Ricky Gervais Thanks God for Making Him an Atheist at the Golden Globes

If you caught the ending of the Golden Globes tonights, then you heard an amusing closing line from host Ricky Gervais:

“… And thank you to god for making me an atheist.”

I wonder how many god jokes he had planned for the rest of the broadcast that they made him cut out… :) I like the line, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Kathy Griffin‘s acceptance speech a couple years ago.

Gervais, of course, wrote a very popular piece about why he’s an atheist for the Wall Street Journal just a few weeks ago.

(Thanks to Andrew for the link!)

  • Kenna

    I like it, but it seems a little random.

  • Trina

    It’s hilarious. I don’t really find it random though, actually I think it’s perfectly appropriate. How many times have you heard people thanking their God in their acceptance speeches? Granted Gervais wasn’t giving an acceptance speech, but as the host of an awards show, I think it’s fair.

  • Michelle

    Don’t worry, I’m sure someone will notice and complain. He was brutally funny from what I could see.

  • thebigJ_A

    My parents were watching this when I stopped by. I only fairly recently came out as an atheist. I wonder how it made them feel? (I left before the end.)

  • JD

    Supposedly Gervais didn’t have a script for these awards.

  • martin

    I thought it was funny but rushed, he really received little screen time and he is the only reason I watched it. I found it utterly annoying though how many times the sound was disrupted with censoring because several people used the word “Christ” as an expletive, and apparently ‘you can’t say that on television’.

  • AxeGrrl

    Speaking of Kathy Griffin, Gervais stole her bit about giving a handjob to an old guy!! Literally, down to his pantomiming of the act!

    (Griffin’s bit was about Anna Nicole Smith ‘deserving all that money’ from her deceased husband’s estate :)

    Kathy Griffin on anna nicole

    go to 2:20

  • Allison

    I loved the Globes and wished they would have shown more of Ricky, but I actually felt that closing line felt a bit tacky and out-of-place. The show was coming to a good close, and he had been very solidly hilarious throughout (when they showed him! which wasn’t often enough!), and it just seemed really random and didn’t really close things out well. It’s like he wanted to say it elsewhere and didn’t managed to make an atheist joke at any other point, so he threw it in for good measure at the end.

    He’s hilarious though, and I loved just about everything else he said. It was a great show all-around. (I’m a film composer and follow these things pretty intensely, so. Love.)

  • AxeGrrl

    Sorry, I tried to add the link but my time to edit ran out ~ here it is:

    Kathy Griffin on Anna Nicole

    Skip to 2:10 in the vid :)

  • Iason Ouabache

    Fundies to freak out about this despite not watching a single second of the Golden Globes in 3..2..1..

  • Focker, RN

    Can this guy go five minutes without bringing his atheism into play? Seriously, enough already. His comments in the WSJ article you linked above make absolutely no sense. He talks about how science continually “upgrades and updates” its knowledge or truth or whatever, but last I checked there was a whole lot of stuff that science had no idea about. Yet somehow, Mr. Gervais knows there to be no God? He talks about science being “humble”, yet from my perspective science sure seems to make a heck of a lot of assumptions about things it really has no clue of. We haven’t even cured the common cold, yet science has proved there is no God, understands the origin of the universe, etc? Give me a break. This guy should just stick to comedy.

    That’s great that people are atheist…people should believe as they feel fit. But you don’t KNOW God doesn’t exist anymore than Christians (or whoever) KNOW that he does.

  • MaryD

    Pity god didn’t make the boring, self-important little twat a comedian.

    Just copy what Steve Coogan did years before, write yourself in as the central and only performer and flog a line to death and beyond. This is one performer who clearly believes in the afterlife for a joke and hell for the audience whilst, perhaps, living in his own performing heaven.

  • http://chandays.blogspot.com Larry Meredith

    I like the line, I think that kind of thing should be said more often, but it really wasn’t delivered properly. It felt rushed and out of place as someone said before.

    If you google this you’ll find lots of websites talking about it. Not surprisingly, many American commenters didn’t understand the sarcasm, and thought that by thanking God he as literally acknowledging God’s existence… Wow. Talk about 747 flying right over their head.

    I love most of Gervais’ work, but this line definitely could have been delivered better. It really did sound snide and rude, but not in any witty or comical way. I dunno, maybe I’ve just heard that line too many times.

    I don’t think this was the right stage for Gervais. Big celebration events like this should be secular, not a stage to announce decisive things like religious beliefs. But people do so often thank God for their award, so I guess this isn’t too out of place. It just needed to be delivered better. It was literally just tacked on at the last second like he really desperately wanted to get it out there.

  • Anonymous
  • http://chandays.blogspot.com Larry Meredith

    I just watched the opening monologue. Wow, very funny, but sooo inappropriate! Lol! But hey, that’s what you get when you book Ricky Gervais. He doesn’t pull punches and his jokes are often in bad taste. I think it made a lot of the people at the awards nervous and probably a bit offended. As I said before, this wasn’t the right stage for Gervais. His material is too controversial and offensive for such an event like this, especially in America where the mainstream public have a huge stick up their ass.

