"I'd like Charlie Sheen to accept my Emmy if I win for hosting the Golden Globes," Ricky Gervais tells Gold Derby about his nomination in the race for Best Special Class Program. Gervais reveals that he used sly Golden Globe tactics to get the Emmy bid: "I took every Emmy voter in America to see Cher in concert. It cost me a million, but it was worth it. Apparently, she's still alive. She even older than those 'Sex and the City' gals. In fact, she played their mum in 'Bonanza.'"
After the Emmy bids were announced on Thursday, Gervais wrote at his blog, "That Golden Globes thing I did has been nominated for an Emmy. Ha ha. Hilarious." But he didn't realize at first that he was nominated personally. The only nomination he received by name on the official Emmy list was as executive producer of "The Office," which is up for Best Comedy Series. The academy deliberately leaves the space next to the special-class nominees blank at first before vetting the producers who will receive a statuette when one show wins. However, hosts of those programs definitely win when their show does. When academy chiefs killed off the category for Best Performance in a Variety Special in 2009 – which had been won in the past by award show emcees like Hugh Jackman (Tonys, 2005) and Billy Crystal (Oscars, 1998) – they decided that hosts would win in the future if the producers do. Confusion over the new rule led to Neil Patrick Harris being accidentally left off the Emmy ballot last year when the Tonys telecast was nominated for Best Special Class Program. The oversight was caught by Gold Derby senior editor Chris "Boomer" Beachum and brought to the attention of the TV academy, which immediately added Harris' name to nomination. When the Tonys won, Harris thanked Beachum in his acceptance speech.
"No, I didn't realize that I was nominated in this category," Gervais tells Gold Derby. "Thanks for bringing it to my attention. It's confusing. There are so many producers of a TV show that the academy has to go through all of the forms they make you fill out."
Gervais is not only surprised by the nomination, but he's shocked that his Globes hosting gig caused such a ruckus.
"Usually, you have to kill someone to get that kind of press I got hosting the Golden Globes," Gervais tells Gold Derby in an exclusive interview. "I have a message for every serial killer. Don't bother going on that murder spree if all you want is attention. I've seen 'Dexter.' It's not worth it. Just host the Golden Globes and make a gay Scientology joke.
"I can't believe the reaction it caused. I don't care if you're offended. Just because you're offended, doesn't mean you're right. If you don't like what I did at the Globes, you should see my stand-up act. Your head will explode.
"Why is anybody surprised by what I did at the Golden Globes?" he adds. "Everybody knows what I do. I roast people. I'm an outsider so I roast people on the inside. I don't want to be just a court jester. A comedian's job is to make people think as well as to laugh. Comedy is an intellectual exercise.
"What did I say that was so terrible?" he asks. "I thanked God for making me an atheist. Why is it OK to thank God if you win an award? You're breaking the 10 commandments. You're taking the lord's name in vain – as in vanity. When you thank God in your acceptance speech, you're saying that you believe God helped you to win this award."
In the race for Best Special Class program, the Globes telecast is nominated against the Oscars, Grammys and Tonys. Considering the poor reviews received by Anne Hathaway and James Franco emceeing the Academy Awards and the lukewarm response to Sean Hayes presiding over the Tonys, Gervais and the Globes have a serious shot at winning. The award will be bestowed at the Creative Arts ceremony held one week before the main Emmy telecast, which airs on Fox on Sept. 18. Since Gervais lives and works primarily in the U.K., he acknowledges that he may not be able to attend the Creative Arts show, but thinks Charlie Sheen should accept in his stead "because he's a tortured one – like me." Sheen was among the many celebs lambasted by Gervais at the Globes. He also took aim at Cher and the "Sex and the City" stars.
Gervais urges me to create a push for him to win the Emmy: "I want you to start a campaign. I want you to write an article every day. I want you to be like Sarah Palin pushing John McCain. I felt just like Sarah Palin after I hosted the Golden Globes. I was the most hated person in America.
"I already have two Emmys," he notes, "but only one of them counts." He chuckles, without elaborating further. He won Best Comedy Actor ("Extras," 2007) and as exec producer of Best Comedy Series ("The Office," 2006).
"I also won three Golden Globes, but I don't think I'll be winning any more, do you?" he says. He won Best Comedy Actor for "Extras" (2008) and for producing and starring in Best Comedy Series of 2004 – the original British version of "The Office."