The Golden Globes as a TV event: All hail Ricky Gervais, or, How I picked almost all the TV winners

First of all, thanks once again to Ricky Gervais for bringing the sort of funny rudeness and effrontery — or as Robert Downey, Jr., phrased it, “mean-spirited [with] a sinister undertone” — that make an awards show such as the Golden Globes engaging to watch. And to Matt Damon and Robert De Niro for providing an unbeatable one-two punch as amusing presenter and award-winner. Oh, and jolly good wishes to Alexa Chung for actually making NBC’s red-carpet pre-show entertaining for a change.

It’s time to retire the hype-cliche that the Globes are the rowdiest, most “fun” awards because liquor is served and these ain’t the Oscars. Since in recent years the window of time between the Globes and the Oscar nominations has shrunk, most of the people who took the stage were on either their best behavior or on their game in delivering the scripted remarks (mostly) impeccably — partly, one assumes, so that the Academy notices.

As for my Golden Globes picks in the TV categories, you’ll recall I picked choices for who “will” and “should” win. Having chosen 60% of the “will” winners, I’ll up my percentage to 70% by factoring in the “should” win pick for Carlos. So congrats to Boardwalk Empire, Laura Linney, Al Pacino, Claire Danes, Jim Parsons, and Chris Colfer, all of whom I predicted. The three winners I failed to pick as either wills or shoulds — Katey Sagal, Jane Lynch and Glee — I don’t begrudge them a bit, especially given the fine acceptance speeches made by Lynch and Sagal.

There was no pattern or trend to be discerned among the TV victors. Sure, there was the Glee mini-sweep, but that doesn’t mean that only big ratings hits were rewarded, as evidenced by the awards for Carlos and The Big C‘s Linney.

And to Jon Hamm, who (no disrespect to Mr. Buscemi) deserved a Globe for this season’s Mad Men, I quote NBC’s relentless ad for The Cape: Suit up. Fight back.

For more: Golden Globes: TV Shows/Performers That WILL Win and the One That SHOULD

Twitter: @kentucker

Comments (169 total) Add your comment
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  • TorontoTom

    Hated Gervais.

    • Vince

      Well Toronto Tom, you must have horrible taste in humor. I bet you love comedy shows like ‘Two and Half Men’, and ‘Mike and Molly’, while you find shows like ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, and ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ rude and obnoxious. Do yourself a favor, stick to CBS, ABC family sitcoms and leave the other “rude” sitcoms for us big boys, alright little boy.
      Anyways, Ricky was hilarious and daring as always. Gotta love that man. Funniest comedian around, he and Louie C.K.

      • calm down

        i did not like gervais at all and i love its always sunny in philadelphia and i hate two and a half men. its just someones opinion dont pigeon hole someone based on one dislike or like

      • Beezer

        You are a moron for writing that. Some people don’t like Gervais. It doesn’t mean they don’t like shows like Curb. Dumbass.

      • TorontoTom

        ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is literally the bottom of the barrel. It doesn’t even deserve to be in the same sentence with the barrel. That’s how bad it is.

        My favorite shows are SH#@ My Dad Says and the now-cancelled NBC verison of Kath & Kim. So take that!

      • Nick

        Wow, Toronto Tom. You’re not helping your case by stating that those abominations are your favorite shows.

      • Dan

        I love that saying that someone likes Two and a Half Men is considered a horrible insult.

      • world sick

        @TorontoTom – You seriously have to be kidding about your favorite shows, right? RIGHT? You’re a maniac.

      • steph

        I love Mike & Molly, can’t get past the guy that always screams his lines in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I like Ricky Gervais. Argument voided.

      • M

        Vince got it. The rest of you, OMG you’re all so cool with your champagne tastes. Cavier, anyone? Olive on a toothpick?

      • Excelda

        WTF is “cavier,” M? I’m not eating it if I don’t know what it is. It’s probably roofies. I’m not falling for that again.

      • A

        Liking Curb Your Enthusiasm and liking Ricky Gervaise’s humor are mutally exclusive. I think Ricky was lame and his jokes dated. Why bring up Charlie Sheens NY trip when last weekend’s bender in Vegas was crazier.

      • Horst Angelkotter

        Why on earth hire Brits to do such shows;USA must have enough talent available.A typical Clown who makes fun of other people misfortune.I call it very English & tacky.
        H. A

    • jesse

      did he hurt you feelings :( suck it up

      • andyk


    • richard

      only a critic would think a host acting like an a**hole and making his guests uncomfortable is doing a great job. love gervais. but he took slyness too far into contempt.

