Top Chef

Anybody can rattle off a few good “yo mama” jokes, but it takes a true roasting artiste to put down his subject in such a way that the victim laughs as hard as the audience. Jeffrey Ross has been perfecting the art of the insult for years, to the point where he has written the book on it — literally, in the form of last year’s I Only Roast the Ones I Love: Busting Balls Without Burning Bridges. Known as the New York Friars Club’s Roastmaster General (see www.roastmastergeneral.com), he has lovingly and memorably torn new ones for Pamela Anderson, Joan Rivers, William Shatner, and others. It’s actually pretty impressive that Ross has made it to age 44 with his knees intact, what with his tendency to do things like tell Rivers that “Kanye’s mom had a better plastic surgeon.” And when he’s on fire, nobody is safe: During Jerry Stiller’s roast in 1999, Ross told Sandra Bernhard that he wouldn’t fuck her with Bea Arthur’s dick, with the Golden Girl right there in the room. It’s too bad that the venue has a no-heckling policy, because he would surely have a field day with anyone who makes the mistake of joining the show.
Feb. 5-6, 8 & 10:15 p.m., 2010

 
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