The Hollywood Foreign Press Association may be regretting its decision to ask recklessly irreverent British comedian Ricky Gervais to M.C. last night’s "Golden Globes." After 15 years of telecasts without a proper “host,” the group reportedly tagged Gervais — a notorious loose cannon — to give the event some Oscars-level buzz and deliver a 10 percent ratings increase. Did their risk pay off? (Watch a highlights video and decide for yourself)

Gervais was on fire: British funnyman Ricky Gervais consistently scored laughs, says Radar, "with a risqué and hilarious introduction, taking time to make digs at NBC and their ongoing Leno/Conan fiasco, a theme of the night at the awards show and on the red carpet." ??[Reportedly, Tina Fey said of the drizzle on the red carpet: "It's not rain, it's just God crying for NBC."]
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He was terrible: A "surprisingly uninspiring" Gervais "weighed down" these "leaden" awards, says Andrew Wallenstein in The Hollywood Reporter. His "disappointingly toothless" opening monologue "didn't land a blow, let alone draw blood." Despite his "memorably raucous appearances" at previous awards shows, this was evidence that Gervais "can't carry an entire event."
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We wanted more: What Gervais did was "good," says Lane Brown in New York Magazine. But "we'd just have liked more." In the "10 minutes, maybe" of air time he was given between awards, he couldn't do much more than make "rude introductions" — such as when he brought Jennifer Aniston in as "Rachel from Friends." Whomever the HFPA hires next year, take our advice and "give the guy a proper monologue."
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Gervais bombed by compromising his outsider status: "Last night was Gervais’ biggest bid for stardom yet,” says Toby Young in the Daily Telegraph. But, for someone who's "set himself up as an opponent of phoney baloney showbiz schmaltz," it was a risk. His famed timing was off, and he nearly gave into "flop sweat" as it "became clear that his penis gags and ironic-but-not-really attempts to promote his DVDs were falling flat." He became "the sort of bloated, egocentric celebrity that he has always poked fun at so effectively.?"
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