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Ricky Gervais Saves the Golden Globes, Almost

Well, we asked for it and we got it — sort of. Ricky Gervais presided over tonight's Golden Globes, the first time the HFPA has employed a host in fifteen years. Owing to the sheer number of trophies distributed, though, he was denied a real opening monologue and mostly only able to make rude introductions ("Please welcome Rachel from Friends and that bloke from 300"; "I like a drink as much as the next man ... unless the next man is Mel Gibson"). The rest of his brief time onstage (ten minutes, maybe?) was spent insulting Steve Carell, sharing the details of a recent penis-reduction surgery ("I just have the one now"), plugging his DVDs, and asking not to be invited back next year ("One thing that can't be bought is a Golden Globe — officially"). What he did was good! We'd just have liked more.

Heading into the Academy Awards, we suppose Avatar is now the front-runner, unless Oscar voters were turned off by James Cameron's unprepared speeches and failure to go to the bathroom before his categories were presented. "Frankly, I thought Kathryn [Bigelow] was going to get this," he said while collecting his Globe for Best Director. "And she richly deserved it." And she did! But historically the Globes have split their awards for Best Picture and Best Director lots more than the Oscars (Avatar won both tonight), so odds are good that Cameron will have two more chances to say "numb-nuts" on live television.

Heading into the Academy Awards, we suppose Avatar is now the front-runner, unless Oscar voters were turned off by James Cameron's unprepared speeches and failure to go to the bathroom before his categories were presented. "Frankly, I thought Kathryn [Bigelow] was going to get this," he said while collecting his Globe for Best Director. "And she richly deserved it." And she did! But historically the Globes have split their awards for Best Picture and Best Director lots more than the Oscars (Avatar won both tonight), so odds are good that Cameron will have two more chances to say "numb-nuts" on live television.

Other assorted highlights: Tina Fey's explanation for the rain on the pre-show ("It's just God crying for NBC"), that awesome Scorsese montage, and Paul McCartney's intro before presenting Up with the award for Best Animated Film ("Animation is not just for children; it's also for adults who take drugs"). We hope when McCartney is inevitably hired to replace Gervais at next year's Globes that the HFPA will banish a few TV awards to a non-televised ceremony and give the guy a proper monologue.

Photo: Getty Images