Roast of Rob Lowe: Ann Coulter Dies Onstage

David Spade and Rob Lowe

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.

Roast Panel:

 

The Do-Over (2016) Adam Sandler, David Spade: Buddy Movie

Adam Sandler in The Do-Over

Not being an Adam Sandler fan, expectations for “The Do-Over” were not high (basement level would be an adequate description) and his latest offering did not disappoint. The mid-life crisis buddy movie was not horrible but neither was it very good.  The best thing that can be said of Sandler’s most recent attempt at comedy is that it was marginally better than “The Ridiculous 6.”

Co-written by Kevin Barnett and Chris Pappas and directed by Steven Brill (who can direct a funny film as evidenced with the 2004 comedy “Without a Paddle”) “The Do-Over” is a buddy picture that manages to change direction so often that it almost slips unnoticed into a hidden subplot about a cure for cancer. 

Charlie (David Spade) is at his high school reunion watching his wife dirty dancing with her ex-husband on the dance floor. In the middle of this uncomfortable moment he bumps into Max (Adam Sandler). The two childhood buddies take time to catch up and Max reveals that he is in the FBI.

Later he invites Charlie to party on his boat and the two men have a blast. The boat explodes and Max tells Charlie that they are officially dead.  The two men take on the identities of a couple of murdered men that Max says he just found. They find money and a mansion in Puerto Rico where they move.

After a few identity changes, on Max’s part, and an attack by a small group of assassins, Max and Charlie (now Butch and Ron)  try to learn why the real Butch and Ron were murdered and try to keep one step ahead of the killers.

One does have to admire Sandler for leaving his “Happy Gilmore” and “The Water Boy” days behind him.  He is trying bring fans more “50 First Dates” and “Blended” where Sandler plays more grown-up characters.

In “The Do-Over” Sandler’s character is part action man, cool dude and misogynistic douche.  David Spade is the more likable of the two men. His Wilbur Milquetoast character is amusing, to a degree, but he is so malleable that it is hard to believe he ever  became a bank manager.

There are chuckle worthy moments but nothing that really tickles the funny bone.  Sandler’s character has a disease that is killing him and the man does really look ill. Gaunt featured  with deep brackets around his mouth make Sandler look quite unwell in his second Netflix feature.

Michael Chiklis has small cameo as the cuckold neighbor who initially wants to beat Ron/Charlie with a baseball bat and who then bellows in agony after being shot, twice. Sean Astin has a cameo as the ex who turns Charlie into the cuckold with his wife.  Never let it be said that Sandler will not beat a joke to death in a film. 

Luis Guzmán also has a cameo as “Jorge the shooter boy” a fairly small but funny part where he is the third partner in a three-way with Charlie and the next-door neighbor’s wife.

The humor is not necessarily as juvenile as Sandler’s earlier efforts, it has at least gone past the one joke premise attempting to last the entire film (The Ridiculous 6) although his character Max still views women primarily as sexual challenges to be conquered.

(Despite the lengthy fight between two strong women later in the film, it is clear that the men watching see this as a “dry” mud wrestling match as they leer at the violence the two females inflect on one another. This is not a statement at all, just another excuse to see women fight and in absence of a beer, pass the spliff dude.)

After watching the film twice, in an effort to find more in the way of redeeming qualities, the final verdict is that this is a 3 out of 5 star film.  The extra star is for the screenplay where a few twists and turns were added to the already illogical script which could be seen as  a loose  remake of the equally unfunny 1969 Jerry Lewis picture “Hook, Line and Sinker” (called, at time, Hook, Line and Stinker by critics).

Adam Sandler keeps doing comedy films where his characters either appear to be almost normal grownups or are capable of being complete kick-arse action men. Why? Is it because he will be 50 this year?

The man can act, he has done so with Drew Barrymore on more than one occasion.  Perhaps his deal with Netflix will find him a new fanbase and allow him to break this cycle of unfunny comedy offerings.  Until he manages to  break free of film’s past, his current fans may well enjoy “The Do-Over.” Those who are not bowled over by Sandler may want to give it a miss.