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Ricky Gervais plays it loose for the Golden Globes and HBO

by Nick Zaino, posted Jan 15th 2010 10:33AM
Ricky Gervais hosts the Golden GlobesWhen Ricky Gervais hosts the Golden Globes this Sunday (NBC, 8PM EST), don't expect any pre-taped pieces or large choreographed numbers. Gervais, speaking to the press on a conference call, said he is avoiding all of that. He has planned what he wants to do, but he won't rehearse it, alone or with anyone on the show.

"I want to host it a little bit more like someone from the Rat Pack would host it," he says. "You know, just off the cuff and just playing the room and having fun with the people and roasting a few of the A-listers and hopefully it'll be fun for the room and the people at home."

"I do want people to have the feeling that anything can happen," he adds. "I want to be reactive so I don't want to just go out there and read an alter cue and do a very staid joke and have that sort of polite sort of titter."

Hosting is a new experience for the stand-up comedian and star/creator of shows like The Office and Extras. Unlike stand-up, Gervais won't be able to test material on audiences and pick and choose the best bits to present on television. "With a hosting job you get one go. And I think you've probably got to be a little bit broader and clearer but I've never done it before."

He'll approach opportunity at the podium separately and loosely, similar to the way he's approached his own acceptance speeches or individual presentations on other awards shows (most notably the Emmys). He notes that he is "an acquired taste," and will do his best not to overwhelm the proceedings.

"The few times I've been up there I've done my one minute acceptance speech or a speech before handing it out," he says, "and if I could do, you know, a dozen of those over a three hour period then I think that I'd be very happy."

Ricky Gervais hosts the Golden GlobesThe Globes are not the only thing on Gervais's plate. The DVD of his movie The Invention of Lying comes out next week, and on February 19, The Ricky Gervais Show premieres on HBO. The new show is an animated version of Gervais's enormously popular podcast with Office co-creator Stephen Merchant and oddball Karl Pilkington.

"It's taken entirely from the Podcast," says Gervais."We just went into a room and we chatted and we put it out there, we didn't - there's nothing rehearsed. There's nothing re-recorded. And they've just taken those bits and animated them sort of behind our backs so to speak."

The unexpected star of the podcast was Pilkington, whose absurd, conversational style resulted in the show's best moments. Gervais says that becomes even clearer on the new show. "Karl goes off on flights of fancy in their scenarios and role play it looks like we've scripted an episode of something," he says."They just take it, you know - there was this monkey right - and it goes off and you're suddenly in the jungle. If you haven't seen it it's hard to imagine. But it's not just three blokes animated having the conversation it goes off like it was - like a scripted narrative piece because of Karl."

Gervais says they have about 40 hours already recorded to choose from for the HBO show. But he's looking forward to creating even more. "I cannot wait to get into a room with Steve and Karl and prod Karl like he's some sort of weird brain in a jar for my own amusement," he says. "So I'll do that until I'm 75. I will do that, listen to Karl's philosophy on life until the day I die. I will never be bored with that. So we're never going to run out of material."

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Mitch

I am so looking forward to watching this show because of Ricky. The peoples choice awards last week was so bad and if I am sure he will not be screaming every 5 minutes are we having a great time and lets party which seems to be standard for most of these other useless M.C's.

January 15 2010 at 10:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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