MY (BELATED) THOUGHTS ON THE TRUMP ROAST

To say that I’ve been neglecting this blog lately is to say that Steven Tyler has been sort of neglecting Aerosmith lately.

Oh well.

A lot has happened since I last chimed in with my thoughts on a small viral music video:

  • Said video has gone from roughly 40,000 views to over 60,000,000.
  • Michael Gough (Alfred in Tim Burton’s Batman films) died, and Liz Taylor followed once she knew she’d have a butler up there.
  • Ke$ha contributed to Japan’s relief by postponing her tour there.
  • And finally, Comedy Central aired their Roast of Donald Trump.

Now, this was the first roast to be held since Greg Giraldo passed away in September, and watching a roast without Giraldo was just like watching a roast without Giraldo: it just wasn’t as funny. Fellow comics and roast mainstays like Jeff Ross and Lisa Lampanelli brought their A-games, but the gaping hole left by Giraldo’s absence proved that he really was the MVP of previous roasts.

THE (PRETTY) GOOD:

  • Jeff Ross was reliably solid in his first time closing a televised roast.
  • Snoop Dogg, who, after previously appearing on the Roast of Flavor Flav,  continued to have one of the best deliveries among the non-comedians (compared to, say, Larry King).
  • Lisa Lampanelli was good, but lost a point for pretty much repeating the same joke Whitney Cummings made at the Hasselhoff roast last year.
  • And Anthony Jeselnik had some good ones, and it was good to see a previous roast writer get bumped up to face time.

THE BAD:

  • Whitney Cummings, who’s easy on the eyes but has a voice that can double as a contraceptive. It didn’t seem like Anthony Jeselnik was really joking when he exclaimed, “Whitney Cummings is one of the hottest acts in show business right now…for no reason whatsoever. I mean, Whitney’s had more undeserved opportunities than a Native American applying for college.”
  • Larry King, who despite having some good jokes written for him, seemed unrehearsed and at times vaguely uncomfortable reading them.
  • I really don’t feel like I need to elaborate on The Situation, since his gargantuan bombing has probably been the most talked-about portion of the roast. I will say this, however: While the guy was clearly bombed out of his skull and delivered his lines about as well as Michael J. Fox sits still, there remains the sneaking feeling that the writers gave him shitty jokes on purpose. After all, the writers for these shows (the ones who supply the jokes for any “roaster” who’s not a professional comedian) are typically pretty sharp, yet most of the jokes The Situation was given were pretty shitty to begin with, no matter who was delivering them.
  • Trump’s reactions. It was clear the man would rather be anywhere else, and not because of the insults lobbed his way; he didn’t seem insulted, he just looked like he’d rather be at home burning piles of money.

THE PREDICTABLE:

  • As expected, jokes about Trump’s hair, wealth, and ego dominated most of the roasters’ material. Some people have complained how the modern-day roasts spend more time roasting the other people on the dais than the main roastee. This is why.
  • A couple of half-tributes to Greg Giraldo, though the best tribute would be to match the potency of a typical Giraldo roast, which nobody was able to live up to.
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