  • Troglodyke

    (I’m a film composer and follow these things pretty intensely, so. Love.)

    Allison, hat’s off to you. I love film scores, and often they are the reason I will see a film, or return to see it again.

    Film and TV composers don’t get nearly enough credit, IMO. And I am not the least bit musical…couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket…play no instruments…but I love good music. So, thanks.

    But hey, that’s what you get when you book Ricky Gervais. He doesn’t pull punches and his jokes are often in bad taste. I think it made a lot of the people at the awards nervous and probably a bit offended. As I said before, this wasn’t the right stage for Gervais. His material is too controversial and offensive for such an event like this, especially in America where the mainstream public have a huge stick up their ass

    Exactly why he should have done it, IMO. Actors need someone like Ricky to get them off their high horses sometimes. I love watching film and TV, I like actors a lot, but geez. many of the big-name stars need to get skewered by Gervais. A lot.

    There is so much work that goes into creating TV and movies, and the actors get 90% of the credit, when they have had lots of help. Yeah, I know that no one wants to see the writers, or composers, or production assistants get up and talk, but those people make the entertainment happen, too. So many people think the entertainment business is all about acting, and it isn’t.

    Jane Lynch said it well when she thanked Ian Brennan, the writer who created Sue Sylvester (and the camera panned to him, thankfully) by saying, “Every insane, heinous line that comes out of my mouth was written by him,” Lynch said. “He’s a deranged young man.”

  • http://everydayatheist.wordpress.com Everyday Atheist

    Tastes may vary on Gervais’ jokes (mine say, “Hilarious!”), but there was something very important about the last line. It was a prominent entertainer standing up in a very widely watched forum and saying “I AM AN ATHEIST!” It was a stand and be counted moment, and for that, I thank him. This is getting much more attention and was seen by many more people than his NY Times pieces.

    Maybe it wasn’t the best forum. But it was a BIG forum. That counts for something.

  • andyinsdca

    What I am finding more fascinating is the absolute dearth of coverage of his atheist remark ANYWHERE; sure, there are lots of bits being spent on being shocked and outraged and how everyone is shocked and outraged and how Ricky is fired, bla bla.

    But not ONE PEEP in the Daily Mail, Wapo, NYT, etc about that comment. I find this to be more interesting than the comment itself.

  • http://krissthesexyatheist.blogspot.com/ krissthesexyatheist

    I thought the jokes were funny, but it wasn’t at my expense. Hooray for the atheist shoutout. Go Team-A.

  • Reality Chic

    Apparently he wasn’t on the second half of the show because the Grammy people did not like his jokes.

  • Karen

    I believe the closing comment was in very poor taste. The Golden Globes represent an amazing percentage of the U.S. population who are movie goers. As we have just witnessed another disaster in Tucson, our country finds strength in faith! I certainly am disappointed that the Golden Globes would allow such a comment to be made. What an unAmerican way to close a much viewed program.

  • http://www.facebook.com Tom

    I guess comments like that are easy to make if you are presumably wealthy and believe it to be exclusively as result of your own efforts. Hey, if you have tons of money, perhaps it would be easy to wonder why would you need God in your life, right?!?

  • Anonymous

    Karen and Tom: lol! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Brice Gilbert

    Apparently he wasn’t on the second half of the show because the Grammy people did not like his jokes.

    Not true. It’s very common for hosts to sort of disappear at times during awards shows. In this case they told him who the presenters were and he chose who he could make jokes about. So there are gaps where he had nothing to say.

    Can this guy go five minutes without bringing his atheism into play? Seriously, enough already. His comments in the WSJ article you linked above make absolutely no sense. He talks about how science continually “upgrades and updates” its knowledge or truth or whatever, but last I checked there was a whole lot of stuff that science had no idea about. Yet somehow, Mr. Gervais knows there to be no God? He talks about science being “humble”, yet from my perspective science sure seems to make a heck of a lot of assumptions about things it really has no clue of. We haven’t even cured the common cold, yet science has proved there is no God, understands the origin of the universe, etc? Give me a break. This guy should just stick to comedy.

    That’s great that people are atheist…people should believe as they feel fit. But you don’t KNOW God doesn’t exist anymore than Christians (or whoever) KNOW that he does.

    We live in a world where people constantly bring up God and anything related to it in politics and even award shows. Of course he’s going to bring it up. I’m not really interested in that though. What I find interesting is how you interpret what Gervais says about Science. Science is a process to find meaningful and useful truth. Ricky never said that science proved their was no God, nor that it has found the answers to everything. He just said that science is the most useful process we have to find the truth in the matter.

    So far science has shown that God is not required for our reality. The stars are the heavens? No they are planets and suns. People were created in Gods image as is? No we evolved over millions of years. Over and over science has shown that our world is possible by purely naturalistic processes.

    I say there is an invisible Elf behind you right now. Whenever you feel those prickly things on the back of your neck it is the Elf tickling you. Prove me wrong. The best part about this is that you don’t have to prove me wrong. The burden for proving something like this is on me. As is the burden for accepting the claim that God exists.

    To compare the common cold to the origins of the universe shows how ignorant you really are on each subject.


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