Comedy Central aired the roast of Roseanne Barr last night. I didn’t watch it. TOOO BLUUUUE! Nah, not really. I’m sure it was pretty nasty though. I heard there were fart jokes, fat jokes, and ex jokes. What else?

Did anybody get really mad about anything? We should talk about that because people LOVE talking about that. I do. It’s one of those things that I think we all know the fundamental truth behind but still engage in. Like that talking about the weather is boring. “They did say it was going to rain but yeah, so weird, NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY! Let’s discuss, person who I have little else to talk about with in a casual way, but would be rude to ignore!”

For roasts, and “unapologetic” comedy in general, it’s more that we all know that the funniness of insult comedy falls on a kind of Kinsey-like sliding scale that goes Toothless –> The Right Amount Of Bite –> Ouch, Too Much. You fall on either side of that sweet spot and the joke’s no good. That’s all the roasts are: comics trying to hit the bullseye every time. Put like that it’s pretty tame sport, but oh my GOD we get so MAD about it when they miss!!

Some people are better at it than others. Some are making a career out of having that talent in spades, while others should probably hang up the towel (intended) and not climb up on a First Amendment soapbox to make excuses for an arguable miss. So how did everybody fare this time? And, perhaps most importantly, who’s voting Barr 4 Prez???

Comments (31)
  1. Greg Giraldo already put three performance arrows through the same archery joke hole target before passing away, and I haven’t had a need for roasts ever since. Greg yelling at Larry the Cable Guy “WHY ARE YOU SO FUCKING POPULAR!!!” was the last time I watched a roast, and for good reason. 1) They started roasting stage personas, and 2) Greg was the best thing about those roasts.

    That being said, Anthony Jeselnik is pretty good.

  2. Hi Caroline Creaghead!

  3. I thought at first that you were asking us to talk about things that make us angry and I was like “OH MAN SO MANY THINGS MAKE ME ANGRY” but then I realized most of the things that make me angry are also the things that make me laugh the hardest, like when people put dogs in outfits that cost more than my car (which, to be fair, I got at a police auction for 250$. So a lot of things cost more than my car).

    • Paul Ryan makes me really angry. REALLY ANGRY.

      • People who complain when people who are on social assistance / welfare buy something nice or put back a loaf of bread to buy a pack of smokes make me so, so angry. You don’t know this person’s life, you don’t know that this is a common occurance. Just because someone is poor doesn’t mean they need to be miserable ALL THE TIME.

      • Did you know there’s a Paul Ryan Gosling twitter account? recent tweets: “Hey Girl, I’m only releasing two years of my tax returns. If you want more, you’ll have to find my tickle spot.” and “Hey girl, I was named biggest brown-noser in high school, but I’m totally not like that. Oops, time to wash the Koch Brothers’ car!”

        • Oh yes. There’s also a blog chronicling songs that have been dedicated to Mitt Romney’s Spotify account.

          I grew up in the cesspool that created people like Paul Ryan and his supporters (all of which seem to be coming out of Jim Sensenbrenner’s district, which is so hilarious for so so many reasons). That guy is embodiment of the racist privileged misogynistic fratboy douche bag nightmare that I grew up with… Seriously, just thinking about him and his asshole audience is too much for me right now. Watching him talk in all his Midwestern earnestness about the worst possible policies for this country makes me want to go into the woods and punch dance until I feel better.

          • Looking on the bright side, I think he’s the worst possible pick to oppose the privileged white super-rich douchebag criticism that Mitt Romney is getting. I can only hope that people who are still undecided who think Romney doesn’t give a shit about the middle class will see Ryan and think, “Okay, these two together DEFINITELY don’t give a shit about the middle class.” My fear was that Romney would pick someone (no idea who) that would serve as a good balance to his rich white guy persona, someone who was from a small town (or the middle of the country), female, non-white, or some combination of those. Basically, I was afraid that the plan that blew up in McCain’s face when he picked Palin would end up working for Romney if he made a smarter pick.

          • Maybe. But people who don’t pay attention don’t understand how honestly evil this guy is. (Saw way too many “or as he’s known here ‘who?’” kind of jokes.) He makes Sensenbrenner look like a moderate. Plus that he’s totally backed by Koch money and Romney is his own powerhouse of corporate personhood… As much as they are both nightmares individually and collectively so much MUCH worse, the money that will (and already has) move this campaign will totally overpower the actual voters.

            I guess the only thing I have to take solace in is that he probably won’t carry his own district and he’s such a dividing force in Wisconsin that he may actually hurt Romney in a contested state. And seeing all the “Yeah! WI! Woo!” type posts from the assholes I grew up with in my FB feed just served to remind me why I hate my suburb so very VERY much.

