Did Ricky Gervais go too far at the Golden Globes?

golden-globes-gervaisHe trashed The Tourist right in front of Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. He introduced Bruce Willis as “Ashton Kutcher’s dad.” He dissed Charlie Sheen, Steve Carell, Cher, the cast of Sex and the City 2, Robert Downey Jr., and…well, just about everyone else within earshot. In his second year as the host of the Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais more than lived up to his reputation as the go-to guy for off-color Hollywood humor. (Check out a full rundown of Gervais’ rudest jokes here.) EW‘s own Ken Tucker is a fan, saying that Gervais brought “the sort of funny rudeness and effrontery… that make an awards show such as the Golden Globes engaging to watch.” But judging by the equal amounts of groans and giggles in the audience, it’s clear that some thought he stepped over the line of good taste.

So let’s get a show of hands from you, PopWatchers: Did Gervais make you laugh or cringe? Vote in our poll now, and check back later today for the results!

Comments (536 total) Add your comment
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  • Daw Johnson

    I liked him, but I’m interestingly enough SHOCKED that he’s generating so much outcry. I didn’t think anything was in poor taste.

    • Ke

      You don’t think making a gay joke, that might have been funny 5 years ago, isn’t in poor taste?

      • Grace

        Which joke? The one about the closeted Scientologists?

      • Jane

        The fact that we’re even asking if he went to far suggests he did his job, exactly as he said he would. Someone had to call the bloody Tourist out.

      • Fredric L. Rice

        It’s not a “gay joke” when the two Scientology clowns are in fact gay.

      • dav1dn

        that was not so much a gay joke as it was a joke about Scientology and hypocrisy.

      • Brandon Routh IS Superman

        wait, two? I only thought he was referring to Tom Cruise, who are the other ones?

      • Al

        Why would it have been funny 5 years ago? Were gays funnier then or was is just a better time to mention that Tom Cruise might be gay? And no, saying someone is gay isn’t in poor taste. If someone is gay, they’re gay – nothing poor about it.

      • Cici217

        John Travolta.

      • schwee

        So making jokes about gays was funny 5 years ago but not in 2011? FAIL!

      • AmazedattheBS

        A joke is a joke gay or otherwise. Do gays now not want jokes told involving gays? Whats next a dictionary of gay terminology. A college level course in gay pride? Mandatory gay sensitivity classes in high school? Shut up!

      • Windsor

        Gervais is himself gay, dude. Quit the PC attitude, he was funny and a breath of fresh air.

      • Bigmouth

        People, the joke wasn’t just that Tom Cruise is gay. It’s also that Gervais was speaking to an audience at least half of which was scientologists!

      • ymg

        no, it was funny. he was clever and funny. He was funny with the a. kutcher joke, he was on point about the horror of a movie that angelina jolie made and he was funny all around.

      • Jake

        You must be kidding me. It wasn’t a gay joke, it was a joke mocking two of the biggest hypocrites in Hollywood. It’s an open secret that they’re both gay and for him to call them on it was amazing.

        Ricky Gervais is incredible. Those people need to be taken down a few pegs.

      • Eddie

        I think some do the Gay community a diservice by creating the stereotype of “too delicate” to be joked about.
        There is bullying, and harassment. Then there is just comedy.
        Many of the TV Web viewing people have never been to an adults only club commedy act which can be very blue. I didn’t see this as being against gays UNLESS YOU ASSUME being gay is bad. IT was more about the people who many feel are hiding it, vs those taking roles that represent gays.

      • Sgt. Rock

        By this reasoning, if we can’t make jokes about gays, then we can’t make jokes about straights, since everybody wants equality. Anyway, I thought the whole show was about a lot of pretentious people who were full of themselves. I turned the TV off. Screw them.

      • Richard

        errm it was a joke against scientology not gay people

        look up the GG promo of RG explaining why he doesnt take the piss out of someones’ sexuality

      • Michelle

        All of it, AWESOME!

      • now voyager

        @Winsor He’s not gay. He’s been in a long term relationship with Jane Fallon.

      • now voyager

        I meant @Windsor, and he is in a long term relationship with Jane Fallon.

