Entertainment behind the scenes
The day after the Golden Globes, and, in Britain at least, there is as much media chatter about show host Ricky Gervais and his no-holds-barred approach as there is about Colin Firth’s acting award for his portrayal of the stammering King George VI in “The King’s Speech”.
Normally the reaction on this side of the pond to major U.S. movie award shows is to champion the victorious Brits, or otherwise bemoan their failure. This year would have been no exception — joy for Firth, otherwise disappointment for the film about the British monarchy — were it not for Gervais and his less-than-gentle jokes that took aim at, among others, Charlie Sheen, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp of “The Tourist”, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Cher, the actresses in Sex and the City, prominent Scientologists and Hugh Hefner.
The Gawker website’s reaction summed up its jaw-dropping bluntness: “Holy wow. Ricky Gervais … just opened the show with one of the most unrelentingly harsh and uncomfortable monologues in awards history.”
Some of the stars there on the night felt the need to hit back — Robert Downey Jr., the butt of one of Gervais’ less-than-flattering jibes, suggested that the host’s words were “hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones”. The LA Times called the event a “snarkfest” and wrote of the “corrosive tone” Gervais set. Reflecting how taken aback some viewers were with his repartee, there was even online speculation that he had been sacked mid-show when he failed to appear for nearly an hour.
The Emmys got off to a fun start at 5 p.m. local time with organizers getting six of the comedy categories out of the way at the outset. But first: the requisite intro, which is sure to mortify Bruce Springsteen’s stoic fans.
5:05 p.m. Jimmy Fallon does Bruce Springsteen in a Glee-style version of “Born to Run.” He grabs Jane Lynch’s breasts, as she sings “Strap your hands across my engines.” A few minutes later, he ditches the Boss-style blue jeans and white-T for a tuxedo, and gets in the first Conan joke, asking “what can possibly go wrong?” when he relates how NBC asked him to host a late-night show. Camera pans to O’Brien, whose late version of “The Tonight Show” is nominated for best variety, music or comedy series.
British comedian Ricky Gervais is a master of satire. But some people don’t quite get it.
Gervais, creator of “The Office” and “Extras” TV shows and controversial host of January’s Hollywood Golden Globe awards, created a stir this week with a wild Vanity Fair magazine interview in which he insisted (between guffaws) that he was making an “Office Babies” spin-off for U.S. television.