Brow Beat

Ricky Gervais’ Golden Globes Jokes, Ranked in Order of Dickishness

From the righteously provocative to the just plain mean.

Ricky Gervais smiling in sunglasses with a shit-eating grin.
Are you ’avin’ a laugh?
Valerie Macon/Getty Images

Going into the Golden Globes, the biggest question was not who will win the night’s biggest awards but how much of a jerk Ricky Gervais would be. Over the course of his four previous hosting gigs, Gervais has cultivated the reputation of a provocateur unafraid to challenge the rich and powerful, whether it be by taking aim at Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitism or Caitlyn Jenner’s transition (although he is sorry about that one time he made fun of Tim Allen’s movie career). On occasion, Gervais does genuinely speak truth to power, but much of the time he’s just, well, being kind of a dick. So we’ve separated the shocks from the sneers, the big swings from the petty jabs, and ranked them from most to least dickish. Enjoy?

Just Plain Mean

• The world got to see James Corden as a fat pussy. He was also in the movie Cats.

• Lots of famous people here tonight. I mean, legends, iconic. This table alone. Al Pacino, Robert De Niro. Baby Yoda—oh, that’s Joe Pesci, sorry.

• Martin Scorsese, the greatest living director, made the news for his comments about Marvel movies. He said they’re not real cinema and they remind him of theme parks. I agree, although I don’t know what he’s doing hanging around theme parks. He’s not big enough to go on the rides.

• I came here in a limo tonight, and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman. It’s her daughter I feel sorry for. That must be the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to her, and her dad was in Wild Hogs.

• All the best actors have jumped to Netflix and HBO. And the actors who just do Hollywood movies do fantasy adventure nonsense. They wear masks and capes and really tight costumes. Their job isn’t acting anymore. It’s going to the gym twice a day and taking steroids. Have we got an award for most ripped junkie?

The Irishman was amazing. Long, but amazing. It wasn’t the only epic movie. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, nearly three hours long. Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere, and by the end, his date was too old for him. Even Prince Andrew’s like, “Come on, Leo, mate. You’re nearly 50, son.”

A Swing and a Miss

• This is the last time I’m hosting these awards. I don’t care anymore. I’m joking: I never did. NBC clearly don’t care either. Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars because of some offensive tweets. Lucky for me, the Hollywood Foreign Press can barely speak English, and they’ve no idea what Twitter is. I got offered this gig by fax.

• So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public, about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So, if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god, and fuck off.

Truth to Power

• It was a big year for pedophile movies. Surviving R Kelly. Leaving Neverland. The Two Popes.

• Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a super drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. You say you’re woke, but the companies you work for, it’s unbelievable—Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent.

• Nobody cares about movies anymore. No one goes to the cinema, no one really watches network TV. Everyone’s watching Netflix. This show should just be me coming out going, “Well done, Netflix. You win—everything.” But no, we’ve got to drag it out for three hours. You could binge-watch the entire first season of After Life instead of watching this show. That’s a show about a man who wants to kill himself because his wife dies of cancer, and it’s still more fun than this. Spoiler alert: Season 2 is on the way, so in the end, he obviously didn’t kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein.

• But tonight isn’t just about the people in front of the camera. In this room are some of the important TV and film executives in the world, people from every background. But they all have one thing in common. They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow. He’s coming for you.

• Maybe talented people of color were snubbed in all major categories. Unfortunately there’s nothing we can do about that. The Hollywood Foreign Press are all very, very racist.

• Let’s have a laugh at your expense, shall we? Remember, they’re just jokes, and we’re all gonna die soon.

Read more in Slate about the Golden Globes.