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Comedy Central Roast

Comedy Central Roast
Genre Roast, comedy
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 13
Running time 90 minutes
Original channel Comedy Central
Picture format 4:3 SDTV (2003–2008)
16:9 HDTV (2009–present)
Original run August 10, 2003 (2003-08-10) – present

The Comedy Central Roasts are a series of celebrity roast specials which air on the Comedy Central cable network.


  • History 1
  • Roasts 2
  • Recurring roasters 3
  • Cancelled roasts 4
  • International 5
  • Awards and nominations 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Between 1998 and 2002, Comedy Central produced and televised the annual roasts of the New York Friars Club.

After the original five-year agreement expired, the network began producing its own roasts in the same spirit.[1] The first, featuring roastee Denis Leary (and produced by Leary's production company, Apostle), aired on August 10, 2003 and was the most watched program in the channel's history, excluding episodes of South Park.[2]

Some roastees have stated that certain topics are off-limits. Pamela Anderson, for example, prohibited jokes about her Hepatitis C infection. Joan Rivers disallowed jokes about her daughter, Melissa. Others, like David Hasselhoff, have imposed no limits on the topics.[3] Although Charlie Sheen initially agreed to no restrictions on his roast, he later said during an interview with Jay Leno that he requested jokes about his mother to be edited out of the broadcast.[4]

During Charlie Sheen's roast, Steve-O made the joke "The last time this many nobodies were at a roast, at least Great White was playing", which was removed from broadcast on Steve-O's request.

During Denis Leary's roast, comedian Lenny Clarke, a friend of Leary's, said there was a carton of cigarettes backstage from Bill Hicks with the message, "Wish I had gotten these to you sooner." This joke was cut from the final broadcast.


Roastee Roast master(s) Original air date U.S. Viewers
Denis Leary
Jeff Garlin August 10, 2003 3.25[5]
Featured performances and roasts by Jim Breuer, Mario Cantone, Lenny Clarke, Doctor Dre, Dane Cook, Nick DiPaolo, Adam Ferrara, Michael J. Fox, Peter Gallagher, Don Gavin, Gina Gershon, Gilbert Gottfried as Denis' Irish Wolfhound, Ed Lover, Joe Mantegna, Conan O'Brien, Colin Quinn, Rene Russo, and Christopher Walken.
Jeff Foxworthy
Bill Engvall, Ron White, & Larry the Cable Guy March 20, 2005 6.2[6]

Jeff Foxworthy was roasted by Christian Finnegan, Gilbert Gottfried as Jeff's cow, Heidi Klum, Patrice O'Neal, Anna Nicole Smith, and G. E. Smith. The hip-hop group B.A.M.A. also performed their cover of "Sweet Home Alabama"

This is not released on DVD.
Pamela Anderson
Jimmy Kimmel August 14, 2005 4.3[7]

Pamela Anderson was roasted by Courtney Love, Adam Carolla, Bea Arthur, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, Elon Gold, Eddie Griffin, Lady Bunny, Lisa Lampanelli, Tommy Lee, Jeff Ross, Sarah Silverman, Andy Dick, roastmaster Jimmy Kimmel and pre-taped appearances by David Spade and Hugh Hefner. Dennis Rodman was amongst the crowd on the stage. This roast featured a large amount of jokes and satire regarding sex directed from roasters toward fellow roasters, complete with Andy Dick appearing as Pamela's plastic surgeon and groping her breasts as part of his skit. Many of the jokes were also directed at Courtney Love for appearing to be inebriated (but claiming to have been sober for a year), Bea Arthur's masculinity, Andy Dick's ambiguous sexuality and Lisa Lampanelli's full figured body as well as her attraction towards black people.

One of the audience members was Anna Nicole Smith.
William Shatner
Jason Alexander August 20, 2006 3.6[8]

The Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner was Executive Produced by Joel Gallen, with Aaron Matthew Lee serving as Head Writer. Betty White, and Fred Willard performing the roasting duties. Special, pre-taped, guest appearances were made by Leonard Nimoy, Sandra Bullock, Ben Stiller, Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Kimmel, and Clint Howard. The Leonard Nimoy sequence which originally opened the broadcast on Comedy Central (Nimoy and Shatner were shown having an argument over the phone) was omitted from the DVD release, while many pre-taped sequences and jokes told during the roast itself were added back in after originally being cut.

