If you want to avoid awkwardness and controversy, you don’t have Ricky Gervais to host your award show. But it looks like the Golden Globes is courting both, as Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Gervais will return as host for the 2016 show.
This will be the comedian’s fourth time hosting the event and, while edgy jokes are expected from awards show hosts, Gervais has a penchant for flirting with the line between funny and — as Robert Downey Jr. put it — “mean-spirited.”
This after he was introduced in 2011 as someone the audience might know best “from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail.”
Downey Jr., of course, had a long and well-publicized battle with substance abuse, and the joke drew an uncomfortable groan from much of the audience. This moment was hardly unique, however, as many of Gervais’ Globes quips have resulted in similar reactions.
There was that time he joked about every third-world child seeing Angelina Jolie as a potential “mummy,” the time he introduced Bruce Willis as “Ashton Kutscher’s dad,” the one in which he likened Hugh Hefner to “the walking dead,” and a host of other cringeworthy moments.
Though Gervais had famously vowed never to host the Golden Globes again, it seems NBC execs were able to talk him into it without much trouble.
“Tina [Fey] and Amy [Poehler] are a hard act to follow but Ricky is completely fearless and entirely up for the job,” NBC’s president of alternative and late-night Paul Telegdy said. “He always did us proud. Welcome back, Ricky.”
Though the network’s decision will likely ruffle some feathers, if you’re a fan of his schtick, this year’s show will be must-see TV. But if you do happen to miss it, don’t worry, a few of his bits are sure to go viral.
The 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards will take place on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, at the Beverly Hilton.