Those who pay attention to Comedy Central’s Roasts may notice that the roasters largely spend the majority of the show attacking the other roasters. While Monday night’s roast of Charlie Sheen was more of the same, it also felt like the guest of honor was getting a good deal of the spotlight, both in jokes directed toward him and in the overall appreciation for the man himself. Sheen’s escapades over the last year should have provided plenty of material for the Roasters, and provide it did. While some of it felt somewhat lazy, the majority of the material from the Roast was pretty humorous, save for a couple of occasions.
Roastmaster Seth McFarlane (“Family Guy” creator) hosted the special and provided plenty of laughs, both in his own material and the other roasters making fun of him. Anthony Jeselnik provided one of the stand-out jokes directed towards the host, saying “This is your third time hosting the show, which comes as no surprise…when Seth McFarlane does something, he repeats the s*** out of it.” While it is true that McFarlane spends too much time regurgitating old jokes, he has garnered a lot of credibility in the world of comedy. No matter what one may think of him or his animated series, there’s no denying that. Hopefully he can keep that credibility.
Steve-O’s material was short, but it was still funny. He remained true to his usual personality when he ran face first into Mike Tyson’s fist (albeit a miscalculated first attempt, as his nose actually started bleeding the second time around). People may come to love him, or at least sympathize with him a little more after Amy Schumer’s blatant and ridiculous attempt at “shocking” the crowd when she uttered a bit about the death of Ryan Dunn. It was an awkward moment, and the look on Steve-O’s face reminded everyone that maybe not everything is fair game, even in comedy. While the rest of Schumer’s time was admittedly really funny, that one joke lost her the respect she probably needed. It was in poor taste, had poor timing and was just all around poor in general.
Why Mike Tyson was invited to this Roast makes little sense, but Tyson is relatively funny. Indeed, he doesn’t really have to say anything funny for it to sound funny, but some of his material Monday night really made me laugh. It got awkward when he tried reciting poetry, but other than that it was pretty solid. He was probably at his funniest though when he wasn’t at the mic. His reactions to some of the jokes were priceless. In fact, all of the comedians brought something to the table. Some more than others, of course, but for the most part, the show was quick-hitting with the jokes. Jeffrey Ross (“The only time your kids get to see you is in re-runs…Charlie, don’t you want to live to see them take their first 12 steps?”) and the brutally blunt Anthony Jeselnik (“The only reason you got on TV in the first place is because God hates Michael J. Fox”) were some of the high lights.
Some jokes were repeated in different ways, but it never got stale. This was a consistently funny roast, which can’t be said for a lot of them. The roast seemed pretty convenient, having aired not only after Sheen’s melt down but the same night as Ashton Kutcher’s premiere on Two and a Half Men, which is why it was done on that night specifically. The material was pretty much laid out for these comedians (and Mike Tyson). However, despite how funny the roasters were, Sheen deservedly took the top spot when he got up to defend himself. Sheen had been sitting there taking all of it like a champ and when he got to fire back, he didn’t disappoint. While his attacks on his roasters were applaud worthy, it was when he got sentimental that may have been his best moment of the night. He addresses his family, and finally states, “I’m done with the winning…because I’ve already won.” Indeed you have, Mr. Sheen, indeed you have.