Roasts are supposed to come from a place of love. Historically, the Friars' Club Roasts of people like Frank Sinatra were friends cracking jokes at each other' expense. The roastee trusted the roasters because they knew that it was all in good fun. The jokes could be mean because they came from a place of intimacy and mutual respect between the roaster and roastee.
That was not the case during the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe, which aired Monday night. The roasters had no love for inflammatory conservative commentator Ann Coulter, who was there to roast Rob Lowe but ended up becoming the target of the roast herself.
Many of the panelists -- including the "Roastmaster General" Jeff Ross, comedians Nikki Glaser and David Spade (who hosted the night's festivities), and singer/songwriter Jewel -- savagely attacked Coulter's appearance, support for Donald Trump and generally hateful personality. Coulter has built a career out of saying the most horrible stuff imaginable (she once said America "would be a much better country if women did not vote. That is simply a fact."), and the comics assembled for the roast couldn't wait to give her a taste of her own medicine. "When I heard she was coming, I stopped writing jokes about Rob Lowe," Jeff Ross told Conan O'Brien last week. "I started making Ann Coulter jokes."
And the jokes were brutal.
Rob Lowe called her an "abortion," while Jeff Ross wondered, "How do I roast somebody from Hell?"
"The only person you'll ever make happy is the Mexican who digs your grave," said Nikki Glaser.
Even sensitive poet Jewel got into the savagery, joking, "Ann, you do look great, though. You're almost as thin as Donald Trump's chance of winning the election."
Coulter barely laughed or smiled through the whole thing.
When it was Coulter's turn to defend herself, she started by acknowledging the beating she was taking, saying, "Thank you, I want to welcome everybody to the Ann Coulter Roast with Rob Lowe." She then proceeded to flop. It was painful to watch her awkwardly, nervously reciting incomprehensible jokes. She was obviously more out of her element than she thought she would be. I almost felt sorry for her, but then I remembered who she is.
Apparently, the roast's head writer Mike Lawrence offered her better jokes, like "Rob Lowe is like America: He hasn't been great since Reagan was president and unemployment is becoming more and more of a problem for him," but she turned them down. She may regret that now.
The full roast is not online yet, but for now you can see some of the Ann Coulter lowlights via Jezebel (yeah, I linked to Jezebel. Come at me, bro.)