When a newly-slim Ricky Gervais took to the stage on Sunday night's Golden Globes telecast, he gave new meaning to the phrase, "lean and mean." To be fair, Gervais has always packed a nasty bite. The characters that he played in his mocumentaries, "The Office" and "Extras", were pathetic everymen whose fleshy outsides held a bottomless pit of inner-loathing that extended to everyone they encountered. And if his contempt for his fellow man was detectable, then his offense at the cult of celebrity was at fever pitch. In "The Office", his inept, blundering alter-ego - the fictional David Brent - had dreams of celebrity that far exceeded his talents. With "Extras", Gervais inhabited another celebrity-seeking character, Andy Millman, a "background actor" who, in between takes, nursed an out sized ego and dreams of coming out of the cast of extras and into the lead. In the series, Millman gets a taste of the fame and celebrity he's long sought, only it's as an appalling, dim plant manager sporting late-1980s Elton John eyeglass frames and a fright wig in a broadly-written comedic series in the "Our You Being Served" vain. For Andy Millman, even fame and celebrity don't bring him the joy and respect he'd hope they would.
For Ricky Gervais, maybe life and art have fused together to form a reality where neither Gervais nor the fictions that he creates for himself are very happy. It's easy to see, then, why his verbal jabs at the other celebrities in the room Sunday night were so vicious. At the outset of the evening, as he sauntered on-stage with his ever-ready pint of ale in hand, he spoke these words, "I warned 'em." But, maybe, now it's time for someone to tap Ricky on the shoulder and let him know that he is now, officially, "one of 'em" himself.
I'm just saying!