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A roast is an event in which a person is subjected to a public presentation of comedic insults, praise, outlandish true and untrue stories, and heartwarming tributes as a mock counter to a toast. The implication is that the roastee is able to take the jokes in good humor and not as serious criticism or insult, and it is seen by some as a great honor to be roasted. The individual is surrounded by friends, fans, and well-wishers, who can receive some of the same treatment as well during the course of the evening. The party and presentation itself are both referred to as a "roast." The host of the event is called the "roastmaster." Anyone who is honored in such a way is said to have been "roasted."

The Friars Club[edit]

"FRIARS KID MR. HARRIS: Veteran Theatrical Manager Butt of Jokes at Dinner" read the headline of the December 10, 1910 issue of the New York Tribune. In 1949 with Maurice Chevalier as the guest of honor, The Friars Club held their first "Roast." [1]

Dean Martin's Celebrity Roasts[edit]

Dean Martin hosted a series of roasts on television in 1974 as part of the final season of his self-titled variety show. After the show was cancelled, NBC decided to schedule a series of The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast specials from the former MGM Grand Hotel and Casino (now Bally's Las Vegas) in the Ziegfeld Room through 1984. The humor at these broadcast tributes was far tamer than the sometimes extremely vulgar and explicit language of the private, non-televised ones.

Comedy Central[edit]

Main article: Comedy Central Roast

The Comedy Central TV channel occasionally broadcasts roasts of celebrities as well as comedians, both some of the Friars Club and their own. To date, Comedy Central has aired roasts of Drew Carey, Jerry Stiller, Rob Reiner, Hugh Hefner, Chevy Chase, Denis Leary, Jeff Foxworthy, Pamela Anderson, William Shatner, Flavor Flav, Bob Saget, Larry the Cable Guy, Joan Rivers, David Hasselhoff, Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen, Roseanne Barr and James Franco.


The White House Correspondents' Association and Radio and Television Correspondents' Association have annual dinners that, in some years, feature a comedy roasting of the U.S. President. Don Imus at the RTCA in 1996 and Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner have received particular attention for their biting remarks during their speeches.[2][3][4]

United Kingdom[edit]

Main article: A Comedy Roast

Many attempts have been made to adapt the format to a British audience. Channel 4 launched the latest British version on 7 April 2010 with A Comedy Roast, with initial victims being Bruce Forsyth, Sharon Osbourne and Chris Tarrant.[5][6]


  1. ^ "History // Friars Club". Friars Club. Retrieved 2014-09-26. 
  2. ^ John Hendren (2007-04-11). "Imus Clout Prompts Political Support". ABC News. Retrieved April 11, 2007. 
  3. ^ Sandoval, Greg. "Video of Presidential roast attracts big Web audience". Cnet News. Retrieved 2006-05-08. 
  4. ^ Rich, Frank (November 5, 2006). "Throw the Truthiness Bums Out". The New York Times. Retrieved 2006-11-22. 
  5. ^ Armstrong, Stephen (5 April 2010). "Channel 4 launches comedy roast shows". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 8 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "A Comedy Roast - Series & Episodes". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 April 2010. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roast_(comedy) — Please support Wikipedia.
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94 news items

Huffington Post (satire)
Thu, 22 May 2014 11:00:33 -0700

Spike TV has revealed a first look at Tina Fey and Amy Poehler's roast tribute to legendary comedian Don Rickles -- and it's packed with the charm and laughs people have come to expect from the dynamic duo. Fey revealed her and Poehler's involvement in ...
Paste Magazine
Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:35:04 -0700

Once again, Last Comic Standing has managed to impress, being far funnier than I had come to expect. There are so many different ways the show could have screwed up the weirdly artificial Comedy Central-style neo-roast, but Thursday's episode ended up ...
Huffington Post (satire)
Thu, 19 Sep 2013 11:43:01 -0700

With the success of past Comedy Central roasts of James Franco and Roseanne Barr, the Viacom basic cable network announced Monday it will be continuing its series with Comedy Central's Roast of Stephen Hawking set to air in early October. Hawking ...
Wed, 25 Jun 2014 11:25:40 -0700

Well, fortunately, someone has decided to put all those clips together for us into a non-stop, hour-long video of jokes from every roast Comedy Central has ever aired. It's an incredible time-suck that features all kinds of dated cultural references ...
Channel 24
Thu, 30 Jan 2014 05:47:22 -0800

Schuster told Comedy Central (DStv 122) last week that he is no longer doing the Roast. Comedy Central executives immediately called Kenny Kunene and asked him to help - South Africa's "Sushi King" has always been on Comedy Central's radar as a ...


Mon, 28 Oct 2013 14:22:21 -0700

In 1998, Comedy Central began airing the annual roast from the New York Friars Club, and after 5 years Comedy Central launched its own celebrity roasts. Over the annual roast, Comedy Central has produced the roasts of several celebrities including Hugh ...


Tue, 18 Mar 2014 10:42:06 -0700

Taylor will line up in front of a panel of friends who will honour and lampoon him at the Rock & Roll Roast Comedy Series on May 15 at LC Pavillion in Columbus, Ohio. The roast will be led by Sebastian Bach with Scott Ian of Anthrax and Taylor's own ...

Cinema Blend

Cinema Blend
Tue, 13 Aug 2013 08:36:37 -0700

The Roast was originally set to tape on August 18 at Culver Studios, but in addition to announcing the comedians and actors set to be in attendance for Franco's Roast, Comedy Central announced that the taping has been rescheduled to Sunday, August 25, ...

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