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'America's Got Talent' Backstage Report: J Chris Newberg on His Piers Morgan Roast

by Michael Maloney, posted Aug 18th 2011 12:00PM
J Chris Newberg
Singer/musician J Chris Newberg, who brilliantly roasted 'America's Got Talent' judge Piers Morgan on Tuesday's Wild Card show, was reminded of an old show biz adage when he failed to advance to the semi-finals in last night's results program.

"Dying is easy, comedy is hard."

Newberg's act seemed like a shoe-in to continue on in the competition since Morgan's been giving Simon Cowell a run for his money as the reality competition series judge you love to hate the most.

Morgan gave a strike to four different acts on Tuesday's show (including one, not surprisingly, to Newberg) while fellow judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel refrained from giving any.

While Morgan himself couldn't help but laugh at a few of the digs, is it possible that Newberg went too far in his opening remark?


Most of Newberg's digs were biting as he poked fun at Morgan for calling skipping "sexy," said he's made "more kids cry than divorce" and remarked that his CNN talk show, 'Piers Morgan Tonight', was seen in more than 100 countries -- and is watched by 100 people.

The performer slammed Morgan so well host Nick Cannon told him that he wanted to hug him. Mandel said he was proud for bringing Newberg back as one of his Wild Card selections. Osbourne was so delighted that she buried her face with laughter during the roast.

Yet Newberg may have gone too far with his first dig in the roast which reminded the audience of reports that attempted to tie the talk show host to that British tabloid phone-hacking scandal.

Why lead with that?

"I did a lot of research," Newberg tells AOL TV. "He had been accused initially and they apologized. They were like, 'our bad.' Honestly, I"m not really concerned with it. I think it's a much bigger deal over [in England.]"

"It was something that was out there," muses Osbourne. "He just did his research and he wrote jokes. I thought he did a great job. You couldn't help but laugh."

Morgan agrees.

"I was [initially] horrified," he says. "But as it went on I found myself spontaneously laughing. It would be churlish to pretend he wasn't being funny. He was, even though I was the target. It was very good material."

Newberg appeared as if he stood a chance of advancing as the results show drew to a close, but he was sent home, leaving the judges to choose between Summerwind Skippers and The Fiddleheads for the final semi-final slot.

Still, the roast-master exits without any gripes or regrets.

"It wasn't frustrating. I got way more out of this than I thought I ever would. I don't have any weirdness. No comic has a chance to win this show ever, not because you're not a good comic but because you're competing with 'flash' and this is television. Comedy will be in a bar or a nightclub."

Newberg's 'AGT' stint makes him a natural to appear on or write for Comedy Central's roast specials.

"I would do that in a second," he says. "That'd be very fun."

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Dustin Whitaker

Hes really good. He will do fine. At least, I think so.

August 18 2011 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kathi J

I was disappointed he didn't get into the semi-finals. Frankly I find the skipping boring and think they'll be out pretty quickly.

August 18 2011 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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