As a fifth Golden Globe Awards led by the acidic wit of Ricky Gervais draws near, it's time for a trip down insult-ridden memory lane.

Over the years, the revered (and feared) British comic's ratings-grabbing hosting position has garnered roars of laughter and harsh criticism in equal measure.

And he does it all with a drink in hand.

Gervais' fourth stint as host in 2016 was arguably his most controversial – with the most outspoken push back from the audience and in critics' reviews the next day.

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"That stuff I did, I was shocked that people thought that was shocking," said Gervais in response, having previously hosted the awards show between 2010 to 2012.

"I thought, what have I said wrong? I didn't say anything outrageous or libellous. I didn't say anything against broadcasting rules. It was on network television, late afternoon, it couldn't have been that bad."

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter before taking the stage that year, he explained that his jokes weren't designed to offend people, and purely to entertain the public.

"I made the decision: Do I pander to 200 fragile egos in the room or 200 million people watching at home?" he said.

"There's nothing in it for the people watching at home. They're not winning awards. It's not a spectator sport watching other people win awards, so I tried to make it one."

He did add, however, that "collateral damage" is inevitable. Here's what we've seen from Gervais in the past:

2010

Gervais kicked things off with a room-wide insult and self-deprecating double whammy:

"Looking at all the wonderful faces here today reminds me of the great work that's been done this year – by cosmetic surgeons," Gervais joked. "I've had some work done, too. I've had a penis reduction. Just got the one now. And it is very tiny. But then so are my hands, so when I'm holding it it looks pretty big."

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He then poked fun at Angelina Jolie:

"Actors aren't just loved here in Hollywood, they are loved the world over. You could be in the third world and get a glimpse of a Hollywood star and it could make you feel a little bit better. You could be a little Asian child with no possessions and no money. But you could see a picture of Angelina Jolie and you'd think, 'Mummy!'"

And started his public feud with Mel Gibson:

"I hope I haven't offended anyone. It's not my fault. I like a drink as much as the next man. Unless the next man is Mel Gibson."

He took aim at Scientology:

"Also not nominated, I Love You Phillip Morris. Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, two heterosexual actors pretending to be gay. So the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists, then," Gervais quipped, adding, "My lawyers helped with that joke."

Made a dig at troubled actor Charlie Sheen:

"It's going to be a night of partying and heavy drinking – or, as Charlie Sheen calls it, breakfast. Wow, so let's get this straight, so what he did was, he picked up a porn star, paid her to have dinner with him, introduced her to his ex-wife – as you do – went to a hotel, got drunk, got naked, trashed the place while she was locked in a cupboard, and that was a Monday. What does he do New Year's Eve?"

He mocked the Sex and The City cast:

"There were a lot of big films that didn't get nominated this year. Nothing for Sex and The City 2. No, I was sure the Golden Globe for special effects would go to the team that airbrushed that poster. Great job," Gervais said. "Girls, we know how old you are. I saw one of you in an episode of Bonanza."

And made fun of the late Hugh Hefner's marriage:

"Talking of the walking dead, congratulations to Hugh Hefner, who is getting married at age 84 to 24-year-old beauty Crystal Harris. When asked why she was marrying him, she said, 'He lied about his age. He told me he was 94.'"

"Just don't look at it when you touch it," Gervais added, to groans from the audience.

2012

He came for British and US royalty:

"For any of you who don't know, the Golden Globes are just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem. The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton. A bit louder, a bit trashier, a bit drunker, and more easily bought. Allegedly. Nothing's been proved."

Then attempted to muddy Colin Firth's nice guy image:

"He's also swooned over by women. I don't see it. Good luck to him. … What you don't know about Colin Firth is he's very racist. I mean, really nasty stuff. I've also seen him punch a little blind kitten," Gervais deadpanned. "Please welcome the evil Colin Firth."

And dropped what many saw as his "lowest blow" against Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek:

"They're probably very interesting," Gervais said. "I wouldn't know because I can't understand a f**king word they're saying."

2016

He took a crack at Caitlyn Jenner's transition and fatal car accident:

"I'm going to be nice tonight. I've changed — not as much as Bruce Jenner. Obviously. Now Caitlyn Jenner, of course," Gervais said.

"What a year she's had! She became a role model for trans people everywhere, showing great bravery in breaking down barriers and destroying stereotypes. She didn't do a lot for women drivers. But you can't have everything, can ya? Not at the same time."

He addressed the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal and Roman Polanski:

"The excellent Spotlight has been nominated. Yeah. The Catholic Church are furious about the film as it exposes that 5 per cent of all their priests have repeatedly molested children and been allowed to continue to work without punishment," Gervais explained. "Roman Polanski called it 'the best date movie ever'."

He took aim at Hollywood's gender pay gap:

"All-female remakes are the big thing. There's a female remake of Ghostbusters. There's going to be a female remake of Ocean's 11. And this is brilliant for the studios because they get guaranteed box office results and they don't have to spend too much money on the cast."

He took swipe at Ben Affleck, introducing Matt Damon as "The only person Ben Affleck hasn't been unfaithful to."

And joked about using his own award as a sex toy:

"Remember if you do win tonight, no one cares about that award as much as you do. Don't get emotional, it's embarrassing. That award is, no offence, worthless. It's a bit of metal some nice old confused journalists wanted to give you in person so they could meet you and have a selfie with you, okay? That's all it is!" Gervais said, "I've got three Golden Globes, myself. One's a doorstop, one I use to hit burglars with and one I keep by the bed to … doesn't matter why. It's mine! I won it fair and square. It's just the right shape and size … It's nothing."

"So, to be clear, that was a joke about me shoving a Golden Globe, that I won, up my a**. And they asked me to host four times!" he added.

Well, what can we say.

Bring on Gervais' antics for number five.