When Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes for three years in a row from 2010-2012, some viewed his hosting stints as mean-spirited and over-the-top. Just a few short years later Gervais is taking on the role once more, but while he’s confident enough to host the awards ceremony again, he seems genuinely befuddled when asked about the controversy related to his past stints. In a recent interview, Ricky Gervais explained what he thinks about the Golden Globes backlash. Here’s what he had to say:
I’ve never understood the controversy around the Golden Globes. That stuff I did, I was shocked that people thought that was shocking. Genuinely. I thought, what have I said wrong? I didn’t say anything outrageous or libelous. I didn’t say anything against broadcasting rules. It was on network television, late afternoon, it couldn’t have been that bad.
While Ricky Gervais didn’t necessarily bother a ton of people at home, he wasn’t afraid to take big shots at a-list celebrities, including poking fun at Mel Gibson’s ability to drink and Angelina Jolie’s penchant for adopting children from third world countries. Nothing was off-limits. Robert Downey’s Jr’s prison stint was brought up. Scientology was bashed. But as Gervais told THR this week, it was all for the sake of comedy.
As for Scientology, if you can’t make fun of religion, what can you make fun of? Also, I don’t think what Scientology believes is any weirder than any other belief in a magical sky wizard or deity. So, I wasn’t even picking on them.
While his stints as host were controversial at the time, in the years since Gervais has handled the event with the proper level of cheek, capably making fun of himself and more. In the years following his initial hosting stint, he even had a running thing with other hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Last year Ricky Gervais was set to present, and while drinking onstage, the comedian said the ceremony was going well, before stating, “Let’s not ruin it.” Here’s the hilarious bit from last year’s awards.
Fey and Poehler have now stepped down as Golden Globes hosts and about a month ago, we learned the committee who hires on the hosts decided now would be a good time to bring Ricky Gervais back on again. While the comedian hasn’t been quite as prominent in recent years, his Netflix series Derek did just hit Blu-ray and DVD in its entirety in the U.K. Plus, Gervais has The Office follow-up movie Life On The Road in the works and another Netflix movie moving forward.
Whether he returns to his mean-spirited roots or simply does Ricky Gervais light, I think we’ll all be on the edge of our seats to see what the comedian will pull out again. The Golden Globes air this Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.