Rob Lowe takes Comedy Central roast in good humor
Raymond Lo (The Philippine Star) - September 11, 2016 - 12:00am

LOS ANGELES Apparently, one of the biggest honors one gets in Hollywood these days is to be insulted by some friends and several strangers on a giant stage in front of hundreds of live audience and millions more of TV viewers worldwide — they call it a roast.

It’s not really something that’s new but it’s gotten more visibility when Comedy Central, the world’s biggest comedy network, made it an annual tradition and started making fun of the likes of superstars Justin Bieber, James Franco and Charlie Sheen. Even US presidential candidate Donald Trump was once the object of ridicule — surprise, surprise! This Jonas Larsen production even earned an Emmy nomination for its roast of William Shatner some few years back! So, yes, when you get invited for a Comedy Central roast, consider it an honor.

“That’s the question I’ve been asking myself now for the past week,” replied actor Rob Lowe when this writer asked him why he would subject himself to this kind of torture, if you will, during our brief chat before the taping of the special, The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe, two weekends ago.

“I’m a fan. I have seen every one of them, I can quote jokes from past roasts and they’ve asked me before and I finally said, ‘You love these things, you need to grow a pair and say yes!’ and so I am here! I am looking forward to it actually.”

So why did he hesitate before?

“The same reason most people say no, they’re smart!” he joked. “Am I really gonna set myself up for an hour and a half of having the skin ripped off of me? But at the end of the day, I love a good mean joke. I do! Maybe it’s a shortcoming of mine but I do love them, even at my own expense.”

How brutal did he expect the jokes would be?

“Horrendous! I think I am gonna be a husk!” he quipped. “I expect nothing less! Honestly, you only hurt the ones you love. The other part of it is our society is so paralyzed with political correctness right now that to have a free fire zone where you can say anything about anyone and nobody is gonna start marching and beat you up on Twitter or boycott you is really cool and a breath of fresh air.”

Earlier on the red carpet, roasters David Spade and Jeffrey Ross joked to this writer that they will make Rob cry during the show, so naturally, I had to inform (wink, wink) Rob about their plan and I joked that he should have worn waterproof mascara. “I always do,” he exclaimed with a big smile.

“I am gonna take care of these guys, believe me, because I get the last words and then I will move on from there,” Rob added.

Rob, armed with his good looks, came to prominence in the ‘80s after starring in a string of hits like The Outsiders, Oxford Blues, St. Elmo’s Fire and About Last Night. A sex scandal and an alcohol addiction nearly cost him his career during the latter part of the decade but he ultimately survived and continued on to have one of the most illustrious careers on American television. He starred in the hits The West Wing, Brothers & Sisters and Parks and Recreation with Amy Poehler and current toast of Hollywood Chris Pratt. He earned critical acclaim for his role in the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra and as Pres. John F. Kennedy in the film Killing Kennedy.

And he also had his share of failed TV shows — a lot! And that, alongside his sex addiction, became fodder for below-the-belt jokes during the roast.

But you may have read the stories by now that the mean and cruel jokes weren’t just aimed at Rob. Most of the biggest insults were directed at Ann Coulter, a conservative commentator who many call the most hated woman in America for her anti-immigrant and anti-gay rhetoric.

Here are some samples:

From Rob: “Everyone is asking, why is Ann Coulter here tonight? Because the right-to-lifers wanted everyone to see what abortion looks like up close.”

From Jeffrey Ross: “How do I roast someone from hell? Ann is against gay marriage. What is your thinking on that? If I can’t get a husband, they can’t either?”

From singer Jewel: “I do want to say as a feminist that I can’t support everything that’s been said tonight. But as someone who hates Ann Coulter, I’m delighted.”

From football superstar Peyton Manning: “I’m not the only athlete up here. As you know earlier this year, Ann Coulter won the Kentucky Derby.”

From British comedian Jimmy Carr: “Ann is one of the most repugnant, hateful, hatchet-face bitches alive. It’s not too late to change, Ann. You could kill yourself.”

From stand-up comic Nikki Glaser: “Ann, you are awful. The only person you will ever make happy is the Mexican who digs your grave.”

Per roast tradition, each of the nine roasters traded insults and one of the funniest jokes was delivered by roast master David to actor Ralph Macchio. 

“You might know Ralph from The Karate Kid. If you don’t know him from that, you don’t know him,” he said.

This writer has a confession — and I am not the only guilty party. On the red carpet, someone whispered that Ralph was doing red carpet interviews. So we patiently waited. Then there was this guy who looked really familiar but we just couldn’t recognize who. We thought he was some actor giving support to Rob. So when he walked past us, we did not bother to chat with him. Later we learned that, yes, it was Ralph! We only realized our mistake when Ralph was introduced on stage! My bad!

The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe premiered last night in the Philippines.



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