I watched the second half of Last Comic Standing last night. They did a “roast” of Jay Mohr, their host. Maybe I’m just too sensitive, but roasts don’t sit well with me. There’s an episode of Cheers where some guys hire out the pool room to have a roast of a retiree. The retiree adjourns to the main bar and tells the Cheers crew of his “hilarious” roast. He tells them the only comeback he’s thought of is “Stop it. You’re hurting my feelings.” This is the only comeback I ever think is appropriate. Inevitably, there’s a line that the roasters continue to cross.
Last night, where the comics of Season 1 are still pitted against those of Season 2, the roast crossed that line very quickly and kept crossing it. There was a viciousness in some of the barbs that went out to the opposing team. Gary Gulman, my favorite comic on the show, harped a little too much on Ralphie May’s weight. And everybody, even his teammates, went after Dat Phan for being unfunny. On point, yeh, but mean. Todd Glass jumped way across the line with his “am I making you laugh or just making you nervous” routine in which he just strung together a bunch of insults directed at Jay Mohr.
Jay Mohr, for his part, zinged everybody better than they zinged him and it sort of, kind of turned into a love fest. Roasts may be fine for weekend viewing on Comedy Central, but on a Tuesday night in early prime time, they don’t feel good. In the end, from Season 1, Ralphie May and Dat Phan were voted off. Ralphie did, as I saw it, a bad routine last week and Dat never really makes me laugh.
For the second week in a row I got hooked into Veronica Mars on UPN. Intentionally, this week though. So far, it’s good stuff. A cross between 90210 and 21 Jump Street where a teenage Veronica helps her P.I. dad solve cases and restore justice to the schoolyard. It’s not as dopey as it sounds.