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Ricky Gervais' 14 Most Wicked Golden Globes Barbs

For three blessed years, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the Golden Globes. They called Hollywood on its sexist crap, but never alienated the stars gathered at the Beverly Hilton. But their reign is over. This year, Ricky Gervais returns to the podium for the ceremony that airs Sunday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

Gervais hosted between 2010 and 2012, and he did not hold back — for better or for worse. The British comedian expressed no interest in being chummy with his audience. He seemed to delight in excoriating those in attendance, bringing up their sordid pasts and personal travails. In 2011, after the the worst (or best, depending on how you look at it) of Gervais' performances, Hank Stuever at The Washington Post wrote: "Are we at war with England? If not, then why have we been subjected to two years of Gervais hosting the Golden Globe Awards, witnessing a growing hostility between the British comedian and a resentful audience of celebs?" Yikes.

Gervais, for his part, doesn't see what the problem was. "That stuff I did, I was shocked that people thought that was shocking," Gervais recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "Genuinely. I thought, what have I said wrong? I didn’t say anything outrageous or libelous. I didn’t say anything against broadcasting rules. It was on network television, late afternoon, it couldn’t have been that bad."

So was it? Well, you decide. Here are 14 of his most outrageous lines.
Target: Himself

"I've had a penis reduction. Just got the one now. And it is very tiny. But so are my hands, so when I'm holding it, it looks pretty big. And let's face it: I usually am holding it. I wish I was doing that now instead of this, to be honest."
No one needed the visual, Ricky. A joke about Hollywod's penchant for cosmetic surgery turned into a bit (ha ha) about Gervais' privates during his opening monologue. At least Gervais wasn't afraid to be vicious with himself.

Target: Angelina Jolie

"You could be in the Third World, and you get a glimpse of a Hollywood star and it makes you feel better. You could be a little Asian child with no possessions and no money, but you see a picture of Angelina Jolie and you think, Mummy."
Gervais made it clear early on that he had no reverence for celebrity. He assumed a facetious air when he talked about the importance of actors, and then went in for the kill with this line about Angelina Jolie.

Target: Jay Leno/ NBC

"Let's get on with it before NBC replaces me with Jay Leno."
This feels very ho-hum now, but in 2010, the news that NBC had ousted Conan O'Brien from The Tonight Show to make way for Leno's return was still fresh enough to make the audience gasp.

Target: Paul McCartney

"We actually came over on the same flight. Didn't get to speak to him, because I was up in the front in first class and he was behind me in coach. Saving money. He spent an awful lot last year."
Gervais alluded to Paul McCartney's messy divorce from Heather Mills with a line that got a noticeably cold reaction from the crowd. If you're going to attack someone, a living legend maybe isn't the best way to go.

Target: Mel Gibson

"I like a drink as much as the next man, unless the next man is Mel Gibson.”

When introducing Gibson as a presenter, Gervais took this dig at the actor, who in 2006 went on an anti-semitic rant during an arrest for drunk driving. Gibson, at least, seemed in on the joke, and Gibson and Gervais appear to be on somewhat good terms. Gibson is back as a presenter this year.

Target: The Tourist

"Seems like everything this year was three-dimensional. Except the characters in The Tourist."
The poorly reviewed The Tourist, which stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, was infamously nominated for Best Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical, so naturally Gervais took aim at it.

Target: Sex and the City 2

"Nothing for Sex and the City 2? I was sure the Golden Globe for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed that poster. Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza."
Kim Cattrall called this joke ageist, and she has a point. One could also say that the airbrushing of the poster was ageist, so we'll call this one a draw.

Target: Scientology

"Also not nominated: I Love You Phillip Morris. Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay. So, the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists, then."
Gervais took a circuitous path — remember that movie? — to poke at rumors that high-profile Scientologist actors are secretly gay, daring to alienate some very powerful people.

Target: Hugh Hefner

"Talking of The Walking Dead, congratulations to Hugh Hefner, who's getting married at the age of 84 to 24-year-old beauty Crystal Harris. When she was asked why she was marrying him, she said because he lied about his age, 'He told me he was 94.' Oh, come on. Don't worry, hold out, and just don't look at it when you touch it."
Considering Hefner had nothing to do with the awards, this string of jokes is pretty random. The fact that it got really gross and Gervais mimed a hand job didn't make it more worthwhile.

Target: HFPA

"Next up, Eva Longoria has the daunting task of introducing the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press. That's nothing. I just had to help him off the toilet and pop his teeth in."
Pretty sure this is what's known as biting the hand that feeds you.

Target: Robert Downey Jr.

Many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail. Please welcome Robert Downey Jr."
Downey did not take kindly to Gervais dredging up his past. "Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far, wouldn't you?" the actor said when he took the stage. The crowd responded with a round of applause.


Target: Kim Kardashian

"The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton, basically. What? Bit louder, bit trashier, bit drunker, and more easily bought. Allegedly. Nothing been's proved."
The Kardashian era seeped into Gervais' hosting duties. Later, he would joke about her quick marriage to Kris Humphries.

Target: Himself

"No nudity. See, that's a shame because I've got a huge...vocabulary. But a tiny penis."
Gervais read off the list of no-nos the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had given him for that year's ceremony. He referenced his privates again.

Target: Justin Bieber

"The only way he could have impregnated a girl was if he borrowed one of Martha Stewart's old turkey basters. Open wide."
Bieber, like Hugh Hefner, was another easy target. (Isn't he always?) News had come out in late 2011 that Bieber, then just 17, took a paternity test after a fan said he fathered her child. Did Gervais have to get so graphic, though? Guess he did.


Now we just wait to see what he comes up with this year. Obviously, the Kardashians and Bieber could make repeat appearances, and everyone's pretty much expecting a "bear rape" joke about Leonardo DiCaprio and The Revenant. But just how low will Gervais go? We'll find out Sunday.