Mixed reaction to Ricky's Globes

‘Hysterical’... or 'toothless'?

Ricky Gervais has received mixed reviews for hosting the Golden Globes last night.

It was the first time in 15 years, the Hollywood awards ceremony has had a single host, rather than a string of presenters for each gong, and Gervais’s performance had been much-anticipated.

The New York Times felt he lived up to the hype, saying: ‘Cheeky, silly and funny as heck, Gervais kept things real by making sure they didn't get too pretentiously Hollywood-style real.’

Leading celebrity website TMZ said: ‘Everything Ricky Gervais has said during the Golden Globes has been hysterical’, while Radar.com added: ‘Gervais, was on fire Sunday bringing the laughs from the audience with a risque and hilarious introduction.’

But influential trade paper the Hollywood Reporter ruled that his opening monologue was ‘disappointingly toothless’.

It added: ‘He tackled predictable subjects: satirising self-promotion by plugging DVDs for his own creations… tossing off banal generalities about the unimportance of actors; small-penis yuks, and of course, NBC potshots. But Gervais flew through all of them so fast he didn't land a blow, let alone draw blood.’

Gervais said of the network that airs the US version of The Office as well as the Globes ceremony: ‘I will be making the most of this. I'm not used to these viewing figures – let’s face it, nor is NBC.’

The Washington Post said: ‘Whatever hopes viewers held that host Ricky Gervais would have the stars rolling in the aisle at Sunday night's ceremony went largely unfulfilled.’

In the Daily Telegraph, author Toby Young blogged 45 minutes into the show: ‘His timing was off during his opening monologue and he seemed to get increasingly nervous as it became clear that his penis gags and ironic-but-not-really attempts to promote his DVDs were falling flat. At one point, it looked as though he might break into a flop sweat, the fear that haunts every stand up comedian. In future, Gervais should stick to poking fun at these sorts of events from the sidelines rather than being an official spokesman.’

Later in the show, Gervais took off his tie and came on stage with a beer in hand, cracking what was largely agreed to be his best joke of the night: ‘I like a drink as much as the next man – unless that man is Mel Gibson.’

Hollywood website The Wrap said: ‘Despite getting off some good zingers - his introduction of Mel Gibson was beyond brilliant - Gervais seemed a bit off his game.’

The Chicago Tribune summed up the critics’ mood, saying: ‘His more artful zingers tended to land. All in all, however, he didn't make much of an impression as host, except when he was biting the hands of those who'd invited him to play ringmaster at the somewhat subdued ceremony.

Before the show, Gervais had said: ‘It’s live. That’s the beauty of it… I’m not going to rehearse; they haven’t seen the script. They can’t censor me.

In the awards themselves, feelgood comedy Glee, which has just begun airing on E4, was named best comedy or musical TV series, while The Hangover was named best comedy film.

Alec Baldwin scooped best TV comedy actor for 30 Rock, while Toni Collette won the equivalent actress award for the sitcom United States Of Tara.

Published: 18 Jan 2010

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