He Insulted Many, but Gervais was Golden for ‘Globes’ Ratings

Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

UPDATED: Criticism of Ricky Gervais’ performance as host of the Golden Globes Sunday night continued to mount on Monday even as it became apparent that the tart-tongued comic probably helped this year’s telecast increase its audience over last year’s, which he also hosted.

“He definitely crossed the line,” said Phillip Berk, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the governing body of the Golden Globes. “And some of the things were totally unacceptable. But that’s Ricky,” said Berk in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

“Any of the references to individuals is certainly not something the Hollywood Foreign Press condones,” Berk said, referring to the caustic comic’s jibes at Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr., Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp (and their movie bomb “The Tourist”), Hugh Hefner and the HFPA itself.

In the wake of the furor over his remarks, Gervais was unapologetic. “I think last year I didn’t go far enough,” he said after the show, in an interview with TVGuide.com. “This year, I went about [it] right. If anyone was offended, then I don’t care.”

PREVIOUSLY: Despite Gervais’ now-infamous insult-laden opening monologue, or perhaps because of it, the Globes attracted 16.998 million viewers from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday on NBC, according to Nielsen figures announced by the network on Monday. The number represented a slight uptick for the Globes from a year ago, which drew 16.984 million.

Observers believe Gervais has about a snowball’s chance in Hades of ever being asked back to host the Globes, after he appeared to go too far with monologue jokes that were perceived as more insulting than comedic. He not only insulted a number of stars who were there, but some who weren’t there as well. The HFPA’s Berk didn’t comment on whether Gervais would be asked back next year.

If the decision were based on the ratings, the HFPA and NBC might have to think seriously about bringing him back. Consider this: In 2009, when Gervais didn’t host the Globes (the telecast went host-less that year), it had 14.862 million viewers – which means, if nothing else, Ricky Gervais has been great for the Golden Globe ratings.

Gervais himself doesn’t expect to be invited back. The Hollywood Reporter noted on Monday that Gervais was asked back for 2011 before his 2010 hosting stint had even ended. This year, that didn’t happen. “That’s ominous, isn’t it?” he asks in the THR story. “So I probably won’t be here next year.”

However, if by some chance he is asked back, “I’ll go [expletive] mental,” he said.

Do you think Gervais should be asked back? What did you think of the show as a whole?

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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