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No-one is safe: Hollywood braced as Ricky Gervais prepares to host Golden Globes

Hollywood is braced for controversy as Ricky Gervais prepares to return as host of the Golden Globes (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Hollywood is braced for controversy as Ricky Gervais prepares to return as host of the Golden Globes (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Hollywood is braced for another night of controversy as Ricky Gervais returns to host the Golden Globes.

It will be the fifth time the British comedian has been given the job – following on from 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2016 – making him the most frequent presenter of the prestigious awards ceremony.

Each of his previous performances have proved controversial, and no-one – including A-list celebrities in the audience and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association handing out the prizes – has been spared.

When Gervais takes to the stage on Sunday, he is expected to once again make the audience squirm.

Here are some of his most biting jokes at the Globes:

On Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson was famously on the end of a Ricky Gervais joke at the Golden Globes (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Gibson is perhaps Gervais’s favourite target and the comedian has repeatedly aimed stinging jokes at the Braveheart star.

For his first hosting gig in 2010, The Office co-creator introduced Gibson with the words: “I like a drink as much as the next man – unless the next man is Mel Gibson.”

Gibson was arrested in 2006 for suspected drink-driving and also reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks, for which he later apologised.

In 2016, when Gervais was host again, he was in the awkward position of introducing Gibson to the stage.

The comedian said: “Listen, I’m sure it’s embarrassing for both of us. I blame NBC for this terrible situation. Mel blames… we know who Mel blames.”

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the punchline was supposed to be “the Jews”, but Gervais refrained from delivering it.

On Tim Allen

Tim Allen
Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais said he regrets a joke he told about Tim Allen (PA)

The Home Improvement star was on the receiving end of a cutting remark from Gervais during the 2011 ceremony.

Allen was presenting an award alongside his Toy Story co-star Tom Hanks and Gervais had the job of introducing them.

“What can I say about our next two presenters?” Gervais said. “The first is an actor, producer and director whose movies have grossed over 3.5 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, Castaway, Apollo 13 and Saving Private Ryan.”

The audience, lulled into a false sense of security, gasped as Gervais delivered the punchline:  “The other is… Tim Allen.”

Gervais recently revealed he regrets the joke.

On Scientology

Gervais was introducing black comedy I Love You Phillip Morris during the 2010 Golden Globes when he took aim at Scientology.

“Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay,” he said.

“So the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists, then.”

A sheepish Gervais added: “My lawyers helped with that joke.”

On Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp was another celebrity on the end of a Gervais joke at the Golden Globes (Ian West/PA)

Depp starred in 2010 thriller The Tourist alongside Angelina Jolie.

Despite a poor critical reception, the film earned three Golden Globe nominations.

Gervais poked fun at it by saying: “It was a big year for 3D movies — Toy Story, Despicable Me, Tron. Seems like everything this year was three-dimensional, except the characters in The Tourist.

“I feel bad about that joke, because I’m jumping on the bandwagon, I haven’t even seen The Tourist. Who has? But it must be good, because it was nominated.”

On Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner
Ricky Gervais was accused of transphobia after telling a joke about Caitlyn Jenner (PA)

Jenner is among the world’s most famous transgender people, but that did not protect her from Gervais after she was involved in a fatal car accident.

“I’ve changed, not as much as Bruce Jenner, obviously,” he said during the 2016 Golden Globes.

“What a year she’s had. She became a role model for trans people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes. She didn’t do a lot for women drivers, but you can’t have everything, can you?”

On Matt Damon

Damon is famously childhood friends with his fellow actor Ben Affleck and was presenting an award in 2016.

Gervais introduced him by saying: “The only person who Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to. Please welcome, Matt Damon!”

On Jennifer Lawrence

Lawrence famously called for equal pay between men and women in Hollywood. Gervais poked fun at the Hunger Games star.

“Jennifer Lawrence got overwhelming support from people everywhere,” he said.

“How the hell can a 25-year-old live on 52 million dollars a year?”

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