Surprise! Ricky Gervais Is Hosting the Golden Globes Again

Despite stirring up controversy as host of the 2011 Golden Globes, the comedian has signed on to emcee the show again in 2012

At last year's Golden Globes, Ricky Gervais told enough scathing -- but hilarious -- jokes to offend half of Hollywood. So how is he going to top himself this year? Despite (or perhaps because of) the controversy, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has selected Gervais to host the prestigious awards ceremony for the third year in a row. The decision comes as a bit of a shock, especially since the Academy Awards are going with beloved (and extremely uncontroversial) host Billy Crystal for the ninth time at the 2012 Oscars.

"Just told Billy Crystal he'd better not use any of my holocaust or pedophile material at The Oscars," the 50-year-old British comedian tweeted Wednesday, along with a photo of him and Crystal together. "He agreed (true)."

Back in January, gossip columns claimed that an enraged Hollywood Foreign Press association had flat-out banned Gervais from future Golden Globes ceremonies. So what changed between then and now? Maybe Hollywood's power players all got a sense of humor. More likely, they were looking at the numbers: Ratings were high for Gervais's irreverent ceremony, and the fallout gave the Golden Globes their best media coverage in years. Still, the L.A. Times reveals that not all HFPA members wanted to welcome Gervais back.

"Not everyone is happy with the decision because last year his blunt one-liners targeting big-name celebrities caused anger and resentment in some quarters," says HFPA president Aida Takla O'Reilly.

"If they brought Ricky back, they knew they could face a backlash from some people in Hollywood," another of the newspaper's insiders observed. "But if they didn't bring him back, they'd look like they didn't have a sense of humor."

We don't know how Gervais's previous Golden Globes targets, including Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, feel about the decision to ask him back. But one guy is definitely thrilled: Piers Morgan, who scored Gervais's first post-Globes interview in 2011. (The comedian convincingly defended his jokes and refused to apologize.)

"Dear @rickygervais - please can I have the first 'Sorry if I offended anyone' interview after the 2012 Golden Globes, like last time?" Morgan tweeted on Wednesday.

"What if I'm not sorry? Like last time. Ha ha," replied Gervais, adding that he'll "escape to New York" right after the interview.

As for those of us watching at home, Gervais has promised that he's not pulling any punches. On his Twitter, the comedian linked to a video of last year's opening monologue (see below) and promised to deliver "this x 10."

"It's gonna be Biblical," tweeted Gervais.

Even better: It will be unpredictable, which is something you can say about very few awards ceremonies these days. Gervais' jokes may teeter on the edge of poor taste, but we can't wait to hear them.

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