Never one to pass up an opportunity to make an easy joke that requires little to no effort, Family Guy and American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane has agreed to host the Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen, which is set to air in September against the season premiere of CBS’s “Two and a Half Ashtons Men.”
“In addition to his sharp wit, Seth is way more suave and sophisticated than we are,” said Kent Alterman, head of original programming and production at Comedy Central. “We continue to try and soil him.”
They’re joking, of course, because there’s nothing suave or sophisticated about Comedy Central’s Roasts, which choose easy targets – often those that are drug-addled and/or mentally ill but sometimes legit comedic legends – and pepper them with B-grade jokes about their most obvious and public failings.
It’s almost worse when they do it to someone legit, like Joan Rivers, who was actually legitimately hurt by the fact that the Roast reduced her and her long, storied career to a punchline. But there’s still something wrong with doing it to someone like Sheen, who is only getting it because of all the terrible things he’s done and the bad behavior he’s exhibited over the course of the past year.
Roasts aren’t supposed to be an opportunity to tear down a legend or pick apart an easy target. There’s supposed to be an art to it. The New York Friar’s Club exemplifies this with their roasts. The motto, “we only roast the ones we love,” isn’t an excuse, it’s an explanation. The jokes are biting, but not cruel. They zing, but don’t sting. They’re blue, not black.
I wouldn’t necessarily say I hold anything against Comedy Central or anyone that is willing to stand up and laugh about Charlie’s coke habit or call Joan Rivers old for the umpteenth time, because I get it. Money is money. I just wish they could find a way to earn it by doing a Roast that is more keeping in the tradition and that especially puts more deserving “targets” up for public display.
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