Written by El Puerquito Magnifico
In August of 2007, friends, fans, and well-wishers gathered to pay tribute to former Public Enemy hype man and current reality show star Flavor Flav in the form of a roast. As the old saying goes, “With friends like these, who needs enemies?”
It’s safe to say that the man born as William Drayton is fair game for roasting. Whether working with a politically conscious hip-hop group, getting arrested for narcotics possession, or starring in several reality-based dating programs, everything Flavor Flav has done in his life and career has been done with a very unique (perhaps a better word might be “ridiculous”) style. I guess what I’m getting at is that even if you’re not a professional comedian, it’s not too hard to come up with a joke or two about a guy who wears a big clock around his neck and a Viking helmet on his head.
Luckily, Flavor Flav has a thick skin, because the jokes in this roast get pretty raunchy. Hosted by Katt Williams, the roasters included Ice-T, Jimmy Kimmel, Snoop Dogg, Greg Giraldo, Patton Oswalt, Lisa Lampanelli, Jeffery Ross, Carrot Top, Sommore, and Flav’s ex-girlfriend and “Strange Love” co-star, Brigitte Nielsen. With the exception of Sommore and Nielsen, every one of the roasters delivers side-splitting laughter. Even Carrot Top is pretty funny. Yes, Carrot Top! I’ve watched this roast several times myself, and it doesn’t lose its luster with repeated viewings. This is some really good stuff.
It is not, however, for the easily offended. This DVD release is uncut and uncensored, so if you fall into the ultra-politically correct crowd, you might want to just go ahead and skip this one, and all of the Comedy Central Roasts, for that matter. Better yet, maybe you should watch them because you might learn a thing or two about not taking yourself so seriously. If there is a racist, sexist, or stereotypical joke out there, you can almost guarantee someone at one of these roasts will say it. But it’s all in good fun, and every joke is told in an ironic fashion. Make no mistake, these folks aren’t endorsing bigotry or stereotypes; they’re mocking them.
The beauty of the Comedy Central Roasts is that the roastmasters don’t just poke fun at the Guest of Honor, they also crack jokes about each other, and sometimes even themselves. It’s like getting 10 roasts for the price of one, and it’s awesome. I try to make it a point to tune in to all of the roasts when they air, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. Now they’re available on DVD, so I can watch them whenever I please.
Speaking of the DVD release of the Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav, I should probably mention the extras on this disc, though they’re hardly worth mentioning. The “Red Carpet Interviews” and “Backstage Passes” amount to little more than unedited versions of those little clips they play during the credits and between commercial breaks. Not worth watching at all. The “Flav-Cam Bonus Footage” is just Flavor Flav giving you a tour of his trailer and walking around backstage with a camera affixed to his clock. Again, not worth watching; I’ve seen home movies that are more entertaining.
While the extras are not so hot, the roast itself is everything they are not: funny, irreverent, and at times even heartwarming. Okay, maybe not heartwarming, but you do get a sense that some of these people actually are friends, and do have a great deal of respect for each other, despite what they may say when they’re behind the podium. At any rate, if you want to watch 73 minutes of really dirty jokes, you could do a lot worse than this roast. It’s well worth your time and money.