In one of the biggest modern roastings of all time, James Franco is set to hit the Friars Club to be skewered by a panel of his peers on September 2. While he’s bound to take a beating, Franco has seemed good-natured about the dubious honor, even announcing on Instagram that he’s “waited his whole life” to be roasted at the iconic club. While a night being made fun of by Seth Rogen sounds like torture to us, here are some of the reasons why celebs don’t mind being in the hot seat.
It’s a Tradition
It was Dean Martin who started the original celebrity roast and it was all in good fun. The roasts were produced by and aired on NBC, which meant that the content had to be clean. In fact, the first roasts were more like tributes to the celebs with a few funny lines thrown in. Nowadays, the roasts are aired on Comedy Central, which has a decidedly lower bar to clear when it comes to the censors. Still, roasting is a tradition, so some celebs see it as an honor to be featured.
They say that any publicity is good publicity, even if that publicity comes out of the fire-tongued mouth of Joan Rivers. To be honest, Franco is surprisingly A-list to be subjecting himself to a roasting. Past roastees have included Bob Saget, Larry the Cable Guy, Rosanne Barr, David Hasselhoff, and Charlie Sheen—hardly the cream of the crop as far as stars go. Getting roasted means that some B- and C-list celebs get to become household names again, if only for a night.
No one takes a roasting lying down. Comedy Central hand picks the panel of roasters for maximum shock value. Anyone on the panel is fair game, so it’s not just the roastee who gets to hear jokes about himself. The roastee, for his part, gets the chance to stand up and face his hecklers, which can mean some serious payback for comedians who have been using their lives as material for years. While some of the insults can make a roastee’s ears burn, they do get the chance to lob a few zingers of their own to sneak in some payback.
What A-list celeb would you like to see roasted? I’m thinking Brad Pitt, if only for the awful Chanel No. 5 commercial he did last year. Do you think James Franco has done enough to earn the honor? Share in the comments!
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