Comedian Ricky Gervais was back behind the podium at the Golden Globe Awards again this year, sparing nobody from his incisive and often shocking wit. (Note: people love it; that’s why they keep inviting him back as host.) The targets were plentiful (because, well, it’s Hollywood) and good sports, even, believe it or not, the legendarily hot-tempered Mel Gibson — who, as it turned out, received the most brutal barbs from Gervais.
TMZ Live reported January 11 that although Ricky Gervais made it seem as if NBC Television, which broadcast the 2016 Golden Globes ceremony live from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, Sunday night, had forced a very awkward situation upon himself and actor Mel Gibson, because three years ago he had made some caustic jokes about Mel Gibson’s drinking, that was not truly the case. TMZ, the celebrity gossip website that originally broke the Mel Gibson arrest story in 2006, said that Gibson had signed off on Ricky Gervais’ jokes prior to the show. Although Gibson didn’t know the nature of the jokes, he had agreed to appear and knew that Gervais would sling a few darts his way.
That being noted, GQ listed Ricky Gervais’ “most savage burns” at the 2016 Golden Globes ceremony and placed the Mel Gibson takedown at the top of the pyre. Gervais started off his short Mel Gibson roast by blaming NBC for placing him in the awkward position of introducing the actor once again. And yet, that didn’t slow the English comedian down the slightest…
Gervais said he was sure it was embarrassing for them both. He said, “And I blame NBC for this terrible situation.” He paused, then added, “Mel blames…” He laughingly continued, “We know who Mel blames.”
To clarify Gervais’ joke, one has to know a little Mel Gibson history, particularly the night in 2006 when an inebriated Gibson became embroiled in an incident that would generate headlines and become a massive scandal. During his arrest, the “Forever Young” actor said a few insensitive things, including phrases that were anti-Semitic in nature. (And now you know to what the Gervais punchline refers.)
Gervais went on, “I still feel a little bit bad about it. Right? Mel’s forgotten all about it, apparently.” He pointed at his temple and said matter-of-factly, “That’s what drinking does.”
That zinger was followed by an apologetic entreaty, “I want to say something nice about Mel before he comes out. Ummm… so… Okay. Here goes… I’d rather have a drink with him in his hotel room tonight than with Bill Cosby.”
Groans and laughter erupted from the who’s who gathering of Hollywood’s best in the audience as he introduced Gibson. He hugged Gibson as the just-turned-60-year-old actor made his way to the podium. Then Gervais made a great show of grabbing his beer (?) from the podium (even making a face of wide-eyed relief that he’d got to the alcohol before the actor did) just before Gibson settled in to introduce one of the film’s up for Best Film, “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
For Gibson’s part, he took the mischievous barbs in good stride, throwing a parting shot at Gervais as he exited the stage, “I love seeing Ricky every three years, because it reminds me to get a colonoscopy.” The audience laughed and cheered. Gibson even winked.
However, it is believed the next bit was totally ad-libbed. Ricky Gervais returned to the stage and Gibson, noticing him (most likely from the audience’s reaction), said, “You don’t have to leave your drink here. I’ll find a way to put you to sleep somehow.”
Gervais, laughing, put his arm around the “Apocalypto” director and said, grinning, “Listen. Can I ask you something?” When Gibson agreed, he said, “I think we all want to ask this: What the f*** does sugar t*** mean?”
Gervais backed away quickly, grinning mischievously. Gibson said, “I don’t know. Ask the guy who said it. It wasn’t me.” Sarcastically, he said, “Thanks, Ricky, for you input.”
A quick camera shot of actor Alan Cumming (nominated for Best Supporting Performance in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film for his role as Eli Gold on CBS’ “The Good Wife”) said it all. He had both hands clasped over the lower part of his face, an I-can’t-believe-what-I’m-hearing expression below his arched eyebrows.
For those not in the know about Gibson’s 2006 arrest, he allegedly, at some point in the process, referred to a female police officer as “sugar t***,” something that Mel Gibson has always emphatically denied ever saying. (As TMZ’s Harvey Levine pointed out, of all he said and did during that incident, that was the one thing he has consistently denied, which gives his denial some bit of credibility. To some.)
But if you thought it was over, it was not. The 2016 Golden Globe Awards went long and after “The Revenant” won the Best Motion Picture – Drama award, you could hear Ricky Gervais (you never saw him again — the camera never went back to him as it zoomed out to take in the entire Beverly Hilton room and stage) offer a parting shot for good measure, “For me and Mel Gibson, shalom.”
Shalom, indeed. But not for good. It seems that Ricky Gervais’ biting, edgy, and sometimes crude and/or insulting comments remain a hit. Social media ate it up, according to Newspaper Post. In fact, Gervais’ schtick was so popular, NBC Television has already asked him back for a fifth go-round as hot.