“Let’s have a laugh at your expense, shall we?” So said Ricky Gervais to a room full of Hollywood insiders, presaging what turned out to be a particularly searing opening monologue at the Golden Globes on Sunday. It was Gervaisian through and through, cheeky, cutting, with little regard for the egos of powerful celebrities. (He even mistook Joe Pesci for Baby Yoda.)
From Gervais, it was exactly what we’ve come to expect. But in the 11 years since he first hosted the Globes in 2009, felt somehow more cathartic, more necessary, and more daring. Appropriately, the comedian knocked the Academy Awards for pushing Kevin Hart out as host last year over his tweets.
Gervais took a legendary swipe at Big Tech, fingering Apple while Tim Cook sat yards away, incisively calling out the hypocrisy in Hollywood’s entanglement with certain companies.
The monologue climaxed when Gervais took it upon himself to speak for pretty much everyone outside Hollywood by scorching the time-honored tradition of political acceptance speeches.
“You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything, you know nothing about the real world,” he told the crowd. “Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So, if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god and f-ck off.”
Last year’s Globes were bland and toothless. The Oscars, hostless and tolerable. It leads me to the conclusion that only Gervais (or his equally impish contemporaries) should be allowed to helm these things going forward.
Here’s a selection of the best hits from his opener:
“They’re just jokes. We’re all going to die soon. And there’s no sequel.”
"They're just jokes. We're all going to die soon. And there's no sequel."
— Aaron Pruner (@AaronFlux) January 6, 2020
“So in the end he obviously didn’t kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein. Shut up, I know he’s your friend but I don’t care.”
“Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere [of “Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood”] and by the end, his date was too old for him.”
“I came here in a limo tonight and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman.”
— TerriGreen (@TerriGreenUSA) January 6, 2020
“You say you’re woke but the companies you work for—Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?”