It is funny how I can sit on the couch at midnight, with the TV remote in my hand….and flick thru channels, 101, 102, 103….all the way to QVC at 650 and find nothing to watch. Hundreds of channels. Why do I even have SKY? And last night, I found the “Roast of Donald Trump”.
It is hard to explain a “Roast”. It is a bit like your brother’s “best man” speech at your wedding, being handed over to eight or ten professional 21st century comedians…all of whom are exceptionally rude and unpleasant.
The evolution of Comedy is a strange thing to watch. TV in the 1960s was dominated by ex Music-Hall veterans. In the 1970s, it was racist and sexist dinosaurs from working mens clubs. In the 1980s, it was graduates from universities …alternative comedians who dominated. But really since then, it has been a race to the bottom. An Internet generation has brought us back to vulgarity. Sexism, Racism, Homophobia dressed up as post-modern irony.
Donald Trump’s Roast…. seemingly the Roasters and the celebrities in the audience pay a lot of dollars (to charity) to insult and/or poke fun and/or laugh at the Roastee, who is deemed to be a “good sport”. So Donald Trump was the Roastee in 2011. His wife Melania and daughter, Ivanka are in the celeb audience…well to be honest, the only other celeb I recognised was Ice T.
The Roasters …only some were known to me. Seth McFarlane, the unfunny man behind “Family Guy”, Larry King, Snoopy Snoopy Dog Doggy, Marlee Matlin (the deaf actress who won an Oscar) and Whitney Cummings.
A lot of the “roasting” was mutual…each Roaster was himself/herself roasted for a perceived character flaw. Among them….McFarlane was told by Snoopy Dog Man that “Nxxxxxx dont like the Cleveland Show”. Larry King was roasted for his age and divorces (eight!!!!), the audience was told that it was a diverse panel which included “a murderer, a drug addict, a thief…and some white people”, Marlee Matlin was called the “C” word …the alleged joke being that she could not hear it. And Whitney Cummings “I have known her since she was a gleam in the eye of the man who raped her mother” has given so much to the world of Entertainment “but mostly herpes”.
Now I find this humour to be deeply offensive but the Roasters demonstrated that they had no dignity or (in their terms) were “good sports” by laughing excessively at every alleged joke made about them.
Of the others who I didnt know, an Italian-American actress-comedian was roasted for seemingly being sexually permissive with both men and women and every conceivable combination. Some other comedian was the subject of a running gag that he was ugly. And some reality star from “Jersey Shore” was ridiculed for having no talent whatsoever.
To be fair, there were some genuine funny moments….someone said the first caller to a Larry King Show was Alexander Graham Bell. It was noted that “Jersey Shore” was being filmed on location in Italy which was a sneaky way of deporting the cast. Looking at his watch, one Roaster noted that the star of “Jersey Shore” was just about to start his fifteenth minute of fame.
So in among the alphabet soup of N, C, F and P words, there was some actual funny lines.
The Guest of Honour was Donald Trump …2011 version…a man who had announced he would be a candidate for US President. The Roasters did not seem to take it very seriously. I am not entirely sure that Trump did.
So….Trump sat there as the Roasters made little speeches, which ridiculed him as much as fellow Roasters. Jokes about Eastern European hookers, people on stage being higher than any building Trump had built, how when reaching orgasm both Trump and Melania scream “Donald!!!!!!”, sexual potency “get your wrinkled old penis off me!”, evicting black people from houses to construct a hotel, “Donald Trump wants to be President….I look forward to that assassin…..oh I mean inaugeration”……and one Roaster noted that he had a lot in common with Trump “we both fantasise about your daughter”.
And much more in the same vein.
Yet Donald Trump…reality star, billionaire….sat thru it all with a fixed grin. A “good sport”. At the end,Seth McFarlanesaid that whatever about being President he would always be “King of New York City”.
The thing that struck me most was that whatever the politics of Donald Trump in 2011 and whatever the politics of the 21st century comedians….the real point was that Donald Trump was one of them and these entertainers were at one with Donald Trump. Hooray for Hollywood.
Yet this show has been in the public domain since 2011. Almost six years. And Trump surrounded by and revelling in the company of foul mouthed comedians was hardly the kinda thing that would have endeared him to Republican Christian evangelicals. Nothing seemed off limits…not even references to his wife and daughter…or broad hints at sexual misbehaviour.
And this begs the question why a leaked “hot mic” video of Trump was seized on by Clinton supporters before the election and why Trump is unhappy about Internet references to Melania and Ivanka.
And it further begs the question as to why Trump tweets ill-tempered comments about the untalented Hollywood elite.
I do not know whether Trump’s great friends, Seth McFarlane, Snoopy Snoopy Doggy Dog, Larry King, Marlee Matlin, Whitney Cummings and the rest are going to the Trump Inaugeration. Maybe they are not invited. Maybe they are boycotting it. Attending it, would certainly give the “Jersey Shore” Guy another few minutes of Fame.
Of course I dont know if these celebs and the celeb audience giving Donald Trump a standing ovation actually voted for Trump or Clinton . But he was getting the ovation for the lifestyle excesses that Hollywood and Democrats now condemn.
A bizarre exercise in mutual hypocrisy.