The second one, just days later, was the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC begging British comedian Ricky Gervais to host the Golden Globe Awards again -- after he mercilessly insulted nearly everyone in Hollywood and ended last year's program with a long list of thank you's, ending with "And thank you to God for making me an atheist."
Put the God-bashing aside for a moment. Gervais wasn't doing winking, just-kidding jokes akin to Don Rickles that night. They weren't even jokes. They were insults, and they were brutal. Most memorable was mocking actor Robert Downey Jr., who successfully overcame addiction after many years of failed rehabilitations, by listing some of his films and then adding "But many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail."
Downey later came on stage and smacked back. "Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show has been pretty good so far, wouldn't you?" Presenters Tom Hanks and Tim Allen also criticized Gervais on the show. Hanks declared, "We recall when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian," and Allen added "Neither of which he is now."
But some people in Hollywood are enraptured by comic decadence. In The Hollywood Reporter, Scott Feinberg celebrated another jumbo platter of Gervais wickedness: "What made Gervais so funny as a host and helped him to deliver great ratings for NBC over the past two years is just that: his willingness to say what everyone is already thinking but nobody else will dare say."
When Feinberg says "everyone" is thinking just like Gervais, he's not talking about America (starting with the God-is-a-cruel-fiction part). He means Hollywood. It's in the 90210 zip code, where apparently everyone likes to stab everyone else behind his or her back, where character assassination comes naturally as a price of doing business, and if you score, you're a sensation.