Golden Globes: Ricky Gervais' Most Memorable Jokes as Host

Ricky Gervais - H 2015
Paul Drinkwater/NBC

A look back at the stars the acerbic comedian has skewered at past ceremonies ahead of his fifth turn as host this Sunday, Jan. 5.

The Ricky Gervais that Golden Globes audiences know (and some love) is back.

The comedian took jabs at almost ever star in the room at the 2016 Golden Globes, including making fun of Matt Damon for his nominated film, saying "our next presenter is the star of the hilarious comedy The Martian." He even added in an extra joke about Damon's filmmaking partner, calling the actor "the only person Ben Affleck hasn't been unfaithful to." 

Mel Gibson presented at the Golden Globes this year, so Gervais took the opportunity to poke fun at the actor once again for his drinking and past anti-Semitic rants, while blaming NBC for letting them be onstage together again. "Mel blames … we all know who Mel blames" said Gervais. "Listen, I still feel a bit bad for it. Mel’s forgotten all about it apparently — that’s what drinking does."

He even got a joke about Bill Cosby in there. "I want to say something nice about Mel before he comes out," Gervais said about the Mad Max actor. "I'd rather have a drink with him at his hotel room than with Bill Cosby."

He also couldn't resist a joke about famous friends Jennifer Lawrence and Amy SchumerGervais said the duo told him several times to note that they are best friends. "Basically, It’s like they’ve never had a friend before." 

Gervais hosted the event three times before, from 2010 to 2012 before Tina Fey and Amy Poehler took over for a three-year stint. During those shows, the comedian attacked everyone from Gibson (again) to Johnny Depp and Charlie Sheen.

Below are some of the best jokes from his first three Golden Globes hosting gigs.


Mel Gibson
The first time Gervais took the Golden Globes stage as host, he wasted no time in attacking big names. Introducing the next presenter of the night at the 8:38 mark in the video above, he says "I like a drink as much as the next man ... unless the next man is Mel Gibson." The following year he used the actor's scandalous behavior as a punchline again, saying "Our first presenter is beautiful, talented ... and Jewish, apparently. Mel Gibson told me that. He's obsessed." (Coincidentally, Gibson is slated to present at this year's Globes.)

Gervais began the night with a few jokes aimed at The Office’s Steve Carell for becoming so famous for the role that Gervais originated. He promotes the DVD for his original version onstage, and at the two-minute mark calls out NBC for low ratings and its infamous late-night debacle at 4:30, saying "Let’s get on with it before NBC replaces me with Jay Leno."


Charlie Sheen
During 2011, Gervais started off his monologue with a hard hit at the Two and a Half Men star and his then-recent antics. Just days before the awards show, Sheen went on a bender in Las Vegas with the women he would later name his "goddesses" after having been out of rehab for only three months. Weeks after the Globes, Sheen would check into rehab again and his CBS sitcom would go on hiatus. At 0:45 in the video above, Gervais says, "It’s going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking — or as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast."

Sex and the City 2
His monologue continued to skewer celebrities, including Cher, Johnny Depp and the cast of Sex and the City 2. He begins his bit about the cast at 2:50, saying, “I was sure the award for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed that poster. Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza!" Gervais' 2016 interview with The Hollywood Reporter addressed this joke, with the host saying, "I can justify every joke I've ever done. … Now, the target of that joke was airbrushing the truth for Hollywood. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being 50. I’m 54."

And of course, he couldn’t resist a joke about Scientology, questioning if certain famous Scientologists were pretending to be straight in Hollywood. Amid a bit about the movie I Love You Phillip Morris (at 3:10), he adds: "My lawyers helped me with the wording of that joke."

Again, Gervais recently defended his Scientology jokes, telling THR: "If you can’t make fun of religion, what can you make fun of? Also, I don’t think what Scientology believes is any weirder than any other belief in a magical sky wizard or deity. So, I wasn’t even picking on them."


Hollywood Foreign Press Association/NBC, again

The 69th Golden Globes marked the third time Gervais hosted the awards show, when he ramped up his jokes about the awards as well as NBC, its home network. In his monologue, Gervais says the Golden Globes is "just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem," after mocking NBC for being "America’s third-biggest network" and calling it a nonprofit organization.

He goes on to read the list of rules the Hollywood Foreign Press Association sent to him about the show, which includes a warning not to mention Mel Gibson, saying, "I must not mention Mel Gibson this year. Not his private life, his politics, his recent films and especially not Jodie Foster's Beaver."

Johnny Depp again
Gervais introduced presenter Johnny Depp with a nod to his 2011 Golden Globes monologue, when Gervais mocked Depp’s film The Tourist, saying, "It seems like everything this year was 3D, except the characters in The Tourist." Presenting Depp as "the man who will wear anything Tim Burton tells him to," Gervais also asked the actor if he ever saw The Tourist — he did not.