For each of his previous Golden Globes hosting gigs, Ricky Gervais drew… (Paul Drinkwater/NBC )
Ricky Gervais, who promised so faithfully after his second time hosting the Golden Globe Awards that it would be his last, has been signed to host the trophy show for a third consecutive year.
“Ricky Gervais will host the 69th Golden Globe Awards on January 15, 2012,” the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which stages the clambake, tweeted Wednesday afternoon.
Gervais, who is rapidly becoming the Billy Crystal of the Golden Globes, raised even the botoxed brows of Hollywood last January when he took potshots at A-listers while they were his captive audience in the Beverly Hills Hilton ballroom.
(In one of those incredible coincidences, the film academy announced just a few days earlier that Billy Crystal had come to its rescue, agreeing to return for his ninth at-bat hosting the Oscars, the mother of all trophy shows, after Eddie Murphy bailed on them when the 2012 Oscar show producer, Brett Ratner — who directed Murphy in “Tower Heist” — “resigned” to atone for having regaled Howard Stern with stories of his sexual exploits and making a homophobic comment at a “Tower Heist” screening. Phew!)
Among our fond memories of Gervais’s Globe-hosting last January:
●Of “Sex and the City 2,” he said, “I was sure the Golden Globe 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.’ ”
●He introduced Bruce Willis as “Ashton Kutcher’s dad.”
●He savaged the Johnny Depp/Angelina Jolie flick “The Tourist,” saying, “I haven’t even seen ‘The Tourist.’ Who has? But it must be good because it’s nominated, so shut up, okay? And I’d like to crush this ridiculous rumor that the only reason ‘The Tourist’ was nominated was so that the foreign press could hang out with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. That was not the only reason — they also accepted bribes.”
After Gervais introduced Robert Downey Jr. with a stale Betty Ford gag, Downey stole the show when he asked the ballroom of borrowed rags and gems, “Aside from the fact that it’s been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I’d say the vibe of the show has been pretty good so far, wouldn’t you?”
Wednesday afternoon, the HFPA blogged: “While many welcome Gervais’s return, not everyone is happy with the decision because last year his blunt one-liners targeting big-name celebrities caused anger and resentment in some quarters.”
Uh-huh. . . . So it’s still unclear what caused the HFPA to go with Gervais another year.
In the aftermath of last year’s trophy show, HFPA — whose president Gervais described during the show thus: “I helped him off the toilet and popped his teeth in” — had issued a statement saying it was shocked that Gervais “occasionally went too far.” And, the HFPA made sure it noted, “The HFPA would never condone some of his personal remarks.”
Practically speaking, Gervais’s second gig had clocked about 17 million viewers to the show, same as the previous year when he first hosted. The second time, however, he attracted slightly fewer 18-to-49-year-olds who are advertisers’ — and Gervais’s — bread and butter.
The announcement, while possibly knicker-knotting to some of his celebri-victims, is not so surprising to those who watch trophy-show movement closely. Earlier this month, word got out that the president of the HFPA and the head of NBC’s specials programming unit had been spotted having dinner with Gervais in Paris. And, just before that New York Post report broke, Gervais had been quoted as saying NBC had asked him back but he wasn’t sure he wanted to do it again.
Apparently he made up his mind.
New reality of Southwest
Southwest, the Kardashian of airlines, has landed its second reality series.
TLC announced Wednesday that it had picked up 13 episodes of a new reality series about the Dallas-based company.
If you are flying Southwest out of or into Baltimore or Denver this weekend, you have our sympathy, because that’s when and where shooting will start.
This time, the network in bed with Southwest promises the show will look at “behind the scenes of the modern air travel experience, sharing the large-scale operations and personal customer stories at Southwest Airlines.”
Added TLC General Manager Amy Winter: “Southwest is a beloved brand, and their customers and employees will reveal the passion, commitment, and fantastic payoff of ‘getting there’ that helps keep us all flying.”
And, by “beloved brand” we assume Winter means, “seemingly constantly in the news for its unerring knack of kicking celebs off flights for various reasons.”
Just this past September, Southwest kicked not one but two celebs off flights, which has to be some kind of record.