Golden Globes 2011: Split Reactions. Did Ricky Go Too Far?

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Last night on NBC, many Americans tuned in to view the annual tradition of watching the Hollywood Foreign Press Association stroke the already overinflated egos of our modern day royalty who have no clue how long a 30 second acceptance speech should be.

And it wasn’t just the celebrities who got on our nerves… Critics have also been coming down hard on this year’s host, Ricky Gervais, who spent the entire evening slinging one controversial line-riding quip after the other. As a fellow comic, I say, “Good!” Push that envelope. However, when you attack a handful of nominees including Charlie Sheen (who come on – had it coming), call Scientologists gay, and thank God you’re an atheist in one broadcast, you’re bound to have some derogatory ratings the next morning.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, celeb reactions to Gervais’ jabs were split. But how can we go by them? I mean really… it’s like asking kids on a playground what they think of some other kid. Chances are if he doesn’t pick on them, he’s fine in their little coloring book. If he makes fun of them, he’s an ass! That’s just how last night went. Robert Downey Jr. (who happened to be the butt of one of Gervais’ jokes) said his presentation was, “hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones.” Then we have Christian Bale (who was not mentioned by Gervais’ sharp tongue) saying, “Thank God for comedians. I’m hoping he’s going to keep going further.” But then again, this is coming from a guy who didn’t get the hint and continued to thank people well beyond the orchestra’s third “shut the hell up and get off the stage” verse. All in all, the overwhelming amount of positive kudos Gervais received from fellow entertainers, completely outweighed the few poor sports and naysayers.

Here is an abbreviated list of winners that people care about leaving out the other three hours of filler. Come to think of it, I’d like to start a petition for next year’s Golden Globes to be a long commercial in between my uninterrupted anticipated broadcast evening.

WINNERS:
* Best Motion Picture – Drama: “The Social Network”
* Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama: Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
* Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
* Best Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical: “The Kids Are All Right”
* Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical: Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
* Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical: Paul Giamatti in “Barney’s Version”
* Best Animated Feature Film: “Toy Story 3”

I think all past and future awards show hosts need to take a moment to thank David Letterman who hosted the Oscars one and only time years ago and in turn set the bar so remarkably low, he single-handedly showed emcees just how much worse it could have gone. As for Ricky Gervais, I think the comic did a fearless job yet he isn’t expecting the HFPA to invite him back any time soon. So in other words, one less reason to get all uncomfortably dressed up next year. Screw it! So, where does the punishment part come in?

(Image from Reuters)

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