Roasts have been a large part of the American comedy life since 1950 and have taken several forms. They began with The Friars Club in New York. Some of the all-time greats of comedy have been ridiculed and made fun of by the people claiming to be their friends. Some of those who sat in the roast chair are Redd Foxx, Milton Berle, Sammy Davis Jr. and Johnny Carson.
Dean Martin, one of the great entertainers in American history, hosted a TV show on NBC called The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast. This show ran for about ten years and its victims included Lucille Ball, George Burns and Ronald Reagan, among others.
In the early 2000s Comedy Central instituted their own version of roasting. To say the people getting the roast treatment on Comedy Central’s program carry the same comedic weight as those from The Friar’s Club or Dean Martin’s show is like saying Jimmy Carter should be etched on Mount Rushmore. Those who’ve had their pride decimated on Comedy Central include Jeff Foxworthy and Flavor Flav. The same network with great shows like South Park and The Daily Show green-lights making these people the feature of a roast when there are legitimately great comedians still performing, many of whom are the roasters. Who’s calling the shots over there, the White House social secretary?
While these roasts are different in many ways, the presentation remains about the same. Put the guest center stage, briefly make fun of the other comedians, and then destroy the guest of honor’s self-worth by making fun of every character flaw they have, no matter how serious and personal it may be. As The Friar’s Club says, “we only roast the ones we love”.
Any way you shake it, the roasts are some of the funniest shows you will see on TV all year. Aside from when Sarah Palin thinks it’s wise to look at her hand and share her opinion with the country.
This year’s roast on Comedy Central, airing August 15, is that of another comedy legend if every comedian on Earth never existed, David Hasselhoff. The roasters include some of the best comics today in Lisa Lampanelli, Jeff Ross, Whitney Cummings and Greg Giraldo, among others. Since this is Comedy Central they brought in non-comedians like Hulk Hogan. Because nothing says I want to laugh more than a bald 57 year old man with shrunken balls who's most common article of clothing is a feather boa.
In honor of this year’s roast, I am going to attempt it myself**. This might not be fun for anyone involved and there’s a good chance it could get messy. You know, like sex with Kirstie Alley.
Without further ado...
Seth MacFarlane is roast master and doing a hell of a job. Just not as good as Matt Groening would have done.
Jeff Ross is here – no surprise there. These roasts are the only thing we ever see Jeff at. All he seems to do is go around looking for roasts. You’re like a fat kid who eats two dinners.
Lisa Lampanelli, where are you? We all know until recently Lisa had a fondness for black men. Lisa’s had more dark meat in her than Americans on Thanksgiving. She's screwed more black guys than Jim Crowe.
Hulk Hogan has joined us. Hulk was a great champion for many years. He body slammed Andre the Giant. Or as Kevin Smith’s wife calls it, date night. We all know Hulk went through a messy divorce. His ex-wife is dating a kid barely out of high school. Looks like backne and bleached hair is her type. But Hulk isn’t lonely. Not at all. He’s moved on and is with a girl who looks just like his daughter. John Phillips wasn’t this obvious.
Pamela Anderson is here. Did Kid Rock’s tour bus need to stop for gas? I kid. Pam is every guy who grew up in the 80s-90s fantasy. Because of you, more kids have been lost in socks than on America’s Most Wanted.
Sadly this dais is not the reason we are here. We have all come together to honor a great American actor. An icon. A hero in his own right. But enough about Gilbert Gottfried.
A quick look at David Hasselhoff’s film and TV work says it all. And it’s not good. Seriously, the guy has done three shows. He’s been acting for 35 years. You have less to show for your career than Willy Loman.
You were in one of the most popular shows in TV history and helped make Pamela Anderson, Nicole Eggert and Carmen Electra household names. You’ve done more for population control than the pill.
Then you hosted America’s Got Talent. Letting you have a vote in deciding the winners of a show called America’s Got Talent is like putting Roman Polanski in charge of a Brownie troop.
No wonder you drink so much. To be fair I would too if I spent four years talking to a car. Which is better than the time you’ll probably spend sleeping in one.
You’ve been in and out of rehab so many times you make Lindsay Lohan look like a princess. A princess who likes to drive drunk and let others use her body as a garbage can for bodily fluids, but a princess nonetheless.
Despite the bad career choices, the drinking, the horrible marriages, the drinking, the late night cheeseburger binges, and even more drinking, Germany sticks with you no matter how often you embarrass it. For Christ’s sake, just look at that video. You are to Germany what Bill Clinton is to Hillary. Given the Germans track record of buying into bad ideas, is anyone really shocked by this? Is it any wonder this walking Gin and Tonic can sell a CD over there?
In closing, David you’ve provided us years of entertainment. You are a TV icon and international superstar. Just do us all a favor. When you want to eat a cheeseburger, keep your clothes on.
**Any similarities between jokes in this blog and the actual roast are unintentional and completely coincidental. There’s a better chance of Knight Rider actually being knighted.