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Quick! Who hosted the Golden Globe Awards last year?
Okay, that was a trick question. Truth is, the ceremony hasn't had a host since 1995, back when it was still broadcast on TNT. (Janine Turner and John Larroquette -- remember them? -- did the honors that year.) Since then, the show's introductions and scripted banter have been divvied up among the dozens of A-list presenters.
But this year, at the 67th Golden Globe Awards (Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. ET, on NBC), Ricky Gervais has been hired to shepherd the flock of potentially tipsy award nominees. (The Globes' organizers famously provide alcohol to its guests, inspiring a much looser atmosphere than the Academy Awards or the Emmy Awards.)
Though the British funnyman has never hosted a major awards show, he's made his mark on a few of them. While presenting at the 2008 Emmys, he jokingly berated The Office's Steve Carell for accepting his Emmy on his behalf the previous year -- and then not giving it to him. Gervais, who created the original, British version of The Office, snapped at the poker-faced Carell: "I've made you what you are, and I get nothing back."
And while presenting at last year's Globes, Gervais made some politically incorrect, but totally hilarious, comments to Kate Winslet. ("I told ya," he said. "Do a Holocaust movie, the awards come.")
Over the last few years, Gervais has gradually earned the notoriety required to host this big event. Even those who haven't seen his brilliant work on the British Office (which won two Golden Globes in 2004) have probably caught Gervais' big-screen performances in movies like Night At The Museum 2 and The Invention of Lying. And HBO viewers know him for his show Extras, which won a Golden Globe in 2008, and his stand-up comedy special, Ricky Gervais Out of England: The Stand-Up Special.
Gervais' Wednesday night appearance on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien provided of glimpse of what we might expect from his Globes monologue. No doubt it will be heavy on NBC jokes -- which is, of course, the network airing the ceremony.
"I think I should plug all my stuff now in case they just take you off the air halfway through this," he told O'Brien. "Then we can really go mental." When O'Brien congratulated him on landing the hosting gig, he replied, "It's on NBC, though. It might not happen." But he seemed determined to look on the bright side. "It's live, so they can't move the time," he said. "And like you, I'm probably going to be drunk."
Do you think Ricky Gervais will be a good Golden Globes host?