Ricky Gervais: Too Outrageous for the Golden Globes?
Comedian and actor Ricky Gervais returned to host the Golden Globes this year, but his performance is raising eyebrows.
"It's going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking, or as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast," he told the audience.
Right from the start, Gervais took no prisoners. He skewered everyone from Sheen to Bruce Willis, even introducing Willis as "Ashton Kutcher's dad."
But did his off-color cracks cause him to be fired mid-way through the Golden Globes?
That was the wild speculation after the host disappeared for an entire hour in the second half of the show.
Gervais was missing from the stage from 9:36 to 10:37 EST, sparking a rumor that Golden Globe bosses had gotten fed up with what some saw as the comedian's mean-spirited routine.
The audience of Hollywood A-listers were left cringing in their seats.
One blogger called it "wince-inducing" and the "meanest Golden Globes ever."
So when Gervais went missing, many thought he'd been fired!
"Where's Ricky Gervais? Has he been sent home?" Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe posted on Twitter.
Piers Morgan, who is taking over for Larry King, tweeted: "What the hell did they do to you backstage for an hour?"
Morgan wrote that he thought the comic looked "haunted' and his jokes became 'more subdued" after he returned.
View hosts Sherri Shepherd and Joy Behar came to Gervais's defense, pointing out that he had put everyone on notice before the show that he planned to be outrageous.
"They hired him last year and he kind of did the same thing, so you know [it's as if] when they hire you Joy Behar, but then they go, 'But don't do what you do,' " said Shepherd.
"I warned them," Gervais said at one point during the broadcast.
After the show Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney gave Gervais a thumbs-up, saying, "He makes you so uncomfortable and yet you love it!"
But Grey's Anatomy's Loretta Devine panned his performance. "The show was a little nasty, kind of mean, I was surprised at that," she said.
So what did viewers at home think? In a People magazine online poll, 25% found him inappropriate. But an overwhelming 75% thought he was hilarious.
Of course, they weren't the target of his jokes!
As if to state the obvious, Gervais told The Hollywood Reporter, "I probably won't be here next year."