Ricky Gervais is hosting the 2020 Golden Globes. The comedian will be heading up the awards show for the fifth time overall, and the first time since 2016. The decision to bring Gervais back has been met with trepidation by some celebrities, given his penchant for controversial jokes, but a Globes insider told Page Six that “the amount of press he generates is absolutely invaluable.”
John Larroquette and Janine Turner were the first people to host the Golden Globes in 1995, but the show returned to a no-host format until 2010, when Gervais was approached. He recounted the experience during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “I did it the first time because I couldn’t believe I was asked. They had never had a presenter,” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh, this is great.’ I didn’t know what it was like. I had no expectations. I’d won a couple of Golden Globes, so I had been and it was a nice party.”
Gervais Will Return As Host for the First Time Since 2016
Gervais feels that the Golden Globes is a difficult gig for a comedian, since the mood of the room changes from positive to negative over the course of the night. “Everyone’s drinking, everyone’s getting drunk, they don’t want to hear what you want [to say], they want to know if they’ve won an award,” he explained. “And as the night goes on, there are more losers. They’re like, ‘Well, we didn’t even win.’ So it’s a bad gig for a comedian.”
Gervais’ hosting stints between 2010-12 drew strong ratings for ABC, with the 2010 show being the network’s highest-rated non-sporting event in six years. His 2016 return had less impressive results. According to Cinema Blend, the show managed a 5.5 demo rating and 18.511 million total viewers, which, while solid, was down 5% from the 2015 show.
This Is the 5th Time Gervais Has Hosted the Golden Globes
Gervais told THR that he chose to return as host because he likes poking fun at the egos in the room. “It’s fun. That first time I did it, [I thought], ‘Do I pander to the 200 privileged egos in the room, or do I try and entertain a global audience of 200 million people sitting at home who aren’t winning awards?’ Well, no contest,” he reasoned. “I try and make it a spectator sport. I try and play the outsider… I’ve got to be the bloke sitting at home who shouldn’t have been invited. That’s who I’ve got to be.”
This approach has come with its fair share of controversy. During the 2016 Golden Globes, the comedian was criticized for making jokes about Caitlyn Jenner, Roman Polanski, Mel Gibson and Ben Affleck among others. Entertainment Weekly compiled a list of his most offensive lines, which you can check out here.
A Hollywood agent told Page Six that celebrities are nervous as to whether they will be called out by Gervais during the 2020 show. “When my clients are getting dressed for the Globes, they’re all excited,” the agent explained. “But if Ricky’s hosting, they’re trepidatious — some hope if they keep a low profile he might let them off. But it doesn’t work that way.”
The Golden Globes will air on NBC on Sunday at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.
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