Comedy Central has been trying for years to bring back The Roast. They’ve put up too-easy-to-roast has-beens like Flavor Flav and other retreads, they’ve rightfully tossed daggers at the unlikable Justin Bieber and even hurled insults at the world’s current biggest turd – Donald Trump.
Of all the recent Comedy Central Roasts, however, few were quite as fitting as the most recent; the roast of Rob Lowe.
Known best for his recent role on Parks and Recreation, Lowe was bombarded by friends and those who barely knew him, with some unsuspecting roasters handing out timeless gems.
The interesting aspect of the roasts is that the person being roasted often isn’t an A-celebrity. That’s naturally the case with Lowe, who has undoubtedly enjoyed a long and successful stay in Hollywood, but will never be confused with a “great” actor.
Whether or not Rob Lowe’s roast ranks among the best roasts ever isn’t up for debate, however. It’s still fresh and for Lowe it might still sting a bit. He took it all in stride, however, and even ended the roast with some zingers of his own. If you’re looking for soundbites or wondering who “won” the Rob Lowe roast, however, we’ve got you covered.
Here we rank every Rob Lowe roaster, grade the top joke and the worst moments:
9. Ann Coulter
This was without a doubt the worst roast member of the night and very likely the worst roaster any celebrity roast has ever seen. It truly is remarkable that Ann Coulter was welcomed onto the Rob Lowe roast, seeing as not a single person associated with the show seemed to want her there.
Not only did everyone peg Coulter for a racist and sexist, but they also attacked her looks, sex life and personality in general. To top it off, Coulter had a fantastic opportunity during her roast time to either set the record straight or slam all of her roasting counterparts, but she failed miserably.
Coulter did draw a few laughs in odd spots, but her delivery was awful and her material was even worse. She even was shamelessly promoting one of her many books by standing it up on the podium while she spoke.
Best Joke: We’d say none, but she did open her roasting segment with a promising one-liner:
“I want to welcome you all to the Ann Coulter roast with Rob Lowe.”
Unfortunately, as you’d guess, it was all downhill from there.
8. Ralph Macchio
Best known as The Karate Kid, Ralph Macchio was mostly affiliated with Rob Lowe as a fellow 80’s star, while they also teamed up in The Outsiders back in the day. Macchio was understandably the butt of a ton of jokes due to his career trailing off after The Karate Kid movies, but he took it all reasonably well and then delivered a few decent jokes when it was his turn to burn Rob Lowe.
The actual material really wasn’t awful, but the tone and delivery was severely lacking. In fact, there were moments where Macchio seemed like he was genuinely upset with Lowe, rather than spewing out bad burns. There were other spots where he looked like he had never spoken publicly before and you feared he wouldn’t get through the joke.
Overall, it could have been worse and we realize the guy has been out of work for the better part of the last two decades, so he definitely grades out better than Coulter.
Best Joke: On Lowe’s casting on the popular political show The West Wing:
“They say you f***** a 16-year old and they’re like, hm, he looks like he can work in the White House.”
Not bad, but not the best. Again, the delivery wasn’t there, which ultimately held back a lot of Macchio’s material.
7. Rob Riggle
Riggle is a decorated Marine and a pretty good bit in the right segment. Unfortunately, he disappointed heavily at this roast. He had a series of one-liners that felt lazy or ill prepared, at best.
He’d be graded even worse, but this wasn’t the strongest roasting cast we’ve ever seen and it was tough to do worse than Macchio or Coulter. Riggle didn’t have any shining moments here.
Best Joke: None.
We could slap one of Riggle’s jokes here, but that’d be filler and kind of lazy as far as judgment goes. The reality is, his set was very forgettable.
6. Pete Davidson
The SNL star has been in a few roasts and usually holds his own. His only issue is he has a weird habit of including the death of his father (who died in the 9-11 attacks) and it’s understandably a bit uncomfortable. It’s even worse now that he’s made the joke fair game and other comics have taken stabs at him with that very material.
Other than that, Davidson was solid on his feet and had some good jokes. He seemed to focus on Ann Coulter a bit too much and later didn’t take a joke from her at his expense very well, but he was still one of the better roasters on the night.
Best Joke: Davidson probably could have had a little better focus and direction, but he nailed a gem to do with Peyton Manning’s tall head:
“Peyton Manning’s here. I f****** love Peyton Manning. He’s the s***. Peyton looks like a football player’s evolved to no longer need helmets.
Manning took this one perfectly in stride and this is probably an instant classic.
5. Peyton Manning
Manning wasn’t too bad, himself, as he’s a personal friend of Rob Lowe’s due to Lowe’s affiliation with the Indianapolis Colts. The two go way back and it made good sense to have the future Hall of Famer on hand.
We all know Manning can be funny, too, as he was a hit as hot of SNL and he’s been good in several commercials, as well.
