Ricky Gervais's Secret for Hosting the Golden Globes: Insults

12/09/2009 at 07:30 AM EST

Ricky Gervais's Secret for Hosting the Golden Globes: Insults
Ricky Gervais
Paul Drinkwater/NBC/AP
Watch out, Brad Pitt and Meryl Streep: Ricky Gervais plans to tease you when he takes to the microphone as host of next month's Golden Globe Awards.

"Anyone who’s younger or thinner and richer and more attractive than me – that's the one I'm going for," Gervais, 48, told PEOPLE via a Tuesday teleconference call about one of his proposed strategies for his first-ever hosting gig. NBC will air the Globes live from Beverly Hills on Jan. 17.

"I want to host it a little bit more like someone from the Rat Pack [Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr.] would host – playing the room, a little bit more off-the-cuff, roasting a few of the A-listers," says the British actor-comedian.

Not that the stars need to be “too” alarmed: Gervais promises to avoid being outright nasty to the celebs in attendance. "I'm going to certainly not do anything cruel or distasteful, but gentle ribbing."

Carell Maybe, Clooney Possibly

So who is on his hit list? "Rainn Wilson's safe again. Steve Carell's on the cusp," says Gervais – who originated The Office in the U.K. – about the stars of the American version.

However, the funny man admits he's still deciding whether or not to pester the notorious jokester George Clooney.

"He would never forgive me. I would be looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life," said Gervais. "I would have to go into the witness protection. But what can you do with George Clooney? George Clooney is one of the most handsome, best actors in the world and is nice to everyone. It's like going at Mother Teresa."

To arm himself, Gervais said he expects to have a cocktail or two while on the job. "Over the [show's] three hours, I imagine my tie's going to come off and I'll get drunker and drunker. I don't know what the last hour's going to be like, but the first hour will be watchable."

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