Talking with Ricky Gervais
The 48-year-old co-creator and executive producer of The Office usually steals the show at the Emmys, so it’s no wonder the Golden Globes asked him to host the Jan. 17 telecast on NBC. Here, the comedian reveals his secrets on how to bring down the house (chugging a preshow cocktail never hurts) and why he’s not exactly waiting by the phone for a call from the producers of the Oscars.
1. Take risks.
At the Emmys this September, Gervais riffed on all the not-so-goodlooking TV actors — ”I’m not being funny. I’m probably above average” — singling out The Office‘s Steve Carell and Rainn Wilson. ”I think people are sometimes too scared to do anything, so they do nothing,” says Gervais. ”Every day, people say naughty things, everyone laughs, but someone goes, ‘You can’t say that.’ And I say, Why not? I just think people have got to chill out a little more.”
2. Engage the audience.
For his memorable ”Give Me Back My Emmy” shtick during the otherwise dull 2008 telecast, Gervais only briefly consulted with Carell — who was in the audience — before embarking on a hilarious bit in which he singled out Carell and demanded that he return Gervais’ Emmy from the previous year. ”You play the room,” says Gervais.
3. Rehearsing is overrated.
He’d be honored to host the Oscars, but he doesn’t think his work habits would jibe with the Academy. ”If they called me, I’d say, ‘I’ll turn up an hour before. I may be drunk, but just point me to where the microphone is.’ I don’t think they’ll accept those terms. You have to rehearse and everything!”
4. Don’t forget the booze.
”People sit there and get drunk [at the Golden Globes]. It’s more of my crowd. It’s humor by a drunk for drunks. If you’re watching at home, drink, I tell you! You will enjoy it more.”