Ricky Gervais Points Out ‘The Mistake’ People Make When They Hear His Celebrity-Bashing Jokes

During this year’s Golden Globes (yes, the Golden Globes where Succession won Best Drama happened this year, not 13 years ago, as it feels), host Ricky Gervais did his Ricky Gervais thing, roasting Leonardo DiCaprio for his dating history and spreading the conspiracy theory that Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself. “I know he’s your friend,” he told the crowd of billionaires and millionaires, “but I don’t care.” He ended his monologue with a message: if you win an award, “don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”

It’s not that Gervais has anything “against anyone being a celebrity or being famous,” as he told the New York Times, he just thinks “that people are just a bit tired of being lectured to.” In that same interview to promote season two of his Netflix series After Life, the comedian was asked whether the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has soured people’s taste for celebrity culture, especially after that tone-deaf “Imagine” video:

“Now celebrities think: ‘The general public needs to see my face. They can’t get to the cinema — I need to do something.’ And it’s when you look into their eyes, you know that, even if they’re doing something good, they’re sort of thinking, ‘I could weep at what a good person I am.’ Oh dear.”

Gervais later explained “the mistake” people make when they hear his jokes. “They think that every joke is a window to the comedian’s soul — because I wrote it and performed it under my own name, that that’s really me,” he said. “And that’s just not true. I’ll flip a joke halfway through and change my stance to make the joke better. I’ll pretend to be right wing, left wing, whatever wing, no wing… I’ve got to be a court jester, but a court jester’s got to make sure that he doesn’t get executed as well.” It sounds like Ricky is pitching his next Netflix series, where he plays a court jester. It will run for eight seasons.

(Via New York Times)