Televised “Roasts” have changed since the old Dean Martin “family friendly” roasts were held on mainstream television. So too have the participants. Rob Lowe’s Roast on Comedy Central had all the appeal of watching playground bullies gang up on one another and mercilessly pick each other off. It was not the funniest thing ever seen and the low point of the evening was watching Ann Coulter die onstage.
The woman trotted out one unfunny joke after another. While there may not have been a concert of crickets in the audience the “gags” were horrible enough that only one or two garnered a limp chuckle. On par with having Eddie Murphy play to an audience of KKK members, Ann’s failure was guaranteed as she lamely tried to tickle the funny bone of Hollywood’s liberal left “luvies.”
Terms like “lamb to the slaughter” can be applied to her performance. In terms of guests, it appears that there were not many who wanted to appear on the Comedy Central Labor Day Special. It does seem odd that out of all the stand-up comics out there in the entertainment industry that only the limited amount on stage could be found who wanted “to play.”
Some of the gags were close to the bone. Carr’s humor was a bit on the vicious side but he was not alone. A lot has been made of his “she could kill herself remark,” but Carr was not alone in this suggestion. Nikki Glaser joined suit and told Coulter that the only person she would make happy would be the “Mexican that digs your grave.”
Watching the uncensored version of the roast is not for the faint hearted. Nor should the politically correct bother watching this one. These roasts are rough, even Pete Davidson’s father’s death was considered fair game for this lot.
The issue of Lowe’s sex tape, which got so much bad publicity back in the day was mentioned repeatedly and while it is a part of Lowe’s past, it did push the boundaries of poor taste.
Jeff Ross and Ralph Macchio were almost as poorly received as Ann Coulter, who was roasted more thoroughly than the actual honoree. Macchio due to a number of reasons, just lacked the comedy potential, the man is an actor and not a stand-up comic, and Ross is simply not that funny.
His portion, while dressed like the late Prince, consisted of short remarks and no real finesse seemed to be called for. Even Macchio managed to utter more than short inflammatory statements.
The art of the roast seems to have fallen by the way side. Sure it is all about being insulting but in the past this was done with style and a lot more polish. It was interesting to note that apart from Rob Riggle’s constant giggle, and Peyton Manning’s doubled over mirth, the only other panelist to grin was Coulter.
Granted the author of 11 books, “who could not write one f*cking joke” did have more of a frozen rictus than an actual grin of mirth.
There were funny moments, most of them too rude to include here. Rob Lowe’s roast was not overly amusing and there were not many real laugh out loud moments. Thank God it was less than an hour and a half long, sans commercials.
Comedy Central may need to rethink their roasting formula for the future. Sorry Rob, but you were robbed.
- David Spade – Host
- Rob Riggle
- Ralph Macchio
- Pete Davidson
- Jimmy Carr
- Ann Coulter
- Peyton Manning
- Nikki Glaser
- Jeff Ross
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