Why the Media Are Mum About Comedy Central’s 2011 Trump Roast
© Jack Cashill
In March 2011, the cable channel Comedy Central staged a celebrity roast of Donald Trump. Hosted by Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane, the show featured a crew of B or C List entertainers mocking each other and, of course, Trump, the subject of the roast.
What stands out seven years later is how the Democratic-media complex (DMC) seems to have erased its past and changed its standards for no greater purpose than to make Trump’s occasionally crude behavior seem aberrant, if not downright un-American.
When asked today why they hate Trump so intensely, political adversaries are still citing Trump’s willingness to mock a disabled reporter, his Access Hollywood “pussy” tape, and, of course, his presumed racism and imaginary dabbling in white supremacy.
Nothing Trump has ever said or done, however, measured up to the relentless vulgarity on seemingly hilarious display at the Comedy Central roast. Calculating his own political future perhaps, Trump was the only participant who shied from the gleeful sexism, ageism, racism, slut shaming, fat shaming, gay bashing, and disability mocking that characterized the evening.
The high dollar New York audience laughed throughout. This was the world they had created and in which they were obviously comfortable. To be fair, some of the jokes worked, and there is something to be said for an evening in which the thought police are off duty.
That much conceded, the relentless vulgarity weighed the event down. In the not too distant past, celebrity roasts relied on sexual innuendo and double entendre. By 2011, the DMC had deeply undermined the culture and the celebrity roast with it. This crowd of roasters might not have even known what the word “innuendo” meant, let alone “entendre.”
F-bombs and MF-bombs were dropping like “and’s” and “the’s.” At least a few of the roasters let the c-word fly as casually as if it had already been mainstreamed. Everyone mocked Matlin’s deafness. And there were as many jokes about fellatio as there were about Trump’s hair.
In March 2011, however, there were no jokes suggesting Trump was a racist despite the fact that he had already begun talking publicly about Barack Obama’s birth certificate or lack of the same. At the time, Trump and black rapper Snoop Dogg were on good terms. Said Snoop Dogg, “I got love for you, man.” If Trump was a racist, no one had noticed.
One object of humor, even in 2011, was Trump’s presidential ambition. At the beginning of the roast after telling Trump how “huge” was pronounced, McFarlane added, “And here’s another one, it’s pronounced, I am f---ing delusional, not I am running for president.” It is safe to say Trump got the last laugh.
In October 2016, with the election seemingly in the bag, the Huffington Post resurfaced the roast. In an in-depth article, Daniel Libit reassured his audience that Trump was an unelectable buffoon. Those who worked on the roast seemed only too happy to add confirming details.
Trump rejected one model because she wasn’t pretty enough. Trump had no ability to laugh at himself. Trump tripped over his own ego. Trump ruined the jokes he had been given by editing them. “Nobody blacks out punchlines,” complained one writer. Trump did.
The writers shared with Libit a copy of the script they had given to Trump. One paragraph in the original script led with the joke, “By the way, now that we’re all awake, Snoop I’d like my wallet back,” and ended with, “Lisa, a condom is that thing full of coke you hide up your ass when you visit your boyfriend in jail.”
Understandably, Trump scratched out the entire paragraph and wrote a bold “NO” next to it. In October 2016, this seemed to the Huffington Post further proof of Trump’s unfitness for office. In 2016, however, Harvey Weinstein was still, in Meryl Streep’s memorable turn of phrase, “God,” and Roman Polanski and Bill Cosby were members of the Academy of Motion Pictures.
Within a year, a pair of seismic jolts rattled this world in a way it had not been rattled since the arrival of Charles Manson nearly 50 years prior. In November 2016 came Trump’s ascension, and in October 2016 came Weinstein’s fall.
To make sense of both, the inhabitants of this world have had to pretend that they never gave Roman Polanski a standing ovation or laughed at a rape joke or dismissed Bill Clinton’s accusers as trailer trash. In their version of the “Donald Trump Story,” he is not a reflection of the culture they created, but a sorry deviation from it.
To pull this off charade they will suppress the Comedy Central roast, treat Stormy Daniels like Mother Teresa, and insist, as the Huffington Post does with every Trump article, that the president, unlike their virtuous selves, is “a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, and birther.”
How it must pain these clowns that Trump gets to run their circus.