Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff Review

You never know what you’ll get when you watch the roast of a prominent celebrity. Which comedians and stars will lampoon the titular guest of honor? Who is the guest of honor? Those two variables make or break a roast, and more than a few roasts have flopped due to a lack of quality in one category or the other. Luckily for David Hasselhoff and the roast in his honor, the proceedings go off with plenty of laughs and no one is safe. The man has become a cultural icon for starring in lots of classically sub-par entertainment, using the last syllable of his name in other words, and being mocked pretty much everywhere except for Germany for his "stardom". The man’s career has begged for a roast since his first days on the small screen, and he’s only made himself more of a target with everything he’s done. So now, unemployed and coasting on expired fame, David Hasselhoff sits before a panel of his peers and takes his consistently funny beatings from a variety of personalities.

Overseeing this slaughter of character is current television superstar Seth MacFarlane who warms up the audience and acts as a buffer in between the ruthless words of the 9 celebrity roasters: Lisa Lampanelli, Jeffrey Ross, Pamela Anderson, Whitney Cummings, Greg Giraldo, Gilbert Gottfried, George Hamilton, Hulk Hogan, and Jerry Springer. It’s an odd array of folks, some chosen for their relevance to Hasselhoff’s career, others for being memorable faces, and then you have those who’ve just become permanent installments of the roast gallery (Gottfried and Giraldo). It’s hard to know what to think of the roast when some of the personalities on the roster can’t tell a joke to save their life (Hogan and Hamilton) and only seem to be there because they share Hasselhoff’s quality of being a D-list celebrity with equally dead careers. It’s a wonder Kathy Griffin didn’t wind up in the mix.

As with all roasts, the roastee is just as much a target as the roasters themselves. Each roaster takes the podium and they first lambast their fellows before moving on to Hasselhoff. You wouldn’t be wrong if you predicted that Pamela, Hamilton, and Hogan (and his daughter) take the brunt of the collateral damage considering their histories of being whorish, old & leathery, and a mindless meatbag in a sport ridiculed for its sexual ambiguity, respectively. When Hasselhoff gets his brief moment in each of their crosshairs, he gets his asslehoff handed to him unfailingly. His career is one of the best jokes in Hollywood and offers so much fuel for the night that it’s almost tragic when one of the celebrities trips up and shows they can’t deliver a joke. Luckily the witless guests are easily overshadowed by the ones with debilitating stabs at Hoff and Anderson.

Giraldo, Gottfried, and Anderson make out like bandits when they take the spotlight. Giraldo easily wins the night as the funniest man on the mic with some truly gutbusting jokes and Gottfried, permanently stuck in bullhorn mode, just stampedes through his repertoire with his usual shameless gusto. It works. Then you have Anderson who has to just sit there and take it (yuk yuk) for the majority of the show and successfully delivers her share of barbs when she gets to strike back. She’s an incredible sport considering she’s as much if not more of a target for the evening’s jokes than the Hoff, and she gives as good as she gets – which is downright impressive. She might be the only non-comedian in the bunch who doesn’t fall on their face when they take the stand.

It’s a great 70 minutes of comedy and ranks fairly high on the list of roasts, even with its random selection of roasters.

DVD Bonus Features

A series of interviews both after the show and on the pre-show red carpet can be found here, along with follow-up talks with the roasters and the Hoff himself.

"Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff" is on sale January 11, 2011 and is not rated. Comedy. Starring Gilbert Gottfried, Seth MacFarlane, Whitney Cummings, David Hasselhoff, Pamela Anderson, Jerry Springer, George Hamilton, Hulk Hogan, Greg Giraldo, Lisa Lampanelli, Jeffrey Ross.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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