Public humiliation is not often sought out. Some people tremble at the mere thought of standing on stage in front of a room full of strangers while a trained assassin points out your flaws. I, on the other hand, was looking forward to it for weeks. You see, I’m a huge fan of comedian Jeffrey Ross and when I learned that he’d be performing at Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival, I extended my trip to Canada just to see his show.
As detailed in his awesome book I Only Roast the Ones I Love, Ross explains that roasting is an art, and not something that is meant to be mean-spirited. The tradition of busting balls is more a ode to the subject than a personal put down. To me, to be roasted is an honor. And by the best in the business? How could I pass up the opportunity? So, after a few beers and a killer start to his set, Ross invited whoever wanted to be subjected to his wrath to the stage. I jumped to the front of the line and the cameras rolled:
An original jab and one that could almost be considered a compliment. Brad Pitt? Not too shabby! He was equally as ruthless to all the other participants. Most importantly, it was a great time. Aside from my forty-second personal roast, just hanging out, drinking, laughing–there was a great vibe in the room. Yea, Ross was eviscerating everyone, but we were all in on the joke. I feel it was such a positive experience, that I recommend it to everyone. Put yourself out there. Laugh at yourself. Lighten the fuck up. The world could be a better place if everyone was roasted regularly.
It was a a proud moment and an encounter I’ll be sharing for many years to come.
Again, thanks Jeff.