      • Trista

        so let me get this straight (no pun intended) we can no longer joke about short people, gay people, religious people, anti-religious people, people with limited intelligence, people with disabilities, people without disabilities, white people, black people, people of other nationalities etc… What is left? I guess we all better get use to a plethera of blonde jokes to come back in style. If we can’t laugh at ourselves – what does that say about all of us. Lighten up – get a sense of humor or just freaken stop watching.

      • ThickFog

        It’s not a “gay joke”, simply because the word “gay” is in the joke. If he’d said, “White Chicks about two black guys who play white women, rather than the Kardashians who are about white chicks that play black guys” – is it a “black” joke or a Kardashian joke?

      • Carla

        I took that more as a jab against Scientologists, specifically Tom Cruise and John Travolta, than as a ‘gay joke’. Pretty brave of him; Scientologists are pretty powerful.

    • Cin Salvatore

      I totally agree. I am pretty sure I’ve seen Nicholson & the like being just as ‘rude’ and being laughed into commercial break. Poor sports.

      • Amanda Kiwinerd

        So watch Sarah Palin’s Alaska for the 100th time, you crybaby teabaggers!!!

      • D

        What in Cin’s statement lead you to believe he was a “teabagger”?

      • Eddie

        D.. Amanda appears to be part of a new mindless religion who blame all they don’t like from violence by nut jobs who are politcally aligned with no one but maybe Rosie O’Donell to warm beer on the teaparty. Because they have no clue what the real problems of the world are. Its pretty sad when people stop thinking for themselves like that.

    • Logic

      There is no god… thank you Mr Gervais

      • Mike

        Shhh… don’t spoil the fantasy! Santa also exists too.

      • Meli

        Can I say as a Believer I thought his Atheist joke was quite funny?

      • Jane

        I really wonder if we’re really in the 21st Century when people get offended by the obvious suggestion that there’s no God. Let’s burn a witch while we’re at it.

      • Neptuny

        Obvious suggestion. Hardly.

      • Sandi

        I too thought it was a funny joke. The only time I am bothered by Athiest is when they need to evagelize thier religion/fait (that which can not be proved) by attacking others. That is no more acceptable than when some say Islam is evil as a religion. IS there no way to evagelize thier faith without trashing others.

      • A

        I’m Catholic and I laughed when he said that!

      • hotandcold

        You leave Santa Claus alone!!!! *boo hoo, sniffle, boo hoo*

      • Ian

        @ Sandi — Atheism is not a religion, nor is it a faith. Plus, “evangelise” is NOT a word, unless it’s a pron industry term I haven’t heard before. You really hit all points of ignorance with that little post, huh?

      • Meg

        Ian – you are correct. “Evangelise” is not a word. However, “evangelize” is a word, and is in fact the word that Sandi used in her post. Don’t attack someone as being ignorant if you are lacking in vocabulary and the ability to read and/or spell correctly.

      • Ian

        Hey Meg, before you make assumptions on my vocabulary, maybe you should reread Sandi’s post. She didn’t say evangelize. She said evagelize, In fact she used the same nonexistent word TWICE. Yes, I put an ‘S’ instead of a Z, but she didn’t say Evangelize, now did she? What was that you were saying about people’s ability to read??? Either way she’s still ignorant for thinking atheism is a religion. It’s not.

      • Meg

        Actually – I amend my post. “Evagelize” is the word that Sandi used, which does read as a porn industry term. Still not sure where “evangelise” came from.

      • Jack

        Congrats Atheists, you’ve known become as insufferable and boorish as the Christian right. Mission accomplshed?

      • Amanda Kiwinerd

        So watch Sarah Palin’s Alaska for the 100th time, you crybaby teabaggers!!

      • jenny

        Ian, I am a little confused by something in your first post, what exactly is the pron industry? Is it some industry I’ve never heard of? If so, what is its relevance here? You may want to check your own spelling before you attack others for theirs.

      • Lara

        Yeah I thought that was hilarious!

      • Carol

        I really wonder if we’re in the 21st century when people still believe in a god.

      • tvlover

        come on people – ian was just using a british english spelling (s instead of z)!

