• Punchline Mag analysis: Do modern comedy roasts need more class?

    As we reported exclusively last week, Comedy Central’s plans for a roast of Kid Rock this summer were cancelled. So, one can’t help but wonder which pop culture icon Comedy Central will lay their sights on next. People so enjoyed the likes of Anthony Jeselnik (see below), Gilbert Gottfried and Whitney Cummings taking down The Donald a notch. Who wouldn’t want to see a similar thrashing, leveled at, say, Lady Gaga or every one of the Kardashians.

    What many people forget about comedy roasts is that, despite their no-subject-goes-untouched approach, they were originally done in honor or respect real respect not the contemporary feigned type — of someone. With the New York Friars Club and Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roasts, there was a certain level of appreciation for the guest of honor. Everyone involved knew and liked each other and most of those being roasted in that era had some semblance of being able to fire back insults.

    The Comedy Central roasts go straight for the subject’s throat. Roasters take on the likes of Pamela Anderson, Flava Flav and David Hasselhoff. And let’s face it, the roasting isn’t done out of honor for the person so much as it is to verbally burn someone that’s genuinely hated by a lot of people. And most of the roasters don’t personally know the roastee. During the Hasselhoff roast, for example, comedian Jeffrey Ross got Jerry Springer riled up after a dark, yet well written Holocaust joke about Springer’s survivor parents.

    Springer eventually calmed down. But the more important point here is that roasts aren’t what they used to be and subsequently they have become an acceptable platform, whether or not the actual person deserves it or not, for unbridled hate. Ross has even further commented in interviews that he’d rather take on less obvious figures for roasts like Quentin Tarantino.

    So, what do you think a roast should be? What type of person should be roasted? Should it be similar to a hate-filled comment thread on YouTube or should a roast be a more classy affair?

    Jake Kroeger

    Jake Kroeger has dedicated his life, for better or probably worse, to comedy. Starting and continually running the Comedy Bureau, a voice for LA comedy, by himself, he also writes and performs stand-up comedy in LA and watches more live comedy than is probably humanly tolerable. He's been a daily contributor to Punchline Magazine, now Laughspin.com because he loves and believes in comedy so much. Said of Kroeger, "...without his dangerously insane, unhealthy work ethic, certain comics would not have any press at all."

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