Ricky Gervais Ricky Gervais

If nothing else, Ricky Gervais is a master at upending our expectations. Last year, he drew blood as host-turned-heckler at the Golden Globes, redeeming his lackluster performance of the year before. Returning to the scene of his crime against Hollywood sensitivities, for a third and reputedly final gig, Gervais met the challenge of topping himself by not even trying.

"So, where was I?" he joked, taking the stage Sunday night amid a crescendo of anticipation. A few minutes later, that's what the rest of us were wondering. Where was he?

The targets in his smirkingly off-color but ineffectual monologue couldn't have been more obvious and tired: Kim Kardashian, Eddie Murphy, Jodie Foster's Beaver (a roundabout way to insert a Mel Gibson joke), Justin Bieber — and, in what became something of a running gag, women pooping (thanks, Bridesmaids).

The show seemed to be so determined to live up to its naughty reputation that it choked on its self-awareness. Like this lead balloon of an intro from presenter Gerard Butler, describing the Globes as "the only awards show where the only thing worse than not hearing your name as a nominee is hearing your name from the host." That wouldn't have been funny even if it had been well written or delivered.

Want more TV news? Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!

Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!