Maybe the next time Jeff Ross prepares to roast a celebrity, he should consider switching up his usual routine of shock comedy. Sure, the comedian undeniably has chops in the boundary-pushing department. And one can argue that is exactly what's needed in a good roast. But it seems like he has a recurring theme of pushing those boundaries too far at roasts, the latest being Jeff Ross' Paul Walker joke at the roast of Justin Bieber.
Ross' infamous joke, told at the expense of the late Paul Walker, not only offended those at the roast but was also deemed to have crossed the line of good taste by Comedy Central. The network ended up cutting it from the final broadcast. In his joke, Ross quoted a famous Ludacris lyric by saying, "Move b***h, get out of the way. That's what Paul Walker should have told that tree." Ludacris, who was a fellow roaster on the show and a close friend and costar of the late actor later said that he felt the joke went "too far." Bieber later agreed that he also was not a fan of said joke.
It's unsurprising that the crack would upset some people, especially considering Ludacris' close connection with Walker. But it is not that unsurprising that Ross made the joke, as he has quite a history of making jokes at roasts that are considered by many to have crossed the line.
After all, this was not the first time Comedy Central censored the comedian. At the roast of Roseanne Barr in 2012, Ross actually had two jokes cut from the broadcast before it aired, which occurred when he was roasting the entire panel. This time, the jokes were directed to actor Seth Green, whose hair color resembles that of James Holmes, the alleged shooter at the Aurora theater tragedy. Ross said,
Congratulations Seth, this is a really big night for you. You haven't gotten this much attention since you shot all those people in Aurora. I'm kidding! You're not like James Holmes. At least he's doing something in a movie theater that people remember.
And even when his jokes haven't been cut, they have still stirred up some negative attention. For instance, at the roast of Charlie Sheen in 2011, Ross made a couple of jokes about domestic violence. He said of Mike Tyson, "Your opponents spent more time bleeding in the corner than Charlie's ex-wives." He also brought up Sheen's ex-wife Brooke Mueller specifically, saying, "She's not very bright, unless Charlie is throwing a lamp at her."
And at the roast of James Franco back in 2013, Ross started making jabs at Franco's failure at the 2011 Oscars. And then he said, "Face it, Franco, you and Anne Hathaway have the comedic chemistry of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman."
It's understandable that Ross wants to be a part of pushing the envelope — especially at an event where the entire point is insult comedy. But it is best to toe the line carefully when talking about sensitive issues that are not so connected to you personally, because there are people on the other end of the insult. Everyone crosses the line sometimes. But oftentimes, it's best not to be the guy who jumps over it.
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