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October 9, 2015

Why bother roasting someone like Flavor Flav?

by Paul Goebel, posted May 24th 2007 2:49PM

Dean roasts Evel KneivelOne day when I was visiting the Museum of TV & Radio here in LA, I decided to go up to the library and watch a few shows. I saw that they had quite a few episodes of Dean Martin's Celebrity Roast available so I ordered up a couple. It was hilarious. Bob Newhart, Nipsey Russell, Phyllis Diller and Dean himself were as funny as ever and clearly having a great time.

When Comedy Central decided to bring back the celebrity roast I was elated. I couldn't wait to see today's best comics having a great time just like in the old days. For awhile it was great. Jeff Ross emerged as the new heir to the dais on great roasts of Drew Carey and Jerry Stiller, and the Hugh Hefner roast was a treat. Then something happened.

Whoever was in charge of the Comedy Central roasts decided to throw the rules out the window. Chevy Chase got a roast even though he had been roasted before, which only served to add to the confusion of why he was roasted in the first place. Then Pam Anderson got roasted. At this point it was clear that the roasts were less about comedy and more about easy targets. Oh and let's not forget the never-ending antics of Andy Dick, and when I say never-ending I mean it in a Middle East conflict kind of way.

Now they have decided to roast ground-breaking rapper-turned-walking-punch-line, Flavor Flav. What is it about Flav that makes him worthy of a roast? The closest thing he's done to comedy are his comeback vehicles on VH-1 and we all know that those really don't count as comedy.

Personally, I gave up on the roasts after the Chevy Chase fiasco, but I'm sure some of you will be tempted to tune in and see the litany of dreadlock and baby mama jokes. Let me know how it is.

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They're going to roast Flav because they know they can make money off of it. If the reality shows he was part of on VH1 boasted some of the highest ratings VH1 has ever seen, I'm sure people see roasting him as a way to make more money off of him.

Personally, I don't think Flav is a bad guy and Public Enemy did do a lot for the world of Hip-Hop, but I do agree that it is going to be a string of black culture cliches. They'll probably invite Brigette Nielsen just for the extra ad revenue.

Flav was always eccentric and energetic, but this new reality show driven resurgence of his popularity has almost made him into a caricature of himself.

May 25 2007 at 9:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Unfortunately, I've never seen the origonal roasts, but the current crop doesn't really make much sense to me. One comedian goes on stage, makes a crack or two about the guest of honor, then he makes a crack or two about every other comedian on stage.

Seems to me, the jokes should focus on the guest and not everyone sitting in front of the cameras.

I did enjoy the Foxworthy roast, though. He's a great comedian and a stand out in my favorite genre of stand up. A little tame for my tastes, prefering the comedy of Rodney Carrington (listen to his stand up and don't focus on what you saw on his TV show), but, Jeff is always worth a laugh.

May 24 2007 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hefner's was the last host sponsored by the Friar's Club, Chevy's was a disaster save for Stephen Colbert's outstanding piece which ripped Chevy a new one. The next roast they did was for Denis Leary. I actually thought it was pretty funny and it featured an all star line up of guests... save for Dane Cook. After this one, the quality started to slip with FOXWORTHY who was a horrible choice, Pam Anderson a bunch of cliche breast, sex, and Dick jokes. Shatner's had the potential and bunch of great bits but Andy Dick along with the gay jokes marred a great roast. Plus they messed it up in TV version by not showing Kevin Pollack or Fred Willard. I'm pretty sure anyone who attended got the full treatment.

BUT FLAVOR FLAV! HE'S A JOKE HIMSELF, ANYONE MAKING FUN OF HIM IS JUST BEATING A DEAD HORSE. You know all the regulars will be there, there will be a bunch of black jokes and rap jokes and sex jokes and unfunny jokes and hack jokes and Andy Dick will probably make out with FLAV before being shot by his entourage. So I guess having Andy Dick killed is one plus of this roast.

May 24 2007 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My only problem with the Shatner roast was that it was more a roast of George Takei and his homosexuality than Shatner. Much of the rest was random scat humor that didn't have anything to do with the "Guest of Honor."

I'm all for a good roast (Hefner's was a classic), but find some worthy targets and get people who will actually make fun of the target without resorting to random scat jokes. Please, we can do a lot better. I'm in the demographic that's going to be targeted with this Flavor Flav roast, and I barely know who this guy is. Count me out.

May 24 2007 at 4:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Shatner roast was classic! George Takei proves once again how funny he can be...the gay jokes were priceless!

May 24 2007 at 4:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know who Flavor Flav is. The William Shatner one was great because he's just fun, but others are ehh....

May 24 2007 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Those were my thoughts exactly. Thanks for writing this up.

May 24 2007 at 3:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stephen Prescott

the friar's club stopped sponsoring the roasts on comedy central that's why the quality of the roastees has gone down. except shatner...that was a good roast. paul you are slipping buddy.

May 24 2007 at 3:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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