Ricky Gervais regrets the joke he made about Tim Allen at the 2011 Golden Globes

Ricky Gervais' scathing stand-up typically takes no prisoners, but the comedian admits he feels guilty about one of his previous targets: Tim Allen.

During an interview with THR ahead of the Golden Globes on Sunday, the five-time host was asked whether he regrets "anything you've said about anyone."

"Yeah, Tim Allen. Because I think he took it wrong," Gervais said of a quip he made at the 2011 ceremony. "The joke was him and Tom Hanks. So I came out and said, 'Our next two presenters, the first has won five Oscars, combined box office of five billion dollars. And the other, Tim Allen.'"

He continued, "Right? It's a fine joke. I'm teasing Tim Allen. But anyone standing next to Tom Hanks, unless it's Dustin Hoffman or Robert Redford or Robert De Niro, that could be me. But it happened to be Tim Allen."

Although Allen may have taken it personally, Gervais explained, "I have nothing against Tim Allen. He's a good actor. He's probably a nice bloke. So even though there's no malice and I can justify it comedically and everyone laughed, I didn't want Tim Allen to think, 'Oh, that was written for me. Why me?' Well, because you were standing next to Tom Hanks."

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LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 554 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor/comedian Ricky Gervais talks with host Seth Meyers during an interview on July 19, 2017 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 20: Ricky Gervais attends The Hollywood Reporter TV Talks and 92Y present Ricky Gervais in conversation with Tim Goodman at 92nd Street Y on May 20, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 18: Ricky Gervais arrives to 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on May 18, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Ricky Gervais leaving BBC studios on February 24, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by GOR/GC Images)
Writer/director Ricky Gervais and partner Jane Fallon attend the David Brent: Life on the Road New York Special Screening at Metrograph on February 2, 2017 New York. / AFP / Angela Weiss (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 01: Actor Ricky Gervais enters the 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' taping at Ed Sullivan Theater on February 01, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 31: Actor/comedian Ricky Gervais attends TimesTalk at TheTimesCenter on January 31, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0613 -- Pictured: Comedian Ricky Gervais during an interview on January 30, 2017 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: Actor/ Comedian Ricky Gervais is interviewed for SiriusXM's Town Hall Series with hosts Jim Norton and Sam Robertson on January 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08: Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon attend the London Evening Standard British Film Awards on December 8, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Milan/GC Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 28: Jane Fallon and Ricky Gervais attend the 2016 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards Presented by Jaguar Land Rover and American Airlines at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 28: Honoree Ricky Gervais accepts the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy onstage during the 2016 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards presented by Jaguar Land Rover and American Airlines at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 28: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Honoree Ricky Gervais poses with the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy during the 2016 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards presented by Jaguar Land Rover and American Airlines at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 28, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/BAFTA LA/Getty Images For BAFTA LA)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 06: Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon arrive for GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2016 at Tate Modern on September 6, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Ricky Gervais arrives for the World premiere 'David Brent: Life On The Road' at Odeon Leicester Square on August 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: (L-R) Ben Bailey Smith, Andy Burrows, Michael Clarke, Ricky Gervais, Steve Clarke and Stuart Wilkinson attend the World premiere of 'David Brent: Life on the Road' at Odeon Leicester Square on August 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Ricky Gervais and the Foregone Conclusion perform at the World premiere of 'David Brent: Life On The Road' at Odeon Leicester Square on August 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0491 -- Pictured: Actor Ricky Gervais on June 17, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 15: Ricky Gervais attends AOL Build to discuss 'Special Correspondents' at AOL Studios on June 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Producer Ricky Gervais attends the premiere of 'Special Correspondents' at Borough of Manhattan Community College during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival on April 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Jane Fallon (L) and director and writer Ricky Gervais attends the premiere 'Special Correspondents' during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC John Zuccotti Theater on April 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 22: Director and writer Ricky Gervais speaks onstage at Tribeca Talks After The Movie: Special Correspondents during the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC John Zuccotti Theater on April 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: Host Ricky Gervais (L) and Jane Fallon attend the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Actor Ricky Gervais speaks onstage during the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Actor Ricky Gervais attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 07: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Actor/ comedian Ricky Gervais visits the SiriusXM Studios on July 7, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 08: Actor Ricky Gervais and wife Jane Fallon arrive for the screening of Netflix's 'Derek' at Paramount Studios on April 8, 2015 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0239 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Ricky Gervais during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on April 3, 2015 -- (Photo by: Douglas Gorenstein/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Ricky Gervais and Jane Fallon arriving at the world premiere of 'House of Cards' Season 3 at the Empire Leicester Square in London. (Photo by Zak Hussein/Corbis via Getty Images)
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If the "Last Man Standing" star was bothered by the joke, he's kept his feelings private — although he and Hanks did take a teasing swipe at Gervais after their joint Globes appearance: "We recall when Ricky Gervais was a slightly chubby but very kind comedian," Hanks said before Allen chimed in, "Neither of which he is now."

Gervais said he does not, however, second-guess the jabs he's taken at stars like Mel Gibson, Jennifer Lawrence and Ben Affleck. He pointed out that he's "all for forgiveness as well, so if someone gets drunk and says something awful, I can tease them, but I don't want them imprisoned. Bad behavior's not always a terrible, criminal, punishable offense."

Ultimately, Gervais said, he's not hosting the Golden Globes for the "200 privileged egos in the room"; he's there to entertain everyday people watching at home:

"It would be nauseating for me to come out and go, 'Hey, George, how you doing, thanks for letting me use your villa,'" he said. "'Hey, Brad, see you tonight, yeah?'"

 

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