Best Joke: While Peyton Manning was solid, his best joke came at the expense of the roast host, David Spade:
“David Spade, you went out and got a business degree from Arizona State. Although to be fair, we all know that a business degree from Arizona State is a bar towel that says, “You read good.”
4. Jeff Ross
One would think that the self-proclaimed “king of roasts” would be the #1 Rob Lowe roaster, but Jeff Ross missed the mark overall on Tuesday night. He still nailed some solid jokes and was part of the Ann Coulter demolition, but we expected more. I mean, the guy runs a show based on mastering roasting, for crying out loud.
Even so, Ross is always solid and he even showed up dressed as Prince.
Best Joke: Ross could have done better, but he did deliver one gem against Lowe:
“The truth is, Rob, roasting you wasn’t easy. I mean, what can I really say about you that hasn’t already been said in court by three nannies, a chef and an underage girl from Atlanta?”
Yeah, that was a pretty sick burn.
3. Jimmy Carr
Carr is known quite well in the Comedy Central roasting community by now, both as a pretty stellar comedian and, obviously, an elite roaster. He had a lot of clever jokes laid out at his expense, but he obliterated everyone he went after.
Carr’s biggest moment was when he delivered a suicide joke directed at Ann Coulter. That was a bit too nasty for our liking, but that may show you just how dark this guy gets. He kept it relatively light elsewhere, and poked some fun at Rob Lowe’s career in the process.
Best Joke: Referring to Rob Lowe’s once promising career:
“In the 80’s Rob was a member of the Brat Pack. Or as they’re now collectively known – the C-List.”
2. Nikki Glaser
Glaser seemed to overcompensate a little bit by getting a little too dirty during the Rob Lowe roast, but overall she was pretty good. She was one of many who absolutely destroyed Coulter, but it’s arguable she concentrated on such an easy target a little too much.
She earns a solid grade by slamming pretty much everyone in the roast cast, though, while her burns on Rob Lowe were particularly solid. Her comedic timing and wording was also pretty spot on.
Best Joke: She nailed most of her burns, but the best one was at Rob Lowe’s expense:
“Rob defies age…restrictions. Really, you’re a f****** Adonis. I hate you. You look like you’re sculpted. You put the statute in statutory rape. God, I had such a crush on you when I was a little girl. If only I’d known that’s when I had my best shot.
This is really a fantastic joke, as it’s layered and jam-packed. It was the perfect icing to a really strong set.
You can rank the top Rob Lowe burns however you want, but in terms of solid material, stellar delivery and shock value, there is little doubt in our minds that Jewel takes the cake.
Jewel filleted Rob Lowe just like everyone else, but she also had slick burns left and right that roasted the other roast cast members. She even whipped out her guitar and burned Rob Lowe with a song.
There were a number of terrific burns by Jewel and she seemed like quite the natural while dropping joke after joke. Maybe it’s because we didn’t see her coming, but we feel she stole the show at the Rob Lowe roast, by far.
Best Joke: Proof that Jewel flat out killed it at the Rob Lowe roast? We couldn’t narrow our favorite Jewel jokes down to one.
This first one burns Pete Davidson perfectly:
“It’s hard to recognize him when he’s not on SNL or not on an adventure with the man with the yellow hat.”
The second rips Ralph Macchio to shreds (the delivery is also impeccable):
“Who doesn’t love Ralph Macchio? Bill collectors. And actual karate masters. And real actors. Italians. You know; people.”
Honorable mention goes to David Spade, who did not seem to love getting insulted in any regard. He took it like a champ eventually, but the first few burns clearly didn’t sit well. He also has never been too keen on anything associated with his dead friend, Chris Farley.
Of course, Spade’s inability to appreciate some dark humor didn’t last throughout the entire Rob Lowe roast, nor was it remotely close to as bad as Ann Coulter’s demeanor over the course of the night.
Ann Coulter didn’t find a way to laugh at herself while getting completely destroyed during the entire show and then showed that even more with a weak roasting of her own. She really should have never agreed to partake in the Rob Lowe roast. Every single roaster – from Pete Davidson to Rob Lowe himself – absolutely destroyed her.
Taking it All in Stride
Obviously the best sport for this was Rob Lowe, as he absorbed brutal burns about sex with underage prostitutes and other jokes involving sex, cheating and drugs. Needless to say, there was enough dark material here to force even the strongest of spirits to cradle their knees and rock back and forth.
Through it all, Lowe either laughed uncontrollably in approval or nodded along in agreement.
But he knew he was going to get slayed. It was nice to see him embrace it and later respond with burns against some of the roasters, but he obviously knew there were no punches being held.
This award goes to a roaster – Peyton Manning – who got crushed, yet didn’t seem too bothered at any point. There is no denying his burns weren’t nearly as nasty as most of the others, but he never once looked upset or embarrassed. It was almost like he agreed with every joke that was at his expense.