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Ricky Gervais Flubs Quvenzhane Wallis’ Name at the Golden Globes, Jokes About Pulling a John Travolta

Practice, apparently, doesn’t always make perfect. Despite his claims that he rehearsed prior to taking the stage at the 2015 Golden Globes on Sunday, Jan. 11, Ricky Gervais got a little tripped up on Quvenzhane Wallis‘ first name.

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The Derek comic, 53 — who rather notoriously hosted the Globes in 2010, 2011, and 2012 — was tasked with presenting the award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical. Wallis, 11, was nominated for Annie, alongside veterans Julianne Moore, Emily Blunt, Helen Mirren, and Amy Adams (who won for Big Eyes).

Quvenzhane Wallis and ricky gervais
Ricky Gervais accidentally mispronounced Quvenzhane Wallis’ name at the 2015 Golden Globes on Jan. 11

After announcing the four older A-listers, Gervais read Wallis’ name from the list of nominees. Instead of the correct pronunciation (“kwuh-ven-zhuh-nay”), however, he said, “Quven-Johnny.”

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“I’ve been practicing saying that last name so I don’t have a John Travolta moment,” he quipped afterward, referring to the Savages actor’s now-infamous flub in 2014, when he introduced Idina Menzel as “Adele Dazeem” before her performance of Frozen‘s “Let It Go” at the Oscars. “I got away with it.”

Ricky Gervais at Golden Globes
Ricky Gervais accidentally mispronounced Quvenzhane Wallis’ name at the 2015 Golden Globes on Jan. 11

Then, poking more fun at Travolta’s mistake, he told the crowd, “I still watch that every day on YouTube. It’s brilliant, eh? It’s just brilliant.”

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Asked about his mispronunciation later in the evening, Gervais was apologetic. “They told me it was like ‘Revenge-Johnny, Quaven-Johnny,'” he told Access Hollywood at the Weinstein Company & Netflix Golden Globes After Party. “I apologize to her and anyone else with that name. I did better than John Travolta, though, didn’t I? Gimme that! Nine out of 10?”

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