Contrary to rumor, Ricky Gervais has not ruled out hosting the Oscars in the future, as long as the job came without strings attached.
"Hmmm, it's a tough one," Gervais told Gold Derby after we informed him that Mark Burnett -- a veteran producer of award shows (Emmys, MTV Movie Awards, People's Choice Awards) – believes he should accept any offer to emcee the Oscars.
"On the one hand I would be incredibly flattered and whatever you think of those sort of things, it would be a thrill and an honor to be asked," Gervais said. "On the other hand I doubt the job offer would come without some strings attached. The worst string being, handing in my credentials as a comedian in favor of a family entertainer. We have to be able to poke fun at society without favoring any part of it because we are beholden to someone. And it's a fine line between feeling like you've sold your soul and feeling like you're ruining someone's party. it would be very temping though, I must admit."
Gervais has not been offered the Oscar job, but his name is frequently advanced as a popular choice after the outrageous way he hosted (or rather roasted) the Golden Globes. In the past, Gervais pooh-poohed the Oscar possibility, but now he says he would accept the job -- on certain conditions.
Burnett told Gold Derby that he believes Gervais is the best choice because he's "brilliant" – see our chat here. He also thinks Seth Myers would make a good emcee.
When Gold Derby urged Burnett to look straight into his computer's webcam and address Gervais personally, he replied with a cryptic remark: "I have one thing to say to Ricky and it's an inside joke: 'Chim chim-in-ey, chim chim cher-oo.'"
What does that mean? Gervais explained: "The first time I met Mark he was wearing a small scarf that made him look like Dick Van Dyke in 'Mary Poppins.' I teased him mercilessly."