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Posted at 2:09 AM ET, 01/17/2011

Golden Globe Awards 2011: The night's big fails, from bad Ricky Gervais jokes to Robert De Niro awkwardness

By Jen Chaney

Ricky Gervais, tossing out some less than well-received jokes. (NBC/AP) | PHOTO GALLERY

During our Golden Globes discussion on Sunday night, we asked readers to share the least triumphant moments from the Globes red carpet and ceremony, using the Twitter hash tag #globesfail.

Needless to say there were many moments to choose from. But we compiled the most egregious Globes mishaps in the following list of the top eight Globes fails.

Got more Globes fails? Share them by posting a comment in the blog, or tweeting them using the hashtag #globesfail.

Helena Bonham Carter's ensemble

We'll cover this in more detail when we post a best/worst dressed list later today. But let's just say that the sloppy-drunk retro '80s party that was Carter's dress was done no favors by the fact that she wore mismatched shoes whose colors would only look cute on an unconventional Christmas elf. We appreciate her boldness, but feel that in this case, it just led to a #globesfail.

Scarlett Johansson's hair

Again, another matter that will be addressed in the best and worst dressed list. But for now, we have five words: Madeline Kahn in "Young Frankenstein."

Justin Bieber, wearing sneakers on the red carpet while bringing his 3D biopic director as his date

Sneakers with a tux? Fail. Bringing director Jon Chu, the man behind the upcoming Bieber flick "Never Say Never," as well as a pair of 3D glasses to an E! interview? Epic fail.

Ricky Gervais busting on Robert Downey Jr.

It's one thing for Gervais to pick on targets like Charlie Sheen and Scientology. But it's another for the comedian -- who was funny during certain moments and less so during others -- to say of the longtime sober Downey: "Many of you in this room probably know him best from such facilities as the Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail." Downey's retort -- "Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited with admittedly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show has been pretty good so far, wouldn't you?" -- was delicious. So all in all, it made for quality TV, but still counted as a decided fail on Gervais's fault. Nobody puts Iron Man in a bad punchline.

The Globes producers repeatedly cutting off the acceptance speeches

Right off the bat, Christian Bale's mic got turned off because he spoke a bit too long. But other speakers also either got cut off or seemed to feel great concern about potentially getting the hook. It's an awards show. If it runs over by 10 minutes, really, it's okay.

The constant cuts to Brangelina

Gratuitous celeb-crowd reaction shots are a Globes specialty. But this year, the producers went a bit overboard, especially with the perpetual close-ups on Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. See Jolie fixing Pitt's tie. See Jolie snuggling up to Pitt during the ceremony. See Jolie putting on lip gloss. See viewers around the country rolling their eyes at all the Brangelina attention.

Excessive promos for "Rango" and the NBC series "Harry's Law"

We were somewhat intrigued by the animated Johnny Depp movie and the new Kathy Bates series ... at least we were until the ads for both were jammed down our throats for three straight hours.

Robert De Niro's acceptance speech

After receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award, De Niro began an acceptance speech that started out sort of funny and quickly devolved into a weird attempt at stand-up comedy. We loved that he made fun of himself a bit -- a joke at the expense of "Little Fockers" is always welcome in our book. But all the comments about deportation made us squirm ... and not in a good, we're-squirming-because-we're-watching-Travis-Bickle kind of way.

By Jen Chaney  | January 17, 2011; 2:09 AM ET
Categories:  Awards Season, Celebrities, Movies  
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Next: Golden Globe Awards 2011: Celebs without a cause


Wow, I can't believe these two "journalists" wrote such vapid commentary about the best part of the awards show, which was Ricky Gervais. It's sad to see a credible (well, what's left of a credible) newspaper use such "E!" quality quasi-journalism/bloggers that have worse observations than the has-beens on VH1.

Posted by: Honestly2 | January 17, 2011 3:00 AM | Report abuse

Helena Bonham Carter is a kooky/awful dresser, but I think she likes getting a rise out of the Fashion Police. At this point - I say give the woman were own neither-fail-nor-triumph style pigeonhole a la Tilda Swinton (who frequently looks like a ghost in an avant garde trashbag). From the teased hair, to the gauzy tulle overlay, to the mismatched shoes - I truly believe she dresses for these shows out of a sense of performance art to see how worked up folks get castigating her for fashion "fails". She's nutty - but at least she's not an ivory-stylist-approved bore like so many starlets last night.

A real fashion #globesfail should be handed out to the gals who tried oh-so-hard to be best dressed and b/c of color choice, pouffy sleeves, or crazy ruffles looked like refugees from a deranged wedding party. Nominees include: Julianne Moore (hot pink asymmetrical pouffy sleeve), Leighton Meester (pale mushroom pouffy sleeves - what is this "Dynasty"?), Michelle Williams (a daisy covered sack), Christina Aguilera (too tight, too lacy), Julia Stiles (too matronly), Jennifer Love Hewitt (a ruffly prom/bridal thing that threatened to swallow her), Halle Berry (a 90's bustier + gauze = too skanky and youthful no matter how awesome HB's body is), and of course J. Lo.

