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PEOPLE Critic: Ricky Packs Little Punch at Globes | Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais Packs Less Punch at Golden Globes

Originally posted 01/16/2012 09:45AM

Where was Ricky?

You can only shock the monkey so many times. If the monkey is an actor, it will learn to pretend to like it.

That seemed to happen with Ricky Gervais's disappointing return to the Golden Globes Sunday night on NBC. In last year's rude but delightful show, he insulted Robert Downey Jr., Johnny Depp and more with a kind of delirious, infantile happiness, like the world's smarmiest baby. This time, given all the hype, he might have been expected to go nuclear. But he was like a less reverent Billy Crystal.

If he had once been a fly in the ointment, this time the ointment rose up around the fly and neutralized it with a swallow.

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