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Ed Driscoll

Hugely Mean-Spirited with Mildly Sinister Undertones

January 17th, 2011 - 9:58 am

Hosting the Golden Globes for quite possibly the last time, Ricky Gervais hits Hollywood with the same level of snark and anger that they ordinarily reserve for their strange and mystifying people out in flyover country that serve as their customers. And needless to say, our betters in Tinseltown weren’t enjoying the experience:

Ricky Gervais may have indeed “warned” the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. that he’d pull no comedic punches and spare none of Hollywood’s sacred cows in reprising his hosting role on the 68th Golden Globes broadcast.

Nonetheless, a visible contingent in the glitzy crowd on Sunday night was palpably discomfited by the British comic’s full-frontal joke assault, which set a corrosive tone for this year’s ceremony that was reflected by both on-stage repartee and backstage opprobrium.

Gervais’ opening remarks, which snark-blog Gawker dubbed “one of the most unrelentingly harsh and uncomfortable monologues in awards show history,” skewered 64-year-old Cher’s status as a senior citizen, needled 84-year-old Hugh Hefner as “the walking dead” and made mincemeat of the critically drubbed (yet Golden Globe-nominated) Angelina Jolie — Johnny Depp heist-thriller “The Tourist.”

But that was only a warm-up. He went on to question the sexual orientation of high-profile entertainment industry Scientologists and — talk about biting the hand that feeds — suggested that the HFPA had accepted bribes (as a recent lawsuit has alleged).

After introducing Robert Downey Jr. as someone better known for his stays “at the Betty Ford Clinic and the L.A. County Jail” than for his movie roles, the “Iron Man” star felt compelled to address the situation.

“Aside from the fact that it’s been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I’d say the show’s going pretty good so far, wouldn’t you?” Downey asked.

Which actually is a pretty neat definition for modern Hollywood in general and its commercial output, come to think of it.

Related thoughts from Roger L. Simon at the Tatler, who dubs Gervais “Rude but right.”

And as John Nolte writes at Big Hollywood, “Ricky Gervais Gives Hollywood a Taste of Their Own Sucker Punch Medicine:”

No, Hollywood is not happy with Mr. Gervais for ruining their evening with cheap shots, ridicule and insults.

Well, how does it feel, Hollywood? How does it feel to be “blindsided” and trapped for a few hours not knowing when it might come again?

Kind of sucks all the fun out of the evening, doesn’t it?

Which is why it seems likely that the Golden Globes will likely soon lose Ricky’s number.

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