Brace yourself, Hollywood: Ricky Gervais will host the Golden Globes for the third time.
After months of will-he-or-won’t-he rumors, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC have struck a deal with the caustic comedian to host the show on Jan. 15. Last year, Gervais mocked the HFPA and once again dealt low-blow punches to Hollywood celebrities. But Gervais also brings a certain high-wire-act tension to the telecast which has seemingly benefited the show’s ratings — Globes viewership rose to roughly 17 million viewers when Gervais first took the gig in 2010 and held mostly steady this year. And NBC, which has been rocked by lower primetime ratings this fall, can sure use the stability.
Gervais tweeted: “Just told [Oscar host] Billy Crystal he’d better not use any of my holocaust or pedophile material at The Oscars. He agreed (true).”
NBC was reportedly strongly in favor of Gervais returning, while the HFPA board had a tough vote. The HFPA confirmed on its website: “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.”
During last year’s ceremony, Gervais joked: “I’d like to quash this ridiculous rumor going around that the only reason The Tourist was nominated was so the HFPA could hang out with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. That is rubbish. That is not the only reason. They also accepted bribes.”
According to the LA Times, “older” members of the HFPA were against the decision to bring back Gervais, with longtime HFPA member Judy Solomon quoted as saying, “My worry was that he was insulting, and when I invite someone to my house, they don’t insult me. But this is show business. I guess I’m old-fashioned.”