Gervais said he didn't think twice about any of the gags in the show that had some people feeling he was being too harsh. But, he said, he would go out of his way to soften some of them with follow-up chats with some of his celebrity targets.
"I hope everyone took it well. This is the time where I go around to them and say, 'You do know I love you, right?' I hope they can all take a bit of roasting from a nobody like me. I did feel bad about Johnny. It's true, though I didn't see the movie. Johnny is a genius and I hope he could take a few digs. Did I think twice about any of [the jokes]? No I didn't. I'd say any of that to their faces, I'd walk up to them and say it. That's the test for me. And it's in good fun."
Just then, two boozy guests walked by and shook Gervais' hand with vigor. "Thanks for making an unbearably boring show watchable," one said. Gervais beamed and pointed at his interviewer. "Perfect timing, see? I'm brilliant!" Then he turned back to the couple. "Don't tell him I paid you."
So, how's his friends list looking after tonight?
"The HFPA doesn't want me, NBC doesn't want me. Scientologists are out to get me. Johnny Depp is going to beat me up in the parking lot -- and America won't want me anymore after my atheist comment."
-- Geoff Boucher and Nicole Sperling
Photo: Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon arrive on the red carpet. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times