Plot: What’s it about?
You know you’ve had a good run in show business when you’re roasted, a tradition that marks a certain level of success. The guest of honor sits backs and relaxes, while friends, peers, and sometimes even total strangers take control of the microphone. The insults are thrown with immaculate precision, hitting all of the sensitive spots without mercy. The highs of the guest’s career are discussed, but not with the same level of glee as the failures and misfires. All the mistakes made are put under the microscope and ridiculed in front of a large audience, with an intense aim for the cruel, but hilarious targets. After a career as a stand-up comedian, musician, and even movie star, Denis Leary was next to be roasted. And thanks to the folks at Comedy Central, his roast would be seen in front of countless viewers, not just those lucky enough to be invited. So with his friends and fellow show business talents surrounding him, Denis Leary would roasted in prime fashion. But would he be toasted by all the insults and jibes, even though the roasting is done with love and respect in mind?
I have to admit, I sat down and watched Comedy Central’s Roast of Denis Leary when it was first shown on television. I used to check out Leary’s routines as a stand-up, both live and on his various television stops, as he was always hilarious. His all out rage was a sight to behold, always chugging on his cigarette while spouting off his social commentary. To see him get roasted would be a treat, as he opened himself up to all kinds of potential insults. As expected, all the usual spots were hammered, such as his smoking, drinking, and red meat routine, but the buck didn’t stop there, as the speakers fired off rounds all over the place. The roster of famous faces in attendance was huge, with stars from all fields of entertainment on deck. Gina Gershon performed a wild musical number, Michael J. Fox offered a classic appearance, and Jim Breuer stormed the stage to cover Leary’s Asshole ballad. The list was impressive to be sure, with Rene Russo, Conan O’Brien, Jon Stewart, Kiefer Sutherland, Elizabeth Hurley, Dr. Dre & Ed Lover, Gilbert Gottfried, and countless others there to take on Leary. I found the show to be hilarious, so if you’re a fan of Leary’s work, then by all means, give this release a rental.
Video: How does it look?
The roast is presented in full frame, as intended. This looks much like it did on television, which is solid, but unremarkable. The image is clean and crisp, but lacks the polish of a refined production, though that isn’t needed here. All the visuals come across well, from the live performances to the unable to attend, taped messages. So if you saw this on television, then you know about what to expect from this presentation.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio has a solid presence here, better than on the broadcast that I remember watching, in fact. But given the dialogue driven nature of the show, there isn’t much room for anything beyond the basics. Even so, the audience sounds lively and what limited sound effects emerge sound as good as ever, so no worries. The main focus here is on the ribald dialogue, which comes through loud and clear at all times.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some deleted scenes, never before seen footage, and Denis’ uncut and uncensored rebuttal.