Many celebrities were shown prominently in the audience, including Adrian Zmed, David Carradine, Roger Corman, Brent Spiner, Jeri Ryan, Rene Auberjonois, Rosalind Chao, Mark Valley, Carrie Fisher, Scott Hamilton, country music star Brad Paisley, Reno 911! stars Cedric Yarbrough and Niecy Nash, and stand-up comedian Brian Posehn. Women dressed as green Orion slave girls can be clearly seen tending bar.

The tagline for this roast was "The Shat hits the fan."

The Roast was nominated for a 2007 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Special.

The background music for the montage of Shatner was "Everything I Do, I Do with William Shatner" by the Star Trek-influenced rock band, Warp 11.
Flavor Flav
Katt Williams August 12, 2007 3.8[9]

The roasters were Ice-T, Jimmy Kimmel, Snoop Dogg, Greg Giraldo, Patton Oswalt, Lisa Lampanelli, Jeff Ross, Carrot Top, Sommore, and Brigitte Nielsen. Celebrities such as the cast of Flavor of Love, Ron Jeremy, comedian Luenell, comedian Red Grant, Scott Adsit from 30 Rock, Nicole "Coco" Austin, Kordell Stewart, Derek Parker, Moonlite BunnyRanch owner Dennis Hof, and Chyna were in the audience.

The roast was produced by Joel Gallen.
Bob Saget
John Stamos August 16, 2008 2.2[10]

The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget was announced on June 26, 2008[11] and first aired on August 16, 2008.[12]

Saget's Full House co-star John Stamos was the roastmaster. The roast included Susie Essman, Greg Giraldo, Brian Posehn, Jim Norton, Jeff Garlin as fictional Full House executive producer Saul Schwartz (though he broke character at the end), Gilbert Gottfried, Jon Lovitz, Norm Macdonald, Cloris Leachman, and Jeff Ross.[13] Pre-taped appearances were delivered by Sarah Silverman, Lewis Black, and Don Rickles. Full House co-stars Lori Loughlin, Jodie Sweetin, and Dave Coulier were shown in the audience along with Growing Pains star Alan Thicke, Rex Lee of Entourage and Quantum Leap & Star Trek: Enterprise star Scott Bakula throughout the roast. Alonzo Bodden was also in the audience. Artie Lange was scheduled but did not show at the roast because he had entered a rehabilitation center.

It was later revealed that Saget was highly offended by the jokes aimed at Candace Cameron and the Olsen Twins.[14] The DVD was released on December 30, 2008.

Norm Macdonald's set was notable in that it avoided racy content and featured intentionally cheesy and antiquated jokes.[15] He later revealed that the material was taken from a book given to him by his father that contains jokes meant to be told at retirement parties circa 1950, and that when the roast's showrunner asked him to be "shocking," he decided to go in the opposite direction of the usual roast humor.[16]
Larry the Cable Guy
Lisa Lampanelli[17] March 16, 2009 4.1[7]

The Comedy Central Roast of Larry the Cable Guy was taped on March 1, 2009.[18] This marks the first time that a previous roastmaster has become a roastee. On February 12, 2009, the roasters were announced to include Nick DiPaolo, Jeff Foxworthy, Greg Giraldo, Toby Keith, Jeffrey Ross, Reno Collier, Maureen McCormick, Warren Sapp, and Gary Busey. Bill Engvall made a pre-taped appearance.

This was the first time that a roast was broadcast in 16:9 high-definition.

This is not released on DVD.
Joan Rivers
Kathy Griffin August 9, 2009 2.8[7]

The Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers was taped on July 26, 2009.[19] The roasters included Carl Reiner, Gilbert Gottfried, Mario Cantone, Whitney Cummings, Tom Arnold, Brad Garrett, Robin Quivers, Greg Giraldo, and Jeff Ross. Donald Trump made a pre-taped appearance and Melissa Rivers came from the audience to roast her mother. Other audience members included Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Alan Thicke, TJ Miller, Chris Pratt and Anna Faris.

This is not released on DVD. It was released on the Comedy Central Emmy Consideration DVD sent only to members of the Consideration program.
David Hasselhoff
Seth MacFarlane August 15, 2010[20] 3.5[21]

Roasters included William Daniels reprised his role as the voice of KITT. Seth MacFarlane was the roast master and was his first appearance on the show. The audience included John Slattery, Craig Robinson, Christina Milian, Hasselhoff's two daughters, Hayley and Taylor, Hulk Hogan's son, Nick, and fellow Baywatch alumni Alexandra Paul, Nicole Eggert, Gena Lee Nolin, Traci Bingham, Angelica Bridges and Jeremy Jackson. To close the show, Hasselhoff sang "This Is The Moment" from the musical Jekyll & Hyde, which he formerly starred in.[24]

This was also the final roast in which Greg Giraldo participated. Giraldo died on September 29, 2010.