      • Geek

        I agree ProntoPupTom. I’ve never been a fan of Gervais, his atheism, his rudeness, or his movies.

      • Garry

        The entertainment world NEEDS Ricky Gervais. I love seeing those pampered, overpaid, self-important actors taken down a peg or two. So, Angelina’s feelings were hurt? Poor baby. She can dry her eyes with her next $20 million paycheck.
        Go Ricky!

      • rayme

        If they wanted a Brit that could make fun but not cross a line into bad taste, they should have hired Graham Norton.

      • Tom

        @Geek – Why bring his atheism in to it?! And he’s hardly known for his movies. It’s his standup and The Office that’s made him famous – over here in England at least.

        @rayme – You’ve obviously never watched The Graham Norton Show!

        @Garry – Nice comments. Shame you can’t spell Gary.

      • richard

        don rickles is the master at deflating egos, which i agree, is much needed. and yes, attacking the tourist was great–his one great joke of the night (scientology cover ups was nice, too). but sticking a knife in stallone because he only managed two iconic roles, tim allen because he’s not tom hanks or bruce willis because his ex married a younger dude… it’s lazy and not funny spitting. if you want to thrash ashton for his desires to dominate the twitter-world… by all means. but it’s just lazy shots the way gervais did it.

      • andyk

        “sticking a knife into Stallone”??? if THATS what you call his intro to Stallone, you need to grow a pair…just like Bruce Willis and Tim “whiny” Allen..seriously

    • TorontoTom

      I posted the original “Hated Gervais” before going to bed and I see that someone else is posting as me!! For the record, don’t like any of the shows listed by imposter posters. But I will reaffirm that I did hate Gervais.

      • Dan

        Go back to bed, Toronto Tom, you crotchety old fool.

      • Toronto Tom

        I think Adam Sandler should have hosted

    • Garry

      Ricky Gervais is my hero!

    • LALA

      I thought Ricky was great. Political correctness every minute of the day is boring and exhausting.
      I loved his comment about the gay ScientologistS…that way we don’t need to wonder which one he was talking about. He gave us BOTH. :-)

  • world sick

    i love gervais, i’m just dreading hearing everyone complain about him being rude. i thought he was brilliant. it just seemed like everyone there would have preferred a proper ass kissing.

    • Kwise

      I don’t think an a** kissing was necessary……but he didn’t need to treat the show like a roast. INsulting “The Tourist” and its artists who were sitting right there was inappropriate (and believe me, I HATED The Tourist and agree that the characters were indeed one dimensional. Still, they didn’t deserve that treatment).

      • M

        Ricky was keeping it real, and calling the BS out. It was directed at the establishment surrounding the Golden Globes, and not so much Depp and Angelina. If they take it personally, they have no business being in the business, as the Tourist simply wasn’t worthy, by any measure, for anything, other than popcorn.

      • Sam

        isn’t insulting people while they are sitting right in front of you the entire job of an awards show host?

      • starsweeper

        What’s more insulting is that The Tourist got nominated at all when it was so awful. Gervais was just pointing out what everyone was thinking.

      • Tonic

        Gervais showed he was a true comedian – who doesn’t simply act silly but provides commentary. He said aloud what everyone THINKS, and held celebs to task. Great job and hilarious!

      • Ginny

        I love Johnny. I hate Angelina. Regardless…they don’t need our sympathy. They can both cry all the way to the bank. They got their paychecks whether The Tourist was good or bad.

      • Ryan

        If you think Angelina and Johnny think The Tourist was a wonderful film deserving such praise, you’re kidding yourself. I saw in an article and an interview that Jolie actually LAUGHED when she heard she was nominated. ( It was a poorly received film that audiences didn’t go for either. Mocking the fact it received such nominations isn’t that big of a deal. And most of Gervais’s lines were funny! Most seemed to go along with it (Bullock, Downey Jr., Willis, etc.). The whiners are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    • Mac

      When Chris Rock essentially performed a roast, the critics hated on him. When Ricky Gervais does it, they like it. In my opinion, they were both terrible. I thought it was funny that even Steve Carrell turned on him. Try Comedy Central next time, Ricky…

      • Garry

        Steve Carrell can’t hold a candle to Ricky Gervais (and he wouldn’t have had a starring role in “The Office” if Gervais hadn’t created the SUPERIOR British version first).

      • Ashley

        Carrell and Ricky have been doing that “we hate each other” schtick for years at awards shows. He didn’t “turn” on Ricky at all.

      • Tom

        @Garry – I take it back!

