Just when you thought he was gone for good, British comedian Ricky Gervais is making his triumphant return as host of the 73rd Golden Globe Awards Sunday. The event will mark the fourth time the often-raunchy actor has taken the stage to put Hollywood on edge with his reliably shocking opening monologue.
Gervais, who hosted the show in 2010, 2011 and 2012, quickly made a name for himself with his edgy comments on some of the film and TV elite. With the host returning after four years away, and promising his usual brand of shock-value humor, according to the Hollywood Reporter, now seems as good a time as any to look back at his previous performances.
To give attendees and viewers an idea of what they may be in for at the 2016 Golden Globes, here is a rundown of some of the more outrageous, outlandish and out-of-control moments from the host’s past opening monologues:
This was Gervais' first time hosting the Golden Globes. Given that he hadn’t really found his persona as the bad boy of the show, he was significantly more subdued in this first opening monologue. Some noteworthy highlights include:
- Needling Steve Carell Over “The Office”: The host started out by doing a bit in which he reminded the audience that NBC’s “The Office,” which was then in its sixth season, was based on his original concept for the BBC. The host, in a mocking voice, insinuated that the star owes his fame to his ideas.
- Talking About His Penis: Gervais made a joke about the amount of plastic surgery in the room full of celebrities before remarking that he himself had some work done.
“I got a penis reduction,” he said. “I just have the one now.”
- Making Fun of a Star’s Legal Trouble: Kiefer Sutherland was in the room that day for his hit show “24.” The host used that opportunity to take a jab at the star for his 2009 assault charge in which he headbutted someone outside of a New York City nightclub, according to ABC News.
“Some of those scenes by the way, where Kiefer grabs someone and beats them to a pulp, those weren’t even in the script,” he said. “The director just said, ‘Keep rolling, we’re working.’”
Fortunately the star seemed to be a good sport, laughing it off with the rest of the room.
The host immediately took the stage with a slimmed-down look and a brand new attitude. After some of his jokes in 2010 put celebrities on the spot, Gervais came out swinging. Turning the opening monologue into more of a roast of all Hollywood, his appearance on the 68th Golden Globe Awards was by far his most controversial. Among the most talked-about moments were:
- Going After Charlie Sheen Immediately: The host took the stage and opened with a joke about how the Golden Globes are a night of partying and heavy drinking in Hollywood, before remarking that it’s just another night for Charlie Sheen. At the time, Sheen was going through his very tumultuous exit from the hit series “Two and a Half Men.” The actor hit a low point when he was found in a trashed hotel room with a prostitute after an alleged drug-fueled night of partying, according to the Daily Mail. Gervais, not finished with Sheen yet, began to chronicle the hotel situation in detail, without any discernible punchline, before moving on.
- Upsetting Johnny Depp: This was the year Johnny Depp’s “The Tourist” was nominated. Gervais took issue with the nomination, even joking about rumors that it was secured through bribery. While commenting on topical rumors is one thing, trashing the film itself with the principal star sitting right in the room is something different.
“It was a big year for 3D movies, ‘Toy Story,’ ‘Despicable Me’ and ‘Tron,’ it seems like everything this year was three-dimensional, except the characters in ‘The Tourist,’” Gervais said, earning a mostly negative reaction from the crowd. “I feel bad about that joke, I’ll tell you why. I’m jumping on the bandwagon because I haven’t even seen ‘The Tourist’... Who has?”
- Homosexuality and Scientology: Regardless of your feelings on the subject, a room full of Hollywood actors and actresses is not the place to bash Scientology. Still, that didn’t stop the host from referencing the rumors that some of its members subscribe to the church because they’re closeted homosexuals. For example, the Washington Post previously reported that Scientology helped John Travolta hide his secret gay life. While referencing the movie "I Love You Phillip Morris," Gervais likened the two straight leads (Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor) playing gay characters to Scientologists.
In his last hosting gig before taking a break for three years, Gervais took the stage as a drastically different performer from the man that hosted in 2010. With his 2011 show and its borderline offensive material making headlines, he returned hoping to bait the media and Hollywood again. Among the plays to do this were:
- Discussing His Own Controversy: Gervais said the Hollywood Foreign Press Association gave him a list of rules, which he assured the crowd he’d ignore. The list included things like no profanity, no nudity and no smut. But when some jokes he previously made about Mel Gibson made their way on the list, he made his most off-color joke yet.
“I must not mention Mel Gibson this year. Not his private life, his politics, his recent films and especially not Jodie Foster’s beaver.”
Fortunately, Foster took the comment, a reference to her film “The Beaver” where Gibson was a co-star, in stride. She laughed and gave a thumbs-up from her seat to Gervais, who continued through the audience’s groans.
- Justin Bieber’s Paternity Test: In 2011, Bieber found himself in hot water when a woman named Mariah Yeater claimed that he was the father of her child. According to TMZ, the singer took a paternity test earlier that year to clear his name.
“The only way that he could have impregnated a girl was if he borrowed one of Martha Stewart’s old turkey basters,” said Gervais.
The 2016 Golden Globes air Sunday, Jan. 10, at 8 p.m. EST on NBC.