AskDefine | Define roasts

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Plural of roast


  1. third-person singular of roast

Extensive Definition

A roast, in North American English, is an event in which an individual is subject to publicly bearing comedic insults, praise, outlandish true and untrue stories, racial stereotypes and heartwarming tributes. The implication being that the roastee is able to take the jokes in good faith and as not being serious criticism or insult, and therefore showing their good nature. It is seen as a great honor to be roasted, as the individual is surrounded by friends, fans, and well-wishers, who can receive some of the same treatment as well during the course of the evening. The party and presentation itself are both referred to as a roast. The host of the event is called the roastmaster.

New York Friars' Club

The New York Friars' Club has held celebrity roasts in private since the 1920s. Only recently has the public been invited to see them. Dean Martin hosted a series of roasts on television during the 1960s and 1970s as part of The Dean Martin Show. The humor at these broadcast tributes was far tamer than the sometimes extremely vulgar and explicit language of the private, non-televised ones.

Comedy Central

Currently on television in the U.S., Comedy Central occasionally broadcasts roasts of comedians, both some of the Friars Club and their own. To date, Comedy Central has aired roasts of Drew Carey, Jerry Stiller, Rob Reiner, Hugh Hefner, Emmitt Smith, Chevy Chase, Denis Leary, Jeff Foxworthy, Pamela Anderson, William Shatner, and Flavor Flav. (see also: List of roast TV shows).
Many other organizations hold roasts now, mostly in private. But the overall tone of any true roast is supposed to be admiration and congratulations.
Anyone who is honored in such a way is said to have been "roasted".
In addition, there was the roasting of President George W. Bush by Stephen Colbert at the 2006 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.


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