The DVD of the special was released in January 2011.
Donald Trump
Seth MacFarlane March 15, 2011[25] 3.476[26]

The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump was originally taped on March 9, 2011.[27] Roasters included Whitney Cummings, Lisa Lampanelli, Jeffrey Ross, Marlee Matlin (interpreted by friend and business partner Jack Jason), Gilbert Gottfried, Anthony Jeselnik, Larry King, Snoop Dogg, and Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.[28] Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump, Ice-T, Russell Simmons, John Legend, Lindsay Lohan, Joel Madden and David Foster were in the audience. The roast consisted of jokes toward Trump's hairstyle, his show The Apprentice, and his family. Jokes were also made about Jeselnik's fame (or lack thereof), Matlin's deafness, King's age, and Jersey Shore. Several roasters paid respect to Greg Giraldo, a Comedy Central Roast regular, who died on September 29, 2010. Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino was highly criticized for his performance; as a result, Comedy Central pulled several of his jokes from the television airing of the roast.[29] This roast was dedicated in memory of Greg Giraldo. This was also the first time someone served as roastmaster more than once, as Seth MacFarlane also roasted David Hasselhoff.

This is not released on DVD.
Charlie Sheen
Seth MacFarlane September 19, 2011[30] 6.4[31]

The roast was taped in Los Angeles on September 10, 2011, and was broadcast on September 19, 2011, exactly one hour after the premiere of Ashton Kutcher's first episode of replacing Sheen on Two and a Half Men.[30] Roasters included Mike Tyson, Jeff Ross, Anthony Jeselnik, Steve-O,[32] William Shatner, Kate Walsh, Jon Lovitz, Patrice O'Neal and Amy Schumer. Slash made an appearance playing his guitar during Sheen's entrance.[33] Harvey Levin from was scheduled to appear but ended up not doing so. During an interview on The View, Sheen's ex-wife, Denise Richards stated that she hadn't been invited to appear and, while she thought roasting her ex-husband could be humorous and that he would be able to take it, she feared it would have a negative impact on their daughters.[34] Sheen's famous family members, Emilio Estevez and Martin Sheen, were unable to attend as they were promoting their film The Way,[35] although Sheen appeared in a commercial for the roast, spoofing his film Apocalypse Now. Brooke Mueller, Aaron Paul, Maria Menounos, Corbin Bernsen, Duane Chapman, Michael Boatman, Kristin Cavallari, Patrick Warburton and Richard Kind appeared in the audience. Seth MacFarlane made his third appearance as the roastmaster. A montage of Sheen's film and television work were featured, though due to legal reasons, clips of his tenure on Two and a Half Men were never used. In the UK and Turkey, on the network which Two and a Half Men airs, The Roast of Charlie Sheen aired directly after Kutcher's first Two and a Half Men episode. This was O'Neal's final television appearance before his death on November 29, 2011.

With 6.4 million viewers in its original debut, this roast was the highest rated Comedy Central Roast to date.[31]
Roseanne Barr
Jane Lynch August 12, 2012[36] 2.644[37]
The roast was taped in Los Angeles on August 4, 2012 and aired the following week on August 12. Jane Lynch served as roast master.[36] Roasters included Jeff Ross, Katey Sagal, Carrie Fisher, Ellen Barkin, Anthony Jeselnik, Seth Green, Amy Schumer, Wayne Brady and Gilbert Gottfried, and also featured a surprise appearance by Roseanne's ex-husband Tom Arnold. Sarah Chalke, Blake Anderson, Alicia Goranson, Michael Fishman, Chris Colfer and Fred Willard were in attendance. Sharon Stone had been announced as one of the roasters, but dropped out for unknown reasons prior to the event. The final surprise of the night was Roseanne's choice to close out the show by legitimately singing the last two lines of the Star Spangled Banner, in an effort to finally redeem herself for her infamous and controversial rendition of the American anthem at a nationally broadcast baseball game in 1990.
James Franco
Seth Rogen September 2, 2013 3.108[38]
On July 9, 2013, Franco announced that he would be on the next Comedy Central Roast.[39] The Roast aired on Labor Day, September 2nd. The roastmaster was Seth Rogen.[40] Roasters included Aziz Ansari, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Nick Kroll, Natasha Leggero, Jeff Ross, Andy Samberg, and Sarah Silverman.[40]

