They say you only roast the ones you love, but what can be said about someone with few redeemable qualities, who's essentially spent the past year roasting himself in the media? Quite a bit, apparently.
Last night's Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen could have been predictable and stale, but both the roasters and roastee brought the laughs - and plenty of surprises.
Hosted by Family Guy's Seth MacFarlane, roasters included Mike Tyson (legitimately shitfaced), Steve-o (strangely sober), "Roastmaster" Jeffrey Ross (donning a bright Gaddafi uniform), William Shatner (who, I don't care how much surgery he may have gotten, looks damn good) and Grey's Anatomy's Kate Walsh.
One of my favorite parts of these roasts is the bashing of the fellow panelists. John "JLo" Lovitz was introduced as the star of "Two and a Half Chins," and Mike Tyson told Jeffrey Ross that his performance was so bad, "I wish I bit my own ears off," but the punchline of many jokes was comedian Patrice O'Neal. Now, I don't like to take shit like television specials too seriously, but the comments made toward this comedian brought to light the thin line between comedy and "going too far."
Especially in the entertainment arena, we live in a time where people can get away with more and more insensitive comments under the guise of edginess and comedy. Like, "I'm not a racist, so I can make fun of black stereotypes." So when Kate Walsh advised him, "Grape soda doesn't count as fruit," in reference to his very serious diabetes and when comedienne Amy Schumer concluded a round of yo-grandmama jokes with, "I just assumed your grandmother raised you," (in addition to dozens of other very personal jabs at O'Neal) it was just a little unsettling. When it was O'Neal's turn, he was visibly shocked, tossing out his pre-written lines to come back at the other panelists, essentially throwing a big "WTF?!" out there.
It's not to say every roaster wasn't funny. They really were. When else are you going to hear Shatner yell, "Who's the warlock now, bitch?!" But shit continued to get real when Sheen himself took the mic at the end of the evening. He didn't have a lot of jabs to throw at his roasters; in fact, he was quite somber, for Charlie Sheen.
"You couldn't hurt me," he told the panel, "Hell, I couldn't hurt me."
He continued to explain that crazy Sheen was so last winter and we can expect a little less tiger blood from now on.
"I'm done with the 'winning,'" he said," because I've already won."
It was at that moment it became clear that by having these other washed-up assholes berate each other, it kind of made Sheen look less psychotic. He totally spun the whole thing!
Now, can Sheen pull a Robert Downey, Jr.? Who knows. But judging by the number of people who watched the roast, still use his now famous catch-phrases and followed his crazy train all the way to this point, America clearly hasn't turned its back on Sheen just yet.
Go here to watch for yourself.
Oh, and if you give two and a half shits, Ashton Kutcher made his debut on Sheen's old gig last night, which drew almost 28 million viewers. Great job, America!