Ricky Gervais: The Couldn't-Care-Less Comedian

On "Piers Morgan Tonight," Gervais refused to apologize for Golden Globes.

January 20, 2011, 1:34 PM

Jan. 21, 2011 — -- Is anything off limits for Ricky Gervais?

It's the question on the minds of many Americans after the comedian's riotous second (last?) stint hosting the Golden Globes.

During Sunday's ceremony, he insulted nearly every actor in attendance, as well as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that hired him for the gig. He likened the women of "Sex and the City" to airbrushed androids, brought up Robert Downey Jr.'s bad times, and introduced Bruce Willis as Ashton Kutcher's father.

He's not sorry.

"They hired me for the job, and if they didn't want me, they shouldn't have hired me," he said in an interview that aired Thursday on "Piers Morgan Tonight." "I don't think I did anything wrong. I honestly ... those were, like, jibes at these people, and I'm sure they've got a sense of humor."

With a signature beer by his side, Gervais continued: "Also, I'm not judging them. I'm not judging them for what they did. I'm confronting the elephant in the room. They hired me like I'm going to go out there and not talk about the issues in their industry. I've got to be an outsider there. I mustn't come out as everyone's mate and schmooze. That's nauseating. I've got to come out there and I've got to roast them."

"My strategy is to make me laugh," he added.

Gervais was also unapologetic about his atheism, which he joked about at the Golden Globe Awards. (His sign-off from the ceremony: "Thank God for making me an atheist.")

"I'm good to people because it's the way I want to be treated and I don't believe I'll be rewarded in heaven," he told Morgan.

Prior to his appearance on Morgan's show, earlier this week, Gervais rebuked his critics on his blog. As if to drive home the fact the he doesn't give a lick about what anyone thinks of him, the post was followed by a photograph of him nearly nude on a Los Angeles balcony, wearing nothing but sunglasses and reflective gold boxer shorts.

"Can't wait for the people who thought it was over the top to see my standup shows," he wrote.

Indeed, while mass audiences gobble up his mainstream fare -- Gervais is the creator and star of the original "Office" -- his standup is not for the faint of heart. He began his 2008 HBO special by making fun of kids with cancer ("little bald f***ers," he called them). Autism's another favorite topic. PSAs on how not to contract AIDS make him chuckle.

After dropping more than 20 pounds in recent years, Gervais became fond of making fun of the overweight.

"I got asked do a benefit recently for sufferers of obesity," he said during a 2007 standup routine. "I went, 'Sufferers of obesity -- you mean fat people?' She went, 'No' -- she was eating, of course. She was peckish between snacks. But she said, 'Obesity is a disease.' 'No it's not, is it? You just like eating, don't you?'"

He then made the motion of shoveling food into his mouth: ''Oh I'm so f***ing ill. Oh, I'm really ill. Oh, boo hoo."

During the interview that aired Thursday, Morgan asked Gervais if there are any limits in comedy. Gervais replied that everything's fair game.

"There's nothing you shouldn't joke about," he said. He added that intention matters: "Comedy comes from a good or a bad place, and I like to think that mine comes from a good place."

ABCNews.com also asked Gervais' representatives if there's a line he won't cross; they did not immediately respond. But given his comments to Morgan and his past interviews, it seems the answer is no.

"Everything's up for grabs," he told The New York Post in 2008. "I purposely go to peoples' sources of discomfort. In my standup, the target is myself. The audience understands that I don't find famine or teenage cancer funny."

That's not to say that nothing will rein him in. During an appearance on Conan O'Brien's show prior to the Golden Globes, Gervais revealed the one bit the show's organizers refused to let him do.

"I was going to come out dressed as Adolf Hitler," he said. "Get to the podium, let it die down, and go, 'Too much?' And then, I wanted to look in the crowd and go, 'That's the wrong crowd, that's the wrong crowd.' And then I was gonna say, 'That's the last time I borrow a suit from Mel Gibson.'"