When Ricky Gervais hosted the Golden Globes earlier this year, he kept saying he’d never be invited back. He let loose with celebrity roasting, but now he is coming back to host again on January 16. Gervais told a conference call full of reporters that he plans to be even bolder with his jokes this time.
“I just think I can really go out and really throw away the shackles of worry,” Gervais said. “I don’t mean I’m going to go get drunk and have no planning or input, but I think I can certainly have more fun with it and I can have more fun with the room.”
Whoever is tapped to present at the show will likely be the prime targets for Gervais. “My favorite things I said were probably the introductions, the one liners about the people. The Mel Gibson gag, the Paul McCartney gag, the Colin Farrell gag, the Jennifer Aniston gag. If I can get more of that type of thing that’s cheeky, a little bit naughty and risqué but not nasty, then I’ll be happy but I think I can take it a bit further. I think people know where I’m coming from now. I’ve done enough of these award things like the Emmys and the Globes where they know what I’m doing. Hopefully I won’t blow that either way saying something that’s so horrendous I’ll never work again. Even worse, doing something that’s so anodyne I’ll never work again.”
For all his fearless ribbing of his Hollywood cohorts, Gervais actually felt he held back last year. He won’t make that mistake again. “I also gave myself this weird restriction. I wrote it a few days before in about an hour, all the lines. If you noticed, all the lines are about the people that are about to come out. I realized I can reference anyone in the room. I probably made it harder than myself so I’m going to have even more fun with it, go a bit further, push the boundaries a bit more. I think you always should. What’s the worst that could happen? I didn’t expect to be invited back a second time and I won’t do it a third, so I’m going to go for it.”
Gervais is equally happy with a shocking remark as he is with a round of applause. So not everything he says will have to be funny, as long as it makes a point. “Yeah, because I think comedy and drama are different branches of the same tree. It doesn’t matter whether you’re watching a horror film or hearing a joke. It’s the surprise that’s the good bit, the thing you didn’t expect. Comedy is a release. Let’s not forget that. That’s why we do it because it’s the industry that’s built out of humor obviously. The reason we have humor is to get through. The reason we have humor in our evolution is to get us through adversity.”
If he hurts anyone’s feelings, Gervais does want them to know he’s coming from a place of love. Like any good roast, he teases out of affection. Still, sometimes he shocks himself.
“Oh, well, you have these dark thoughts and you go why did that come into my brain? As I said before, there is a constant fight in my head with what’ll go down well and what won’t. It comes from a good or a bad place. If people know where you’re coming from and what the target really is, you can get away with murder. Cue O.J. Simpson joke. I don’t use it as a platform to get political or get my own back on the world. I’m hosting a party. It’s a televised industry party so you’ve got to keep it light, but as I say, that’s not to say you can go out and do awfully flat broad anodyne homogenized reworked material. I think you can be original, push the boundaries a little bit and still come in lined with taste and decency. But you can’t win. Everyone’s got their own little cause. Everything has got what they find offensive.”
As the star on the American remake of Gervais’ baby, The Office, Steve Carell always has to ready himself for Gervais’ public appearances. On this call, Gervais admitted he only has kind thoughts towards Carell.
“Steve Carell is like a goose that lays golden eggs. Now we need some other schmuck to get up at 6 in the morning for seven years.”
The Golden Globes airs Jan. 16 on NBC.