Stand-Up Tuesdays is a weekly comedy spotlight written by the wonderfully talented Angie Frissore. Covering both known and unknown comics, Stand-up Tuesdays is your new source for all things funny.
This week, Angie puts a spotlight on Jeffrey Ross. If you or your comedy troupe would like to be featured on Stand-Up Tuesdays, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you haven’t experienced why they call Jeffrey Ross the Roastmaster General by now, you need to crawl out from the rock under which you reside and get with the program. The comedy veteran, known for his scathing and sharp roasts of some of our favorite celebrities, politicians and, well, generally anyone, released his latest special, “Jeff Ross Roasts America”, last month to the delight of Ross fans everywhere.
Certainly not your average, run-of-the-mill comedy special, “Jeff Ross Roasts America” is more of a travel documentary as Ross takes his show across the country, starting in Seattle. With each city, Ross tailors his brand of equal-opportunity bashing to suit where he happens to be performing.
“Madison,” Ross quips, taking the stage in Wisconsin, “holy shit you people are fat.”
It’s not just anyone that could get away with what Ross does – another comedian would, most likely, have his derriere handed to him afterwards by angry audience members. Ross, however, remains endearing to his crowds – no one is off limits, not even himself, and Ross’s quips and jabs are instead seen as a mark of pride for those who offer to take the stage (Ross will not randomly pick on people – he will only roast those who volunteer for it).
“How do you feel about having the same hair on your balls that I have on my face?” Ross asks of one volunteer, who was clearly delighted by the attention.
As in customary Ross style, he does take some time to rip on some of the more controversial subjects out there – Whitney Houston’s death (which actually happened while Ross was on stage), Steve Jobs’ death, and even Michael J. Fox.
“I’m not making fun of Michael J. Fox, that’s shaky ground.”
Some of the special’s highlights include Ross’s visit to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., where he publicly roasts Lincoln in front of a small crowd of gathered tourists, finishing each joke with, “Too soon?” as well as an eye-watering scene involving Ross in an American flag-print Speedo. During one show, as the small group of audience volunteers take the stage to be roasted, a wounded, wheel-chair bound soldier appears from behind the backstage curtain. Ross is almost left at a loss for words as he expresses his awe and gratitude for the man’s service to our country. In what is probably the most respectful roast in the special, Ross simply tells the man, “This is a long way to go to lose some weight; I hope you’re having a blast.”
And of course, turning the tables on Ross, the veteran quips, “I did have a blast…in Afghanistan!”
Other highlights of “Jeff Ross Roasts America” include a touching (but not overly sappy) tribute to comedy greats Patrice O’Neal and Greg Giraldo – a moment that is sure to tug on the heartstrings of comedy fans.
Jeff Ross remains a comedy enigma – he makes a living making fun of others, but is also one of the most likeable and respected figures in comedy today. If “Jeff Ross Roasts America” doesn’t leave you wondering what Ross would say about you, you may need to go watch it again. You can check out “Jeff Ross Roasts America today at Amazon.com and also check out Ross in “The Burn”, which airs Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. EST on Comedy Central.