Last night was the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe. Lowe wasn't an all-time great target, as he generally seems nice and has had a solid career, but it was a fantastic night for joke telling and reactions shots of Ann Coulter debating if this was worth selling 15 more books. The jokes about Coulter have been getting all the attention because they were the meanest, but there were other people there with faces, personalities, and careers worth taking down. Besides Lowe, Coulter, and emcee David Spade, roasters (and roastees) on the stage included Jeff Ross, Pete Davidson, Nikki Glaser, Jimmy Carr, Ralph Macchio, Peyton Manning, and Jewel, all dealing and taking insults with aplomb. Below are 18 (or is it 16?) of the most standout lines.
Rob was in the Austin Powers movie 16 years ago. Can you believe it, 16? Or as he calls it "18." Rob was in Austin Powers 2. He was excited to meet the cat Mr. Bigglesworth, since it had been a while since he had made a movie with a hairless pussy.
[To Pete Davidson] Pete, I actually thought you were black, but I guess you just have your dad's ashy skin.
Spade did a solid job as host, both being funny and setting the tone. His jokes about Lowe essentially explained to a younger audience the scandals that made him a good subject for a roast in the first place, using Austin Powers 2, of all movies, as an angle in. This was Davidson's second roast, so he was prepared for jokes about his dad dying in 9/11; that ashy-skin joke is a thing of dark beauty, and let people know how hard everyone was going to go.
[To Peyton Manning] Peyton looks like if football players evolved to no longer need helmets.
There were a lot of jokes about Peyton's giant head, but this was the most evocative, as you could imagine a league of Peyton heads clunking into each other.
Ann Coulter if you're here, who's scaring crows away from our crops!?
Solid joke, fantastically performed:
[After a Ralph Macchio, "Wax on, wax off" joke] Nikki Glaser has no idea what I'm talking about right now, because, one, she only watches porn and, two, she's never waxed in her life. Hairy asshole! Big hairy asshole! Big hairy asshole! Big hairy asshole! Big hairy asshole! [audience chants along] ... I'm sorry, Jeff, I didn’t mean to make you hungry ... Speaking of bleached hairy assholes, let's talk about Rob Lowe for a minute.
Riggle's set was nontraditional, yet a blast. He would tell okay jokes, but then the real fun would be his shouting of blunt tags. It loses something written out, but you can see how he was able to connect a bunch of people in one run — and it all worked because of his energy.
It's actually a small world, because last week I was behind Ann Coulter in line at Chipotle and she ordered something to go. The entire kitchen staff. She was like, "Leave the country."
It's not really a secret that a large, fantastic writing staff usually writes all the jokes for the non-comedian guests. (Coulter chose to write her own, which was not wise.) And of the non-comedians, Jewel was the best at selling them. There is a nice folksy quality to this that made it one of the more enjoyable Coulter digs of the night. It was also the one that seemingly made Coulter laugh the hardest.
On Nikki's Comedy Central show Not Safe With Nikki Glaser, she found out her father is hung like a horse. And we found out Nikki inherited her face from her dad's dick.
Carr performed one of the two classic roast sets last night. His jokes were varied stylistically and truly surprising. This is not where you expected he'd go when bringing up Nikki's dad's dick.
Jewel has an incredible voice, an incredible body, and a face.
Not to cut the frog up too much, but Carr, who won the 2015 Just for Laughs Roast Battle tournament, has an ability to feel both blunt and delicate. This might be the best-written butterface joke ever.
Jeff is called the Roastmaster, because he works in a Starbucks.
When I interviewed Jeff Ross, he talked about jokes that can take a person's whole career, boil it down, and destroy it in one blow. That is this joke. Every roast, people make fun of Jeff for only doing roasts, but this one is just so perfectly succinct.
Wow, I just realized that I'm not the only athlete up here tonight. As you all know, earlier this year, Ann Coulter won the Kentucky Derby.
Much has been made about how Coulter got it the worst at the roast. She definitely got it the most, but only a handful of the jokes were really clever, opposed to just angry. This one was a surprise.
[To Ann Coulter] The only person you will ever make happy is the Mexican that digs your grave.
Glaser, along with Carr, gave an all-time great set. And this was the best Coulter joke of the night — angry, but still interesting.
Jimmy A. Carr ... is what Ralph Macchio has to do to find a place to sleep every night.
There is a certain, very classic, very setup punch-line rhythm to most roast jokes. With many of her best jokes, Glaser avoided the feeling of sameness that often happens mid-roast, by instead using misdirection and hiding her setups in the transitions. This was one of the best jokes of the night.
Jeff, you and Hitler have a lot in common: micropenis, you're bad at your art, and no one cared about you until you started roasting people.
Along with Carr's Jewel joke, this was probably my favorite of the night. Comedians usually like to give it to Ross the hardest because they know he loves it: And, God, is this a hard joke.
Thank you, I want to welcome everybody to the Ann Coulter Roast With Rob Lowe.
This joke was funny and well received, and it shows how the night could've gone. As Donald Trump proved a few years ago, you don't have to be liked or liberal to be embraced in a roast. The audience just wants to see you play along. Coulter did laugh at some jokes (or at least it seemed like she did on TV), so when she told this joke, people were open to it. The problem is the rest of her jokes tanked. Especially the ones about how she was only doing it to promote her book — a move that only works if the audience is on your side. If she just told the jokes written for her and told them like she actually cared, she could've come out of the roast better than she went in. This joke shows what could've been.
[To Nikki Glaser] And there's Darling Nikki. Nikki Glaser. Glaser? I just met her.
Honestly, because Ross was wearing a Prince costume all night, few jokes really stood out from his set. I like this joke because it's so silly. In a night filled with very adult humor, there is a relief in what is basically a dad joke.
And you know what, Ann, after seeing your set tonight, I think we all witnessed the first bombing that you can't blame on a Muslim.
Just when you thought you couldn't hear another Ann Coulter joke. Nice connection between what is happening in the moment and everything else we know about her. What I love is that this joke was obviously written before the writing staff had seen her set. All they were going on was that she was going to write her own jokes, and they knew.
Raised Catholic, Jimmy first new he was funny at age 9 ... when he made his priest laugh so hard that cum shot out of his nose.
Good, gross, offensive roast joke.
Just in case that still wasn't enough Coulter-izing, here is a supercut of all the best burns of the converative pun-don't.