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Culture

Ricky Gervais Smart-Bombs Hollywood

Ricky Gervais hosts the Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., January 5, 2019. (Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal/Handout via Reuters)

When I was a kid, I used to love a video game called Defender. Whenever you got in trouble, you’d set off the smart bomb and wipe out a huge swarm of aliens at once. The aliens would come right back and get you in a few seconds, but it sure was satisfying in the moment.

Last night, Ricky Gervais was Hollywood’s smart bomb.

Or, as the kids used to say, “YOLO.” Gervais figured this was the last time he’d ever host the Golden Globes or any other awards show, so he told the well-heeled and the overpaid to “F*** off.” He really did. It needed to be said.

The entire show was, as you’d expect, worthless. Except for Gervais’ hosting. “You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything,” he told the audience. “You know nothing about the real world. Most of you’ve 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*** off. Okay?” This wasn’t even a joke. Just sheer hostility. As such it was beautiful to behold.

Gervais gave a monologue like the one I imagine Greg Gutfeld would have given if he’d been invited to host. (Although Greg would have been even funnier, and 20 percent weirder.) Greg praised the jokes:

Gervais made fun of “tiny” Martin Scorsese. He mocked Hollywood’s obsessive habit of counting up nominees by race. After a few observers complained that none of the Best Director nominees were women (not surprising, since none of the best movies of the year were directed by women), Gervais suggested going back to when women weren’t even hired to be directors in the first place. “That will solve the problem. You’re welcome.”

He made a joke about his character on the Netflix show AfterLife: “In the end, he didn’t kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein. Sorry, I know he’s your friend.” He told the room that everyone in it was terrified of Ronan Farrow, and the room reacted so quietly it was obvious the remark was true. He mocked everyone willing to work for Apple’s new movie and TV production arm because Apple is “a company who runs sweatshops in China. . . . If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent.” Spot-on.

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