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:

 

You, Me and the Apocalypse: What Happens to Idiots – Recap/Review

In You, Me and the Apocalypse: What Happens to Idiots, it is only at the end of the episode that we find out what does happen to them.

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1

In You, Me and the Apocalypse: What Happens to Idiots, it is only at the end of the episode that we find out what does happen to them.  As the show opens, Leanne and Rhonda are in Arkansas, hiding in a boat with the tattooed supremacist pointing a gun at the owner’s bollocks. He lies to this verse’s version of Tommy Lee Jones (as in The Fugitive) which is, in this post apocalyptic world, a black female cop standing on a bridge. This  could be seen as a homage of sorts to the 1993 Harrison Ford vehicle.

A few short states over, Virginia, Rhonda’s son Spike is still Ariel’s prisoner and the kid learns the hard way, at the beginning of the episode and later, that Ariel is not all he claimed to be.  Father Jude is forced to have the Church’s “spin doctor” Father Christophe (Anthony Howell) become part of his small team to search out the messiah. 

Jamie finds the Scottish sanitarium where his birth mother is being held and after a little creative thinking, he and Dave get in. Sister Celine (Gaia Scodellaro) is quite taken with the new priest but this soon changes when Father Jude (Rob Lowe) talks another false messiah out of taking his own life.

Meanwhile, Leanne (played with nothing less than sheer brilliance by Megan Mullally) and Rhonda (Jenna Fischer) end up at the “Blue Alligator” where the first order of their stay is a shower, for the librarian. 

Ariel learns that the comet is real, Jude climbs up to speak with the poor man who plans to jump at 5 pm and the Sister realizes that there is much more to the priest than she initially thought. Father Jude risks his life to speak to the “jumper” without having any idea of what to do. As this drama plays out, the actions shifts to Rhonda, Jamie and Ariel and back again.

 You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Sister Celine and Father Jude, Messiah part II

Back at the  Blue Alligator as Rhonda asks about razors for her “Sasquatch legs” Leanne  questions whether the place still has the  “dirty channels” on TV. They then spy a man peeking in the bathroom window.

Leanne chases the man down, who turns out to be a teenage boy and he lies to Rhonda about calling the cops. After asking about the adult channels, “Channel 60 through 84…So I hear,” Leanne goes to take care of her feminine release issues.

Back to Father Jude and the jumper;  he reveals a very poignant backstory to the “messiah” and apart from stopping  the man from jumping in front of the world to his death, Jude also turns Sister Celine into a fan. The sister also realizes that Father Christophe is a phony out for his own glory.

Ironically, after Jude saves the “false messiah” the man then “saves” Jude as he helps the priest to get off the tower.

Jamie (Mathew Baynton) and Dave (Joel Frye) get into the sanitarium after Jamie steals a guard’s entry badge at the pub. The two find “Mary” and as Jamie questions his mum, Dave finds a receipt for Mary’s room and care. It is paid by Claire Rooney, which Dave discovers is an anagram for Ariel Conroy. 

Dave: “See? I told you all those years of watching Countdown would pay off.”

Sidenote: Although it goes without saying that we know the real reason Dave was tuning into Countdown; Carol Vorderman

As the two begin to sneak out with Mary a doctor comes into the common room and Jamie pretends to be from the agency. A comic interlude takes place with the doctor, a guard, Dave, Jamie and a medical suppository.

Rhonda bonds with the teenager over a video game and she reveals a touching backstory about how she and Spike got so close. After losing the game, the police arrive under US Marshall Tess Carter (Nina Sosanya) and the cops order the librarian to give herself up as they already have Leanne. 

Rhonda comes out with a gun pointed at the teen’s head and gets Leanne released. Leanne quickly takes control of the situation and is clearly having the time of her life.  All the cops are put in their vehicles; in the trunk, and Carter is taken away with Rhonda and Leanne.

Leanne: “We’re gonna play a little game called: ‘Leanne says.'”

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
“Leanne says…”

As she puts the police in the vehicles Leanne spouts a constant stream of one-liners that are truly hilarious.

Behind all the action, are Sutton’s agents who take a blood sample from Jude. Ariel’s assistant, Molby (Bruce Mackinnon) learns not only about the comet being real, but about the existence of the bunker under Slough. Molby also learns about who is responsible for filling the bunker with 15 survivors.

