In a direct shot at the Oscars, the Golden Globes organizers have tapped Ricky Gervais to host next January’s awards ceremony. The dry-witted British comedian, who will be the Globes’ first emcee since 1995, brought down the house as a presenter at the 2009 awards show. (Watch his hit routine.) Can he summon the same magic to push the Globes past the increasingly bloated and feckless Academy Awards?
Oscar had better watch his back: This is a “huge victory” for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the Golden Globes, says Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times. And it’s a “crushing blow” to the Academy Awards, which “desperately needs some heat of its own.” Nabbing Ricky Gervais “has raised the bar considerably,” so Oscar had better come up “with a bold move of its own.”
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The Academy Awards have nothing to fear: Gervais “ups the ante,” says Sasha Stone at Awards Daily, but not even his “genius” can push the Globes into the same league as the Oscars. For one thing, the Globes' “tape-delay for the West Coast” defuses their impact, since anyone with Internet access will know the winners by the time the show airs. The only TV rival for the Oscars is the Super Bowl—“the Globes don’t come anywhere near.”
The real loser could be Gervais: What was Ricky Gervais thinking? asks Matthew Gilbert in The Boston Globe. Oscars, Globes—it doesn’t matter: “Hosting awards shows is a mostly thankless and doomed job” that usually only brings “criticism and disappointment.” It’s the “very rare awards-show host” who doesn’t get “tiresome by hour three.” Can Gervais pull it off? “Fingers, as they say, crossed.”
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