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Burned: The Oral F***ing History of the Comedy Central Roast


The odd mix of stars, up-and-comers, has-beens, and never-weres continued in the second roast, produced by Leary and “honoring” Jeff Foxworthy, who was coming off the Blue Collar Comedy Tour with fellow “clean” comics Bill Engvall, Ron White, and Larry the Cable Guy.
 
Jeff Foxworthy (roastee): They were paying me good money to do it, so I thought, Yeah, I’ll let ’em roast me, and I’ll give the money to charity. 
 
Denis Leary: Jeff is a really sweet guy, and he got wind that Bill Engvall and a couple of his Blue Collar buddies were going to be on, so he seemed a little like, “Hey, this is gonna be great!” And I said, “Hang on a second. You better be prepared.”
 
Jeff Foxworthy: Five minutes into the roast, I remember thinking, If my mother is watching this—the EMTs have her on the floor pumping her chest right now… 
 
Bill Engvall (roastmaster, roaster): I love a good dirty joke as much as the next person, but after an hour of it? Good night! Stuff I’d be hesitant to say in a poker game with my buddies, all of a sudden people are just babbling on TV? I was sitting right next to Jeff, and I could feel his uneasiness. 
 
Jeff Foxworthy: Ron White called my mustache “prison pussy.” That would have been the one that sent my mom off the couch and into the coffee table.
 
Larry the Cable Guy (roaster, roastee): I don’t mind dick jokes. I don’t mind it if it’s dirty, but if it’s dirty just to be dirty…After the Foxworthy roast, production moved from New York to L.A. to honor Pamela Anderson and introduced a bigger stage and bigger stars. Herzog finally had his tent-pole event, complete with a new “Roastmaster General” in Jeff Ross and a hot mess in Courtney Love.

 
Anthony Jeselnik (writer, roaster): Ross is like the fucking Godfather. 
 
Joan Rivers (roastee): I think Jeff Ross should have emerged years and years ago. He’s had a long wait.
 
Jeff Ross (roaster): The “Roastmaster General” was something I think Jimmy Kimmel called me first. I feel like it’s more of a nickname than a title.
 
Joel Gallen (executive producer and director): Courtney Love was one of the first people Pam wanted on the show; at the time they were buddies. Courtney was not an easy booking—she passed a few times.
 
Nick DiPaolo: She had supposedly kicked heroin, but she was sweating like Moses Malone at the foul line. 
 
Lisa Lampanelli (roaster): I don’t drink; never have. I’m no nun. My addictions have always been food and men. But the Pam Anderson roast sucked because Courtney Love was wasted! Still, she acted like such a fool, it made CNN, and everyone watched the roast.
 

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