      • Psac

        Actually, as an agnostic-ish person, I hate it when people shove their religion down my throat. What he did was kind of the same…

      • HT

        As a manatee, I find you humans incredibly moronic with the exception of Psac, who wins with “agnostic-ish”. Lit.: I’m not sure if I’m unsure.

      • Naivety

        @HT Epic win!

    • ed

      I know from all the hubbub you’d think Ricky flashed his vagina.

      • Trina

        LOL…you are too funny! Love it!

    • Sean

      I think he went too far. A bit of humor is always great. But humor can be done without denigrating all it’s topics. I was actually uncomfortable for those he announced. He was just rude.
      If it were a roast, it would have been funny! But it wasn’t. None of the people came there wanting or knowing they were going to be “roasted” or made fun of. I think he was an ass for being that rude, which bothers me more because I generally love his work.

    • romy

      I am no fan of Scientologists but that was cringe-worthy for sure. I also think the Cher slam was MEAN.

      • Meli

        Was it a lie?

      • Eddie

        The fact is Gerais will be lucky to have part of the career longevity of Cher. Being mean only goes so far.

      • Juneau

        I doubt Cher took offense so why should anyone else?

      • Ian

        The career longevity of Cher? How many movies has she done in the last decade? She’s casted herself OUT of everything for looking like a transgendered robot, which only works in something over the top like Burlesque, and she hasn’t had a music hit in 20 years. What kind of longevity is that?

      • Writer

        If the world comes to an end, then the only left will be cockroaches and Cher. She’s been in for the long haul for quite a while. I admire her.

      • michael

        @Eddie…Ricky Gervais is a zillionaire. He could be blackballed tomorrow and make bank on The Office syndication for the rest of his life. I doubt that he’s concerned about longevity.

        I like Cher but I still found the joke funny.

      • Scientology Student Terryeo

        Yeah, I’m not a big fan of Scientology either but I think this unfunny guy was just trying to hide his own crimes.

      • Jen

        as a HUGE Cher fan I thought it was funny! lighten up everyone…he was a riot!

    • SJ

      I found many of his jokes distasteful, but at this point he’s been around the entertainment scene long enough for people to know better. View one of his stand up specials and I think it’s obvious what “product” you’re getting when you hire Ricky. He was simply doing what he does, so the outcry is absurd.

      • SaraJ

        I’m torn — I thought the opening was great (loved that he called out the annoyingly “untouchable” Angelina Jolie), but I thought the jokes about Sandra Bullock hating poor people because they smell, the slam on Tim Allen’s career and especially the atheist joke to be really offensive. I believe in God, and I’m not stupid, and evidently Ricky Gervais thinks I am.

      • Linda

        I’m a 70 year old woman and I thought Ricky was very funny, what is the problem people.

      • Dee

        Absolutely right, he’s been around a long time and people know what they’re getting when they hire him. He put on an entertaining show and he did. What did they think they were going to get? This is his brand of humor, which I personally love. If they wanted a bland, “make nice” guy, they certainly shouldn’t have hired him. His job is to be edgy, make people a little uncomfortable and play to the audience, which he did, and give them a bit of a laugh. Personally, I laughed my butt off watching the show and I thought he was brilliant! Most of the people in the audience probably would’ve laughed harder if the cameras hadn’t been on them!

    • JiL

      Atheist march to their own rules. Consequences to be determined.

      • Rob

        touchy, eh???

      • Amanda Kiwinerd

        Go watch Sarah Palin’s Alaska for the 100th time, you crybaby teabagger!

      • Trista

        Crybaby Teabagger??? – get a life.
        You shouldn’t speak of something of which you have no knowledge.

    • stu

      next yr get joan rivers. she’ll take em all down!

      • mama

        Dat’s the trute!

      • mama

        Dat’s da trute!

      • Delon

        Kathy Griffin. Hello!?!

      • mama

        AMEN .. and she would have no ulterior motive.. Ummmm..unless she targets the botox brigade…. ha!

    • Dutch

      Didn’t watch, just saw the joke clips. Why not watch? Tired of hollywood stroking their already super inflated egos. Good for Gervais to slice them up a bit. Worry not these people will all bounce back from what that “mean” little Ricky Gervais said. Well done, reminds me of Colbert’s roast of Bush. Classic!

