The Friars Club Roast of Jack Black brought down the grand ballroom Friday afternoon at the New York Hilton, as upward of 3,000 of New York Friars Club members, dignitaries, celebrities and friends gathered to pay tribute to the actor/musician through one-liner barbs.
Bob Saget served as the Roastmaster on a dais that counted more than two dozen celebrities on the dais.
Popular targets for ridicule included Al Roker’s publicly acknowledged sharting incident at the White House, Jerry Lewis and his advancing age and his age-old criticism of women in comedy, Jeffrey Ross’s hair, the sexual proclivities of Bob Saget, Sarah Silverman, Amy Schumer (mostly concerning her upcoming Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer), and the unsuccessful movies of Jack Black. A few celebrities, including Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey and Will Ferrell, provided video roasts in absentia. Richard Marx strapped on a guitar and offered a musical tribute to Black’s musical duo, Tenacious D, with his take on their song, “Fuck Her Gently,” with backing strings. Amy Schumer and Jeffrey Ross stood out among the stand-ups (and non-comedians) and won over the room from beginning to end.
Some quips landed harder and better than others. Here are the best of them.
- On Bob Saget: “He plays a sweet dad on Full House, whereas he plays a terrible comedian to a half full house.”
- To Jerry Lewis: “Oh Jerry, France called. The last person who thinks you’re funny has died.”
- About Artie Lange’s attempted suicide by stabbing himself with a butter knife: “What you don’t know is he wasn’t trying to kill himself, he was trying to get the butter in faster!”
- Replying to Silverman: “Sarah has been like a daughter to me. Never fucked her.”
- “I was talking to Oliver Platt before the roast. It took me five minutes before I realized it wasn’t George Lopez.”
- To Jeffrey Ross: “Before the roast, he was standing next to Jerry Lewis and someone made a donation.”
- “Jeffrey Katzenberg has figured out how to make money on a Jack Black movie. Don’t show his face.
- To Saget: “Bob’s on a stand up tour of colleges. It’s nice to see someone not killing in schools these days.”
- After Gene Simmons stuck out his tongue per request by Ross: “We’re two pieces of pumpernickel away from having a #3 at the Carnegie Deli.”
- About the need to talk about the good things Jerry Lewis has done in his life and career: “What about the time a couple of Labor Days ago when a 6-year-old boy got of his wheelchair and walked for the first time…to turn off the Jerry Lewis telethon?”
- To Jack Black: “He also has some serious roles under his belt. Just look!”
- About Black’s upcoming animated sequel Kung Fu Panda 3: “Roger Ebert was going to review that movie, but he took the easy way out.”
- “They say this place is haunted but I don’t believe it. Oh my god, the ghost of Jerry Lewis is here! … This is my first Friars Roast and Jerry’s last.”
- “Jeffrey Ross, the golden boy is here. They call him that because he used to let Milton Berle piss on him.”
- “Richard Belzer is here. I just wrote ‘yikes.'”
- “Gene (Simmons), you look like all the Friars mushed together.”
- To Black: “You’re an actor, a musician. Is there anything you can’t do? I guess cardio.”
- To Black: “Jack. Look at me, look at you. Without School of Rock, you have my career….I’m the Ghost of Show Business Future.”
- “Bob Saget is as good as they will ever get…for a day like today.”
Black, as the honoree, claimed he didn’t know how to be a mean comedian, but playfully gave it a try and added the exclamation “Roasted!” after his friendlier quips to the men and women on his dais.
- To “Saggy Bob” after lauding him for earning so much “ABC money” for Full House: “No amount of dicks and tits and buttholes can make that go away.”
- “I talked to Jerry (Lewis) on the phone. He told me this would be the highlight of my career. I don’t know about that!”
Photo: New York Friars Club Abbot Jerry Lewis greets honoree Jack Black to the annual Friars Club Roast at the New York Hilton on April 5, 2013. Photo by Dan Pasternack.