Recurring roasters

The below table features any roasters who have appeared on more than one Comedy Central Roast. "RM" indicates that they were the roastmaster for that roast. As of the James Franco roast, the most frequent roaster has been Jeff Ross, who has appeared in all but the first two roasts, for a total of 11.
Denis Leary (2003) Jeff Foxworthy (2005) Pamela Anderson (2005) William Shatner (2006) Flavor Flav (2007) Bob Saget (2008) Larry the Cable Guy (2009) Joan Rivers (2009) David Hasselhoff (2010) Donald Trump (2011) Charlie Sheen (2011) Roseanne Barr (2012) James Franco (2013)
Tom Arnold Yes Yes
Mario Cantone Yes Yes
Whitney Cummings Yes Yes Yes
Andy Dick Yes Yes
Nick DiPaolo Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bill Engvall Yes RM Yes
Jeff Garlin Yes RM Yes
Greg Giraldo Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gilbert Gottfried Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Anthony Jeselnik Yes Yes Yes
Jimmy Kimmel Yes RM Yes
Lisa Lampanelli Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes RM Yes Yes
Jon Lovitz Yes Yes
Seth MacFarlane Yes RM Yes RM Yes RM
Patrice O'Neal Yes Yes
Patton Oswalt Yes Yes
Colin Quinn Yes Yes
Jeff Ross Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Amy Schumer Yes Yes
Sarah Silverman Yes Yes Yes
Snoop Dogg Yes Yes

Cancelled roasts

In 2008, a roast for musician Willie Nelson was planned to coincide with the release of his box set, One Hell of a Ride, but was ultimately cancelled, according to Jeff Ross.[41][42][43]

A roast for musician Kid Rock was announced in November 2010 and scheduled for January 2011, but was later replaced by the Donald Trump roast.[44] Rock's roast was rescheduled for August 2011,[45] but was replaced again, this time by Charlie Sheen's roast.[30] Both Kid Rock roasts were reportedly replaced because Rock insists on them taping the roast in Detroit, which Comedy Central wouldn't agree to.


The first international roast aired on Comedy Central New Zealand on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 and the roastee was prominent Māori comedian, Mike King.[46] Also roasted in New Zealand was rugby commentator, ex rugby player, and ex of Miss Universe Lorraine Downes, Murray Mexted.

Comedy Central Africa also roasted veteran South African performer, actor and songwriter Steve Hofmeyr on September 11, 2012. South African comedian Trevor Noah was the roastmaster for the evening.

In April 2014, Comedy Central Africa hosted a second roast and roasted South African businessman Kenny Kunene. The Roastmaster was British comedian Jimmy Carr[47] and included a dais of local personalities. Roasters included comedians John Vlismas and Tumi Morake, socialites Khanyi Mbau and Somizi Mhlongo, TV presenter Dineo Ranaka, OFM (South Africa)'s former host Rian van Heerden and music personalities PJ Powers and Jack Parow.[48]

In May 2013, Comedy Central Latin America roasted Mexican comedian Héctor Suárez, hosted by his own son Héctor Suárez Gomís.

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result
2007 Primetime Emmy Award[49] Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special Comedy Central Roast of William Shatner Nominated

