Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Globes

I didn't watch the Golden Globes. I thought about it... but then other things sounded better, so I skipped the TV.

Leave it to me to miss a scandal.

At work today, a friend came up and informed me that Ricky Gervais took no prisoners in an offensive onslaught of mean-spirited comedy.

So, naturally, I looked it up on youtube.

Considering how offensive I thought the jokes would be, I was somewhat underwhelmed. They didn't seem that bad, really, which made me wonder why hackles were up. All the comments online say that stupid Americans just don't know how to laugh at themselves (probably written by stupid Americans themselves, who consider themselves more enlightened or "euro" than the common American), and I found myself disagreeing.

Americans know how to laugh at themselves.

We do it all the time. I think most people just aren't used to dressing up in fine apparel, investing in the best money can buy, and putting their best foot forward only to have someone throw a chili dog on them and dump a drink in their hair.

My thoughts for the raised hackles are these: An award ceremony, celebrating the best in an industry is not a "roast." Or if it is, the dress code and the logo probably imply it.

And also, insults don't sit as well when they're issued from one of the least accomplished (that is a snipe as his 2D portfolio... about as diverse as "The Tourist" and Sylvester Stallone's bio) and least manicured people in the room (although Annette Benning beat you there, Gervais. Nice try, though). Respect comes from doing something and doing it well. Only then can you really look at a room of people who are better than you and say, "You're amazing!" Or look at that same room of people and make them laugh. Ricky's jokes were so basal that they were more appropriate for a routine comedy club with a $5 cover. Tragically, based on that monologue, he wouldn't even make it to the Top 10 of Last Comic Standing.

But I digress. My point is, I think Ricky Gervais was (allegedly) "pulled" from the second half of the show because he ignored/didn't understand one essential point: The Golden Globes are not about mocking those who contributed to the "best" films of the year for the purpose of propelling your own notoriety. They are about applauding those who shape and exemplify an impossibly competitive business and make it thrive. Yes, people want to laugh. That's why they hire comedians. But they don't want to run into each other after the show and grimace at each other over a snipe they'd both rather not talk about.

Laughing= Yes
Awkward/Painful/Cringing= No

And to create such an ambiance, the consistently mean-spirited and disrespectful need not apply.

That's why I think some people are walking around with hackles raised today... are you one of them?

And now that it's a given that Ricky Gervaise will not host next year, who do you think should?


  1. I watched the Golden Globes this year for one reason and one reason only: Ricky Gervaise. I love the guy! I think he is hilarious. I really can't imagine that ABC would have hired him only to reprimand him during the second half of the show for doing what they hired him to do. His material couldn't have been a surprise to anyone. I love that he wouldn't allow them to take themselves too seriously. I don't think he said anything that hasn't been said already in celebrity gossip magazines-- he just put a funny spin on it. And the whole bit where Robert Downey Jr. came out to present and said something about the show being mean spirited was so clearly scripted and rehearsed.

  2. I will agree that he really didn't do a very good job and I am actually a big fan. His jokes didn't seem that creative. The major criticism of his performance last year was that he was surprisingly well-behaved and everyone expected more controversy from him. He is hired for a role like this because it is expected that he will be irreverent. It's what our country expects from an MC at an awards ceremony although you are right that it is their ceremony and not ours. The network makes money off of sponsors who need normal Americans to tune in and so I think it's always going to try to appeal to them more than the actors.

    Not Ricky's best performance but he's hardly under-accomplished. He's a huge international celebrity who has won multiple Emmys and Golden Globes himself. He probably HAS won more awards than most people in that room. He's a stand-up comedian, director, producer, actor and writer so although his fame has found him despite being unrefined (as comedians tend to be), its definitely a misrepresentation to say he's one of the least accomplished.

    Have you watched his shows? The guy is hilarious! He has established himself much more in Britain than in the states, but the guy is funny!

  3. Okaaaaay. You're right. I totally over-stepped when I called him one of the lesser-accomplished people in the room. He's been in the biz many moon and definitely achieved a lot internationally.

    Why? Because he's a funny guy... but not on Sunday. I have die-hard Gervais friends who will hang me by thumbs for posting this (Charity? Are we still friends? *doe eyes*), but at the same time there is a difference between being funny and being mean.

    That said, I DO think that all the hoopla is just PR propoganda for the Golden Globes--trying to make it more of a must-watch next year... where Gervais will not be hosting.

    Because, honestly, even if you're a die-hard fan, you have to confess that he wasn't really that funny. The first adjective that comes to mind is "awkward."

  4. *goes to check to see if she's still fb friends with SB and Chris*


    For a good read on FB manners, check out this post:

  5. Most of Gervais' jokes came off as recycled (Mel Gibson and the Jews, again? Really?) or obvious (Charlie Sheen's drinking/drug problems - though, I did laugh at that, but it made me feel cheap) or just bitter (a particular one escapes me, but that doesn't say much for the jokes). I typically like Gervais, but as the night progressed, his material began to feel genuinely misanthropic. Gervais' point didn't seem to be to get the room laughing, but only to laugh at the room. Johnny Depp's gritted teeth come to mind, and Robert Downey, Jr.'s welcomed retort. Gervais was 100% unscripted (that was his condition for signing on again), so give Downey a smidge of credit. Speaking of Downey - I'd love to see him host. I think he's been through enough to judge well who best to call on their crap, and clever/thoughtful enough to entertain without doing so exclusively at his audience's expense.

  6. Ooh yeah, I think R.Downey Jr. would be an awesome host. I'd tune in for that!

  7. Wouldn't he be perfect! Man, I hope Hollywood gets the same bright idea and hires him on - I'd So tune in for that....

  8. For whatever it's worth, the call to have Robert Downey Jr to host next year's awards was trending on Twitter last night, so you're not alone...

  9. What? Why did I not read this post until today? Now it's sooooo 5 minutes ago!

    But aw heck, I'll comment anyway.

    Here’s the problem: The Golden Globes, Oscars, Emmys, and all the other awards shows are a carefully crafted marketing ploy. They net a shit-ton of Benjamins. Gervais was somehow given a recommend to this glorious cash temple, and then it came as a shock that he didn’t show the required reverence to the establishment that the film industry has spent decades building and perfecting.

    But he never shows the proper reverence and that's why he hasn't advanced through the ranks of the American famous. Instead of following the formulated squeeze-it-until-it’s-dry routine, he cuts his own shows short – only allowing two seasons – even though they're brilliant and tremendously successful. He would rather have a brief piece of perfection than an increasingly contrived, slowly fizzling, sell-out commercial success.

    So when he is asked to EmCee the HFPA sell-out circle jerk, it can’t be a surprise that he doesn't see it or speak of it as sacred.

    Of course his remarks were roasty. But come on, they were true. Why was The Tourist cast and crew there? Their work merited an award nomination? Really? ...Really?

    And Scientology is a religion that should be respected? Really?!

    Ricky Gervais is one of the few people who is actually allowed to throw rocks because his glass house was shattered long ago, and instead of rebuilding it, he came to the enlightened realization that it was ridiculous to have a glass house in the first place. His success was borne of humility and the acknowledgement/ acceptance of his own failings. He is a humorist and his entire shtick is exposing the ludicrous nature of man.

    So, what I guess I’m trying to say is: If you don’t want a clown in your holy of holies, don’t hire a clown.

  10. P.S. I agree with the Robert Downey Jr sentiment. Isn't he just dreamy?

    Sherlock Homes Sequel?
    I'll be there on opening night, licking the screen.