The assistant excitedly explains to Ariel that Spike’s uncle, Scotty McNeil is one of two men behind the plan.  Molby is so euphoric over this discovery that, despite being an Atheist, declares that “there just might be a God.”

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Spike’s Uncle and the general

After his assistant passes on the information, Ariel goes to release Spike (Fabian McCallum).  Molby starts naming a long list of family members he wants to save. As they reach Spike’s room, Ariel shoots his former assistant in the head, rather messily, and informs his teenage captor:

“This is what happens to idiots, Spike. Don’t be an idiot.”

Once again, all the players  appear to be connected to one another. Although the Scotty/Spike connection is not as “convoluted” as the other character tie-ins and threads in this black comedy.  Still, we can suspend our disbelief rather easily as each person in this series plays their roles with truth and the threads are all  very well done.

You, Me and the Apocalypse has its comedy in the writing and the storyline.

This episode; What Happens to Idiots, allows Leanne (Mullally) and Father Jude (Lowe) to rock it to the rafters with Mullally just edging past Lowe with most memorable comedic  moment. Lowe’s Jude, however, wins the “bringing a tear to the eye” contest easily.

Although one did expect, at any moment for Jude to confess to Celine that his “backstory” was made up. This did not happen and another mystery has been added to the mix when it is revealed that Sutton (Dame Diana Rigg) wants her minions to collect blood and not the individual.

Ariel’s killing of Molby wins the “We could see that one coming” award of the episode.

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
What happens to idiots? They get shot…

You, Me and the Apocalypse airs Thursdays on NBC, tune in for a blackly comic look at the end of the world.

You, Me and the Apocalypse: Still Stuff Worth Fighting For (Recap/Review)

This week in You, Me and the Apocalypse: Still Stuff Worth Fighting For things are still moving toward the end of the world as Jamie sits in the bunker under Slough bemoaning the fate of mankind and the “survivors” he shares the facility with.

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1

This week in You, Me and the Apocalypse: Still Stuff Worth Fighting For things are still moving toward the end of the world as Jamie sits in the bunker under Slough bemoaning the fate of mankind and the “survivors” he shares the facility with. 32 days previously Rhonda  and Leanne attempt to steal some clothes, the general starts working on “the solution,” Jamie still has to convince Skye that he is not Ariel and Father Jude and Sister Celine go to investigate their first “messiah” sighting in Russia.

As the various storylines continue on their merry way, it becomes clear that all the various players are connected. Ariel is only interested in cracking the files of the NSA for their facial recognition program to find Jamie’s wife, who escaped from him. Before this fact is revealed, General Arnold (Paterson Joseph)  starts the world’s brightest on their fake plan and Scotty worries about his fugitive sister. 

Jamie (Mathew Bayntonis still held prisoner in the commune bathroom, along with Dave, as the very pregnant Skye threatens the two with a power nailer. Rhonda (Jenna Fischer) and Leanne (Megan Mullally) fail at stealing replacement clothing for their prison uniforms after the librarian manages to find all the dog’s squeaky toys. 

Skye increases the threat level towards Jamie, whom she believes is Ariel, and Father Jude and Sister Celine fly on the Pope’s private jet to Poland to meet the first “messiah.” Jude is already “hitting” very subtly on the beautiful sister while explaining that the “little giraffe girl” cannot possibly be the savior.

Father Jude (Rob Lowe) turns the conversation from saviors to sex with little effort.  Skye starts labor and Jamie talks her into setting him and Dave (Joel Fry) free to help her.  In Poland, at the hospital where the “messiah” is located, a crowd of zealous believers are chanting outside the facility.

The two clergy learn that Giraffe Girl came back from the dead and could speak English when she “woke up.”  Dave talks Jamie into delivering Skye’s baby, as none of the three have a car, and there are no ambulances.

Skye: “Can someone get over here and take my knickers off!”

Dave: “Bucket list phrase right there.”

 You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Dave and Jamie at the commune…

Rhonda, who was  caught by the dog’s owner as Leanne made her escape, gets a change of clothes from a cross dressing redneck. She attempts to contact Spike to warn him of Ariel and after the farmer gets dressed in a red dress and pearls, he disconnects the phone while Rhonda is speaking to her brother. He has called the police after seeing that the librarian is wanted by the police for being a terrorist.

