After Monday night's Comedy Central Roast of James Franco taped last weekend, We The People of the Internet flocked to respective news outlets to inhale the assorted verbal jabs taken at Jake Huard (side note: watch the 2006 classic Annapolis immediately). Based on those initial reports, I expected a televised marathon (okay, 90 minutes) of hackneyed, offensive gay jokes. "Can't wait!" I thought never.
Hey, you know what? While I did roll my eyes and sigh at the assorted "hilarious" comments made about James Franco's ambiguous sexuality and Aziz Ansari's ethnicity, I did laugh out loud at the other, less objectionable jokes. I'll say it: I had a great time. I want to go to dinner with the entire panel, er, dais. The uproarious laughter of Jonah Hill and Bill Hader throughout the program warmed the cockles of my heart.
And for the record, please note that Aziz's response to those ethnic jabs was fairly stellar:"I think it's cool that some of you traveled back in time to 1995 for those Indian jokes you did." I promptly drove to the nearest Best Buy, bought a microphone, and then dropped it in front of my TV set. Applause didn't seem sufficient.
Anyway, my true quest of the roast was to spot Dave Franco, James's younger, cuter brother. I knew he'd be in attendance (thanks, Google!), so I kept my eyes peeled. During Bill Hader's set, the camera lingered on D-Franco's sweet mug for an extended period of time. Thank you, Comedy Central, for giving the people what they want.
Okay, now for the hysterical lines I will attempt to repeat around the proverbial water-cooler tomorrow, but will inevitably butcher:
Seth Rogen on Bill Hader: "Speaking of 140 characters no one gives a shit about, Bill Hader is here!"
Jeff Ross on Aziz Ansari: "I guess you're here tonight because Kanye had a real baby and he doesn't need you anymore."
Natasha Leggero on James Franco's upcoming Ovation show: "Finally, something so awful that TLC was like, 'Nah, we're good.'"
Bill Hader as the President of Hollywood on Aziz Ansari: "What an actor. Such phenomenal range. You're like the Daniel Day-Lewis of doing one thing."
Jonah Hill on Bill Hader: "Every person was like 'you'll never work again [post-SNL],' and what does he go and do? Book a T-Mobile commercial. Who's laughing now, Lorne Michaels? My buddy Bill. He's collecting checks from the fourth-largest mobile provider in the nation."
Andy Samberg's entire Kenny Rogers Boston Market BOOM! Roasted Chickens set was perfect. To quote A-Samberg about his own roast set during his roast set: "These are classic roast jokes. Jeff Ross knows what I'm talking about, you melting hippo."
The best line (because it needed to be said):
Aziz Ansari on James Franco: "So many gay jokes tonight about Franco. Apparently, if you're clean, well-dressed, and mildly cultured, you're super gay now. Is that why the rest of you guys are so aggressively fat and dirty? You think if you read one book and take a shower, dicks are going to just fly into your face."
James Franco was a lovely sport throughout the entire roast and lovely-looking. Sorry. I'm only human. And as a human, I ask that we retire the jokes regarding his sexuality, his multi-hyphenated career title, his Oscar host performance, and his squinty eyes.
We've worked those to death, like, five times over. You know what wasn't addressed? His gorgeous turn as Osborne Silver in the soap opera Hollywood Heights. That, my friends, was Franco at his Franco-est.