Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes awards three times consecutively beginning 2010 to much praise. No doubt the acerbic Brit made viewers at home laugh, but the actors on the receiving end of his zingers were left red-faced from their seats–and even as they stepped onstage.
On his last turn at the mic in 2012, he made in incorrect prediction on Hollywood’s love affair with him. “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,” he said.
The next year it was Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the podium.
Unpredictable and unapologetic, Gervais’ presentation took aim at the Globes’ rumored history of corruption, palm greasing and pandering to stars. “The Office” creator’s style was effectively a roast of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the actors who covet its awards. Naturally, they invited him back for more punishment as the 2016 host on Jan. 10, airing live at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
It’s worth noting that Lady Gaga is a nominated for best performance by an actress in a miniseries or motion picture made for television for “American Horror Story.” Mel Gibson was recently announced as a presenter. The jokes just write themselves, don’t they?
Below, we’ve ranked Gervais’ 13 most offensive jokes in order of embarrassing distinction.
1. Reading a purported list of off-limit topics, he began: “And I mustn’t mention Mel Gibson this year. Not his private life, his politics, his recent films or especially not Jodie Foster’s ‘Beaver,'” in a cheeky play on words on Foster and Gibson’s film “The Beaver.” Continuing: “I haven’t seen it myself. I’ve spoken to a lot of guys–they haven’t seen it either but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.”
2. “The Golden Globes is shown all over the world, it is oblivious to color or creed. It doesn’t just celebrate talent, it celebrates difference. It crushes prejudice and stereotype. One stereotype I hate is that all Irishmen are just drunken, sweary hell-raisers. Please welcome, Colin Farrell!” (2010)
3. “It’s gonna be a night of partying and heavy drinking, or as Charlie Sheen call’s it, ‘breakfast.’ (2011)
4. On Paul McCartney’s divorce from Heather Mills: “Sir Paul McCartney. Fellow Brit, so good luck to him, I shouldn’t be biased. We came over on the same flight, I didn’t get to speak to him, because I was up front in first class and he was in coach. He saving money, he spent an awful lot last year. I don’t think we have to feel too sorry for him, he’s doing alright.” (2010)
5. “I’d like to quash this ridiculous rumor that the only reason ‘The Tourist’ was nominated was so the Hollywood Foreign Press could hang out with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. That is rubbish, that is not the only reason, they also accepted bribes.” (2011)
6. “I love this next presenter, he’s so cool. He’s the star of ‘Iron Man,’ ‘Two Guys and a Girl,’ ‘Wonderboys.’ Sorry, are these porn films? ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,’ ‘Bowfinger,’ really? ‘Up the Academy,’ come on. He has done all those films, but many of you in this room know him from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail. Please welcome, Robert Downey, Jr.!” (2011)
7. “Also not nominated, ‘I Love You, Phillip Morris,’ Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor. Two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay. So, the complete opposite of some famous scientologists then? Probably. My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke.” (2011)
8. “What can I say about our next two presenters? The first is an actor, producer, writer and director, whose movies have grossed over three and a half billion dollars at the box office. He’s won two Academy Awards and three Golden Globes for his powerful and varied performances, starring in such films as ‘Philadelphia,’ ‘Forrest Gump,’ ‘Cast Away,’ ‘Apollo 13,’ and ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ The other… is Tim Allen.” (2011)
9. “For any of you that don’t know, the Golden Globes are just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem. The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton, basically. Bit trashier, bit drunker, and more easily bought. Allegedly, nothing’s been proved.” (2012)
10. “Please welcome Ashton Kutcher’s dad, Bruce Willis!” (2011)
11. “Some of those scenes (in “24”) where Kiefer (Sutherland) grabs someone and beats them to a pulp, they weren’t even in the script. The director just said ‘Keep rolling, we’ll work it in.'”
12. “Who needs the Oscars? Not me, and not Eddie Murphy. He walked out on ’em. He said no, and good for him. But when the man who says yes to ‘Norbit’ says no to you, you know you’re in trouble.” (2012)
13. On “Boardwalk Empire”: “For those who don’t know, it’s about a load of immigrants who came to America about 100 years ago, and they got involved in bribery and corruption, and they worked their way into high society. But enough about the Hollywood Foreign Press.” (2012)