Best Roasts

June 10, 2021

Best Roasts

There are a handful of things that pretty much every person wants to be in life, but sitting at the top of the list, there's - rich (yes please), good-looking (duhh), and theGOATat roasting. No, we're not talking about being the world's greatest turkey roaster, although if that's what you aspire to be, we're all about it --and informally invite you to Sunday night's dinner.

What we're actually talking about, though, is the infamous comedy roast. You know, where friends shower other friends (or mortal enemies) in some of the most horrible insults imaginable, ranging from hilarious one-liners and witty remarks to jaw-dropping put-downs and vicious low blows. 

You see, the concept of a roast is simple. You invite someone -- the "guest of honor" -- and you rally up all their besties and enemies (the "roasters") in the same room with an audience. And then you insult the living daylights out of them. Over and over again. Nothing off the table, no holds barred. Just for balance, the roasters unload a slew of insults at each other too, because,why not,and to help soften the blow, you pay a somewhat decent compliment here and there. 

And that fam is what's known as aroast! It's basically what every group of besties do, but this time, with cameras. That said, you might think that shelling out insults to properly roast someone is a walk in the park, but it actually takes quite a bit of skill to ensure that a roast doesn't degenerate into an incredibly awkward unfunny insult-fest. There's an incredibly thin line between insult comedy and just being, well, ad*ck. But if you're able to walk that tightrope, though, the outcome isglorious.

So, what are some of the best roasts of all time? We'll tell you. 

But First, Here’s a Quick History Lesson on the Comedy Roast 🔥 

Believe it or not, the history of professional roasts dates all the way back to the fifties, when a private gentleman's organization known as the Friars’ Club gave its members a golden opportunity to put on tuxedos, enjoy a meal, smoke cigars, but more importantly, hand out cheap shots and low blows at other gents. 

Where it All Started: The Friars’ Club 

The club was founded in 1904, but it wasn't until 1910 when a headline in the paper documented the early days of the wildly unorthodox dinners with the headline: "FRIARS KID MR. HARRIS: Veteran Theatrical Manager Butt of Jokes at Dinner." These unbelievably vicious yet undeniably hilarious dinners were something that no one had ever thought to do before, and as word got out about them, they quickly rose in popularity, with other organizations starting to hop on the sarcastic bandwagon. 

That said, it didn't take long for the dinners to start getting a wee bit out of hand with the roasters continuously upping the ante with cruder jokes and saltier insults. In fact, in the '40s, the Friars' Club wondered if they should pump the brakes on it or have a totally separate event completely dedicated to roasting. 

They went with the latter.

OK -- So, When Was the First “Official” Roast? 

That actually didn't take place until 1949, with Maurice Chevalier agreeing to be the first victim, err, we mean, "guest of honor." While many of the roasts were initially for men only -- when the one and only Humphrey Bogart was ripped to pieces in an epic roast in 1955, his beloved wife sent the Friars' an audiotape that played her message:

"This is Lauren Bacall, the uninvited guest, you rat bastards" -- they would later change the rules, finally opening their doors to the ladies.   

Of course, the roasts were all in the name of affectionate (even if super aggressive) fun, where self-esteem was eviscerated and grown men were reduced to tears of laughter over the insanely funny and wildly crude commentaries targeting their marriages, careers, sex lives, physical attributes and anything else the roastees could come up with -- nothing was off-limits. 

All the roastees had to do was recite the all-mighty club's mantra over and over to each guest of honor -- "We only roast the ones we love" -- and that makes all the insults, no matter how jarring they may be, perfectly okay and all in good fun.  

Eventually, the Friars Club's coveted tradition made its way to the world of television in 1998. And you know what happened? The art (yes, we're calling it an art) of roasting exploded. It became so popular that a little comedy channel you may have heard of once or twice began producing their own take-no-prisoners roasts in 2003, and ever since then, the channel has had the responsibility of broadcasting cultural icons getting ripped to pieces for our sheer enjoyment. And for that, we say thank you, cable television!

The Greatest Spitfire Roasts of All Time 

Now that you know how roasting got its start let's travel back in time to explore some of the greatest, most savage spitfire roasts that have ever aired on television. Starting with the man, the myth, the legend,Charlie Sheen. 

The Roast of Charlie Sheen (2011) 

Known as the king of all kings when it comes to controversy, Charlie Sheen took a major beating during his roast --and we devouredeverysecond of it. As someone who was on every headline for his self-destructive and erratic behavior, it's easy to see how "The Roast of Charlie Sheen" was -- and forever will be -- one of the best roasts of all time. Here are some of the highlights:

"If you're winning, this must not be a child custody hearing… the only time your kids ever see you is in reruns - don't you want to live to see their first 12 steps?" - Jeffrey Ross.

"You dropped out of school faster than Casey Anthony's kid." - Anthony Jeselnik.

"Charlie still hasn't hit rock bottom. He's looking forward to it though because he thinks there's a rock there." - Steve-O.

We know, brutal, right? We gotta give it up the guest of honor, though -- regardless of how ruthless the roastees were; Sheen took the vicious roasting like a boss. But honestly, it's Charlie Sheen -- we'd expect nothing less.   

