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:


Chelsea: Ashley Graham, Jana Kramer and Jimmy Carr (Review)

Chelsea Handler

No clips for this episode of Chelsea. Which is a real shame.  Jimmy Carr is a personal favorite (only because he came into the Starbucks in Ipswich, Suffolk in  Britain – that one’s for you Chelsea – moments before I entered and the staff were still excited beyond belief.)  The British comedian was on to plug his new Netflix special “Jimmy Carr: Funny Business.”

This is Carr’s first comedy special on Netflix. He was in LA to “roast” Rob Lowe,  whom he apparently never met  despite Lowe filming “You, Me and the Apocalypse” in England in 2015.  Jimmy also has no idea who Peyton Manning is (and why would he) who will also be a guest at the roast.

The episode started with Chelsea’s niece Charley  getting  pageant lessons.  Chelsea revealed that she began with pageants but shifted focus when she did not win. The best bit of this opening was the open fingered “wave” that Chelsea gave later.

Ashley Graham (a plus side model who has the same name as the former president’s daughter in Resident Evil 4 and how cool is that?) was the first guest and she gave good interview.

Graham, who appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a plus size swimsuit model, is fun, astute and amusing. The supermodel started age 12 when she was five feet nine inches tall and was already a size 12.  Ashley is also a business woman and will be a judge on America’s Next Top Model.

The next guest was Jana Kramer who talked about her new baby, social media shaming and being 30.  The country singer and actress was very upbeat and positive considering she left her husband  two days ago.

Kramer, Graham and Chelsea had a great time during this interview.  It was a splendid mix of humor and three women who found each other very funny.  This could be counted as one of the best interviews on the season so far.

At the end Jana and Ashely plugged their respective products.

In honor of National Dog Day, Chelsea did a pre-recorded segment with Chunky and Tammy that was amusing and cute.

Last up was Jimmy Carr, who plugged his pal Jeff Ross‘ roast.  Carr and Chelsea worked well off of one another. Particularly funny was Jimmy’s assertion that he had introduced  Handler to applejack (a mixture of Jack Daniels and apple juice).  Chelsea denied it although Carr insisted she had 14.

There was a geography lesson about the United Kingdom, where Jimmy explained about Wales and the Isle of Man. (Chelsea called it the “Isle of Manny.) Carr made jokes about the place insinuating that the people who live there are inbred (six fingers…).

The audience were taken aback by the gags, which would have gotten gales of laughter in England. They then moved onto the Netflix special and what it entails.

Chelsea then “attacked” Carr for being with his girlfriend for 15 years and not marrying her. His rebuttal was to poke fun at her anti-children stance.

Handler finished up with some funny foreign traveling tips, which included repeating, in loud English,  the same phrase over and over. (There was an audience member who must have hurt themselves laughing during this segment.)

Chelsea; episode 45 was really good in terms of guests and the quality of the interviews.

The talkshow airs three times a week on Netflix.

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