David Ononye

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Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes: American Pomp under British Circumstance

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“Outrageous” is how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association characterized British comedian Ricky Gervais’ 2nd performance as host of the Annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony Sunday, January 16th on NBC. Despite the overwhelming positive response from viewers online, the HPFA had good reason to express their discontent.

Gervais’ act kicked off with a detailed recount of actor Charlie Sheen’s publicized run in with police after allegedly consuming copious amounts of drugs and locking a woman in a bathroom. Gervais then took it upon himself to out two rumored-to-be-gay scientologists, one of whom many surmised was Tom Cruise. And finally, he ended with some rather vulgar speculation about the nature of 84-year-old Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s recent marriage to a 24-year-old. And that was just the opening monologue.

Gervais received heaps of deserved praise for turning what would have been a dull night of backslapping by over-paid and under-talented celebrities into an entertaining subversion of Hollywood. But an important realization should be made in the midst of our collective delight, before we clamor for more. Gervais’ insurrection was effective mainly because of its contrast with the conventional pomposity of a prestigious American awards show. His crudeness only offset the pretense but did not extinguish it.

If more people rose (or sunk) to Gervais’ level of sinister sniping we would get a much uglier show and it would probably cease to be enjoyable. Allowing all of the jokes to devolve into reckless insults could usher in the dawn of mean-spirited hate fests fueled by collective cynicism and jealousy from viewers and participants. The atmosphere would be increasingly unpleasant and we might long for the days when we could look upon the celebration of art with at least some respect, or view this ceremonious reflection of our culture with some reverence, however slight that may be.

Just be careful what you wish for.

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Written by – David Ononye

ononyeui@mail.uc.edu

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Ricky’s controversial opening monologue at the Golden Globes.

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A bizarre parody of the alleged fallout Ricky received for his offensive gags.

(Created by popular Taiwanese animators, Next Media. Warning – this video contains some crude images)

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March 7, 2011 at 3:14 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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