In Poland, Father Jude is trying to relax Giraffe Girl and put her at ease for the questioning procedure by telling her a joke:

“Why did the monk leave the monastery?”

“Because he was ‘cloister-phobic.'”

The “messiah” is not impressed:

“My mom told me not to talk to men like you. She says you’re perverts.”

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Frankie and Sister Celine make a connection…

Sister Celine manages to connect with the girl, whose name is Frankie (Grace Taylor), and she explains what perverts are (like clowns) and the “messiah” tells the sister that she will not be saving the “idiots” out front who think that she is the daughter of God. Layla  (Karla Cromeenters the hospital room and tells them that Frankie is  not God’s daughter but hers.

Skye is having the baby, and after Dave  wimps out, Jamie has to deliver the infant. When the boy comes out, he is not breathing and Jamie repeats, as a sort of mantra, that the baby needs to breath as “there is still stuff worth fighting for.”

Scotty visits Spike’s father Rajesh (Prasanna Puwanarajah) who tells his wife’s brother that he is dying and he asks if Scotty has made up the story about the comet.  The dying man tells Scotty that if he has made up the comet, Rhonda needs to know. 

While Jude tries to convince Layla that they can help her and Frankie get away from the rabid believers in front of the hospital, Frankie reveals that she is very special indeed. Like, messiah special.  Despite knowing that the zealots will rip him apart, Jude puts his plan in motion.

 You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Father Jude faces the angry mob…

Ariel collects Spike, whose phone was put in the septic tank, aka crapper, by his stepdad so he has missed Rhonda’s warning.  Back in Oklahoma, a police car turns up in response to the cross dresser’s call and Rhonda tries to escape by climbing through the bathroom window. Leanne, dressed as a cop tases the woman unconscious.

Father Jude places himself in danger to save Frankie and Layla while Sister Celine (Gaia Scodellaro) smuggles the two out in an ambulance. Scotty and the general reveal a hidden side to their professional relationship. 

Leanne reveals that she kept an eye on Rhonda during the time with the redneck and she gets the librarian to agree to team up.  After she agrees, Rhonda asks to be the cop for awhile. Skye reveals a secret about Jamie’s real mother, Mary, it appears she knew all about the upcoming apocalypse.

Spike learns about the NSA application “face chaser” and Jude returns, beaten and bruised by the angry mob and Jaimie is shown his mother’s model of Slough. He sees where his mum left him in the car park and learns that Mary was sectioned in a psychiatric hospital in Scotland and Skye gives him the address.

As Jamie, Dave, Skye and the newborn baby leave the room with the model, the camera zooms in on a model car. As it focuses on the top of the vehicle, an arm comes out and puts a card in an entry point to a gate. A man and woman get out and had to a large formidable building.

 You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Skye with her new baby…

Two guards run metal detectors over their bodies and they enter a room where a blond woman in a red dress sits behind a plastic hospital curtain, with a respirator over her mouth and nose. The mystery woman  gives them a folder. Inside are pictures of Rhonda, Jamie, Ariel and Father Jude.

The woman behind the curtain, and the respirator, is Dame Diana Rigg, aka Sutton.

This episode may not be as hysterically funny as the previous two, but the amusement factor is high. Layla and Father Jude’s “mystical bollocks” interchange is funny and on par with the rest of this installment. Rhonda has the funniest moment, with the squeaky toys scene at the start (a clear homage to Behind the Hedge and  “Play?”).

You, Me and the Apocalypse: Stuff Still Worth Fighting For  sets up an inter-connection between the twins, Rhonda and Father Jude as well as Layla and Frankie. Sister Celine has no clear connection as yet, but it does seem pretty clear that there must be one.

The entire cast are killing it in this funny British import and the series airs Thursdays on NBC. Tune in and enjoy the end of the world as we know it…

You, Me & the Apocalypse: An Erotic Odyssey – The Comedy Continues

You, Me & the Apocalypse continues its journey to the comic end of the world with An Erotic Odyssey. The simultaneous timeline of the twin brothers, Father Jude and Sister Celine, Rhonda and Leanne moves along with hilarious consequences.

