Returning Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais did indeed let it be known that he wasn’t going to hold back in skewering Hollywood’s most famous celebrities.
And, in what will undoubtedly be his last hosting gig for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA)(and, who knows, maybe any Stateside awards) he didn’t disappoint.
But in the process of making searingly funny jokes at more than just the obvious targets (Charlie Sheen, Mel Gibson, the HFPA itself), the heat he put into the punch lines might have made him more of the story than the actual winners.
And yet, it made for compelling, if sometimes wince-inducing, television.
Given the staid lameness of most awards shows, hello, Emmys, at least he kept those who are not in the industry laughing uproariously.
(His “I warned them” line came after a particularly funny joke about Hugh Hefner’s new fiancée, complete with physical comedy and facial expressions).
Gervais’ biting lines were scattered at various stars (and movies like The Tourist), with not everyone taking kindly to the treatment.
Bruce Willis seemed miffed to be called the father of Ashton Kutcher, Robert Downey Jr seemed to take slight umbrage about his rehab past (before going into his own salacious and super speech), etc.
Even when the jokes weren’t directed at them, some stars took gentle swipes back, as when Tom Hanks, who just received a rave recitation of his career achievement from Gervais, protected Tim Allen, who received none.