Ricky Gervais has insisted he could have said far more "terrible things" to Hollywood stars when hosting the Golden Globe Awards.
The 60-year-old comic has famously caused a stir on every one of his five stints fronting the ceremony by mocking the star-studded guests - including memorably accusing them of enabling disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein by "acting like they don't see a thing" at the 2020 ceremony - but he can't understand why he gets criticism for giving the celebrities a tough time.
He said: "Do I pander to the 200 billionaires in the room or the 200 million people at home sitting in their pants drinking beer who aren’t winning awards, who aren’t billionaires? It’s a no-brainer for a comedian. I’m a jester. I play to the other peasants in the mud. I
"I wasn’t going in terrible. Think of the things I could have said.
“Think of the f****** terrible things I could have joked about. It’s off the charts – It’s. Off. The. Charts – the terrible things I could say.”
But despite upsetting some of the famous faces, the 'After Life' star insisted some of the crowd were amused.
He added to the Guardian's Saturday magazine: “Robert De Niro was just crying with laughter when I made a joke about Hugh Hefner and his young bride. He called me after a week and said, ‘I wanna say you did a great job.’ ‘Oh man,’ I said, ‘I annoyed some people.’ He said, ‘F*** ’em, they were jokes.’”
And Ricky thinks some of his gags have been unfairly criticised because people confuse the target with the subject.
He said: “I said [in 2011] the Golden Globe for special effects goes to the people who airbrushed the 'Sex and the City' poster. And I go, ‘Girls, we know how old you are, one of you was in an episode of 'Bonanza'!’
“Kim Cattrall said it was ageist. I said: ‘No it’s the opposite. I’m saying, what’s wrong with being 50?’ I hate that about Hollywood, where f****** George Clooney has to have a f****** 22-year-old girlfriend. Aaagh!”