I love Roast Comedy. I love Roasts, and sadly, its a vanishing art form-
Except for one night on Comedy Central. (And the 3752 times they will re-run it from midnight to 2am, check local listings)
This year they followed up Charlie Sheen with Roseanne Barr/Arnold/whatever. As Roastmaster Jane Lynch said, She’s known by one name: Bitch.
This is the 7poundbag reviewof:
Jane Lynch comes out, and does a PHENOMENAL job of starting the show, one of the best openers, including slamming Rosie for being irrelevant for 20 years.
Rosie comes out, looking pretty good I might add, and the intro video goes on WAY too long, with many clips of what must be a failed reality show. The Anthem snafu is shown, as is quite a bit of crap I have no idea where it came from.
Break: I love Roseanne. The show, until the screaming crash and burn at the end, was one of the best in history. Before that, she was one of the best standups I’ve ever seen. Problem was, when she hit her show, comedy passed her by. Tim Allen has the same problem. You have to evolve. There is a reason Jeff Foxworthy saves the Redneck till the end- he has a TON more other than the redneck stuff. Once Rosanne had a show, she just kept nailing that gimmick, and after 15 years, we got tired of the bitchy housewife wanting a riding vacuum cleaner.
The jokes they show from her FIRST Carson show- she also did at Dangerfeilds, her FIRST HBO special, AND worked them both into the show.
In a Louie CK/Chris Rock world, that just won’t work. Heck in a Jeff Dunham/Sinbad world It won’t work.
But for people my age, she was awesome.
Let’s go down the list of Roasters and how they did.
Jane Lynch KILLED. She hit everyone like Hulk Hogan entering the Royal Rumble. She was original, and kept things moving. Best Line: (Rosanne) she was in She-Devil, with Myrel Streep, witch got 2 and a half stars, just like this dias, if you count Seth Green. During the night, she rarely missed, and just gave a solid and stunning performance. She also was laughing the entire time, even on the cruddy jokes. Just a superb job.
Note: the rating is due to 3 things, the Roast itself, how they reacted to shots taken at them, and how they affected the mood of the show. Donald Trump, at the beginning of his show, sat there like a ticked off toad- that hurt the roast. Pamela Anderson was almost a moving and willing target during her show, making it better. All that affects the show. You can have a Killer set, but if you fall asleep on the dias, you are not an A performer.
First up was Amy Schumer.
WHY did they let her lead off? WHY? This woman KILLED. I love me some LL, but I would right now pay some major money to watch Amy and Lisa play the dozens for a half hour. This was one of the most DOMINATING performances I’ve seen on a comedy central Roast. I’m not going to give you a best line. You need to find this, and watch it. Amy also gave good backup, when the camera flipped to her, she was laughing, or nodding knowingly, or looking just indigent enough to still be cute. Amy should be a feature on this for a Looong time.
Seth Green was next, and while having to follow Amy, was good, made the first Rosie as Jabba joke- of the three, his was the best.
Seth also did a good job as a target.
Katey Sagal was up, and while I don’t know if she wrote her own stuff, but I suspect she didn’t. Either way, her delivery was impeccable, no doubt due to her excellent acting skills. She wasn’t the best target- other than one shot about John Ritter that NO ONE liked. Had it been pre-taped, it wouldn’t have been as good, but she really didn’t give anyone anything to work with.
Jeff Ross is of course, the Roastmaster General, and while his set was good- it was like watching Lebron go 10 for 17 and never dunk or fly. Yeah, he’s the greatest on the floor, but put another uniform on him, and its a solid night, I expected more- especially with his Roast show coming out (It’s excellent by the way, but VERY uneven, it needs pacing, BADLY) He showed in a Penn State jacket, and his jokes seem almost as dated. Best Line: (to Rosanne) Instead of running for president, try walking on a treadmill)
Rating: Anyone else gets a B with this- but we deserve more from Ross. C+
This is about when Rosanne got loud, and started not understanding quite a few jokes, to the point where Ross exclaimes “do I have to explain the (bleep) jokes?”
Wayne Brady gave a SHORT set. Blink and you missed him. He must have been cut badly, but what he gave was good. He was a good target, when he was hit- witch was not often. Best line “Carrie Fisher- you are the only celebrity who’s action figure is worth more than you are”
Grade A- for what was there.
Carrie Fisher KILLED.Most of her best stuff was aimed at herself, and she did a better 5 minute Roast of Carrie Fisher than quite a few of these shows have done in an hour. I don’t know if it was writing or coaching or what, but Carrie was awesome. As a target, she started flipping people off, but soon settled down and looked like she had a ball. Best Part- not really a line- oh let’s see, short joke, black joke, old woman joke- oh I could do this all night!
Anthony Jeselnik was good- but not great. Like Ross, you know he is better, but unlike Ross, you had to enjoy his content more than his presence. Quite a few comics can make you laugh before s/he opens their mouth, AJ is 2-3 jokes in before you get started. I don’t know why. This set was a lot like Ichiro. Slapping singles, rarely missing, but nothing really memorable, other than a shot a John Ritter’s memory. He was a decent target- but other than “he’s a rapist” not much there.
Ellen Barkin– Whom I have NO idea who she is, nor do I really care. She seemed to be as really good sport, and she did have some fun stuff. Still don’t know who she is, or why she was here. They said she was married, so she can’t be Rosie ex-girlfriend or anything. Best Line: (to GG) Thank you for taking time off from looking directly into the sun.
Gilbert Gottfried,: I hate GG, he stopped being funny YEARS ago, and now its all shtick, how he’s still working and Bobcat isn’t on TV is a mystery. GG yells and squints and at least he wasn’t imitating a farm animal this time. When they cut to him, is he laughing, crying or dying? He only has two facial impressions. One with his eyes open and one with them closed.
Oh wait. This one didn’t suck.
This one was actually GOOD!
Did we get the GG from when Rosie was relevant? I’m not going to give a best line: but his Rosilla rant was excellent. He did return to form with a shit ending.
Tom Arnold they ruined the “surprise” on the ads, and even though they made jokes of him not being there in the opening monologue, it was good that he came out.
Let me ask a serious question. Since the end of Rosie, has Tom worked MORE? BDSSP, several movies, TV work, etc? Maybe?
Tom gave a really good set. He did an excellent mix of digs on Rosie and himself, as well as some history. He might not be that funny to me, but he made it personal, and he made it great. Best Line: We went and got tattoos, remember? You got “Property of Tom” witch made me the 4th largest landholder in California.
Then we got Rosie.
As the target for the night, Rosie was very uneven, from looking stoned to not understanding the jokes to playing along. But when Rosie hit the stage?
Rosie gave one heckuva set- when she wanted to. She took time out to throw out things she wanted to talk of, like pot and Obama. But when she turned her guns- whoa! Best Line: I was in a movie with Myrell Streep, who has 3 Oscars, I get Amy Schumer, who finished fourth in Last Comic Standing!
Oddly enough, didn’t get the bitter comic we got from Joan Rivers, but she took shots at everyone on the dais- and hit HARD- she did come back to Amy and gave her love for doing an excellent job, nothing like getting the rub from Rosie. Sad ending, where she had to bring up her singing, and sang the anthem on the way out. A bad ending to a better show that it deserved,
This was a VERY good show, one of the better ones, considering the lack of power on the dias. I can only imagine a standard effort from Ross and then replace Barkin – and last years AJ. This could have been scary good.
There were really no hating points, as I said Gilbert was better than he’d been in years, and no Andy Dick or Norm. This was a great roast.
9 out of 10
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