Jeffrey Ross Lifschultz (born September 13, 1965), known professionally as Jeff Ross, is an American stand-up comedian, insult comic, actor, director and author. His skill is doing high-profile celebrity roasts and he is best known for his appearances in Comedy Central's Roasts and he has been dubbed "The Roastmaster General." He has appeared in various film, television, and cartoon projects. He has made appearances at events for U.S. soldiers and directed a documentary film covering his experiences touring U.S. bases in Iraq.
Jeffrey Ross Lifschultz was born and raised in a Jewish family in Springfield, New Jersey. He attended Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield.
Ross graduated from Boston University's College of Communication. In a 2008 interview for the student-run BUTV10 program Full Circle, Ross mentioned that during his college years he was the director at BU's WTBU and worked at the local NPR affiliate. His mother died from leukemia when he was 14 years old. His father died five years later when Ross was 19 years old.
During the summer of 1994, he appeared a few times in New York City at the Monday night open mic night of the now closed Greenwich Village location of the Boston Comedy Club, which was coordinated by Tracey Metzger. In 1996, he appeared in the movie Celtic Pride.
Ross is the current New York Friars' Club Roastmaster General and was a roaster for the last twelve Comedy Central Roasts: Pamela Anderson (2005), William Shatner (2006), Flavor Flav in (2007), Bob Saget (2008), Larry the Cable Guy, Joan Rivers (both 2009), David Hasselhoff (2010), Donald Trump, Charlie Sheen (both 2011), Roseanne Barr (2012), James Franco (2013), and Justin Bieber (2015). He has also written for, performed in and/or produced several other celebrity roasts, including those for Hugh Hefner, Rob Reiner, Jerry Stiller, Drew Carey, Emmitt Smith, Carson Daly, Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic, Gene Simmons, and David Hasselhoff. In addition to his roasts, his stand-up has been featured in Comedy Central's animated series Shorties Watchin' Shorties.
Ross himself credits a particular joke made at the expense of Bea Arthur and Sandra Bernhardt at the Friars Club roast of Jerry Stiller (a show Ross acted as both a producer of and guest on) for creating his roasting career, not just of the joke itself (which he claims wasn't that funny), but with Arthur's reaction to it; the joke and its reaction remain one of the most memorable moments of his career.
In September 1, 2009, Ross was the first guest on the debut episode of the WTF with Marc Maron podcast.
Ross is the author of a book released September 15, 2009, titled I Only Roast the Ones I Love: Busting Balls Without Burning Bridges. It recounts his rise to stardom and, includes tips on writing roast jokes and has ideas on how to put on a roast.
In 2015, Ross starred in the Comedy Central TV special, Jeff Ross Roasts Criminals: Live from Brazos County Jail, where he performed stand-up comedy for male and female convicts in Brazos County, Texas.
In addition to Ross' dramatic turn on CBS's CSI, he has appeared on HBO's Six Feet Under, Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program, and Showtime's Weeds. He has also appeared as a regular cast member in Nick Cannon's Wild 'n Out on MTV. In film, he has appeared in Stuck on You and The Aristocrats. He also provided the voice for the beagle Buddy in the MTV2 Sic'emation animated satire program that he created, Where My Dogs At?. He appeared in the third tournament of Celebrity Poker, but lost in his first match.
Ross' 2005 directorial debut, Patriot Act: A Jeffrey Ross Home Movie received the Best Feature Film Award at the Montreal Comedy Festival. The documentary is about Ross' life changing experience entertaining U.S. troops stationed around Iraq. It features fellow comedians/comic actors Drew Carey, Blake Clark and Kathy Kinney.
Ross competed on the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars. He was partnered with Edyta Sliwinska. During rehearsal of their first dance, Ross was accidentally poked in the eye by Sliwinska, suffering a scratched cornea. Against doctor's advice, Ross continued the competition. They performed the Cha-Cha-Cha to "Play That Funky Music", and were the first couple to be eliminated. They later performed a Quickstep to "I Get a Kick out of You" as an encore for the elimination show.
On August 14, 2012, Jeff Ross debuted his weekly Comedy Central show The Burn with Jeff Ross, which has aired two seasons so far.
An animated version of Jeff Ross appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold in the opening to the episode "Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth" voiced by Ross himself. He distracts Joker and the other villains at Joker's celebrity roast in order for Batman to escape being literally roasted alive. When Joker tries to escape, Ross stops him. When he subsequently suggests that he could be a full-time crime-fighter, Batman dryly advises he should just stick to comedy.
Ross visited the protesters of the Occupy movement in Los Angeles to support their cause and took the microphone to speak publicly to the crowd. He combined the movement's message with his comedy.