See also


  1. ^ Frank DiGiacomo (2003-10-12). "Jack Carter, Smothers Brothers at Rip-Roaring Friars Roast". New York Observer. Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  2. ^ "Comedy Central Milestones". Retrieved 2007-08-15. 
  3. ^ Rosenblum, Emma (2010-08-16). "Lisa Lampanelli on Last Night’s David Hasselhoff Roast: ‘I Only Make Fun of People That I Like’".  
  4. ^ Jay Leno. "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – All Videos – Newest – Video". NBC. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  5. ^ Fitzgerald, Toni. "So everyone shows up to roast Denis Leary".  
  6. ^ Lisa, de Moraes (16 March 2011). "Comedy Central roasts Donald Trump [Updated with ratings]".  
  7. ^ a b c Levine, Stuart (11 August 2009). "Joan Rivers’ roast dips in ratings".  
  8. ^ "Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006". Cynopsis Media. 26 August 2006. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Skene, Traci; Mckim, Brian (16 August 2007). "Jeff Ross roasts Flavor Flav CORRECTION". Shecky Magazine. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  10. ^ Multi Channel News Staff (19 August 2008). "Comedy Central Fans Applaud Saget Roast".  
  11. ^ Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget Announced | Comedy Central Insider – The Comedy Blog for Comedy Fans
  12. ^ The Comedy Central Roast of Bob Saget Official Site | Comedy Central
  13. ^ Matt Tobey (2008-07-14). "'"BREAKING: John Stamos Announced as Bob Saget Roast Master!.  
  14. ^ Daly, Sean (2008-08-04). "'"BOB SAGET ROAST 'OVER THE TOP.  
  15. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  16. ^ "Norm MacDonald Interview: Part 2". The Big Lead. 2011-04-30. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  17. ^ Official site
  18. ^ Comedy Central to Rip More Than Flannel Sleeves – Network to Roast Larry the Cable Guy
  19. ^ "COMEDY CENTRAL TO ROAST COMEDIC ICON JOAN RIVERS" The Futon Critic. April 8, 2009
  20. ^ Enter your name. "Breaking: Comedy Central Announces Roast of David Hasselhoff! | Comedy Central Insider | Funny, TV and Comedy Blog". Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  21. ^ Szalai, Georg (15 August 2010). "David Hasselhoff roast a ratings hit".  
  22. ^ Seth MacFarlane will lead David Hasselhoff Roast
  23. ^ Meet the Roasters | The Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselfhoff |
  24. ^ The Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff; Comedy Central; August 15, 2010
  25. ^ "Home | Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump". Comedy Central. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  26. ^ Gorman, Bill (16 March 2011). "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Teen Mom' On Fire; 'Donald Trump Roast,' 'Tosh.0,' 'Lights Out,' & More".  
  27. ^ "Comedy Central to Roast Donald Trump – Ratings | TVbytheNumbers". Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  28. ^ Larry King, Snoop Dogg and The Situation Among Donald Trump Roasters
  29. ^ "The Situation's Trump roast jokes pulled". Naomi Rainey. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  30. ^ a b c Tobery, Matt (July 5, 2011). "Comedy Central to Roast Charlie Sheen". Comedy Central Insider. Comedy Central. Retrieved July 5, 2011. 
  31. ^ a b Seidman, Robert (20 September 2011). "Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen Averages 6.4 Million Viewers". TV By the Numbers. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  32. ^ Tobey, Matt (August 29, 2011). "Mike Tyson, Jeffrey Ross, Steve-O, Anthony Jeselnik, and Harvey Levin Announced for Charlie Sheen Roast". Comedy Central Insider. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  33. ^ Basker, Ken; Serpe, Gina (September 8, 2011). "Charlie Sheen's Celebrity Roasters Revealed – Did an Ex-Wife Make the Cut?". E! Online. Retrieved September 8, 2011. 
  34. ^ Video on YouTube
  35. ^ "Martin Sheen & Emilio Estevez Talk Charlie Sheen". YouTube. 2011-08-22. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  37. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (14 August 2012). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Blood' Beats 'Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne' + 'Falling Skies', NASCAR, 'Army Wives' & More".  
  38. ^ Bibel, Sara (3 September 2013). "Monday Cable Ratings: 'Comedy Central Roast of James Franco' Wins Night, College Football, 'WWE Raw', 'T.I. & Tiny', 'Basketball Wives', 'Teen Mom' & More".  
  39. ^ "Comedy Central roast - wsup - James Franco - Instagram".  
  40. ^ a b "Comedy Central Homepage".  
  41. ^ Halperin, Shirley. "Willie Nelson Comedy Central roast is postponed", Entertainment Weekly, March 11, 2008
  43. ^ Ross, Jeffrey (2009). I Only Roast the Ones I Love. New York: Gallery Books. p. 190.  
  44. ^ "Kid Rock plans 40th birthday roast", San Francisco Chronicle, November 3, 2010
  45. ^ "Comedy Central to Roast Kid Rock". Comedy Central Insider. Comedy Central. May 9, 2011. Retrieved May 9, 2011. 
  46. ^ "Roast of Mike King | Show | Comedy Central New Zealand". 2010-11-23. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  47. ^ "Jimmy Carr To Spice Up "The Comedy Central Roast Of Kenny Kunene Fired Up By Nando’S"|Jimmy Carr| News". Comedy Central Africa. 2014-02-13. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  48. ^ "Final Roasters Revealed!| News". Comedy Central Africa. 2014-03-17. Retrieved 2014-05-17. 
  49. ^ Retrieved 2007-09-16

External links

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