Comedy Central Roast Of Bob Saget (2008)

DVD Cover (Comedy Central)
Genres: Comedy, Concerts, Standup Comedy
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Joel Gallen Joel Gallen
Bob Saget Bob Saget
John Stamos John Stamos
Tony Besson Tony Besson
Lewis Black Lewis Black
Susie Essman Susie Essman

6.6 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: December 28, 2008
"They say that the measure of a man is judged by the company he keeps... I'm fucked."

That's one of the jokes that comes out of Bob Saget's mouth during his set at the conclusion of his roasting, and while this was obviously a joke, there was more truth to it than he may have meant. However, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Hosted by John Stamos, this particular roasting centers around Saget and features the comedic efforts of Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Greg Giraldo, Gilbert Gottfried, Cloris Leachman, Jon Lovitz, Norm MacDonald, Jim Norton, Brian Posehn, and Jeffrey Ross. Also showing up in "special appearances" (read: pretaped segments) are Lewis Black, Don Rickles, and Sarah Silverman.

So, getting back to that quote, I found that this particular roasting just didn't do much for me. I'll admit right up front that I'm not a huge fan of standup comedy (in fact, the number of people in here that I didn't recognize far outweighed the number of those I did), but I've always enjoyed these roasts even if I'm not a big fan of the "man of the hour." What could be funnier than watching a handful of sharp-witted guys - guys who make a living out of making people laugh - sit around and crack the filthiest, most insulting jokes about one another for an hour or two? When done properly, there's not much that can top this sort of presentation, but the roasting of Bob Saget was not done properly.

The most glaring issue with this offering was the lack of originality from the performers. When the first comedian comes out and jokes about this person being gay, that person being old and having a crusty vagina, and Saget being painfully unfunny, it pulls a laugh out of the audience. When the second guy comes out and jokes about this person being gay, that person being old and having a crusty vagina, and Saget being painfully unfunny, it sort of loses its charm. When the ninth and tenth guys are using the same material, you realize that the writers really weren't trying very hard.

Now, with that said, there is some good material in here. Greg Giraldo stuns the audience with a particularly nasty joke dealing with the connection between the late Heath Ledger and Tom Green's balls, Gilbert Gottfried is as good as he ever was (depending on your opinion of the man, that's either "fantastic" or "awful") and delivers an especially tasteless joke about Saget's "relationship" with the Olsen twins, and the highlight of the entire evening is when Cloris Leachman (of Mary Tyler Moore fame) comes out and absolutely slays the crowd. I'll admit that her appearance here is sort of cliché as it's almost a requirement that every roast have the "old lady who talks dirty", but this woman made the professional comedians look downright amateurish with her jokes and her timing.

On the other hand, there were some performances in here that were rather disappointing. Norm MacDonald is by far the biggest example of this as he decided to come out and tell some of the most bland, boring jokes imaginable instead of the expected dirty and tasteless ones - the idea being, one would have to assume, was that he'd pull some laughs by doing the polar opposite of what everyone else was doing. As an example, take this one: "Susie Essman, of course, is famous for being a vegetarian. Hey! She may be a vegetarian, but she's still full of bologna in my book!" Not enough? How about this tidbit: "Bob Saget has a face like a flower... a cauliflower!" It doesn't take a genius to see what he was trying to do with this, but let's call a spade a spade here: this wasn't funny. The jokes weren't funny, the idea wasn't funny, and the performance certainly wasn't funny. In his favor, I will say that he made Jim Norton look like a complete and utter ass with a single line after Norton tried to attack him during his set, but as far as MacDonald's actual set goes... I don't see him getting called up for the next roast.

Out of the ten (thirteen if you count the pretaped segments) comedians involved, these four people rounded out the top and bottom of the list. Everyone else sort of fell in the middle; none of them were downright bad, but none of them were particularly good either. Of course, comedy is an entirely subjective affair (what I found hilarious may completely bomb in your household), but I will say that the show could have been better with more variety in the jokes. Cloris Leachman is old - we get it. Jeff Garlin is fat - we know. A joke or two about these subjects would have been fine and even expected, but hearing the same damned things over and over really hurt the overall show in my ever-so-humble opinion.

Overall, there were some good laughs to be had, but this is not a DVD that I could rightfully recommend. Watching a rerun on a rainy Sunday night on Comedy Central? Sure, you could find worse ways to kill some time. Throwing down twenty bucks to add it to your collection? That's going a little too far. 5/10.
Tristan #1: Tristan - added 12/28/2008, 09:52 PM
I'll hand it to you that these specials are a little hack at this point, but a 5/10? Puhlease. Norm MacDonald and Ross killed. You, my good sir, just don't know anything about the comedy scene.

Chad #2: Chad - added 12/28/2008, 10:11 PM
Norm was painfully unfunny. After his first joke bombed (go back and listen to the crowd), I kept thinking that he was building to something - a bunch of stupid jokes followed by a grand finale or something like that. When it finally clicked what he was doing, I damned near hit the fast-forward button.

I laughed during Ross' set, but only because he got to the material first - he said the same things that everyone else said, but he had the advantage of getting to it before everyone else.
bluemeanie #3: bluemeanie - added 12/28/2008, 10:21 PM
I thought Norm McDonald was the highlight of the whole night. He had confidence in what he was doing -- and if you notice, all of the comedians in the audience were loving it. That is solid humor to me -- doing a routine that is knowingly awful and making it work. That is what Andy Kaufman used to do. Norm is no Kaufman, but he made that routine work.

Cloris Leachman was amazing. 9/10.
Chad #4: Chad - added 12/28/2008, 10:32 PM
I guess it's the whole "subjective" thing with Norm, but I will say this - during a standup routine that was supposed to make me laugh, I didn't even chuckle from the time he stood up until the time he sat back down. I can't say that about anyone else involved.

Cloris was definitely the highlight for me, I'll agree with you on that one.
Tristan #5: Tristan - added 12/28/2008, 11:20 PM
"Norm was painfully unfunny. After his first joke bombed"

It didn't bomb, it just took the audience a minute to realize what he was going for. That clean, old school humour was the the kind of stuff you used to hear way back when Dean Martin and Sinatra were doing these. And yes, Cloris was good. "Will someone please punch me so I can see some stars". Brilliant.
Nirrad #6: Nirrad - added 12/28/2008, 11:23 PM
Agreed with everything Tristan and Meanie said. 9/10
Strait Killa #7: Strait Killa - added 12/31/2008, 03:29 PM
Norm was absolutely hilarious. "Cloris Leachman will never be over the hill, not in the car she drives."
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