Now that I’ve confessed my fashion obsession on national TV, it won’t surprise you to learn I watched the Golden Globes this past weekend as much for the red carpet couture as for the winners and losers. And I was looking forward to an untamed Ricky Gervais. While not everyone is a fan or is ready to embrace his style as an equal opportunity offender, I like the guy. Those who are the objects of his jokes and protest with hurt feelings might even do well to drink from my “What You Think of Me is None of My Business” Kool-Aid.
More recently, Gervais and a partner developed a new sitcom, “Life’s Too Short” starring the diminutive actor, Warwick Davis. Once again, Gervais has been put on the defensive, this time explaining why the sitcom is not offensive despite its humorous take on the life of a showbiz dwarf. According to a recent interview with Gervais, “People are already saying ‘Controversial new comedy,’ or, ‘Cruel comedy,’ why do they say that? Is it because there’s a dwarf involved, in which case the prejudice is theirs, they’re thinking it has to be cruel because there’s a dwarf, so we have to be making jokes about dwarves? It couldn’t be further from the truth.”
I suspect that the people that are truly offended by the idea of this new sitcom are the same people that are simply uncomfortable with the idea of difference. They think anytime anyone laughs at a joke about a person with any type of difference or even disability the joke must be on them, rather than with them. As anyone knows who has been reading this blog, I strongly believe that the ability to laugh at oneself is an important key toward total self-acceptance. The reality is that once one has achieved the ability to laugh at oneself, it’s absolutely fantastic when people laugh with us.
Now, I recognize that Hollywood being what it is, my fantasy acting career would not exactly have found many roles for the two–fingered likes of me. But what if I had gone to L.A. to seek my fortune on the silver screen? Here’s my pitch:
- If I had been cast as the clown fish Marlon, Nemo’s dad, in “Finding Nemo,” (2003) I would have not been as overprotective, and Nemo would never would have run away
- If I had been cast as the prima ballerina in the “Red Shoes” (1948), what would happen when a demonic shoemaker offered me red ballet point shoes which once on, would force me to keep dancing until death? I would have not have been tempted; the red shoes simply could never have fit my feet
- If I had been cast as the abominable snowman in “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” (1964) then rather than fearing me, Rudolph and Hermie would have welcomed me to the Island of Misfits
- If I had been cast as Roy Neary’s (Richard Dreyfus) wife in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), he would not have been so undeniably drawn to the wilderness to find something spectacular in his marriage. Rather, he would have been consumed with the ride being married to me, and we would have saved money on mashed potatoes at the grocery store
- If I had been cast as Sandy in Grease (1977), I would not have had to transform myself to try and please Danny. Rather, as the man that wanted to date me, he would have liked me unconditionally from the start
And so, as I watched Gervais poke fun at his gorgeous and talented audience this past Sunday, today as I celebrate my birthday, I am once again more than happy to poke fun at myself. More importantly, as the show drew to a close, I was delighted to see Peter Dinklage, a dwarf, win a Golden Globe for best supporting actor in his role in HBO’s “The Game of Thrones.” With the Golden Globes behind us, we can turn our attention to what’s next in the world of showbiz. Will someone be adorned with an item that will knock my socks off at this year’s Oscar’s? Will Gervais be invited back again in 2013 to host the Golden Globes? Even more important, how might Dinklage’s accomplishment and Gervais’ new sitcom impact the entertainment industry long term? Looking forward to finding out. Perhaps there might even be a role for the likes of me…..