Ricky Gervais would have been the perfect Golden Globes host this year.
After all, Hollywood is awash with sexual harassment scandals and the White House is occupied by President Trump. Those two dynamics require a host who can bring the heat to the Hollywood elite and make jokes about Trump while rising above the predictable liberal repertoire.
That doesn't seem likely to come from the actual host, Seth Meyers.
First off, Meyers' liberal stripes are Hollywood purebred: He doesn't just despise Trump, he's wearied by him. As Meyers told USA Today, "We try very hard to move on with him. But I think it’s as fatiguing for us as it is for him. We just golf less to get through it."
That's a pathetic sentiment born of a deep moral insularity and groupthink. On the contrary, a comedian should find Trump to be the perfect energizer: as someone who each day brings a different line of comedic opportunity! Ricky Gervais would be the perfect means of delivering that perspective.
When it comes to Trump, Gervais has shown an ability both to speak to the raw edges of what the president says, while being able to laugh rather than weep about it. That matching is crucial in the context of what a host is supposed to be: compelling, humorous, and unique. Ricky Gervais has a good track record here: Prior to the Iraq War, Gervais took pleasure teasing other celebrities for their attention-seeking protests.
Yet the more important offering is what Gervais can bring to the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal. Because again, Meyers doesn't seem to want to upset anyone. As he put it to USA Today, "we want to talk about it in a way that’s cathartic, as opposed to reminding us all how awful it is. That’s the tone we’re certainly trying to strike, which is to release the pressure rather than build it up."
The pressure should be built and the attendees made to bristle.
Of course, the imbued egomaniacs who populate Hollywood society have had their fill of criticism. As Meryl Streep (who loves to rant about politics) educated the New York Times, "I don’t want to hear about the silence of me. I want to hear about the silence of Melania Trump. I want to hear from her. She has so much that’s valuable to say. And so does Ivanka. I want her to speak now."
Again, that's BS and Gervais would call it out. As we've seen in his previous Golden Globe hosting gigs, Gervais revels in upsetting the Hollywood elite. Pulling no punches, the British comedian rightly regards the assembled dignitaries as his props and the viewers back home as his true audience.
Meyers, I fear, will take the opposite approach.