    • A-K87

      I don’t get what the fuss is about. If you want to see a controversial comedian. Go on youtube and check out “Frankie Boyle”. He is one of Gervais’ contemporaries and he would’ve ripped the A-Listers to shreads!!

      • Carol

        Ricky Gervais is no contemporary of Frankie Boyle’s, the only thing they have in common is they both stand up on a stage as work.

    • Juneau

      Other than the joke about Bruce Willis being Ashton’s Dad, everything he said was true. So why not bust some chops by acknowledging the obvious instead of sparing feelings.

    • Regan

      This is such a media made story. Seriously, has anyone in the film industry actually come out and SAID that they think he went too far? I’m sure his jokes were well okayed in advance, and that very few celebrities honestly got their egos bruised. Maybe a couple of oversensitive christians were offended by the athiest joke at the end, but that’s about it I think.

      • Shall0wJ

        Yeah, quite a few of them openly tried to counter back at him while on stage–Downey first (to which the whole audience clapped for), then Hanks/Allen. They actually came off really bitter/sensitive to me–tho I agree, they shouldn’t have been.

      • mama

        You have got to be joking or ??? whatever.. Overzealous what … do you truly think that’s what it was about? Christians. Scientologists? Evangilists? Gay? Straight? Black? White? Oriental? Canadian? American? .. What world are you living IN????

      • Robin

        He said in a pre interview they did not ask to see his jokes in advance. He did tell them one joke as it required a costume. They nixed it. Dressing like Hitler is a no no and not funny anyway.

    • Horus

      Its not what he said, anyone who’s seen any of his standup could’ve guessed the style and tone he was going to be, but that he did it in front of them…well except the “unknown” scientologists.
      I thought De Niro was going to bust a gut he was laughing so hard during Gervais’s opening…

    • mama

      Really? Did you watch the show?

    • ****

      That’s American for you, they get “shocked” at the most insignificant bull$#!t but then turn a blind eye to the really shocking stuff happening in their country (like Sarah Palin and her killer drones).

  • K

    He was ok. But some jokes felt they would have been funnier 5 years ago.

    • kc

      How could you tell what the jokes were feeling?

      • Tracey


      • Neptuny

        Jokes have feelings too.

  • Pete

    He was only saying what most people would say if they are honest. Too much of media is just spin and PR. Gervais was refreshing in his candor.

  • Harlan Quinn

    It’s good to remind movie/tv stars that they’re not curing cancer.

    • Rusty Shackelford

      I agree, I enjoy movies as much as the next guy, but I never understood where some of these actors got a sense of entitlement.

      • bill

        they get it from the fact that the world pays to watch their every move.

      • Maria

        Agree with you. Maybe we should stop watching their movies maybe these snooty A listers will get the message and get over themselves.

    • seattle maggie

      I couldn’t agree more Harlan. Sometimes these celebs act like they’ve just won the Nobel Prize!

      • Batman

        You’re so right. It’s quite comical watching the acceptance speeches.

    • Bigmouth


    • Davey R

      totally agree…..the look on their faces while Gervais was cutting into them was priceless!

  • Ben

    Some of his jokes (RDJr.) were too mean-spirited. But let’s be honest, if he had played it safe, people would criticize for being boring. You can’t really win as an awards show host.

    I would say “thanks for making fun of these celebs – they take themselves to seriously”; however, it seems a little silly to congratulate Gervais on putting their egos in place when he’s a celebrity himself.

  • JoE

    I thought the Tim Allen and Bruce Willis intros were unnecessarily mean. I was honestly waiting for hime to make some sort of Jesse James joke when introducing Sandra Bullock!

    • Matt

      Oh come on, the Bruce Willis joke was about the sofest one of the lot.

      • Matt


    • Rachel

      Really? I thought they were hilarious and true!

    • Mary

      The Bruce Willis joke was funny. I think Bruce has a good enough sense of humor and a good enough relationship with Ashton/Demi not to take it too personally. As far as Tim Allen goes, he and Tom Hanks made a joke about Gervais immediately afterward!

      • whatevs

        I think Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Steve Carell, and Robert Downey Jr. all had the right attitude about it.

