Ricky Gervais has hosted the Golden Globes four times. Hopefully last night was the last. His brand of “shocking” comedy is only shocking to those who walk around with a team of yes-men approving their every action. That’s why the celebrities at the Beverly Hilton were laughing, and we at home weren’t.
It wasn’t always this way. Not long ago, Gervais, who now punctuates every punchline with a cheeky laugh, was the brilliant co-creator (with Stephen Merchant) of the hilariously understated The Office and Extras, a far better satire of celebrity culture than remarks about Jeffrey Tambor’s balls. In one of the show’s best episode (though all 13 are excellent), Gervais’ Andy Millman tries to relate to David Bowie about being famous, now that he’s on a middling sitcom called When the Whistle Blows. Bowie responded in song:
“Little fat man who sold his soul
Little fat man who sold his dream
Pathetic little fat man,
No one’s bloody laughing,
The clown that no one laughs at,
They all just wish he’d die”
Today is a sucky, no-good day. Make it a little better by watching Bowie in Extras (and Zoolander, and Labyrinth, and Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and The Prestige, and…).