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“#rickygervais learned an important Hwood lesson — you can bash Palin — but don’t touch the Scientologists,” one person wrote, while another tweeted: “WHAT DID THE SCIENTOLOGISTS DO TO RICKY GERVAIS???”
Others quipped that Gervais had simply gotten drunk, but some Tweeters even went so far as to start an #RIPRickyGervais hashtag.
Noting those tweets, Hollywood publicist Lewis Kay wrote: “Others have joked but I think it is getting to the point where it may be true…did HFPA fire Gervais midway through the show??”
Several in the media also noted Gervais’ disappearance on Twitter.
HitFix’s Daniel Fienberg quipped: “Hosts always get trimmed in the second half of awards shows, y’all. Ricky Gervais hasn’t been killed. Or has he?”
Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times joked that Gervais was being replaced by Carson Daly for the show’s second half.
Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe had this to say: ” Where’s Ricky Gervais? Has anyone seen him? Has he been sent home? Is he somewhere passed out on some suit’s wife. What gives?”
Upon Gervais’ return, Morgan weighed in again: “1st question when Gervais appears on @pierstonight on Thurs – what the hell did they do to you backstage for an hour? He looks haunted.”
Like Morgan, others opined that Gervais seemed “very, very muted” and “sheepish” upon his return, suggesting that the host had been scolded for his jokes at the beginning of the telecast.
But over the weekend, Gervais himself had warned that he was going to come out with “guns blazing, like it’s the end of the world.”
“I want to do either such a bad job I’m not invited back, or such a good job that I don’t want to do it again,” he told the Chicago Sun-Times.
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