Judd Apatow was one of the folks who did not approve of Ricky Gervais’s mean-spirited, if hilarious, performance at last weekend’s Golden Globes. So this weekend, while hosting the King’s Speech–crowning Producers Guild Awards, Apatow decided to call Gervais out. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he began, “What did you think of Ricky Gervais? I didn’t like him. I thought he was mean,” before getting “mean” himself.
First, Apatow defended Jorge Garcia’s honor: “He had that joke about the guy on Lost. He said he ate everybody else. Let’s be honest — Ricky Gervais just lost weight. Even now he’s four pounds away from not being allowed to do a joke like that. Did he lose weight just to make fat jokes? You think that’s how mean he is?”
Then he defended the poor, defenseless The Tourist: “[Gervais] says the characters were two-dimensional. Then he says he hasn’t seen The Tourist. So as a comedian, that’s not fair, is it? To make jokes about a movie you haven’t seen. I can’t do a joke about [Gervais’s] The Invention of Lying because I haven’t seen it. You haven’t seen it. None of us have seen it. So the joke would not work.”
Then he defended Tim Allen: “[Gervais] made a joke about Tim Allen, who was standing next to Tom Hanks. Who looks good standing next to Tom Hanks? We all look like a piece of shit standing next to Tom Hanks. Warren Buffett would look like a piece of shit next to Tom Hanks. Tim Allen did 200 episodes of Home Improvement. He was in three of the highest-grossing movies of all-time. And his latest [Toy Story 3] just crossed the one billion mark. Whereas The Invention of Lying made $18 million dollars worldwide … Leave Tim Allen alone.”
Now, it’s possible that in delivery these were all very funny and lightly teasing, but they don’t quite read that way. The way they read is Apatow saying that … because Tim Allen made a lot of TV and a ton of money, he is totally above rebuke from a former fatty whose movie did not make nearly as much money? Apatow saying that poor (well, relatively poor) pudgy guys should know their place and keep it a secret that The Tourist sucks? (After all, them running their mouths about The Tourist like that could keep that movie from making money in DVD sales, thus stripping it of a chance to prove by the only important metric — cash — that it doesn’t actually suck at all!) Meanies, don’t be mean.
Apatow at least granted that Gervais had picked one target correctly: Charlie Sheen.
“I think he’s an okay target,” Apatow said. “The people at CBS have said as long as he shows up on time, knows his lines, he can do whatever he wants.” You get that, Ricky? Just so long as Viacom doesn’t mind the jokes, it’s totally fine to make them.