. You lie to them. If Johnny Depp said to me what did you think of The Tourist, you would say IT WAS F#%@ing AWESOME! Granted the movie did suck and if you were a friend of his it would be okay to be like, look Johnny I know you want to get out of that Hot Topic trend but man this movie was awful! But then again I’m sure if it were Nicolas Cage you could tell him it sucked to his face and he wouldn’t realize it. But with that in mind Gervais began to continue his assault all over the Hollywood people. The sex and the city girls were not immune to his charming British insults as he said there should have been an award for airbrushing that poster.
Granted some of these jokes were not as out of line as say the one he made about Scientology in relation to the movie I Love You Phillip Morris. The joke was priceless, but once again Americans would never say that because it’s a touchy subject, religion and all. Gervais bashed the people who chose the nominations saying that they accepted Cher tickets as bribes for The Tourist to get a nomination. Of course the committee is being sued but that is beside the point.
Gervais didn’t stop there as he made comments about the presenters, giving Tom Hanks a long list of credits and accolades then said “the other is Tim Allen.” Of course both Hanks and Allen made comments back showing that at least these people have a back bone. As the night continued it seemed like Gervais toned it down a bit, but not by much as it seems as if he was told he had to. As he introduced the presenters he made wise cracks. One of the better responses was after he glorified Tina Fey and devilified Steve Carell for ruining The Office. When going for a handshake Carell shrugged him off.
Gervais worst comment was aimed at Robert Downey Jr. of whom Gervais mentioned that most of us would know him from the Betty Ford Clinic and the LA County Jail. This is the part where Gervais crossed the line. Downey had these problems in the past but he overcame them and look at where he is today, but Downey had a comeback quick and handy.
Sure Gervais went a little too far with the Downey comment but what people need to realize is that these celebrities are just like us in almost every way except they get paid more money for doing something that is easier than what some of us do for a living…i.e. engineering or construction for instance. It seems more to me like it was more of a clash of the cultures than anything as the British are prone to using insulting humor while Americans tend to rely on fart jokes more often than not.
The best or worst part would have been how the producers did try to end the show, in an attempt to cut Gervais off short they zoomed out and began to fade to black but not until after he uttered a final comment: “And thank God for making me an atheist.” We can be sure that Gervais may have gained fans the previous night but also lost quite a few or even gained the respect of the everyman or lost it. Only time will tell.