          • Plus we can do stuff like this…

    • Sorry to make this into a Paul Ryan anger thread, everyone. He’s just the WORST. The absolute worst.

  4. Hi Caroline! (I meant to say hi earlier but I got caught up in Olympic fever and weird stories from across the pond.)

  5. I didn’t watch the roast myself, but I saw a bunch of promos for it over the weekend. And then I remembered how Tom Arnold regularly landed major roles in big movies for a while, which led to what I’ve been told was a period of intermittent lucidity punctuated by the rending of garments at wild bouts of tears. Can’t say I remember anything after the promo, though.

  6. I like Rosanne. After the Tilda Swinton Sandwich network becomes a huge ratings hit, I will start a sister channel that is just reruns of Rosanne, Designing Women, Golden Girls, Murphy Brown, and Muder She Wrote. Perhaps there will be intermittent The Nanny marathons. We’ll see what the people want. (The People want The Nanny. The People have always wanted The Nanny.

    • Murder She Wrote, I’mma let you finish (are we still saying this?), but Miss Marple was the best TV show based on Agatha Christie’s elderly matron crime solver OF ALL TIME.

    • How much money do we need? They don’t play nearly enough Designing Women on TV these days.

      • TRUFAX. Why isn’t it on Lifetime or We more often? I have friends who have never seen an episode of Designing Women and that is a damn shame. People should know of the existence of the Sugarbakers. Their last name is SUGARBAKER for goodness sake!

    • i am one-hundred percent behind this idea. i realize that the hallmark channel is basically already the golden girls channel, but i will never say no to more of my girls.

  7. Is anyone else getting tired of the Jeff Ross ‘persecuted shock comic’ schtick? It’s like he purposely thinks of the the most crude, ‘offensive’ jokes to tell on television, then goes on a nationwide press tour to complain about how people he offended are trying to ‘censor’ him and how comics should be worried about losing their right to say anything they want, even though nobody really cares or is trying to stop him.

    Maybe comedy audiences are just more sophisiticated, and the 1990s petulant-offensive-guy Dice Clay kind of comedy is just kind of boring now?

    • I find that schtick from a lot of comedians, it’s just tired these days. None of you are Lenny Bruce, okay? Not only has no one been arrested for an “offensive” joke in this country in decades, most of the time people don’t lose their jobs or anything either. We just also say, “Well, I didn’t like that,” and they issue a fakey apology and then the comedian gets to keep being shitty and not fresh or interesting or innovative at all.

    • I like how people think that saying “Wow, that was really tasteless and not very funny, and I really don’t think you should’ve have said that, because it makes you sound like an asshole” is the same thing as trying to take away their freedom of speech. No one is trying to pass any laws to get you to shut up, Jeffrey Ross. We’re just *telling* you to shut up, which is…. (wait for it)…. (wait a little longer)… FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

  8. I love Roseanne so I really wanted this to be a surprisingly good roast, but it wasn’t. Well, some of the people were awesome like Katey Sagal, but the whole thing is so impersonal and formulaic. Hey, guess what: Carrie Fisher is mentally ill! LOLOLOL. I’m so glad none of the comedians who don’t at all know Roseanne and are just filler didn’t at all compare notes so I heard the same not very personally pointed or interesting joke about that.

    Also, Jane Lynch is a lesbian. MAYBE YOU DIDN’T KNOW.

  9. We get it! Everyone is fat, ugly, untalented and gay.

  10. I watched some of it, when I wasn’t out trying to defending my house form Perseid meteorites (pro tip: they’re farther away than they look, so leave your tennis racket in the garage and sleep tight!)

    I was looking forward to Anthony Jeselnik, because I heard him interviewed on XM radio the day before, and I liked him, and he said he had some good jokes! In any case, I gotta say, he’s the only one I saw that probably took it too far, with a groaner or two, and his other jokes were only pretty good. Gilbert Gottfried closed, and was very good, as I expected

    I was also looking forward to Roseanne herself, since I heard her on XM radio the day befo— hey, wait!! Am I being played by XM Radio? I’m being played, aren’t I. Man.

    Any, Roseanne was good, and finished especially strongly, answering a 22 year old question. Tom Arnold was there and had some good jokes, too.

    I missed Ross, but heard he did at least one Aurora, CO joke that got cut, and that he seems to regret:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/jeffrey-ross-says-he-cros_n_1748519.html

    I always wonder how much the roasters write vs. have written for them. For instance, Ellen Barkin.

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