 You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1

You, Me & the Apocalypse continues its journey to the comic end of the world with An Erotic Odyssey.  The simultaneous timeline of the twin brothers, Father Jude and Sister Celine, Rhonda and Leanne moves along with hilarious consequences. Added to the mix this week are the president, Scotty McNeil and General Gaine.

In England Jamie searches for his birth mother and in America Ariel lets Spike’s mother go,  once he learns that she did not hack the NSA, the president learns of a top-secret plan and in Italy Father Jude gets a change of mission.

Sidenote: Honestly. One leaves the country for two short years and suddenly the Lloyds horse becomes white when in reality it was always black.  Perhaps the silver horse, and knight, for Anglia TV was the equestrian image that popped up in this writer’s mind’s eye…Thanks to Susan Marshall who pointed out the incorrect colour of the previous article and also explained that these are the English episode with a bit of ADR work for American sensibilities.)

In the US, Rhonda (Jenna Fischeris on the run with Ariel (Mathew Baynton) and Leanne (Megan Mullally) until he releases her. Jamie (Baynton) stops to speak to his adoptive mum (Pauline Quirk) and get a lead to his birth mother. His roommate  Dave (Joel Fry) accompanies him to the “hippie commune” where Jamie’s real mum was last seen. 

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Dave doing “Teen Wolf.”

Father Jude (Rob Lowe) is taken from his current duties of sullying potential saints and their reputations and is sent out to find the messiah.  The skeptical priest decides that the first order of this new tasking is to find the false messiah who will appear before the real one. Jude warns Sister Celine (Gaia Scodellaro) about how harrowing this mission will be, but she decides to accompany the “renegade” priest regardless of his fears. 

Back in America, Rhonda’s brother Scotty (Kyle Soller) briefs the white house and the president on what will occur when the comet hits the Earth.  Scotty and the general also reveal a secret program (located under the Blue Ridge Mountains) and a fake one; that is designed to give the world hope. 

In England, Jamie and Dave leave the crowded, narrow, roads where the drivers start attacking one another, and encounter a naked couple who are embarking on their own bucket list (an erotic odyssey in this instance) and as the two attempt to drive around the fornicating couple they run out of petrol.

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Jamie caught in an end of the world traffic jam…

Meanwhile, in New Mexico, Rhonda has returned and released Leanne from the wrecked ambulance and  leaves. Later the two women reunite. The white supremacist has appropriated a truck and the librarian mother takes over the driving duties. It seems that their journey may not be a happy one:

Leanne: “This is going to be fine, like Driving Miss Daisy, only without all that civil rights bullsh*t.”

Rhonda: “Shut up!”

Jamie and Dave arrive at the deserted commune and as they discuss their next move are shot with tranquilizer darts. The two men wake up in a bathroom, Dave is  in the tub, and a heavily pregnant blond woman comes in. The expectant mum obviously thinks Jamie is Ariel. As the two chained men look on in horror, the woman asks if there is any reason why she should not remove “Ariel’s” balls…

Standout Moments:

The entire Father Jude/Sister Celine storyline.

Dave’s “Teen Wolf” backstory…story.

The “They will need a leader” gag where the president agrees to the 15 women and one male plan.

Father Jude (again) and his “freak out” during and after reading  Revelations.

Final thoughts:

This very English comedy, despite having storylines in three different countries, is funny, clever and, not unlike Shaun of the Dead, gives the viewer a slice of Britannia. At the same time it reveals an American “everywoman” who is desperate to save her son and an unlikely priest with a very strong sidekick.

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Rhonda (Jenna Fischer) releasing Leanne…

You, Me & the Apocalypse airs Thursdays on NBC.  Tune in and see this English series, with an American “overhaul,” and enjoy the show.

You, Me and the Apocalypse: UK & US Comic Catastrophe Gold

You, Me and the Apocalypse is a slice of UK and US gold, or perhaps platinum, a comic look at a catastrophe of biblical proportions.

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1

You, Me and the Apocalypse is a slice of UK and US gold, or perhaps platinum, a comic look at a catastrophe of biblical proportions.  Akin to the theme behind Armageddon and other films where a giant meteor, or in this case a comet, is on a collision course with the Earth and mankind is doomed, the series veers off course from the science fiction “saving of mankind” and instead focusses on a small group of survivors.

