Country of origin United States
Original network Comedy Central
Executive producers Joel Gallen, Rick Austin
Running time 90 minutes
First episode date 10 August 2003
Genres Roast, Comedy
|Picture format 4:3 SDTV (2003–08)
16:9 HDTV (2009–present)|
Original release August 10, 2003 (2003-08-10) – present
Similar The Burn with Jeff Ross, Comedy Central Presents, A Comedy Roast, Saturday Night Live, Live at Gotham
The Comedy Central Roasts are a series of celebrity roast specials that air on Comedy Central. The first official Comedy Central Roast premiered on August 10, 2003. Usually one or two roasts are produced almost every year. As of 2016, a total of 15 roasts have aired. The latest roastee is Rob Lowe; his roast premiered on September 5, 2016.
- The best comedy central roasts of all time
- Recurring roasters
- Cancelled roasts
The best comedy central roasts of all time
Between 1998 and 2002, Comedy Central produced and televised the annual roasts of the New York Friars Club.
After the original five-year agreement expired, the network began producing its own roasts in the same spirit. The first, featuring roastee Denis Leary (and produced by Leary's production company, Apostle), aired on August 10, 2003 and was the most watched program in the channel's history, excluding episodes of South Park.
Some roastees have stated that certain topics are off-limits. Pamela Anderson, for example, prohibited jokes about her Hepatitis C infection. Joan Rivers disallowed jokes about her daughter, Melissa. Others, like David Hasselhoff, have imposed no limits on the topics. Donald Trump only prohibited anyone making jokes about him not being as wealthy as he says he is. Although Charlie Sheen initially agreed to no restrictions on his roast, he later said during an interview with Jay Leno that he requested jokes about his mother be edited out of the broadcast.
During Charlie Sheen's roast, Steve-O made the joke "The last time this many nobodies were at a roast, at least Great White was playing", a reference to the February 20, 2003 The Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island that killed 100 people, which was removed from broadcast on Steve-O's request.
During Denis Leary's roast, comedian Lenny Clarke, a friend of Leary's, said there was a carton of cigarettes backstage from Bill Hicks with the message, "Wish I had gotten these to you sooner." This joke was cut from the final broadcast. During Roseanne Barr's roast, Jeff Ross compared fellow roaster Seth Green to James Holmes, responsible for the 2012 Aurora shooting. The joke was also removed.
The table below features any roasters who have appeared on more than one Comedy Central Roasts. "RM" indicates that they were the roastmaster for that roast. As of the Rob Lowe roast, the most frequent roaster has been Jeff Ross, who has appeared in all but the first two roasts, for a total of 13, and has yet to be a roastmaster.
In 2008, a roast for musician Willie Nelson was planned to coincide with the release of his box set, One Hell of a Ride, but was ultimately cancelled, according to Jeff Ross.
A roast for musician Kid Rock was announced in November 2010 and scheduled for January 2011, but was later replaced by the Donald Trump roast. Rock's roast was rescheduled for August 2011, but was replaced again, this time by Charlie Sheen's roast.
The first international roast aired on Comedy Central New Zealand on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 and the roastee was prominent Māori comedian, Mike King.
Also roasted in New Zealand was rugby commentator and former rugby player Murray Mexted.
In 2011, Marco Hietala (from the Finnish symphonic power metal band Nightwish) was roasted during the Comedy Festival in Kuopio, Finland (not related to the Comedy Central Roast). The footage was released as bonus material on the DVD "Imaginaerum by Nightwish".
Comedy Central Africa also roasted veteran South African performer, actor, and songwriter Steve Hofmeyr on September 11, 2012. South African comedian Trevor Noah was the roastmaster for the evening.
In May 2013, Comedy Central Latin America roasted Mexican comedian Héctor Suárez, hosted by his son Héctor Suárez Gomís.
In April 2014, Comedy Central Africa hosted a second roast and roasted South African businessman Kenny Kunene. The Roastmaster was British comedian Jimmy Carr, and included a dais of local personalities. Roasters included comedians John Vlismas and Tumi Morake, socialites Khanyi Mbau and Somizi Mhlongo, TV presenter Dineo Ranaka, OFM's former host Rian van Heerden and music personalities PJ Powers and Jack Parow.
In 2014, Comedy Central Spain hosted its first roast with Santiago Segura. In 2015, El Gran Wyoming was roasted.
In 2016, Comedy Central Netherlands hosted its first roast with Gordon Heuckeroth. The show was hosted by Jörgen Raymann, while the roasters were Peter Pannekoek, Erik de Zwart, Bobbi Eden, Sander Lantinga, Sophie Hilbrand, Erland Galjaard, Steven Brunswijk AKA BraboNeger (family of Ronnie Brunswijk) and Bridget Maasland.