Ricky Gervais surprised no one at this year's Golden Globes, even with jokes on Kim Kardashian, Madonna and Johnny Depp (PHOTO: REUTERS / Mario Anzuoni)
Ricky Gervais executed a three hour long dance with the Golden Globes on Sunday night, as he took on hosting duties for the third year in a row.
And it was tame, for the most part. Gervais didn't raise eyebrows. He didn't cause a Twitter frenzy. He didn't even get himself fired in the middle of the broadcast.
As expected, the British funnyman made use of 2011's biggest headlines, including Kim Kardashian's 72-hour marriage, Justin Bieber's paternity test and Ashton Kutcher's divorce (among a list of other celebrity divorces).
Appearing calm and confident in a maroon suit, Gervais, 50, opened with an awkward hello to the Beverly Hilton crowd.
Cheers. So, where was I? Nervous? Don't be, this isn't about you, he said, as the camera spent time on shots of Kate Winslet and Kristen Wiig.
Tonight you get Britain's biggest comedian, hosting the world's second biggest award show, on America's third biggest network . . . sorry, it's fourth, Gervais continued.
While he had fun sprinkling multiple jabs at NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in his opening monologue, Gervais played the tame card.
There was no mention of Scientology, Charlie Sheen or elaborate penis jokes. Gervais, did, however, briefly comment on the size of his own (tiny). The evening's highlight penis joke belonged to George Clooney, who, in his acceptance speech for Best Actor, credited fellow nominee Michael Fassbender for taking over the frontal nude responsibility I had. (Fassbender plays a sex addict in the Steve McQueen film, Shame.)
Six minutes in, Gervais did the unthinkable. He recycled a subject from last year's awards, Johnny Depp.
This time last year, our first presenter was the biggest movie star on the planet. But I insulted his film 'The Tourist,' causing his career to plummet so far that he was forced to work with me on my new show, 'Life's Too Short.' Please welcome the man who will wear literally anything Tim Burton tells him to: Johnny Depp, Gervais said in his introduction.
(Gervais took a similar stab at last year's awards show, where The Tourist was up for three awards, including Best Actor for Depp and Best Actress for Angelina Jolie).
I'm jumping on the bandwagon, because I haven't even seen 'The Tourist.' Who has? It must be good, because it's nominated. So shut up, Gervais said during last year's festivities.
When Depp joined Gervais Sunday night, the latter took one last shot at the film.
I want to ask you a question . . . it's real, and be honest . . . ready? Have you seen 'The Tourist' yet? Have you? he asked Depp.
Uh, no, Depp responded.
Ah, boy, he's fun, he continued, after Gervais left the stage.
The rest of the evening was business as usual -- long acceptance speeches, over-the-top reactions (all hail Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet), extended camera time for a select few (Elton John, Ben Kingsley, Joseph Gordon-Levitt).
Even Gervais' exchange with Madonna, a winner and presenter on Sunday, seemed a bit dry and almost rehearsed.
Introducing the Material Girl as being always Vogue and just like a virgin, Gervais inserted a strange cough before gesturing to her arrival on stage.
If I'm still . . . just like a virgin, Ricky, then why don't you come over here and do something about it, Madonna began in her response.
I haven't kissed a girl in a few years . . . on TV, she said.
So was there simply too much hype about a whole lot of nothing? Did Gervais' critics and haters really expect him to top last year's spectacle? Was the Jodie Foster beaver bit the only strong joke up Gervais' comedic sleeves?
And did the HFPA really have a tighter hold on Gervais this year, as rumors indicated weeks before the show?
All buzz, expectations and criticisms aside, it seems like Gervais had the last laugh -- early.
The Hollywood Foreign Press have warned me that if I insult any of you, or any of them, or offend any viewers, or cause any controversy whatsoever, they'll definitely invite me back next year as well, he said during the opening monologue.
Scroll down to watch Gervais' opening monologue at the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards.
What did you think of Gervais at this year's award show? Did he cross the line again? Was he too tame? Share your thoughts below.