Did anyone see Ricky Gervais’ opening monologue at the Golden Globes?? He certainly didn’t pull any punches in his dissection of the auditorium full of Hollywood royalty.
His USP has always been that he says the things that other comics/public figures don’t dare to, and it was his fifth and final appearance at the Golden Globes, so he was always going to be more outrageous and irreverent than ever before because a. he has nothing to lose and b. to go out in blaze of glory.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association can’t say that they were unaware of what they were booking in securing the services of Gervais for the fifth time, and surprisingly the reaction to his critique of the vacuousness and self-righteousness of Hollywood has been met with a largely positive reaction, so while it may be a risky strategy to directly insult your ‘clients’ and not one I’d ever recommend, but it would seem that he pitched this version of himself just right!
Personally I have a really strange relationship with Ricky Gervais. I see him in the press, and on Twitter, and then read the odd headline about him or a quote he’s allegedly made and I really don’t like him that much.
But every now and again I’ll sit down and watch something that he’s written, or that he’s starring in – either as himself or as a character (I went to see his stand up last year) and it’s usually absolutely bloomin’ brilliant.
I then have a couple of weeks glowing in his reflected brilliance before he slips out of my consciousness and I revert back to the mild disaffection I have for the guy.
Perhaps it’s because he likes to paint himself as this objectionable smug little guy who’s stealing a living in order to distance himself from the trappings of celebrity he loves to bash, but unless you put in some effort to see the super talented, mega-hard working and actually quite moralistic guy beneath, then you won’t get beyond his superficial exterior.
But again, coming back to self-branding, it’s this hard, outer ‘don’t give a f*ck’ shell that allows him to present the Golden Globes the way he did and get away with it despite the criticism.
And he’s done pretty well for himself on the back of it hasn’t he??