Earlier this week Ricky Gervais divulged to Conan O'Brien that NBC had supposedly axed an idea he'd had to don a Nazi uniform and joke that it was from Mel Gibson's closet. Since then, Hollywood has been wondering how much the network was planning to censor the host or how much he was going to censor himself, for that matter.
Within the first few moments of the funnyman's opening monologue it was apparent he had no intention of letting up on the stars, and NBC let the host run wild. After taking his traditional first sip of beer, "The Office" star bashed Charlie Sheen for his now-infamous hotel antics.
"It's going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking," Gervais began, adding, "Or as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast." After recounting Sheen's Plaza Hotel antics, Gervais asked the crowd, "What did he do New Year's Eve?"
While Sheen was fair game, Gervais soon went after not only the Hollywood Foreign Press Association but two of the night's biggest attendees, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, for their nominated film "The Tourist."
Gervais ripped into the critically panned caper, garnering big groans when he said, "I haven't even seen The Tourist,' " and adding, "Who has?" He then mentioned reports that the HFPA had been bribed to nominate the film by being taken to a Cher concert. The host joked that no one would be game for such a bribe because "it's not 1975!"
Once Depp (who was caught smiling at the barbs on camera) and Jolie were off the hook, Gervais laid into the women of "Sex and the City 2."
After suggesting they should have nominated the special effects team behind the poster, Gervais addressed the cast: "Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you on an episode of 'Bonanza'!" The cameras caught a glimpse of the gals' "SATC 2" co-star Chris Noth, who seemed to be taking the jabs in stride.
When Gervais moved on to another film that was not nominated this year, "I Love You, Phillip Morris," he made what was, at that point, his most shocking joke of the night. Noting that Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor were heterosexual actors who played gay characters, he made a swipe at either Tom Cruise or John Travolta when he joked, "So the complete opposite of some Scientologists, then." After the loud groans settled, Gervais, who said his lawyers had helped him pen the joke, assured the audience, "They're not here."
He briefly moved on to television and joked that nominee "The Walking Dead" could also be an analogy for Hugh Hefner's impending nuptials.
Gervais warned Hefner's bride-to-be, Crystal Harris, "Just don't look at it when you touch it" and mimed to millions of viewers what that scenario would look like. The moment earned the heartiest laughs (including from Halle Berry and Robert De Niro) and Gervais, in a nod to the earlier NBC censoring rumors said, "I warned them."
Gervais closed his monologue by talking about the series finale of "Lost," offering his own theory that Hurley (Jorge Garcia) "ate them all."
While there were no Nazi costumes to be found, Gervais did manage to get in one Gibson joke, as he suggested the star is "obsessed" with Judaism.
And now, on with the show ...