Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes (Paul Drinkwater/AP)

Either that or, he speculated in a blog post, “they were just drunker.”

Here’s a third possibility: his comedy has been neutered, he having been totally co-opted by the Hollywood celebrities he used to ding, owing to his wanting them to do cameos on his new HBO faux documentary series “Life’s Too Short.”

Anyway, this year’s Globes attracted 16.85 million viewers on Sunday night. Last year’s Globes, also hosted by Gervais, averaged 17.0 million viewers. And the year before that, when Gervais hosted for the first time, it averaged 16.98 million viewers.

These virtually identically sized crowds, while a lot better than the 14.9 million people who caught the show the year before Gervais first hosted, are nowhere near 20 million-ish people this clambake used to attract before the fatal 2008 broadcast, during the writers strike. That year’s trophy show was actually a trophy news conference, what with the brightest lights in the Hollywood firmament having refused to cross the picket line.

“It was by far my favourite of the three hosting stints,’ Gervais blogged a couple days after last weekend’s Globes.

“ I’ve told my agent to never let me be persuaded to do it again though. It’s like a parachute jump. You can only really enjoy it in retrospect when you realise you didn’t die and it was quite an amazing thing to do,” he added.