We all know what a Roast is, right?
They started back in the mid-century 1900s with Dean Martin, I believe, and the idea is that someone brings together a group of people they really like and trust and the collective then proceeds to take personal shots until the guest of honor is either crying because they’re laughing so hard or because the jabs have become so deeply personal that their first step out the door is into a taxi cab on their way to a special hospital with padded rooms called “Woodlawn” or “Aspen Reserve” or something like that.
Comedy Central’s had their flavor of roasts for quite a while now and they’re not really my speed because anymore it seems like the participants barely know each other and are only there because 1) they’re getting a paycheck and 2) they fill a really nice demographic that can be used for pitching advertisers.
The CC roasts are also entirely about shock and awe which I find to be a particularly boring flavor of comedy.
At any rate, as far as I know, no one in the last 60 years has had the intestinal fortitude to bring one of their own children on stage to speak real truth.
And I know why. It’s because the guests of honor are genuinely terrified of what their children might say. Kids are ruthless and will say all the things that even make the Howard Sterns of the world squirm in their chairs a little bit. Kids have seen the behind-the-scenes that no one else has. And they have zero built-in filters to know when it may or may not be appropriate to share from their memory banks.
Let me show you a quick example:
(Disclaimer: I’m intentionally not identifying which of my children said these things to protect their privacy. I’ll use the name “Patrickus” as a proxy name)
In an attempt to take better care of my body I’ve been exercising more. Still not a lot, but it’s enough of a shift that my kids have started to notice the habit. So I’m in our basement sweating away to Jock Jams or whatever and Patrickus enters the room.
Patrickus: DAD, DON’T EXERCISE. COME WATCH A SHOW WITH ME
Me: I need … to… gasp I need to exercise buddy.
Patrickus: Nah, you can stop.
Me: Haha. I can come watch with you in a little bit but I need to finish this workout first. Just a few more minutes.
(Quick aside: Like I needed any extra motivation to quit that workout on the spot. I was dying to watch some Peppa Pig if it meant I didn’t have to do the next set of lunges, but I soldiered on)
Patrickus: NOT A FEW MORE MINUTES. COME ON!
Me: No really, bud. I’m too fat so I need to exercise more.
Now let me paint a picture really quickly. Patrickus once spent an entire month, 30 seconds at a time, trying to convince me that his birthday was in August when it’s actually in February. And you know when they nagging stopped? When I threw him an impromptu “half birthday” because he clearly has a stronger will than I do.
So for him to concede this quickly with my “I’m too fat” take means that he bought it immediately which is so incredibly hurtful but I also respect the honesty so much.
Never in my entire life have I been owned by two syllables in the English language, or any language for that matter, the way I was that day. O followed by a K in the most understanding tone.
And also HILARIOUS.
So Patrick, err, I mean Patrickus… as of today you are formally uninvited from any future roasts. OK?
What’s the most honest and honestly brutal thing that a child has ever said to you? Let’s feel the pain together (and celebrate how funny our can be).