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August 31, 2015

Comedy Central announces the Roast of...Larry the Cable Guy?!?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 12th 2009 11:01AM
Comedy Central's roasts were one of the few things the network used to do right post-South Park. They didn't go for the big names. They went for the funniest names, the people who lended themselves to the kind of mean-spirited mockery that let comics be honest but also let the audience know they were just having fun.

This time around, it's hard to see how any self-respecting comic that makes fun of Larry the Cable Guy will not let the audience know they are just joking.

Comedy Central announced that the hunting cap-wearing, sleeveless shirt-wearing, catchphrase-drilling stand-up comic will be the next "celebrity" to take the hot seat in their annual roast.

The minute the name hit my ears, a wave of disappointment almost drowned me. I actually look forward to the roasts that Comedy Central does every year because the targets they pick to ridicule are almost always perfect. It's a tradition that started way back when the network started airing the Friars Club roasts, starting with the Drew Carey roast. Thanks to new comics like Jeffrey Ross and Dave Attell and hard working veterans like Alan King and Pat Cooper, that first roast earned a spot in my list of the top three funniest TV specials of all time, only second to Johnny Carson's anniversary shows and The Star Wars Holiday Special.

The following roasts met with better or worse critical acclaim depending on your point of view. For the Pamela Anderson train wreck of a roast, there was the brilliant William Shatner roast. For the bombastic Jeff Foxworthy roast, there was the hilarious Rob Reiner roast. For the utterly unfunny Chevy Chase roast, there was...well there is no positive equivalent for that roast because if there was, the amount of symmetrical laughter could asphyxiate an elephant.

If anything, Larry was an easy, last minute pick for the network since their other and worthier target fell through. Comedy Central originally wanted to roast musical god and IRS whipping boy Willie Nelson, but scheduling conflicts postponed it indefinitely. Not getting a chance to see Willie roasted over an open flame was harsh, but hearing that Larry the Cable Guy would be his replacement couldn't have been more painful if the network tattooed the press release on the small of my back with a rusty fishing hook. If as if I had gone to a Beatles reunion concert, only to be told that Ringo was the only one who could make it.

So if evolution actually exists and is a true indication of the future, get ready for 2010 when Comedy Central will air the roast of (gasp!) Dane Cook. That (and this roast) does not sound like a place where I can have a cavalcade of fun.

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I'm so disappointed they've postponed Willie's Roast.
That would have been a great one!!
I do hope they resolve their scheduling conflicts!

January 12 2009 at 9:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wouldn't mind to see Dane Cook roasted if the other comics didn't pull their punches. It would be nice to see him get torn apart by Bob Saget and Patton Oswald.

January 12 2009 at 5:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pamela Anderson wasn't a good target for a roast but the end result was pretty funny. Especially because they got guys like Jeff Ross, Greg Giraldo who always kill at these events. They even saved the Flavor Flav roast which was like a trainwreck if the zingers weren't so funny. But Bob's roast definitely felt like an old school Friar's club type event as it was comedian after comedian zinging each other, only Lovitz sucked. As for Larry, I don't care for him but I end seeing him everywhere I go. He's made for the masses, so let the public have their garbage. Reminds me of the simpsons episode where homer gets smart and goes to see a movie and watches as everyone laughs while he just sits there disgusted. Ah well, Comedy Central's slowly losing its grounding, aside from Stand Up specials I really don't watch CC on tv anymore because I catch Stewart/Colbert online.

January 12 2009 at 1:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While the 'cool' people don't really like Larry he's accomplished more then hundreds of stand up comics can ever hope to accomplish.

January 12 2009 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Ryan's comment
King Zilch

Putting on a fake accent to pander to racist crackers is not an accomplishment.

January 12 2009 at 1:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Steven Spielberg has accomplished far more than smart, clever stand-ups like Demetri Martin, Todd Barry, John Mulaney, Arj Barker, Norm MacDonald, Paul F. Thompkins, and Patton Oswalt COMBINED. But that doesn't make him a better stand-up than any of them.

Larry the Cable Guy may be successful, but no student of stand up comedy would ever place him on any list of top comics.

January 13 2009 at 4:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, Comedy Central has officially jumped the shark. They can no longer refer the word "comedy" in their channel name. And right after the best Roast they've ever done (well, post-Friars Club, anyway) with Bob Saget. Ugh.

January 12 2009 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My brain hurts. :(

January 12 2009 at 11:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Totally agree. If they just had to roast someone from that group (Blue Collar), they should have gone for Ron White. By far the funniest and most cynical of the group

January 12 2009 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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