The series aired first in the UK and had, presumably, been altered, re-made, re-imagined (insert word of choice here) along the lines of Broadchurch (UK) and Gracepoint (US) over on the FOX network. It does seem to be an amalgamation of the original as it appears that all the main characters are in this NBC version.  There is, at this point, at least one name missing from the 2016 credits; Dame Diana Rigg, who plays “Sutton” in the “English” version.

The premiere is narrated by Brit actor/writer Mathew Baynton who plays twins; one evil hacker; Ariel and  the other, a bit of a Milquetoast type,  Jamie;  a bank manager.  Baynton, who looks like a real-life version of the cartoon “Roger” from the Disney animated film 101 Dalmatians, is seen first as the comet is just moments away from destroying all. Sitting in an underground bunker under Slough (Why Slough is not revealed in the first episode)  he is pondering why the 14 people  with him are there.

Rob Lowe plays the literal Devil’s Advocate; Father Jude Sutton, and the man is a foul mouthed and aggressive priest whose job is to sully potential saints. Jenna Fischer is Rhonda; a librarian and mother, who takes the rap for her son, a young man who hacked the NSA, and  she is in prison waiting to go on trial for treason. 

Megan Mullally is the white supremacist who takes Rhonda under her tattooed wing and (personal favorite) Pauline Quirk plays Jamie’s mum, who has a bit of a secret that has serious ramifications for her son. Newcomer Gaia Scodellaro plays Sister Celine, who ends up working for Jude just as the world is about to end. 

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Gaia Scodellaro as Sister Celine Leonti, Rob Lowe as Father Jude Sutton

The series has been called a dramedy by some but is, in reality, just rather heavy in British humour.  You, Me and the Apocalypse is a bit of brilliant comedy that is not afraid to mix what feels like real human behavior; mass panic and looting (in Rome no less) and how everyday things just stop once the news of the comet is made public.

Rob Lowe, who has been “grinding” on another NBC comedy, proves that  his comic timing and deft touch are a good fit in any role. In all honesty, it is Lowe’s delivery that makes each utterance a golden comic gem. During the Sister Celine interview he asks the potential assistant:

“Let me ask you, do you find the phrase “Christ on a bike” offensive?”

Pauline Quirk, after portraying a very different character in the seaside murder mystery Broadchurch steps back into light comic mode as Jamie’s mother and is, as usual, a delight to watch.  Scodellaro is touching as the naive Sister who decides that she will work for the Devil’s Advocate after all.  Sister Celine also has a few amusing lines, not least of which is her amazement at discovering that there really is a Devil’s Advocate:

Father Jude: “So, tell me what you know about the Devil’s Advocate”

Sister Celine:  “Honestly, nothing. I thought it was a figure of speech until I saw your door.”

The entire premiere is full of moments like the above interchange.  Odd, quirky, funny and all set against the end of the world…via comet.

While a lot of the gags are English versus American, they still work and the ones that may not translate well do not really matter. For instance, the “White Horse” that the police believe bank manager Jamie to be is the logo, or was for years, of Lloyd’s Bank…clever, eh?

You, Me and the Apocalypse - Season 1
Jenna Fischer as Rhonda McNeil aka Noob…

Jenna Fischer (The Office, Slither) is great as the woman so far out of her depth who is rescued by the real White Horse because of her “hacking skills.” Baynton is excellent as the almost OCD chap who relies upon his tedious routines to keep his life in check after his new bride; Layla (Karla Crome) disappears in the airport at the end of their honeymoon.

Thus far this UK and US comic offering looks fun and that little bit different. From an irreverential look at the clergy to the meltdown of society by the mainstream populace, the series takes catastrophe and makes it funny amid the chaos.

You, Me and the Apocalypse could just be the icing on Rob Lowe’s cake, proving that he can do much more than be The Grinder on NBC (Although in essence he has already since this series was on UK telly first.) The series airs Thursdays on NBC and all that remains is for Dame Diana Rigg to show up and make this series perfect.

Tune in for the end of the world chaos and the show’s quirkiness and stay for the comedy.