An unscripted verbal altercation between Mel Gibson and Ricky Gervais has shocked fans, viewers and audience members at the Golden Globes today.

The pair engaged in awkward on-stage banter that included Gibson threatening to put Gervais "to sleep".

Gervais had a similar run-in with Gibson at the Globes three years ago when he mocked the Australian actor for his arrest and anti-Semitic outburst in 2006 while being arrested for alleged drunk driving.

The pair's feud escalated today when Gervais introduced Gibson again, saying he wanted to say "something nice" about Gibson before he arrived on stage.


After some thought, Gervais said: "I'd rather have a beer with Mel Gibson than Bill Cosby tonight."

That was the start of a war-of-words between the pair that went on for an awkwardly long time.

Gibson emerged on stage, shook Gervais' hand and the pair hugged. Gervais then left, but not before grabbing his glass of beer off the podium and taunting Gibson with it.

Gibson then told the crowd: "I love seeing Ricky every three years - it reminds me to get a colonoscopy."

Gervais re-emerged on stage, displaying mock horror at Gibson's comments. Gibson then said to Gervais threateningly: "I'll put you to sleep in other ways."

Determined to get the last word in, Gervais approached Gibson, leaned into the microphone, and said: "Answer me this: 'What does sugar tits even mean?"

The comment references something Gibson was reported to have said to a female police officer in 2006.

Gervais' question was reported to have been cut from the live broadcast in the US.

Afterwards, audience members could be seen holding their hands over their mouths.

Viewers quickly took to Twitter to comment on the awkward exchange.