During last awards season, comedian Ricky Gervais delivered a Golden Globes hosting performance that was met with criticism for being “too mean.” In short, it didn’t sit well with the organization behind the awards, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Although the uproar around the event died down months ago, it seems Gervais is still thinking long and hard about the matter.
In an essay for The Wall Street Journal, Gervais says he realized something about awards shows while preparing for his second such hosting gig, “They are fucking boring unless you are winning an award.” He adds, “Celebrate yourselves by all means. Take yourselves as seriously as you want and hand each other prizes. But don’t televise it unless there’s something in it for the viewers.”
He took this sentiment to heart when deciding his approach for the 68th annual awards and thought, “I made a choice. Please the 200 most privileged people in the world, in the room, or please the 200 million ordinary people watching around the world on TV? I chose the latter.”
And although he says NBC, the network that broadcast the awards, was very pleased with his performance and the ratings it garnered, it is unlikely that he would be asked to host again. So Gervais has made yet another choice that will likely please his audience. “I am working with a Californian technology company on a live webcast idea. People watch their TV at the same time as listening to me and a few chums provide our own alternative commentary.”
If Gervais’ sure-to-be scathing commentary isn’t enough to draw you in, he recently blogged about who some of those ‘chums’ might be: Louis C.K., Chris Rock, Karl Pilkington, Jon Stewart, and Larry David are the names swirling around. A lineup of commentators like that could make for the best awards show in history– at least from a comedy perspective.
He says the broadcast would not be intended to step on others’ toes or to steal their thunder; it’s simply a new way of doing things, and he’s got healthy attitude toward the possible project. “I have no idea if it will work but I didn’t know if podcasting would work back in 2005 when I launched The Ricky Gervais Show. I didn’t particularly care either. I was doing it for a laugh. There are not many better reasons to do anything.”