      • andyk

        Steve Carrell didnt “turn on him”…its an ongoing shtick they have done for years…geez learn something before posting?

  • Noah Stallings

    Tina Fey should have won instead of The Big C’s whatshername. Seriously, how is that a comedy? Cancer is NOT funny, neither is Nurse Jackie.

    Also, it makes me sad to see that 30 Rock only won one “Best Comedy” award, while Glee gets two of them! WTF?

    • Nick

      I agree. I can’t believe Glee won for its so far lame second season. 30 Rock has been on top of its game this year and should have won.

    • mae

      i agree SO MUCH! how is it fair that when comedy actors/actresses get judges they aren’t all submitting funny episodes? No offense to Kurt from Glee – cause i love him and cried during his speech – but he totally won for his dramatic turn this season – not for being funny. p.s. LOVED ricky, hated alexa chung.

      • diego

        i thought cris colfer won supporting actor (for both drama and comedy)?

      • WhiteLady

        @Diego: I was about to make the same comment. There is no distinction between frama and comedy for the supporting actors…

    • Kate

      Yep, 30 Rock was robbed. Especially by Glee – ugh.

  • Rachel

    Love Love Loved Ricky. he made my night. he should host every year!

  • MN_Jen

    LOVED Gervais.

  • TED

    I thought Gervais was pretty bad tonight, and I remember thinking the same thing last year. He’s funny when he is being self deprecating, but tonight he was too mean spirited, and surprisingly not that funny. A lot of cheap shots.

    • Jenny

      I thought so too. The jokes were predictable. I usually love Gervais, but he just didn’t do it for me tonight.

    • Val

      I haven’t been able to really enjoy Ricky Gervais as much after watching his series “An Idiot Abroad”. Seeing the way he talks to and about his actual real life friends… it showed a cruel and snotty side to him that I just can’t get past.

      • Jeremy DC

        An Idiot Abroad is hilarious.

    • Ellen in NYC

      I didn’t like Ricky last year, but I didn’t hate him like I did this year. It definitely changed the tone of the show. Hope they pick someone more tolerable next year.

    • Jerry

      To me, they weren’t cheap shots. They were NECESSARY shots.

  • McNulty

    It wasn’t so much that Gervais was rude and insulting. He just wasn’t funny.

    • Kwise

      Gervais was ok in years past when he came in to do a 5-minute bit. In those past years, he was the opposite of a “breath of fresh air,” he was a “breath of bitter air” that added humor and fun to otherwise serious events. But to devote the entire 3-hour broadcast this year to his brand of humor…..not for me.

    • tvgirl48

      Yeah, I don’t get his appeal. I could take mean jokes if they were funny or witty, but they weren’t that funny or biting like they should have been. I agree that he’s needed in small doses to cut through the self-congratulating, but only in small doses.

    • dahliart

      The host went way over the top. He wasnt funny and he was very insulting. I hope he cleared the lines with the people he insulted before the show. I wont ever watch again if he is host You dont insult the foreign press at this show DUMB AND DUNBER

    • Rachel

      Well, I was laughing my @ss off!I thought he was hysterical.

    • Joe

      Yeah, I agree. DIdn’t care if he was rude, he just wasn’t funny.

  • Lisa

    I usually enjoy the Globes, but it felt off this year. No one was paying attention and I thought it was funny how they showed either pissed or bored reaction shots. It’s usually the fun award show, but this year was just painful.

    • Tui

      I agree..
      Not as entertaining this year.

      Mad Men, Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Elizabeth Moss….they should have won…

    • Kwise

      I agree as well. They were really unprofessionally produced. There were a lot of moments of “bleeped out” silence where I swear – a curse word cannot possibly have been spoken. People didn’t know how to get on stage. The jokes were TERRIBLE. It seemed like a train wreck.

      • Sunny

        Even the sets were bad. They looked like someone went to Home Depot and Hobby Lobby and tried to approximate the Oscar set last year.

  • Casey

    I thought Gervais was hilarious! He disappeared for a while though, and it got boring…some of the winners seriously needed to be cut off, they were just rambling. (Al Pacino, anyone?)

    • talkin’

      Christian Bale started it

      • Steph

        FTR Christian Bale used to be attractive, but he seems to be going the way of the early 2000s Brad Pitt, all shaggy, unkempt beard and whatever. Pretty much only Johnny Depp can get away with that look, somehow.

        Still a fan, though.

      • veronica

        @Steph – I thought he looked hotter than ever! Guess I still like that long-haired look – at any rate, he can really pull it off.

