At what point did “insult comedy” become the norm in awards show? Last night I watched the Golden Globes for the first time in years, and instead of laughing at the celebrities like I usually do, I actually felt sorry for some of them. Yes, Ricky Gervais went that far. Worse, his jokes were retreads of insults we’ve been hearing for years, and ultimately weren’t even very funny.
He made a joke about gay Scientologist actors. Which South Park did in 2005.
He made a joke about the Sex and the City actresses being old…which, yes, they are. So?
He made a joke about Hugh Hefner’s new fiancé and the age difference. He also mimicked a blowjob in the opening monologue. Real creative.
He made a joke about Robert Downey Jr.’s time in Betty Ford and jail…when he has been sober for nearly ten years.
He made a joke about Tim Allen’s career being terrible in comparison to Tom Hanks’…yet the entire reason Tim Allen was there was…Toy Story 3. While I won’t argue that Tom Hanks has had an amazing career, Tim Allen was everywhere back in the mid to late 90s, and with the Toy Story franchise, hasn’t done too badly for himself.
He made some Mel Gibson/Scarlett Johanssen jew joke…that made no sense.
He called Bruce Willis “Ashton Kutcher’s father”…when Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have been married for over six years.
He insulted seeing a Cher show, since “it isn’t 1975”…yet Cher has a 90% sold out show going on at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas for the past two years, which has to date grossed over $88 million.
He pulled out the very old and tired Steve Carrell ungrateful for The Office joke.
Maybe I would feel differently if any of these jokes had been funny. I didn’t laugh once. Even worse, none felt remotely original or timely, and some didn’t even make sense. I’m not someone who likes celebrities who take themselves too seriously or can’t take a joke, but some of his jokes made me feel uncomfortable, and I was just an innocent bystander sitting at home on my couch. Is this really the best he could come up with? This whole trend of insulting people in the form of comedy is really disappointing. (See also, the Sprint commercial where the guy calls his neighbor's house an eyesore, and his sweater ho horrendous. At least the commercial is funny.) I say that as someone who finds Kathy Griffin hilarious. But, there is a time and a place for it.
I refuse to believe that a host can’t be entertaining and funny without insulting everyone in the audience. While what he said may have been proper at a roast or at his own standup show, this was not a roast – it was The Golden Globes, which while a joke, is still an awards show that attracts a lot of very famous people who are a captive audience and can't even roll their eyes at a bad joke without the media jumping all over them for being a "poor sport." Let’s hope James Franco and Anne Hathaway can do a better job at the Academy Awards.