Ricky Gervais has hosted the Golden Globes for the fifth and definitely final time. And he didn't take any prisioners.
Except those gathered at the Beverly Hilton. They were held hostage and repeatedly insulted. And he didn't care. And when he was done, he insulted their friends, he insulted the industry ("paedophiles and perverts") and for a climax he insulted their intelligence and worldliness. And through it all, he took time to iterate his care factor at exactly zero.
Among it all, he managed to insult others as well, for instance the Hollywood Foreign Press Association [whose members nominate and vote in the awards]. Gervais observed that "Kevin Hart was fired from Oscars because of offensive tweets," while highlighting the apparent double standard of his being allowed to host. Repeatedly.
He was just warming up: "Many talented people of colour were snubbed. Unfortunatey there’s nothing much we can do about that. The Hollywood Foreign Press are very, very racist... We were going to do an In Memoriam this year but when I saw the list of people who had died it wasn’t diverse enough. Mostly white people." The reaction to the double-sided referencing of race in the room was mixed but the star of The Office "didn't care". He went on to make a crack about Jeffrey Epstein (not killing himself). To the gasps he quipped, "Shut up! I know he’s your friend – but I don’t care."
"We were going to do an In Memoriam this year but when I saw the list of people who had died it wasn’t diverse enough. Mostly white people."
And then he turned his attention to the state of the film industry; specifically Hollywood. "All the best actors have gone to Netflix. Of those who have remained [in Hollywood] their job isn’t acting anymore – it’s going to the gym twice a day and taking steroids," lamenting that [Hollywood] films are all about superheroes and dressing up in masks and capes.
And then in full flight, "You say you’re woke but the companies you work for… unbelievable.. I mean Apple, Amazon, Disney… if ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t ya?"
"Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg, so, if you win, right… come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god and f... off."
But best was saved for last, squarely aimed at what he believes is a privileged, disconnected, preachy class of under-educated actors, "So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech, right? You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg, so, if you win, right… come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god and f... off.
And that got the best laughs of the night.
Listen to Ricky Gervais' full speech.
Gervais isn't the first to line up the pompous, overblown and overly-adulated acting industry. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld scored a standing ovation for laying waste to his audience in 2007.