    • Jwandk

      Ah, but you are really only mean to yrlesouf, don’t you think? And I think I would make an exception for you, because you do always, always make me’s just a new template for the moment. Yes, there’s sand. A fair bit of it in our loungeroom at the moment.

  • pkz

    He was funny mean but funny. There were points when it was painful and I was cringing but it was not boring. I loved RDJ’s speech though he handled it in a real way.

    • TonyOctober

      I’d expect that from a person named “PKZ”

      • Zak

        Because TonyOctober is such a hawt name. Aaron Sorkin, that you?

  • pam

    Normally love Ricky Gervais but I think he even made the acotrs uncomfortable tonight. Hated every moment he was on stage. I do not like hateful jokes at the expense of others. Go back to the Ricky who is funny.

    • Really?

      You’re right, it’s criminal to expect these people to be able to laugh at their own absurdities. Especially during this era of new found civility! Joking about the truth that stings a bit is just as bad as calling Obama a Nazi communist who took thur jobs!

    • Chris

      They were anything but hateful, Pam. They were a bit edgy at worst. That’s also what the Grammys/studio wanted for ratings. It certainly worked on me, as I kept coming back for more of Ricky.

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  • Amy

    I hate to be dreaded, but I did think at a certain point that Gervais’ delivery came off as overzealous. Like I was getting uncomfortable waiting for him to joylessly offer the next zinger…Laughed no end in the opening mon though, and who else manages to proclaim his atheism in a sign off?

    • pitt

      Though some of his humor was a bit too biting tonight, I laughed out loud at the atheism sign off, as it was so unexpected and impeccably timed–classic Ricky Gervais funny, which I wish he would have done more of.

      • Sunny

        Funniest line all night.

    • Joe

      Yeah, but by the time he signed off, you can tell that no one in the audience was even paying attention to him anymore. So sad.

  • Gary

    Ricky G was BRILLIANT tonight. These awards shows are usually so deadly dull. He brought some life to it as did Robert Downey his snarky intro the the best actress nominees. Robert DeNiro also scored big with his Lifetime Acheivment award speech. Bravo to them. Thanks for the best awards show ever.

    • Mike

      Agreed. I would’ve walked away after the first 10 minutes if it wasn’t for the nagging desire to see what he says next. It’s just good TV people, and good entertainment. Don’t be posh hussies, and get your panties in a bunch. IMO, these privileged folk should be the first to be able to laugh at themselves. They certainly have the luxury and security to be able to do so.

    • Curly

      Yes, Ricky was brilliant tonight and his humor was about the only thing that kept me tuning in for the whole show. I love that Ricky gave the celebs a bit of a poke for their self important behavior…and frankly, the Scientologist gays bit was awesome…but, I suspect a few of those “Scientologists” will see to it that he doesn’t get invited back next year…they sound like the mafia..Ricky better beware he might find a horse’s head in his bed tonight!

      • Ihateyou

        Yes if only celebs weren’t self important because you know some idiot yapping about them on a celeb web site isn’t also self important and fully of it. God people like you are killing this country. If you weren’t self important and full of it and needing someone to pop your crap then why are you on here.

      • Hali

        That’s a good question ihateyou… why ARE you on here?

      • Curly

        I think “I Hate You” is aka Tom Cruise/John Travolta(or one of his minions), don’t worry your comments don’t hurt since I know you are in need of someone to vent on since you must spend your days in the Hollywood closet…it must be tough keeping up the facade..that is why you spend your time hating on those who don’t buy your lie.

  • dee

    I thought Ricky was mean,especially his remarks about Cher.

    • JohnC

      She’s rawhide stretched over rebar…and sending HFPA staffers to her concerts was one of the “bribes” given by The Tourist bribe machine to get that flick nominated. Calling that out was perfect. Dragging A-listers to an awards show by nominating their movie was just a desperate attempt to pump up ratings.

    • Garry

      Gee, I hadn’t thought about poor Cher’s fragile ego, having to deal with a remark by Ricky Gervais. Good for him. She thinks she’s God’s gift to the world.

  • Scooter

    Alexa Chung was dreadful on the red carpet. Is that what Ken Tucker found entertaining?

    • Lyn

      Agree, and she was paired w/ Carson Daly who pretty much admitted to being a fashion ignoramus. And E’s red carpet coverage was even more moronic. Kelly Osborne as a fashionista? Ryan Seacrest asking dumb questions? All of them made me miss Joan Rivers.

    • Aslan

      HuHNj7 Hey, that’s the greatest! So with ll this brain power AWHFY?

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