By Caryn James | James on Screens November 16, 2011 at 5:32PM
Hard to believe, but now that Ricky Gervais has been announced as the returning host, The Golden Globes are much more relevant than the Oscars – in the worlds of media and television if not film. Bringing Gervais back after his irreverent turn last time was always an inspired idea, but coming so soon after the Oscar-host debacle, the choice highlights just how out of touch the Oscars are. Brett Ratner as producer and Eddie Murphy as host was never very promising, but replacing them with Billy Crystal is the esssence of safe, timid television, or a bad flashback.
At his talk at the 92nd St. Y the other day, Gervais was asked about hosting the Oscars, and he said it would never happen. They want something respectful, he said, and that’s not him. He didn’t say they want staid and self-important, but I will.
You know what’s not safe or self-important? This hilarious clip from Gervais’ Life’s Too Short with a poker-faced Liam Neeson insisting he wants to do comedy. (The series, already shown in the UK, arrives on HBO in Feb. If you missed the earlier clip from the show with Johnny Depp, you can find it here.)