I didn't watch the Golden Globes last night, but immediately after on Twitter I started seeing references to host Ricky Gervais' closing words, delivered as the camera was pulling away, with the last words coming just as the credits began to roll:
- Thanks to everyone in the room for being good sports. Thanks to NBC. Thanks to Hollywood Foreign Press. Thank you for watching at home. And thank you to God for making me an atheist. Thank you.
Wow. Very funny, delivered totally deadpan and with perfect timing.
Apparently Gervais' whole performance is being panned as obnoxious. (The New York Times has an article about some of that.) I don't care about these awards shows or who is making fun of which celebrity, but I thought the atheist thing is pretty funny.
This is the best video I could find of it; don't know how long it will be up for:
For more on Gervais and atheism, he wrote an interesting lengthy piece for the Wall Street Journal's website last month that echoes a lot of my own thoughts on atheism, especially his conclusion on how you don't have to believe in God to have a reason to do good:
“Do unto others…” is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that’s exactly what it is -- a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”
You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.
Of course, he wasn't too nice lat night. But we're all sinners, right?
The article is here: A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I'm an Atheist.