Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Videolist: Highlights from Comedy Central's James Franco Roast

Last night, Comedy Central aired their Roast of James Franco. Taped a week earlier in Los Angeles, the event featured comedians and actors Seth Rogen, Aziz Ansari, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Sarah Silverman, Jeff Ross, Natasha Leggero, Nick Kroll, and Jonah Hill gathering to make fun of Franco and each other. While the centerpiece and the dais were filled with more respected celebrities than your usual Comedy Central roast, the 90-minute special was still just a collection of jokes on the same subjects being repeated over and over (this year's big topics were "Jonah Hill is fat" and "James Franco is gay maybe?"). The far and away highlight of the night was Andy Samberg's performance. Samberg broke from the format and did his segment as a tongue-in-cheek version of an overconfident roaster who couldn't stop talking about how hard he was roasting everyone despite never really saying anything with his jokes. Harkening back to Norm Macdonald's performance at the Bob Saget roast, Samberg's ended up being a super funny bit and a nice intermission from the zillions of Jonah Hill fat jokes. Samberg's SNL cohort Bill Hader also excelled by breaking from convention and instead came out as a character: a gravel-voiced, gray-haired man called The President of Hollywood.

Check out highlights from everybody's roast performances below:

Seth Rogen

Andy Samberg

Bill Hader

Nick Kroll

Jonah Hill

Natasha Leggero

Jeff Ross

Aziz Ansari

Sarah Silverman

James Franco

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  • darryl

    Andy was the worst part of the night. You could hear the show screech to a halt.

    • cwolf20

      I think Andy fancies himself something like Norm McDonald. His "non-joke" bit is actually funny for a couple minutes, but when you have to drag it on for 5-10 minutes, it can get boring because there's not a lot of places you can go with it.

      It's like a decent SNL sketch that just gets ran into the ground because it was good for the first 3 minutes.

      • imjustbettr

        I always wanted to like Andy and I still do, I just don't think his idea of comedy meshes with what people want. or maybe his kind of comedy needs the right format? idk, but i hope Brooklyn 99 is good. I mean i want it to be good, but Samberg might kill it for me.

        • robthom

          That what makes Andy great.

          Comedy that "people want" sucks.

          • imjustbettr

            Oh diversity is definitely a good thing. I may not have thought his bit during the Franco roast was the funniest, but i still enjoyed it since it wasn't just the same stand up about jews and gays.

        • theundertow

          Loved Samberg back in the day – the needs to stick with the Lonely Island crew.

      • robthom

        Andy is definitely one of the more unique and honest voices in humor in awhile.

        He and Norm are similar in that.

        Even when Andy lays an egg its got more heart and soul in it than 1000 other people who think that they're funny.

    • robthom

      I thought the show screeching to a halt was the highlight of the evening.

      It was brilliant.

  • Rex Riley

    So little collective talent. Watch the old Dean Martin roasts – never any profanity, no crawling into the gutter again and again, and no need for teleprompters. This just isn't comedy, not even close.

    • cwolf20

      Back in MY DAY, we had to walk 20 miles to school. Uphill both ways.

      • RobSD

        Did our homework on a shovel.

        • http://livingaudio.co/ Saïd Martínez-Calderón

          …and we liked it that way!

    • Craig Stephen Tower

      If you mean the tamed "network" roasts Dean did- yeah, this seems pretty profane.
      If you mean the actual, original Friar's Club Roasts they were based on… this is a freakin' tea party in comparison. Old Skool was pretty blue when the cameras weren't rolling.

      • Rex Riley

        Good point. But I think there was a bit more tact. It's like profanity today. Used to be used to slip in a zinger – now it's just everyday language.

    • RobSD

      Maybe you should go back and watch them again. I saw a few clips recently and they were not very funny. A lot of things that today comedians would describe as "hacky".

      • robthom

        Its absurdly hacky.
        And its also funny all over again but from a different perspective then they intended it.

        And one day they'll say the same thing about the raciest, smartest most groundbreaking comedians today.

        Because its accumulative.

        Everybody builds on the best of what was done before them.

    • robthom

      I do find ole Deano and the cronies humorous,
      but not for the same reasons that they think they are.

    • jimbob

      You noticed the teleprompter too!

  • mike

    by far the worst roast yet DAMN i can't believe I just watched all these clips

    • RobSD

      Needs Gilbert, Dipaolo and Giraldo.

  • RJ

    I thought it was hilarious. Yes, a few to many "Jonah is fat" jokes but I enjoyed it.

  • my score: yolo/10

    Obviously I don't know how old you guys are, but as an 18 year old boy,I know I'm right in the target audience for this roast (which was sponsored by GTA V and like, taco bell and axe bodyspray or someth'n) and I fuckin' loved it. Well. Most of it, anyway. But definitely Samberg.

    Maybe it wasn't good, I guess?, but it sure as shit hit the mark.

    • ThisGuySays

      I'm 30 and I thought it was fantastic. I could have done without Samberg… but the rest was great.

    • my score: yolo/10

      But I got real sick of the racist, homophobic and "Everybody here is Jewish!" jokes pretty much immediately. none of that shit was funny OR clever.
      Franco had this one joke where he just STRAIGHT UP called Aziz a monkey. The joke was literally: 'In Oz there was a little monkey following me around. I don't know why. Aziz, why were you following me around?" When I heard that I literally like sat up in my chair and said "What the fuck?" That's like '40s racism.
      Also, it's like the third time I've heard Nick Kroll describe Samberg as "better looking more successful me". They're nothing alike at all. Nick once said in a podcast (I think CBB) that he didn't get into SNL because Samberg was auditioning at the same time, and they were too similar. Nick, they hired Samberg's ENTIRE sketch group, I don't think variety was an issue.

      That's all the stuff that's been bugging me since my last comment.

  • pickman

    I think the subject matter was too thin too gain any traction. Disappointed with all the "racist" and "homophobic" because it was lazy.

  • robthom

    I really have a little bit of a hard time getting into these roasts.

    I know they're supposed to be racy and stuff, but the way everybody is expected to good naturedly laugh along at everything (and make sure the camera cuts to everybody laughing along) is almost as obnoxious as a laugh track.

    They're funny sometimes (Jamie Foxx crucifying that one guy comes to mind), but it seems like more often not just by their own traditional nature.

  • BetterCallBobLobLaw

    I get what Samberg was going for but his timing and smugness killed it. Norm Is so much better at the Irony. Samberg just seems smuggish and unfunny. They used trick editing to make him seem like he did ok. You could see the crowd was dead in wide shots and they were cutting away to show closeups of celebs laughing during other parts of the show

  • nelroy

    Not sure why James Franco was being roasted…I dont get it. Either way, I would submit that the 2 comediENNES had the best routines (at least theyre the ones that had me chuckling the most, although, I did miss Jeff Ross, who's often the best). Sarah was hardcore as always but I honestly think the underrated Natasha Leggero had the best zingers. She's good. I like her. Sue me.

  • timmy

    Samburg is the only clip that I watched more than once. Unconventional and hilarious.