If you aren’t familiar with them (are you living under a rock?), a roast is an event in which a celebrity is joked about and made fun of by other celebrities in front of an audience.
The host, often called the “roastmaster”, delivers jokes at the beginning and then introduces each guest. The roasters then alternate between doing jokes about the guest of honor, as well ripping on the other comedians on stage. The roast usually ends with the guest engaging in a rebuttal against all of the cruel words hurled at him or her throughout the night.
Roasts typically consist of insult comedy, and are known to be extremely crude. Often times, comedians dance along the line of being funny and truly offensive and inappropriate.
It is considered a great honor to be roasted – so if you find out you have been selected for an upcoming roasting, you know that you’ve truly made it.
I was a little late in the game watching the Justin Bieber roast, because I knew I would fall asleep during its original air time. (Grandma life.) Of course, I made sure to record it to watch later. After hearing rave reviews from my friends, I turned it on during my morning workout today. Well, my friends weren’t lying – it was hysterical.
I have also come to the general conclusion that I need to turn on Comedy Central while exercising more often. Nearly crying from laughter might give me some serious abs, just in case crunches won’t do the trick.
Here are 3 reasons why we love roasts:
1. Insult comedy is simply the best.
Basically, the celebrity just has to sit there and take it like a champ while comedians mercilessly attack them with verbal insults. It’s terrible – and hilarious. My personal favorite was Charlie Sheen’s from a couple years back, but James Franco’s was a close second. Seeing the roastee’s reactions and facial expressions is unbeatable -especially when the joke seriously crosses the line (such as making fun of the deceased, or any other insensitive topic). When this occurs, we gasp and say things such as “Oh my God, that’s horrible!” However, we’re still cracking up. That is the beauty of insult comedy – You feel a little bad for laughing, but not enough to stop.
2. Roasts remind us to not take life so seriously, and to laugh at ourselves sometimes.
The great thing about roasts is that they celebrate teasing – and make it a form of entertainment. We have all been insulted before, and have had to pretend like it didn’t bother us even though it did. Maybe you got bullied in elementary school, and it has never really stopped affecting you to this day. Nobody genuinely enjoys being made fun of, but it happens – and we have all had to find ways to cope with it.
It’s important to remember that people insult you to get a reaction. What if during all of those past instances where you got angry or upset by an insult, you had laughed instead? The insulter would likely be extremely confused, but they would also probably leave you alone. We don’t often think of it in these terms, because we’re constantly worried about what others think. We take cruel words to heart, and it’s difficult not to let that happen.
Bottom line: Their words are bothering you because you’re letting them. Roasts remind us that everyone gets made fun of from time to time– So instead of getting offended, it is critical for all of us to unwind sometimes and just take a joke.
Furthermore, roasts also remind us to laugh at ourselves. Sometimes we forget not to take life so seriously. We want to be successful, and additionally perceived in a favorable way by everybody we meet. We get so caught up in our obligations, and focus on attempting to balance everything and to please everyone. However, this perfectionist way of thinking is unrealistic. At some point, everyone has failed at something. Yes – even celebrities. So breathe, let it go, and move on – just like celebrities have been forced to learn to do over time.
3. They remind us that celebrities are real people too.
We have all compared ourselves to a celebrity at one point or another, wishing we could trade lives with them. We focus on their impeccable beauty, their luxurious lives, and their general good fortune. Celebrities essentially seem like they “have it all.”
However, looking at their lives with a more realistic perspective, that’s just not always true. Roasts serve to remind us that celebrities are people too. At the end of the day, no matter how rich and famous you are, you’ve said and done (probably multiple) stupid things. And roasts are the perfect opportunity to make fun of you for all of them.
Roasts show us that even celebrities have had embarrassing moments, but they get over it. You may feel like kicking yourself for doing something stupid, but maybe it’s time to reevaluate. When it comes down to it, sitting in a chair while several comedians take turns swinging at you with the very worst insults they can possibly come up with on live TV? You may be blowing your current situation out of proportion. Just a bit.