The Roast of Rob Lowe (2016)

Rob Lowe's roast was an especially great time for all who watched because Ann Coulter decided to join in the fun as a surprise roaster. Why was this so great, you ask?

Well, this happened to be the election year for Trump, and at the time, Coulter was probably one of the most hated people on the planet for her very public extreme racism and homophobia. So-- what do you think happened? 

If you guessed she got ripped apart by the roastees just as bad, if not worse, than Lowe, you'd be correct. Here are some of the best digs:

"Gay men love Ann Coulter. It's because two minutes into hearing her speak, they remember why they hate pussy." - Jewel.

"Rob has been called the comeback kid. No, I read that wrong. Rob has come on a kid. Glad we got that out of the way." - David Spade

"Last year, we had Martha Stewart who sells sheets. Now we have Ann Ann Coulter, who cuts eye holes in them." - Pete Davidson.

Ouch. 

The Roast of Hugh Hefner (2001) 

Hef's roast could have been a huuugedisaster. The US was still reeling from 9/11, which had just happened two weeks earlier, and the minefield of cliched old-man bits just seemedtoo obvious. But thanks to the power of some of the most brilliantly twisted comics like Sarah Silverman and Drew Carey, "The Roast of Hugh Hefner" turned out to be the cream of the roast crop. 

That said, what made this roast especially terrific and one that will be remembered forever was Gilbert Gottfried, who told the "aristocrats" joke, which was previously only shared between comedians like Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg. His sharing of the joke didn't just leave the crowd roaring, with tears of laughter streaming down their cheeks, but it was infamous, spawning a documentary film about the history of "The Aristocrats."

Seeing as the joke is pretty long and known as the foulest joke in history… we're just gonna leave you with the link “here” for those interested in peeing their pants from laughing so hard. 

Moving on! 

The Roast of Justin Bieber (2015) 

Public trouble, cheating scandals, and DUI's. If you ask us, this is an award-winning recipe for one hell of a roast. And who is the chef in the hot seat? None other than Justin Bieber

The Biebs was one of the most beloved teens when he was a youngster, serenading us with adorable bops like "One Time" and "Baby" (baby, baby, ohhh!--Is it stuck in your head now?). 

But then puberty hit… 'nuff said. 

Considering there was a petition at the time with literally thousands of signatures to have him deported, Bieber was a perfect guest of honor, totally worthy of a roast. Here's what went down:

"Justin Bieber has a single mom. No wonder he's got moves -- he was in the womb trying to dodge a coat hanger." - Natasha Leggero.

"Justin Bieber has tens of millions of fans. Most of them are either in middle school or standing 500 feet away from one." - Kevin Hart.

"Justin has a tattoo of Jesus on his calf. Why you gotta bring Jesus into your mess? The man has suffered enough." - Shaq.

Welp. Justin asked for it. 

The Roast of Donald Trump (2011)

Remember 2011? Quite a bit happened that year. Kate Middleton married Prince William, Amy Winehouse passed away (RIP), Charlie Sheen was kicked off Two and a Half Men, and former Pres. Donald Trump agreed to get brutally roasted, oh boy

If you haven't seen this roast (you should), it felt like a purging of all the terrible thoughts society had about him at the time -- namely, that he's a super narcissistic creep with bad business practices, bad hair, and a bad tan. Let's just say there was quite a bit of "bad" that the roastees were able to exploit, but you know what, it made one hell of a roast!

"Please welcome the second worst tragedy ever to hit New York City, Donald J. Trump." -- Seth MacFarlane.

"Donald is very happy with his lovely wife: Insert Name Here." - Lisa Lampanelli.

"You got Melania a huge, 12-karat-diamond engagement ring. You should not have gotten her a diamond. Now she knows what hard is supposed to feel like." - Whitney Cummings. 

While the world is pretty divided on their feelings of the Trumpster, one thing we can all probably agree on is that he definitely took his roasting like a true champ. 

Laugh It Up 😆 

And there you have it -- some of the best roasts of all time! While the roasts listed above are a few of our favs, we also love "The Roast of William Shatner” and "The Roast of Flavor Flav."  

Of course, roasts are so popular that they are sometimes featured on our favorite sitcoms...maybe one about a workplace in Scranton, PA? The boss of the paper salesman was ripped to shreds by his disgruntled employees in what could best be described as cathartic/a learning experience. Is he the world’s best boss? Depends on who you ask, we guess. 

Although verbal abuse may sound like a pretty terrible thing -- and don't get us wrong, it *usually* is, but getting roasted by the people you love is a uniquely hilarious experience. That's why we love this super comfy "Roast Me" tee from Famous In Real Life featuring a drool-worthy dinner roast just begging to get roasted.

But it doesn't stop there -- you can find hundreds of side-splitting, borderline offensive tees at Famous IRL; all you gotta do is look!

Ready to add some humor to your wardrobe? Check out our huge inventory of funny and ironic t-shirts today and let the roasting begin.

Just remember, "We only roast the ones we love."

 

 

Sources: 

Friars Club History | Classic Friars Roasts

Aristocrats | University of Pittsburgh 

The Friars Club Roast of Humphrey Bogart – 1955 | The Bogie Film Blog


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