Ricky Gervais pulls no punches in zinger-filled Golden Globes opening

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By Randee Dawn

You can't say the audience wasn't warned.

Ricky Gervais returned to host the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday evening, making this his fifth time kicking off the proceedings. And over the years he's been doing it (2010-12 and 2016), he's made it clear that everybody is fair game for some seriously pointed jokes.

Ricky Gervais let everybody have it at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards.Paul Drinkwater/NBC

No surprise, then, that Gervais lived up to his reputation! In the space of just a couple of minutes he was censored twice, repeated multiple times that he was completely done with the whole concept of hosting, razzed the Hollywood Foreign Press (which puts on the awards) for not being able to speak English and being "racist," and called out a major corporation for running sweatshops.

Good times. This is an awards show, right?

"You'll be pleased to know that this is the last time I'm hosting these awards," he began, occasionally sipping a beer on the podium in front of him. "I don't care any more. I'm joking. I never did."

But before launching into the real barbs, he issued a warning: "They're just jokes; we're all gonna die soon and there's no sequel."

A few gems:

"I came here in a limo tonight and the license plate was made by (recently incarcerated and released) Felicity Huffman."

"We were going to do an 'In Memoriam' (segment) this year, but when I saw the list of people that had died, it wasn't diverse enough. It was mostly white people. I thought, 'Not on my watch.'"

"'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' was nearly three hours long. (Star) Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere and by the end, his date was too old for him."

"The world got to see ("Late, Late Show" host) James Corden as a fat p----. He was also in the movie 'Cats.' ... The reviews are shocking. 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. But ..." and there he paused. "I can't do this next one."

But Gervais rallied and, well, it was the longest beep-out we've seen of a joke in quite some time.

He saved some of his harshest jokes for the end of the monologue, calling out Apple (whose streaming service aired the nominated "The Morning Show") for running "sweatshops in China."

When the audience groaned, he threw it right back at them: "The companies you work for — I mean, unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, you'd call your agent."

But then he had advice for the entire room.

"So if you do win an award tonight, then don't use it as a platform to make a political speech," he told the nominees. "You're in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. ... So, if you win, come up and accept your little award, thank your agent and your god, and —" another bleep-out.

We can't decide what's tougher: Being in the audience while Gervais delivers his jokes ... or being here at home, where we can't hear them all!