Ricky Gervais’ Full Golden Globes Monologue: Did He Go Too Far?

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) — whether misguided or overtly courageous — selected Ricky Gervais to host the 2020 Golden Globes. The decision was met with skepticism by industry professionals and audiences alike; Gervais opened his monologue, noting the HFPA must have “no idea what Twitter is,” as he took to the stage with his disparaging comedic style. 

Ricky Gervais Golden Globes Host
GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS, Season: 77 Ricky Gervais, Host | Todd Antony/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Did Gervais step over the line — with jokes aimed at demeaning, dismissing, and deriding — or hit the nail on the head, refusing to walk on thin ice in a climate that often demands such? Before we dive further into the debate, be sure to refresh your memory with the monologue below, transcribed by 411mania

Ricky Gervais’ 2020 Golden Globes monologue 

Hello and welcome to the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards, live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel here in Los Angeles. I’m Ricky Gervais, thank you.

You’ll be pleased to know this is the last time I’m hosting these awards, so I don’t care anymore. I’m joking. I never did. I’m joking, I never did. NBC clearly don’t care either — fifth time. I mean, Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars for some offensive tweets — hello?

Lucky for me, the Hollywood Foreign Press can barely speak English and they’ve no idea what Twitter is, so I got offered this gig by fax. Let’s go out with a bang, let’s have a laugh at your expense. Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon and there’s no sequel, so remember that.

But you all look lovely all dolled up. You came here in your limos. I came here in a limo tonight and the license plate was made by Felicity Huffman. No, shush. It’s her daughter I feel sorry for. OK? That must be the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to her. And her dad was in Wild Hogs.

Lots of big celebrities here tonight. Legends. Icons. This table alone — Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro … Baby Yoda. Oh, that’s Joe Pesci, sorry. I love you man. Don’t have me whacked. But tonight isn’t just about the people in front of the camera. In this room are some of the most important TV and film executives in the world. People from every background. They all have one thing in common: They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow. He’s coming for ya. Talking of all you perverts, it was a big year for pedophile movies. Surviving R. Kelly, Leaving Neverland, Two Popes. Shut up. Shut up. I don’t care. I don’t care.

Many talented people of color were snubbed in major categories. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about that. Hollywood Foreign press are all very racist. Fifth time. So. We were going to do an In-Memoriam this year, but when I saw the list of people who died, it wasn’t diverse enough. No, it was mostly white people and I thought, nah, not on my watch. Maybe next year. Let’s see what happens.

No one cares about movies anymore. No one goes to cinema, no one really watches network TV. Everyone is watching Netflix. This show should just be me coming out, going, “Well done Netflix. You win everything. Good night.” But no, we got to drag it out for three hours. You could binge-watch the entire first season of Afterlife instead of watching this show. That’s a show about a man who wants to kill himself cause his wife dies of cancer and it’s still more fun than this. Spoiler alert, season two is on the way so in the end he obviously didn’t kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein. Shut up. I know he’s your friend but I don’t care.

Seriously, most films are awful. Lazy. Remakes, sequels. I’ve heard a rumor there might be a sequel to Sophie’s Choice. I mean, that would just be Meryl just going, “Well, it’s gotta be this one then.” All the best actors have jumped to Netflix, HBO. And the actors who just do Hollywood movies now 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, really. Have we got an award for most ripped junky? No point, we’d know who’d win that.

Martin Scorsese made the news for his controversial comments about the Marvel franchise. He said they’re not real cinema and they remind him about 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. He’s tiny. The Irishman was amazing. It was amazing. It was great. 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 was like, “Come on, Leo, mate. You’re nearly 50-something.”

The world got to see James Corden as a fat pussy. He was also in the movie Cats. No one saw that movie. And the reviews, shocking. I saw one that said, “This is the worst thing to happen to cats since dogs.” But Dame Judi Dench defended the film saying it was the film she was born to play because she loves nothing better than plunking herself down on the carpet, lifting her leg and licking her ass. (Coughs) Hairball. She’s old-school.

It’s the last time, who cares? Apple roared into the TV game with The Morning Show, a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China. Well, you say you’re woke but the companies you work for in China — unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?

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 f*ck off. It’s already three hours long. Right, let’s do the first award. The first award?”

411mania

Did Ricky Gervais step over the line as host of the Golden Globes? 

Ricky Gervais targeted Felicity Huffman’s recent college scandal, James Corden’s physical form, Greta Thunberg’s status in the global space (despite her young age), the connection between sweatshops and China — which he used as a basis to claim that actors will take work from anyone who offers the right gig at the right price. In short, he left no stone unturned.

Gervais’ comedic style is biting and harsh. He aims his quick one-liners at the single best-known, but least discussed negative attribute a person or corporation has to offer. The approach to comedy — a mix of insult humor and cringe comedy — does not rub elbows with those in the room, poking fun at things they’re ready to hear. Instead, it rubs elbows with the everyday viewers at home in a scorched-earth fashion.

Gervais’ comedy was not exactly family-friendly, and many would consider his jokes “cheap” and lazy — arguing that he looks in the easiest space for a laugh. Rather than coming up with a joke that pleases most audiences and insults to just the right extent, he goes for the jugular. Whether he stepped over the line boils down to the kind of comedy you want and expect to hear from an awards show host. 

Gervais insulted Marvel films, aligning with Scorsese and made fun of Dicaprio’s fondness for younger women all within seconds. And, if you were hoping for a joke about Tom Hanks and his good-guy reputation or Meryl Streep and all her award recognition, this was not the host for you.