EXCLUSIVE: Ricky Gervais -- It'd be a thrill to host the Oscars if no strings attached
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."
RELATED: Mark Burnett: Ricky Gervais should host the Oscars