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I Could Make An Awkward Hoff Joke, But This Tribute Doesn't Require A Corny Review Title
on January 5, 2011
Anyone familiar with the "Comedy Central Roast" series should have a pretty good idea of what to expect by now. In the grand scheme of things, it was only a matter of time before David Hasselhoff hit the dais. I mean, seriously, has there ever been a subject more ripe for ridicule than our man Hoff? I don't think so. But Hasselhoff takes it all with good natured bemusement. If anything, when the subject of the roast veers to topics that don't concern him (and you know these roasts are just an opportunity for some of the comedians to try out material even if completely unrelated to the subject at hand)--he seems a bit bewildered. On the whole, though, if you've taken in the entire series of roasts--the honor for Hasselhoff may not be the brightest comedy jewel, but it is far from the bottom as well. An enjoyable evening, with a couple of standouts, if this runs to your taste--this is an easy recommendation.
The Hoff tribute gathers the usual Comedy Central suspects including Lisa Lampanelli, Jeffrey Ross, Gilbert Gottfried, last year's break-out Whitney Cummings, and recently deceased Greg Giraldo and mixes them with George Hamilton, Hulk Hogan, Jerry Springer and Pam Anderson. As usual, some of the "celebrity" roasters have ties to Hasselhoff (such as Anderson) but most are comedy mainstays with little to no personal involvement with the subject. The jokes can be hit or miss, as you might expect, and nobody was a complete disaster. Springer was easily my least favorite--but no one really looks to Jerry for his unique comedy stylings, do they?
In addition to the battering that Hasselhoff takes, the two other big targets are Anderson (with constant references to, guess what, her physical attributes) and Hogan (with comments about the family and his sexuality--I personally didn't know this topic was of such interest!). The Master of Ceremonies is the likable Seth MacFarlane and he keeps the transitions fast and amusing. Overall, the highlight was probably the screeching hilarity of Gottfried--but Jeffrey Ross provides the night's most disturbing visual joke. Hasselhoff tops things off with a delightfully demented vocal performance. With his daughters in attendance, you couldn't help but realize he was paving the way for his new reality show. Didn't work out too well though, that show was canceled after only two episodes aired on its premiere night! But don't worry, Hasselhoff will stick around as will the "Comedy Central Roasts." If you are the audience for this special, I'm sure you already know it--so enjoy! KGHarris, 1/11.