REVIEW: The Roast of Rob Lowe

Ann Coulter spoils The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe, simply because she’s unlikeable.

*SPOILER ALERT: Contains spoilers from the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe.

As an Australian watching this roast of the annoyingly dreamy Rob Lowe, the first question that came to my mind was ‘Who is Ann Coulter?’ The second question was, ‘Why the fuck is she on this show?’

Sure, I was mildly aware of her. I knew she was a conservative pin-up girl and a Trump supporter, but I wasn’t aware just how hated she was, or why. Until of course, she opened her mouth.

Up until she took to the dais, this was actually a pretty solid roast. David Spade was killing in his hosting duties, and his pulled-back style was perfect for the gig. Speaking of pulled-back, (well, speaking of the opposite anyway) Rob Riggle delivered a super energetic set with some very blunt delivery; the best of which was when he just yelled “Tiny little baby man” at Spade.

Jimmy Carr was probably the performer I was most excited to see here, but much to my surprise, he didn’t quite nail it. It’s possible that Jimmy’s own style is so dark and twisted to begin with, that when you ask him to harshen the material up for a roast, the only place he has to go is dead jokes. Or, in Coulter’s case “…one of the most repugnant, hateful hatchet bitches alive, but it’s not too late to change, Ann – you could kill yourself.” He still had some zingers, and maybe I expected too much.

Jewel was a surprising hit with possibly my favourite line of night directed at Rob Riggle “You look like every dad who can’t handle having a gay son.” She copped a lot of flack over the night, especially about her appearance, which is strange, because… well, she’s still got it in my opinion.

Another who copped plenty of grief from the other roasters, was the Karate Kid himself, Ralph Macchio. Ralph is clearly very good friends with Lowe from the days of The Outsiders, and the sincerity in his set was the sort of thing that makes these roasts work. He took all the jibes in good fun and even had a few non-flattering things to say about himself. Stay gold Ralph.

Pete Davidson was solid for the second year running, Nicky Glasser had some great lines and Peyton Manning shrugged off all the big head jokes to give Lowe a pretty solid serve. It is important to point out that much of the material of the night was directed at Coulter, with Davidson just plainly calling her a “racist c-nt.’ Even by roast standards, the comments were pretty mean-spirited, but the show was working well enough.

Then Ann Coulter took the stage. Aside from her opening line “Welcome to the Roast of Ann Coulter, featuring Rob Lowe,” her time on stage was as strange as it was unfunny. She kept making political jokes about Hillary and Obama. She made a ‘Spade’ joke that drew groans from the crowd. She pumped up the Trump at every opportunity which drew boos from the crowd. She even plugged her own book, and not in a joking way. She actually put it on the dais and then left it there. It was as bad as anybody has ever been on these roasts, and that includes The Situation.

By the time the Roastmaster General Jeff Ross closed this out with his Prince-tribute inspired set, the energy in the room had disappeared. Coulter weakened this show by her mere presence and killed it the moment she spoke. It’s a real pity; because Lowe was charming, a good sport and even gave out a few jabs himself in the closing speech. He deserved better.

Maybe it was good for ratings, but whoever at Comedy Central made the call to put Coulter on this lineup – with these comedians, in front of this crowd – should be getting a tap on the shoulder from management.

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The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe
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Matt Caton

Matt is a freelance writer, content marketer, comedy geek and podcast evangelist

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