      • Amy

        Whatevs, I was glad to see some of the stars taking a swing at Gervais. If you’re going to take what Ricky was saying then you deserve it.

      • PN

        Hanks immediately took a swipe at Ricky right after Ricky’s intro–Ricky listed all of Hanks’ hit movies and didn’t say anything about Tim Allen, just his name–Allen had a hit TV series in Home Improvement on ABC and those funny The Santa Clause sequel movies. Ricky could have mentioned that.

  • Liz

    Unfortunately, what the tv audience likes and what the Hollywood attendees audience likes rarely match. Tons of gushy, star-ego-boosting, over-congratulatory speeches and shop talk? Great for the stars but a snoozefest for the tv audience. Ricky played to the couch audience (whether or not he intended to). If the network/HFPA are going to make a big deal of televising the Globes and seeking ratings, they’re going to have to tolerate some ribbing of the stars because that is what the tv audience wants. That said, I am sure it is possible to walk the fine line and entertain both groups, but that clearly wasn’t the intent last night.

    • Liz

      Ugh, contradicted myself. I meant “whether or not” as in, whether or not he consciously thought “the tv viewers will love this, and to heck with the stars!” or if he thought the material would play well to everyone.

      • mama

        As a “TV viewer” did you enjoy it Liz? Be honest!

  • Frances

    The Robert Downey Junior rehab joke, the Heather Mills joke and the gay Scientologist joke were lame and out-of-date. Everything else was hilarious, even if it was equal parts uncomfortable and funny. Turning an awards show into a roast is a genius idea, and I wish Hollywood could take it because I would watch every year.

    • DTO

      Downey’s been clean for years now. Between Gervais making these jokes and Letterman asking for his opinion as a former addict what should be done about Charlie Sheen, when’s he going to live it down?

      • Chaz

        Hear hear! Didn’t need to go back there as far as Robert Downey Jr is concerned. Rest of it was great!

      • Meli

        Yeah, but Downey obviously loved the joke himself. Not everyone in the audience was a stick in the mud last night.

      • QJ201

        Did you forget that Downey was a trainwreck for YEARS before getting his sh*t together? He was a mess for far longer than he has been “acceptable.”

      • SueN

        @QJ201 – True, but it’s been about ten years now since he’s been clean, so the joke just wasn’t current. Which translates into Not Funny.

      • Regan

        Downey doesn’t mind, he’s made quite similar jokes about himself several times.

      • David Good

        A joke does not have to be current to be funny. I, for one, enjoy a good OJ or Amy Fischer joke today as I did when they were current. Wazzzzzupppp!

      • mama

        RDjr .. is a SUPERSTAR. TG he made it through the dark side .. He is one of the superstars of the century. and amazing actor….. Time will tell. He is an ncredible actor.. he’s made it and will prove it!

      • Carla

        My point exactly. I only took exception to the joke about Robert Downey Jr., because he’s earned the right to live to stuff down. He’s made his amends.

    • kc

      You’re right. A soft and fluffy love-fest is boring, and guarantees a drop-off in viewers the next year.

    • PN

      But I think that Ricky doesn’t like any of Robert Downey Jr’s recent movies. Because Iron Man 2 didn’t do as strong as the first Iron Man, Ricky felt he had to slam him because Robert couldn’t top his last box office hit. He likes to go after an actor’s weakness. And plus Robert’s bad boy, decadent, excessive drug abuse ’80s/90s image is still on Ricky’s mind, Ricky had to slam him on that. Some of those old personas still stick on some people to this day and Ricky never forgot that about Robert.

      • Dutch

        RD Jr. Sucks. Glad he got deservedly slammed. Ego the size of TExas.

      • ALM

        Ricky didn’t “slam” him, he made a JOKE about him, and it wasn’t personal based on whether he liked RDJ’s movies or not. RDJ then came out and made self-depricating jokes while introducing the best actress nominees.

    • Zac Marsh

      I totally agree with you I wish that ricky gervais or someone like him would host all of the awards show everything he did was in humor and if he had really hurt a celebrities feelings we would have heard about it by now …. oh and i also loved robert deniros acceptance speech.. priceless

    • phill

      With the intro to RDJ RG was having a go at everybody there,he said while he was looking at the stars “you will proberly know him better from” etc as if to ask them in the room how many of you have paid a visit to L.A county jail and The BFC?,RDJ wasnt the target they all were

  • John Berggren

    I think it’s all in good fun, but I don’t think either poll response accurately depicts this sentiment.

