“This is the last time I’m hosting these awards,” Ricky Gervais said moments after taking the stage at the 77th Golden Globe Awards for his fifth hosting gig. Based on the audience reaction to his bridge-burning, F-bomb-laden monologue, this might be the last time he’s allowed in Hollywood... let alone at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s annual shindig. The mood in the room was essentially summed up by everyone’s favorite L.A. neighbor Tom Hanks — this year’s recipient of the HFPA’s Cecil B. DeMille Award — whose face displayed an expression of shock and disgust every time the cameras found him in the crowd.
If Gervais, who took to the stage with a full glass of beer, noticed Hanks giving him the stinkeye, it didn’t stop the host from going for the jugular. He also didn’t apologize for any of his jokes, including the seemingly transphobic tweets he made on Twitter before the ceremony. Questionable Twitter habits, of course, are what cost Kevin Hart his hosting spot at last year’s Oscar ceremony, and Gervais gave the almost-host a shoutout. “Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars because of some offensive tweets,” he said, before going on to draw a distinction with his own situation. “The HFPA can barely speak English. They barely know what Twitter is! I got the offer by fax. Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all going to die soon, and there’s no sequel.”
One of those jokes that noticeably raised Hanks’s ire was Gervais’s suggestion that the license plate on his HFPA-hired limo was made by Felicity Huffman during her brief prison stay after she was swept up in the college admissions scandal. “It’s her daughter I feel sorry for,” Gervais said, shushing the room. “That must be the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to her. And her dad was in Wild Hogs.”
Gervais proved anything but embarrassed as he continued to call out the rich and famous on their privileged lifestyle. “If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a political platform to make a political speech,” he warned. “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, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your God and f*** off. OK?”
Of course, that rule didn’t apply to the host himself, who took more than a few potshots at current political events. “In this room are some of the most important TV and film executives in the world, and they all have one thing in common: They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow,” Gervais said, referring to the journalist whose reporting has helped bring down such Hollywood titans as Harvey Weinstein and Les Moonves. Meanwhile, tech world titan, Tim Cook, looked on stone-faced as Gervais praised Apple TV+’s marquee series The Morning Show as a “superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing made by a company who owns sweatshops in China. You say you’re woke but the companies you work for — Apple, Amazon, Disney — if ISIS started a streaming service, you would call your agent, wouldn’t you?”
Gervais didn’t leave his own employer, Netflix, out of his streaming service broadside. “You could binge-watch the entire first season of After Life and it’s still more fun than this,” he said, referring to his most recent series about a man who contemplates suicide after his wife dies. “Season 2 is on the way, so in the end he obviously didn’t kill himself — just like Jeffrey Epstein. I know he’s your friend, but I don’t care!”
Even as he spent much of his monologue stoking Hollywood’s ire, he did pick one topic everyone in the room could agree on: the craziness that was Universal’s mega-bomb musical, Cats. “The world got to see James Corden as fat p****. He was also in the movie Cats, but nobody saw that! And the reviews! I saw one that said ‘This is the worst thing to happen to cats since dogs.’ But Dame Judi Dench defended the film, saying it was the role she was born to play.” At that point, Gervais arrived at a joke that even he wasn’t sure he could deliver. And, in fact, the audience at home didn’t hear it at all, since NBC hit the “bleep” button with extreme force. But here’s the line, direct from Yahoo Entertainment’s reporter in the room: “Because she loves nothing better than plunking herself down on the carpet, lifting her leg and and licking her own minge.”
We’re guessing that Tom Hanks still hasn’t gotten over that one.
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