ESPN will televise sports-themed Friars Roasts, starting with a Super Bowl special

Last year’s Super Bowl week Friars Club Roast of Boomer Esiason in New York City never aired on TV, so if you weren’t there, you missed it.

ESPN isn’t going to make that mistake again.

The cable sports giant has entered into a partnership with The Friars Club to televise future sports-themed Friars Roasts, with the first one taking place Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix — Super Bowl Week.

ESPN’s coverage won’t be live, but rather taped and edited, premiering the following evening on ESPNs as an hourlong special.


“Our partnership with ESPN highlights what the Friars have been doing for over a century – honoring performers and entertainers, as well as sports personalities, with our special brand of humor,” said Friars Club Executive Director Michael Gyure. There’s much to be said for comedy in sports and the rich fodder for comedians to rib athletes about their performance on and off the playing fields. I’m thrilled that we have an opportunity to showcase our unique event with the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company in the world and discover a new audience to enjoy our Friarly antics.”

“We are looking forward to incorporating the famed Friars Club comedy into our wide-ranging Super Bowl week offerings,” said Matthew Volk, ESPN Director, Programming and Acquisitions. “The Friars have a well-known history in entertainment and we are excited to bring fans these sports-themed ‘best of’ specials.”

So look for old and older Friars Club members to converge in the Valley of the Sun for Super Bowl Week — the Roastee of Honor has yet to be announced.

But Esiason (shown above getting skewered by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie), said: “What a rarefied badge of honor it is to be Roasted by the legendary Friars Club. And knowing that it was all for charity made it more than just fun, but well worth the ribbing!”

The V Foundation for Cancer Research will become a beneficiary of the Friars Club sports-related Roasts.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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