Jonah Hill said of the jokes at the Franco roast directed at him, (I paraphrase): "I had everything said to me I was always afraid of having said to me growing up, of being bullied and humiliated. And I survived them. I even laughed at them." That's what a roast should be. All in good fun. It's why the roasts work especially well when it's friends and comedians. The Saget roast comes to mind. Even the Bieber roast is excellent. The Sheen roast is amazing. The Shatner roast works because of these things. Some are not as successful. Larry the Cable Guy. Hasselhoff. If it's too mean, or it's too distant, it fails. The subReddit /r/RoastMe highlights this. All the insults directed at complete strangers are creative, but they're also generic and bland. When the graduating class got up to be roasted every year in the theater department at SDSU, it was a delightful mix of creatively funny, cringeworthy, awkward, and hilarious, because pretty much everyone knew each other, and the roast was quite literally billed as, "Here's all the shit we say to each other about you behind your back that you're afraid we talk about behind your back, to your face."
How did everyone at the latest outing?
Ranking The Roasters at the Lowe Roast
1.) Jimmy Carr
"Ann [Coulter] is one of the most repugnant, hateful, hatchet-face bitches alive. It's not too late to change, Ann. You could kill yourself."2.) Jewel
"I do want to say, as a feminist, that I can't support everything that's been said tonight. But as someone who hates Ann Coulter, I'm delighted."3.) Pete Davidson
"Ann Coulter and no black people? What are we roasting? A cross?"4.) Jeff Ross
"The truth is, Rob, roasting you wasn't easy. I mean, what can I really say about you that hasn't already been said in court by three nannies, a chef and an underage girl from Atlanta?"
"Rob, in both your sex tapes, you appeared with two other people. Good God, man. You can't even carry a sex tape. You're like the me of sex tapes. Self-deprecating! Beat you to the punch!"6.) Nikki Glaser
"[Peyton], you're like the Tom Brady of being in commercials. Like, the greatest."But I also have to shout out to this one, which is even more of an insight into how sharp Glaser is, to the man of the hour:
"God, I had such a crush on you when I was a little girl. If only I'd known that's when I had my best shot."7.) Peyton Manning
"Rob Lowe, the only thing you are consistently on is Twitter, which is surprising because you have never been able to master one character, let alone 140."8.) Ralph Macchio
"You might know Ralph from The Karate Kid. If you don't know him from that, you don't know him."9.) Ann Coulter
Wait a minute.
Maybe she doesn't know what a roast is.
Regardless, it's being called the worst roast performance ever, and it's hard not to agree. Coulter is mean and witless, she plugs her book as the only reason she's there, and she bombs as expected. Everyone ends up taking more shots at her than they do at Lowe, most likely because as comedians, they're just as "what the fuck is she doing here" as we are, and it's hard for them to let go of anything WTF-worthy in the moment. Everyone keeps looking back at her throughout as more and more gets piled on, in a sort of "I wonder what she's thinking right now" or a "God, is this really happening" kind of way. At one point, can't remember what joke it was, but Jeff Ross turns back to her, and it's the only time she actually speaks up, but I can't make out what she says. I'm pretty sure it's, "I'm not laughing." I don't know. It's very strange. It's a surreal moment in roast lore now. The huge bomb of The Situation Mike Sorrentino at the Trump roast is the only comparison. People will say Coulter's was far worse. That may be my only point of disagreement, though.
Let me be clear: I think Coulter is a despicable human being. On the most surface level, she is not a comedian and has absolutely no business here. I also don't feel bad for any of the jokes made at her expense throughout the evening. Regardless of how sincere the comics themselves feel about what they said, 1) I think she deserves it for the vitriol she's spewed over the years, and 2) they were jokes. But one thing I've read since the roast aired was that Coulter also wrote everything she said herself. And I gotta say, in a room where you know you're going to be the most hated, most reviled human being, in a forum you know absolutely nothing about, doing something you've supposedly never heard of, that's some balls. I can assure you 100% that The Situation Sorrentino did not write a single word of his material, and I'm frankly surprised he could read any of it, because I was convinced he was illiterate. Sorrentino had all the same disadvantages as Coulter, but bombed with material tailor-made for him. He failed so badly that Jeff Ross goes and saves him. Anthony Jeselnik says in interviews that he was the comic following Sorrentino and they had to take a break to regain control of the room. We all knew Coulter was going to be bad. And no one was going to give her the benefit of the doubt. So all that said, to go out there, rejecting the writers' lines for ones you wrote yourself takes some amazing guts or amazing self-delusion. Either way, is it still the worst roast of the night? You bet your ass.
|The science is solid.|
Host: David Spade
"Is Pete white? Is he black? Ann Coulter needs to know so she can decide if she hates him."At Rob himself:
"Rob came up at a time when a sex tape could really ruin your career. But Rob had to do it the hard way: with his acting."
"Rob was in Austin Powers 16 years ago. Can you believe it's 16? Or as he calls it, 18."Man of the Hour: Rob Lowe
I mentioned that I'm sure Manning was highly written for and Jewel wasn't, and I'm sure Lowe falls somewhere in the middle. There are writers for these roasts, and it's obvious when someone is delivering scripted lines or their own attempts. Lowe leans more to the former, but manages it with grace. His line of the night is of course at the expense of Coulter:
"Ann, after your set tonight, we've all witnessed the first bombing that you can't blame on a Muslim."