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The 13 best Ricky Gervais zingers from the 2016 Golden Globe Awards

Ricky Gervais Opens the 2016 Golden Globes
Ricky Gervais returned to host the Golden Globe Awards this past Sunday for the fourth time, despite past appearances that had some feeling a little uncomfortable about how far he had taken jokes. Most notably, remember that jab at Mel Gibson in 2010 when Gervais blamed his outspoken nature to the fact that he likes to drink “as much as the next man, unless the next man is Mel Gibson?”

That said, even though Gervais said he’d be dragged out if he offended anyone too badly, that didn’t stop the funny man from pulling out his best jokes for the three-hour broadcast, which celebrates the best in both TV and movies. Gervais delivered most of his insults at the top of the show, or right before the victims were about to walk on stage, leaving many stunned by what had just hit them (see Matt Damon).

While you can see many of them above, we’ve gathered our top 13 zingers from the night below for posterity.

1. Insulting the audience right out of the gate

Gervais got the night started (see above) with a fairly vulgar reference to the audience, calling them “disgusting, pill-popping, sexual deviant scum.” Er, nice to see you too, Ricky? It set the tone for the night, as actors squirmed in their seats (and laughed, despite themselves) knowing that Gervais meant business, and wasn’t going to hold anything back.

2. When Gervais mocked Ken Jeong and Kevin Hart’s size

ricky gervais kevin heart ken jeong Golden Globe Awards 2016

Just before the pint-sized duo, who will appear together in Ride Along 2, arrived on stage to present an award, Gervais noted that Brad and Angelina might want to adopt the “adorable” guys. Oh, what we would have given to see them pan to Pitt at that point.

3. On-stage awkwardness with Mel

UNCENSORED: Ricky Gervais asks Mel Gibson raunchy question

While they tried to mend fences by putting an arm around one another, it was clear tension still exists between Mel Gibson and Ricky. Gervais tried to take the high road by delivering a back-handed jab at Bill Cosby instead, saying at least he’d rather go have a drink in Gibson’s room than Cosby’s. But after Gervais left the stage and Gibson delivered his own blow, saying that seeing Gervais reminds him to get his colonoscopy, Gervais wasn’t going to take it. He came back on stage, and asked Gibson to explain what a famous two-word name he had uttered years ago really means. It was bleeped out of the broadcast but you can pretty much piece it together.

4. Insulting the whole room … again

It was clear Gervais’ initial audience jab wasn’t the end of his all-encompassing insults. While introducing veteran actor Morgan Freeman, Gervais noted that Freeman was one of the most talented people in the room, but added “that isn’t saying much.” Ouch.

5. The right size and shape

Aside from his hosting gig, Gervais has won a few Golden Globes himself. But rather than show his appreciation to the Hollywood Foreign Press, he opted to discuss just how pointless they are, noting that he uses one as a doorstop, and positions another by his bed, saying that it’s just the right size and shape …

6. Insulting Mexicans, two actresses, and Trump with one joke

Golden Globes 2016: Eva Longoria and America Ferrera's Latina actress joke

What would an awards show be today without the obligatory Trump joke? Gervais delivered his while introducing Eva Longoria and American Ferrara. He referred to them as “two people your future president Donald Trump can’t wait to have deported.” The gals vamped off the Trump jab, delivering their own jokes to follow that poked fun at how they’re often mistaken for other Hispanic actors (Longoria for Eva Mendes and Ferrara for Jane the Virgin’s Gina Rodriguez.)

7. Mocking gender-pay issues

Gervais started by talking about Jennifer Lawrence’s plight to achieve gender pay equality in Hollywood, sarcastically noting how impossible it must be for a 25-year-old female actress to live on just $52 million. He then went on to more seriously pledge his support for the cause, but the sincerity was short-lived, as he noted that he was fine being paid the same as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler did for hosting last year. What? It’s their fault they decided to share, he joked.

8. Likening the Hollywood Foreign Press speech to an In Memorium

Along with consistently showing how utterly bored he was each time he appeared on screen, Gervais set his specific target on the President of the Hollywood Foreign Press. Before Lorenzo Soria stepped on stage to give his address, Gervais likened it to the Globes’ version of an In Memoriam section. Because both, he noted, will get you depressed.

9. Making Matt Damon uncomfortable with a joke about his BFF

Ricky Gervais' Ben Affleck Joke | Golden Globes 2016

It was clear that Damon was stifling his inappropriate urge to laugh when Gervais introduced him as “the only person who Ben Affleck hasn’t been unfaithful to.” Low-blow, Gervais. Low-blow.

10. Insinuating studios pay for their awards

Once of the less-talked-about but biggest “ouch” jabs was toward film  and TV studios, when Gervais noted (again in the monologue above) that no actor would turn down the opportunity to win a Golden Globe, particularly if “their film company has already paid for it.” From there, the camera panned over to Harvey Weinstein.

11. El Chapo, Sean Penn joke

Ricky Gervais calls Sean Penn a snitch

It’s always important to throw in a super-timely joke, and Gervais managed to do this with a joke about Sean Penn and the recent capture of convicted and escaped drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman after their secret interview. Gervais noted that he would deliver a quick opening monologue than “get out of here. Not even Sean Penn will find me,” adding under his breath “Snitch.”

12. Targeting the very network on which the show aired

The Golden Globes aired live on NBC, and even that network wasn’t immune to Gervais’ wrath. NBC could be fair and impartial with the ceremony and awards, he noted, because “they’re the only network with no nominations.”

13. Spotlight and Roman Polanski

Nominated film Spotlight is about child sex abuse cases in the Boston area, so there were a few uncomfortable “ohs” and squirms when Gervais joked that Roman Polanski called it “the best date movie ever.” Too far? Nah, it’s just Ricky.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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