Posted by: flippityflop2 | January 17, 2011 3:08 AM | Report abuse

Also Jen - I totally agree w/ your #globesfail re:Gervais' Downey comments - the guy has been sober & working for a while now. 1) As a society we should encourage recovering addicts in their sobriety - not continue to ridicule them for past failures years after they've gotten their act together; 2) given how difficult it can be for some actors to get insured & bonded on a project b/c of past or present addiction problems, since RD Jr has been clean for years and carries massive franchises on his shoulders (Iron Man, Sherlock) it almost seems slanderous for Gervais to introduce him as if he had recently come out of jail or treatment.

Drug/alcohol addicts can be frustrating/maddening/irritating, dangerous etc. to be around b/c of the nature of the disease, and usually it takes more than one attempt at rehab to get into recovery. But addiction is a disease not a character defect - Gervais wouldn't joke about somebody's chemo from 10 yrs ago as a way to bring them down a peg. (Well, maybe HE would but you get where I'm going here.)

Posted by: flippityflop2 | January 17, 2011 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Many Comments: if you don't like Gervais then don't use him as a host. He is funny, and basically most of it is the truth and why people cannot laugh at the truth or themselves is beyond me.

Who looked a hot mess? Ann Bennett (her crazy hair do), Johnny Depp (hey spend some money and get your teeth fixed and get a hair cut), Al Pacino (buy a real tux instead of using a rental for crying out loud) and that was just for starters

Who looked awesome? Haley Berry (gorgeous from head to toe), Claire Danes (Classy), yes Brangelina they looked good and loving and I read Angies lips and she seemed very sincere with the Cecille B Demille canditate.

OMG Speeches...always the non americans have the best...

All you gazillionaires out there spend some money and show some goodness my hard earned money goes to you when I go to the me some respect and take pride in your looks...get a stylist for heaven sakes.

Posted by: mebrini | January 17, 2011 4:38 AM | Report abuse

I think Ricky is the funniest man alive. I love him..He is a genius and if you can't take his jokes, then close your ears..He is the only part of the show worth watching...The post should not judge him for his comedy. I have been a fan of his since the uk show the Office...He could make fun of me all day and I would still laugh all day at him...

Posted by: queen_marcy | January 17, 2011 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Ricky Cervais waas FANTASTIC and you would have to be without a sense of humor to not think so.
Helen Bonham Carter always dresses like that and I personally love it. She looks crazy good.

Posted by: Iowahoosier | January 17, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

For a closer look at the fashions, take my Guess The Golden Globes quiz:

Posted by: yellojkt | January 17, 2011 9:05 AM | Report abuse

yello, that reminds me: next week in Toronto is the big motorboat show.

Posted by: byoolin1 | January 17, 2011 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Ricky Gervais was trying to be a bit too hard to be "edgy." When one does that, one has a tendency to go over said "edge." Or he really never wanted to be asked to host again.

I'll save my fashion comments for the best/worst.

I will give Bieber a break on his date though (yes I did just type those words). The last time he went out with a female, the poor thing got death threats. Do you blame him for taking a grown man who can take care of himself?

Posted by: epjd | January 17, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

It's one thing for Gervais to poke fun at Charlie Sheen, who makes no apologies for his hedonistic lifestyle and who makes over a million dollars an episode exploiting that lifestyle in a top-rated TV show. It's another thing to take a cheap shot at Robert Downey, Jr., who appears to have made serious attempts to turn around his life and maintain a sober lifestyle. Sure, comedy is all about pushing limits and envelopes, but it's also about timing. The time for jokes about Downey's prodigal lifestyle is past, as is the time to dust off hackneyed jokes about the Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher May-December thing.

Posted by: MrMerkin | January 17, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

What I found refreshing about Ricky Gervais, is that usually in awards shows, 1/2 of America has to be insulted by the usual Sarah Palin/GW Bush (who have absolutely nothing to do with Hollywood) jokes. So, instead of the whole audience cackling along with each other about what a joke our leaders are...they get to sit there and be brought down a notch or two, as it should be. The show is about Hollywood (not how awful conservative America is.)

Posted by: gfaithharris | January 17, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I loved Ricky Gervais!!!! Hollywood takes itself waaaaayyyyy too seriously. He let them all know that this is strictly entertainment. Bring him back next year!!!!!

Posted by: shelley514 | January 17, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

flippityflop2: Comments of the Week!!! I second everything you said, and you said them better than I could.

ep, agree as well (but flippityflop2 wins for sheer volume).

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 17, 2011 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Honestly2, no one forced you to read this blog. So S-T-F-U and shoo!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | January 17, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Which begs the bigger question, in a city where Hollywood actors make fantastical money and out of work actors down the road live in abject poverty, and let’s not even bother mentioning the downtown mecca that is skid row, nor those individuals watching from home, whom most of are still struggling for mortal survival in prolonged unsettling economic circumstances what exactly is appropriate?

The divide between the lavished and revered and those left to fend for themselves in an environment that offers little yield hasn’t been this wide in a while and sometimes it takes a comedian, especially a foreign one who secretly revels in letting America know that the joke is really on them.

So yeah, Ashton Kutcher is Bruce Willis' make believe son, I bet the world is still laughing...oh dear.

Posted by: zoezoe123 | January 17, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

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