I heard lots of people saying over the past few months that Ricky Gervais should host the Academy Awards. He’s funny, he’s quick-witted, he’s likable, he appeals to American and non-American viewers, and he’s actually done movies; who could be a more perfect choice? Well, it turns out he is going to host a movie awards show — the other one, the Golden Globes. The announcement is a bit of rare good news for NBC, which is broadcasting the Globes.
The other interesting thing here is the question of whether he was ever under consideration to host the Oscars, or if that was just internet wishful thinking. It does, though, seem to cement the idea that the Globes are more fun to watch than the Oscars; people have noticed in recent years that the Golden Globes show usually has better clothes and more relaxed, funny stars (not just because they can drink, but because the pressure to win is not as overwhelming). And now they’ve grabbed the host who seemed like a great Oscar choice, a host who furthermore has the kind of hip credentials that the un-hip Globes don’t usually possess. If they do it right, it could be a festival of self-deprecation, Gervais making affectionate fun of himself and show business, while the stars also poke a bit of fun at themselves. This is what separates the Golden Globes from the Oscars; everybody takes those seriously, even the ones who pretend not to.