Wednesday 24 January 2018

Ricky Gervais to do rival webcast of Golden Globes

Ricky Gervais during the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills. Photo: PA
Ricky Gervais during the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills. Photo: PA

After last year's controversy over his jokes as host of the Golden Globes, comedian Ricky Gervais will do his own 'alternative webcast' commentary.

Ricky Gervais says he is working on a "live webcast idea" offering "an alternative commentary" on the Golden Globes films awards - after the controversy over his jokes as compere last year (see video here).

The star of The Office has revealed in a new blog for the Wall Street Journal that he is working with a Californian technology company on a "live webcast idea" for the Golden Globes.

Gervais wrote: "I don’t think I should host the Golden Globes again, even if I’m asked and that is very unlikely, to be honest. NBC would like me to host again as they really loved my performance and they liked the growing ratings even more. Unfortunately, I think I may have burned my bridges with the Hollywood Foreign Press. Maybe it was the fact that I introduced their president by saying that I’d “just helped him off the toilet and popped his teeth in”? I don’t know, but it’s their party and they should be able to invite who they want. I genuinely believe that too.

"But because of the greatest thing about our society, freedom of speech, I can still host the Golden Globes, or any event on the planet. I am working with a Californian technology company on a live webcast idea. People watch their TV at the same time as listening to me and a few chums provide our own alternative commentary. This is not to steal anyone’s thunder, or disrupt pleasant society. It’s simply a new horizon. And for its own sake. I have no idea if it will work but I didn’t know if podcasting would work back in 2005 when I launched “The Ricky Gervais Show.” I didn’t particularly care either. I was doing it for a laugh. There are not many better reasons to do anything."

As host, the British comedian's jokes were so near-the-knuckle that when he mysteriously disappeared from the ceremony for an hour, the Internet was abuzz with speculation that he had been sacked midway through the broadcast.

After Gervais's performance at the Hollywood awards in January, Philip Berk, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, said many of Gervais's jokes were "totally unacceptable . . . he definitely crossed the line. Some of the things were totally unacceptable."

The most controversial gag of the night was about the Church of Scientology. Referring to the film I Love You Phillip Morris, Gervais said it was about "two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay - so the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists, then."

"My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke," he added as the audience gasped.

He also poked fun at The Tourist, the flop film starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp - both of whom were in the audience and smiled gamely. Explaining that it had been a big year for 3D movies, Gervais quipped: "It seems like everything this year was three-dimensional... except the characters in The Tourist."

There were jokes about Charlie Sheen ("It's gonna be a night of partying and heavy drinking. Or as Charlie calls it: breakfast") and Hugh Hefner's sex life. He also introduced Bruce Willis as "Ashton Kutcher's dad".

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