    • JIM O

      i agree your poll questions are spurrious and poorly worded

      grow up

    • faye pigg

      He was rude and not funny at all. Who says a comedian can insult and be considered funny.I will never watch if he hosts again.My heart went out to Robert Downey. I admire his strength. DON”T TELL ME HE THOUGHT THAT REMARK WAS FUNNY> COMICS ARE VICIOUS>>>

      • Prize Pig


      • Teen D-Bag

        @Prize Pig – you made me spit my water all over my keyboard. Priceless.

      • mama

        I agree with you PP.. these PEEPS are heroes.. they’ve made it through the DARK side.. and F the press and the COMEDIANS and the so called friends.. they have a life to live. why do they have to smile and think it’s ‘lite’ humor? It’s their LIFE.. screw the rest of the world!

    • mama

      All in good fun.. What planet are you from? These peeps are mean. vindictive and BRUTAL..

  • Batman

    Murderers and rapists go “too far”. He made some jokes. It’s like it’s “cool” to be offended these days. Honestly, ask yourselves if you were REALLY offended by anything he said, or if you really care that any of these multi-millionaires *might* have been offended… nope.

    Just words, people… just words.

    • Sammie

      Have you ever heard of the phrase, sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never me? Take it from one who knows, words can hurt. Just sayin’

      • Sammie

        *hurt* excuse me.

      • Amanda Kiwinerd

        You don’t even understand the quote you just used! Haha!

      • Sammie

        And amanda proves my point by being all snarky and trying to be all smart aleck she comes off as a jerk instead. Better luck next time amanda. ;)

      • Anna

        Go back to baiting teabaggers Amanda. Sammie understood her quote, her point was that words do hurt.

      • Anonymous

        But it specifically says “words will NEVER hurt me” and you are saying that word DO hurt….

      • rolls eyes

        That’s the point of the post! The old saying is wrong. Sheesh, I can’t believe this needs explaining.

    • heather

      Has anyone heard of a celebrity roast? Those are alot more vicious. And if anyone’s seen Gervais’ HBO show, they would already know how crude he is even to his friends. It english humor people! Get over yourselves.

  • Peter

    There should have been more of him throughout the show. Why have a host when all the introductions are done by an invisible voice-over. The same voice-over that every other minute reminds the viewer of who is sponsoring the show, just in case you decide to leave the room during their commercials.

    Gervais is brilliant, much the way Johnny Carson was the years he hosted award show, and they should just let him have do what they hired him to do.

  • DTO

    I’m divided. While I enjoyed it for the most part, there were times when he came off a bit mean-spirited and smug. Then again, critics and just about everyone I know who’s seen THE INVENTION OF LYING didn’t have much good to say about it either, so maybe he feels these overpaid stuffed shirts (actors and foreign critics alike) deserve to be taken down a peg and take some lumps themselves from an ordinary looking British sitcom star.

  • Fredric L. Rice

    He also pointed out the absurdity of Scientology Crazty Clowns Heterosexual Tom Cruis and Heterosexual John Travolta being, in fact, heterosexual. It was amusing since, well, you know.

  • Majorwolf

    I thought it was great. When the actors would come out they were speechless. Other than saying how rude. Hope he is back again

  • Keith

    There’s a part of me that wonders if some of this isn’t cultural. Americans tend to be thinner skinned than the English when it comes to humor.

    I was sort of shocked at a couple of the jokes, but pleasantly so. I was just sort of surprised he actually said it. ha!! It’s not like he said anything many of us didn’t already know or hadn’t thought. Evidently he served his purpose, because people are talking. I love movies and their stars, but they need to lighten up. 3 hours of patting themselves on the back and getting honored by some goofy organization deserves to have the occasional wind knocked out of it.

    • Lisa Simpson

      Yeah, the Globes are silly awards as it is, so taking a bit of the stuffing out of the people winning them is fine with me. I love movies too, but yeah, they aren’t curing cancer.

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