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If Ricky Gervais Goes Back To The Globes (Or, We Are Exasperated By This Prospect)

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
November 3, 2011

I try not to be cynical, and then Ricky Gervais gets invited to host the Golden Globes again.

That’s what Page Six reported this morning, anyway, and that’s what Gervais himself implied on Twitter.

It’s news — or “news,” anyway — because while hosting this year’s ceremony, Gervais repeatedly insulted celebrities in the audience and bashed the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the outfit that presents the awards. The next day, many people fumed about his inappropriate behavior.

Which was ridiculous. Ricky Gervais is always inappropriate. In a recent stand-up special, he spent 15 minutes mocking the overweight and the disabled, so of course he cracked on Johnny Depp’s terrible new movie. When the media and the HFPA flipped out, they seemed like dupes, and Gervais seemed like a savvy puppeteer.

But then he refused to drop it. As Vulture pointed out last month, he’s talked incessantly about the Globes, defending himself and his comic integrity and promising to livestream snarky comments about next year’s ceremony from home.

Somewhere along the way, Gervais became exhausting. It’s not like an oppressive government tried to have him killed for expressing unpopular opinions. He caught some flak for making fun of movie stars. By continuing to gas on about it, Gervais has seemed deluded almost to the point of megalomania.

And now? If he goes back to the Globes after a year of posturing and bravado, he’s going to seem like a cynic who’s pulled the teeth out of his own material. If he does in fact return as host in 2012, he will no doubt bash the room again — and there’s no way it won’t seem like self-congratulation. Everyone will expect it. And when everyone knows what to expect from a comedian, then a comedian is no longer exciting.

If Gervais stands up there and pretends to be shocking the HFPA and otherwise sticking it to the man, we’ll know he’s faking. We’ll know his rebellious act is just a pony show specifically requested by the authorities.

Gervais has already damaged his credibility by turning the molehill of this year’s ceremony into a mountain. By even suggesting he’ll go back to the fold, he’s making himself even less convincing. He’s a talented and funny man, but it’ll be hard to forget that he’s also the blowhard who kept making promises no one asked him to make … and then broke them.

Mark Blankenship tweets as @CritCondition. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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