The Friars Club has been a comedy source since 1904, but what the club is known for is its celebrity roasts. Since the beginning of the celebrity roast — let’s say that started in the 1950s — people have enjoyed watching famous comedians outright insult each other. Who knew that you could make a career out of making fun of your friends? Some of the Friars did!
Humor provides universal enjoyment for all of us, and that’s why we are so proud of our roasts. Especially the ones of the classic variety. Simply put, they are funny. We could go on and on about why they are funny, and then try to convince you to watch them. But, if you’re interested in some of these classic roasts, we can talk about a few reasons why roasts are not only amusing, but good for your health.
Roasts are the best type of insult comedy
The genre of insult comedy is self-explanatory — it’s humor derived from insulting another person. One could argue that it’s not very sophisticated and downright mean. The truth is that some of the classiest people enjoy roasts. Even dignified comedians like Johnny Carson could participate in a Friars Club roast and dig into his friends.
Roasts appeal to people because it’s a type of humor that might not generally be considered “acceptable.” Sometimes, doing what’s unacceptable is perfectly fine. It gives us a chance to poke fun at others and let off a little steam. Imagine how the public must have felt in the 1950s when they first watched the classic Friars Club roasts. That kind of humor likely seemed shocking at a time, compared to lighter comedy sketches. But what insult comedy really does is allow us to put our hair down, and that’s why people love it so much.
Insulting people isn’t funny by itself and can be cruel, but roast masters like Carson perfected the art to make it truly funny without crossing the line. Even now, you can watch clips of Johnny Carson videos and Don Rickles roasts and remember that insulting your friends for humor is not a new practice. Those experts did it for years, and they made it hilarious.
Enjoy the greats in their prime
Celebrity roasts don’t work without the right celebrities behind them. Roastmasters like Don Rickles and Jerry Lewis knew exactly what to say so that you’d die from laughter while watching them from home. Some of the best comedy roasts of all time took place during those earlier decades. Who else got away with calling Lucille Ball “Lucille Testicle” during the 1960s other than the Friars, after all? How about the tale of Phyllis Diller disguising herself as a man during the roast of Sid Caesar? Those are just some classic Friars Club moments from awesome comedians.
These famous comedians are well-known for their contributions to comedy as a whole, and watching them in their prime is a great way to honor those who have passed. Don Rickles and Jerry Lewis are still kicking and doing what they do best, but watching them in decades past is a fantastic way to start a collection of their body of work.
If you’re of the older generation who remembers watching these roasts live, getting a few of our Don Rickles videos or a Johnny Carson DVD would also be a nice way to introduce younger relatives to great comedy. Many kids these days still love Abbott and Costello, the Three Stooges, and Laurel and Hardy — if they get the chance to watch them, that is. Insult comedy can be crude, but once children are a bit older, they’ll appreciate how funny those comedians are. And don’t forget that Johnny Carson’s jokes were, overall, clean!
Laughter is healthy
As we said before, humor is universal. People in most cultures love to laugh. In American culture, we embraced insult comedy and made comedians who practiced it popular. Back in the day, watching Dean Martin roast Don Rickles and Don Rickles roasting him back in return was hilarious to many of us.
Insult comedy isn’t the most highbrow form of entertainment, but it can make you laugh until you cry, and laughter adds years to your life. Humor cheers us up when we’re down and makes our days a little brighter. Having a viewing party of Milton Berle, Jack Benny and the greats teasing each other is one way to experience pure enjoyment. Why else do we like watching people insult each other? Laughter is beneficial for both the body and the mind.
We may be waxing philosophical on this point, but laughing at these roasts and having fun while watching them is the real reason we love these classics. They hearken back to an earlier time of comedy when the best were at their best, thinking of the most original jokes they could tell about anyone. These Friars Club roasts are innovative, and continue to be innovative well past the 1970s — remember Gilbert Gottfried telling the joke “The Aristocrats” at Hugh Hefner’s roast? It definitely wasn’t politically correct, but in the end, it was darn funny!
For these three reasons, consider picking up the Jerry Lewis roast or any of our other products listed on our site. In case you suspect that we might just be all hot air, check out some of the clips on our website from the roasts we offer. Enjoy these lost treasures of comedy while you reflect on the types of humor from decades past. You can even check out our bonus DVD of outtakes. Imagine how funny the actual televised roasts were, and then multiply that by three (or some other number) when you’re watching the outtakes!
Remember that these roasts are meant to entertain you and draw you back to the past, when Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Johnny Carson, Milton Berle, and Jack Benny reigned supreme. At their best, they teased each other mercilessly, but hilariously. Stay in with these DVDs and enjoy the show!
About Classic Friars Roasts: This DVD collection features the best comedy roasts of all time, including comedy sketches from Jack Benny, Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, Don Rickles, Johnny Carson, Alan King, and Jack Carter, Don Adams, Phyllis Diller and more. No comedy show today can equal the inspired genius of a Friars Club roast. To order visit http://www.classicfriarsroasts.com or call 866-987-3678. “LIKE” on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/celebrityroasts for hilarious out takes and rare clips of these legendary comedians.