Gervais, Gibson Generate Gasps at Golden Globes
January 11, 2016

Just minutes ago, Alabama won college football's national championship for the fourth time in seven years. Over the weekend, the visiting team won all four playoff games for the first time in NFL history. But still one has to wonder. Who let Mel Gibson on the Golden Globe Awards and what did Ricky Gervais say to him that was bleeped on national TV?

After two straight years of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's big party, they and NBC brought back Gervais, who some stars seem to be afraid of, but who viewers like for his failure to be awestruck by Tinseltown and all its glamour.

“Listen”, Gervais told all the nominees as part of his opening monologue, “If you do win tonight, remember. No one cares about winning that award as much as you do. Don't get emotional. It's embarrassing. That award is, no offense, worthless. It's a bit of metal that some nice old confused journalist wanted to give you in person so they could meet you and have a selfie with you.”

In other quips from the opening, Gervais credited NBC for being fair and impartial because “they were the only network with zero nominations.” After lampooning Jennifer Lawrence for her fight for equal pay for women and also pointing out that's she's 25 and made 52 million, Gervais also went after Kaitlyn Jenner.

“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?”

And while the usual award show stuff followed, with Gervais interjecting with an introduction here and there, the weirdness came one hour and 53 minutes in.

“A few years ago, on this show, I made a joke about Mel Gibson getting a bit drunk and saying a few unsavory things”, Gervais said in a serious tone about a previous Gibson anti-semitic rant , “ We've all done it. I wasn't judging him, but now I find myself in the awkward position of having to introduce him again.”

“I blame NBC for this terrible situation, and Mel blames...we know who Mel blames.”

Acting like the two were old friends again, Gibson came out to present Mad Max: Fury Road as a Best Picture nominee, after starring in the earlier movies in the franchise. You might have even thought the entire bit was scripted when the two hugged, Gervais grabbed his beer that he had been nursing on stage all night and left. Gibson responded, “I love seeing Ricky every three years. It reminds me to get a colonoscopy.”

The audience laughed and even applauded, but then came what almost literally became a show stopper. Gervais returned to the stage, put his arm around Gibson and asked if he could ask him a question. Gibson agreed, and Gervais said, which was censored on TV, “What the fuck does sugar tits mean?”, a reference to a remark he allegedly made to a female police officer during a DUI arrest in 2006.

Gibson shrugged it off by saying, “I don't know. Ask the guy who said it. It wasn't me”, but you could hear the audience gasp, and the network cut to crowd members in various stages of disbelief.

Gibson did go on to present the film, but clearly having him there was a bit puzzling, and clearly there was a way that they could have avoided a possible confrontation with Gervais.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Gibson has directed one film and acted in another that are both due out this year, so this was likely some lame attempt to get him back into the public eye. Undoubtedly, the awkward clash with Gervais was not what was hoped for, and because of that, Gibson's comeback may have been cut short. If that's the case, maybe Gervais himself should be given an award. He could win another worthless piece of metal and take a selfie with foreign reporters.

Running late and with a quick good bye. Over the credits, Gervais said, “That's our show. For myself and Mel Gibson, Shalom.”

Show surprises: There were a few jokes throughout the evening about The Martian being nominated as a comedy. It won... Jeffrey Tambor did not win Best Actor in a TV series or comedy for Transparent, Gael Garcia Bernal won for Mozart in the Jungle...Sylvester Stallone had no business winning for Best Supporting Actor in Creed, but provided a great moment when he thanked the producer “who actually mortgaged his house to take a chance on a mumbling actor” and also thanked his “imaginary friend Rocky Balboa for being the best friend I ever had.”

Cutting it short: Gervais did remind us during the broadcast how painfully long the show was. It did go over its allotted time at 3 hours, 5 minutes. If you taped it and fast forwarded through the commercials, you could watch it in 2:13.

Strike out the band: Awards show producers are going to have to come up with another way to keep speeches from getting too long. Recipients no longer wrap up when the music starts playing. One even said “Screw you” to the orchestra and kept talking.

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