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Video: Did Gervais go too far with ‘Golden’ jabs?

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    >> also there was a little bit of controversy surrounding the host of the evening, ricky gervais , who spared nobody during the monologue and introductions last night.

    >> you know our next presenter from films such as " hudson hawk ," "look who's talking," "mercury rising," "color of night," "fifth element," "heart's war." please welcome ashton kutcher 's dad, bruce willis ! [ applause ]

    >> even better is the look on bruce willis 's face.

    >> he wants to rip his lungs out. you can tell. i don't know. i think he went too far this time.

    >> you think so?

    >> especially after the introduction of tom hanks and tim allen and tom spanked him a little bit.

    >> tom had the best comeback. he really sort of reminded him of where he came from, i suppose.

    >> then it seemed like he went away for a while. and then came back a little more contrite, i think.

    >> yeah. you want the humor to be a little sharp and edgy with ricky gervais , the british humor . but, yeah, i think a lot of people in the room for kind of -- he didn't get the laughs as he did last year.

    >> it's a tough job, a hard job to do.

    >> it is.

IMAGE: Gervais
Paul Drinkwater  /  AP
Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais even aimed digs at the host organization, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
By
updated 1/20/2011 8:31:48 PM ET 2011-01-21T01:31:48
REVIEW

It's a little early for baseball season, but Ricky Gervais didn't care.

Throwing all caution to the wind, the cheeky Brit knocked it out of the park as host of Sunday's 68th Annual Golden Globes, aired on NBC.

Back for a second year — and thank goodness for it — Gervais came loaded for bear and wasted no time setting the tone for an awards show recognized as much for its revelry as its prizes.

Scoop: Did Ricky Gervais get his wish?

"It's going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking," he began his monologue, sipping from a glass of what looked like beer. "Or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast."

He lobbed a compound zinger at nominated film "The Tourist."

"I feel bad about that joke," he said after his first gibe. "I'm jumping on the bandwagon, because I haven't even seen 'The Tourist.'" (Beat.) "Who has?"

He was just warming up. He went on to assure the audience that "The Tourist" had not been nominated by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association just because its members wanted to hang out with the film's stars, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.

Slideshow: 68th Golden Globe Awards (on this page)

"That is not the only reason," Gervais insisted with a saucy smile. "They also accepted bribes." (A lawsuit filed last week claims the HFPA has engaged in payola schemes for nominations and awards.)

Then, having already bitten the hand that was feeding him, Gervais soon bit the HFPA's other hand.

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He announced that Eva Longoria would be on next with "the daunting task" of introducing HFPA president Phillip Berk.

"That's nothing," Gervais confided. "I just had to help him off the toilet and pop his teeth in."

Unlike most everyone else, Berk was unamused.

Slideshow: Golden Globes red carpet (on this page)

Before offering his greetings to the audience, Berk, wearing a tight smile, said, "Ricky, next time you want me to help you qualify your movie, go to another guy."

"Oooooooooo," went the audience.

A bit later, Gervais had doffed his jacket. Look out now!

Introducing presenter Robert Downey Jr., Gervais listed a few of the actor's many film credits, then said, "But many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail."

Sauntering on stage, Downey took a little bow, then returned the favor, quipping, "Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far, wouldn't you?"

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The vibe was pretty entertaining, all right. Thanks to Gervais' inspired — and, yes, occasionally scathing — stewardship, the Globes steered clear of the pretension and self-worship to which awards shows so often fall victim.

Matt Damon did his part, delivering a respectful but ironically funny tribute to Robert De Niro, recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for career achievement.

"I asked around," said Damon, pretending not to be familiar with De Niro's work, "and I was surprised to find that many people consider him to be the greatest actor alive. A lot of you probably don't know this, but the guy's been in like 70 movies."

Damon then went on to mis-credit the roles De Niro played in some of his greatest films: "Who could ever forget 'Taxi Driver,' where he was literally unrecognizable as a blond, 13-year-old hooker?"

Even De Niro himself, who no one will mistake for a standup comic, made an effort to mock himself for a few of his flops, recalling "Stanley & Iris," "Jacknife" and "Frankenstein."

Perpetually good-natured Tom Hanks, one of the final presenters, declared, "Like many of you, we recall back when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian."

"Neither of which is he now," chimed in co-presenter Tim Allen.

Maybe not. But Gervais did his job, and deliciously.

Saying goodnight, he thanked everyone, including God, "for making me an atheist."

Gervais may have left a few casualties, but he made sure the Globes was a party.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Photos: 68th Golden Globe Awards

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  1. Ricky Gervais

    Back for a second year, Ricky Gervais set the tone early for the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards, recognized as much for its revelry as its prizes. "It's going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking," Gervais began his monologue, sipping from a glass of what looked like beer. "Or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast." (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Christian Bale

    The actor won the award for best supporting actor in a movie for "The Fighter." (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Katey Segal

    The star accepts the best actress in a TV drama for "'Sons of Anarchy" onstage during the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 16. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Chris Colfer

    The "Glee" star holds up his award for best supporting actor in a TV series for his work on the Fox musical. (Paul Buck / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Steve Buscemi

    The veteran character actor poses with his award for best actor in a TV drama for "Boardwalk Empire" in the press room at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Annette Benning

    The actress accepts her award for best actress in a movie comedy for "The Kids Are All Right." (Ho / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Al Pacino

    The legendary actor holds his award for best actor in a miniseries or TV movie for his work as Dr. Jack Kevorkian for 'You Don't Know Jack' backstage at the Golden Globe Awards. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Jane Lynch

    The "Glee" star accepts the award for best supporting actress in a TV series. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Robert De Niro and Matt Damon

    Presenter Matt Damon, left, strikes a pose with Cecil B. DeMille Award winner Robert De Niro in the press room at the Golden Globe Awards. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Jim Parsons

    The star of "The Big Bang Theory" shows off this award for best actor in a TV comedy in the press room. (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Paul Giamatti

    The actor poses with his award for best actor in a movie comedy for his role in 'Barney's Version' in the press room at the Golden Globes. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. 'Glee'-ful night

    The cast and crew of "Glee" pose with the award for best comedy or musical TV series at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 16. (Mark J. Terrill / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Melissa Leo

    The actress poses with her award for best supporting actress in movie for her role in "The Fighter." (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Natalie Portman

    The "Black Swan" star accepts the award for best actress in movie drama at the 68th annual Golden Globes Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Ho / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Colin Firth

    The British star poses with his award for best actor in a movie drama for "The King's Speech." (Kevin Winter / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Michael Douglas

    The star, who is recovering from treatment for cancer, presents the award for best movie drama at the Golden Globes. (Handout / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. 'Social' setting

    The producers of the "The Social Network," from left, Kevin Spacey, Cean Chaffin, Dana Brunetti, Scott Rudin, and Michael De Luca pose with their award for Best Motion Picture -- Drama on Sunday night. (Lucy Nicholson / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Show
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    Above: Slideshow (17) 68th Golden Globe Awards
  2. Image: Actress Natalie Portman from the film 'Black Swan' arrives at the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills
    Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
    Slideshow (52) Golden Globes red carpet

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