Jeffrey Ross: ‘Too Many Jokes’ For Sheen Roast

by | August 31, 2011 at 2:23 PM | TV News

Jeffrey Ross (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Jeffrey Ross (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

It’s an embarrassment of riches!

Comedian – and former “Dancing With The Stars” contestant — Jeffrey Ross says he has so much material for the upcoming “Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen” he doesn’t know which jokes will actually make it into the September 19 telecast.

“I could do half an hour myself,” says Ross, a producer of the special and close friend of Sheen.  “This is a field day for me.  I am like a kid in a candy store.”

Ross says the former “Two and A Half Men” star has developed a thick skin about his wacky behavior during the past six months and expects the insults to be flying fast and furious.

Watch The New Roast Promos:

On Monday, the network announced its first group of celebrity roasters:  Ross, TMZ boss Harvey Levin, MTV star Steve-O and ear-biting boxer Mike Tyson.  The event will be hosted by “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane.

“To me, these are fun names that make it a party,” Ross says.   “It is not a retrospective.  It is not a lifetime achievement award.  The fact that Charlie is alive, he should get an award at this point.  This is more of a man-of-the-moment type of comedy intervention.”

We caught up with the loud-mouthed comic to get a sneak preview of the big night:

How will the Charlie Sheen roast be different from other celebrity roasts?  Are there extra security concerns?
Obviously there will be security as if Benjamin Netanyahu is going to be there.  Charlie walks around with Israeli secret agents.  Plus Chuck Zito — who has killed more people than I have roasted.  To me this is more of a comedy roast than a celebrity roast.  The task here for Comedy Central is not to find the biggest names, but the biggest mouths.

What’s in it for Charlie?
I think everybody loves to be the center of attention – even when there is a target on their forehead.  And I think that it is a way to hit the reset button on the past and look forward.  I see these roasts often as a new beginning for people I have roasted in the past and I think that really holds true on this one.  The lineup reflects looking ahead and not backwards so much.

How does Charlie feel about the past six months?  Is he embarrassed?  Would he do it all over again?
I can’t speak for Charlie, but what I can tell you is that I think he was trying hard to get custody of his kids.  I did 8 shows with him on the road and from what I could see he was working real hard to become a good person.  He is very charming.  So I don’t know if you can really embarrass Charlie Sheen.

So his rebuttal is not just a rebuttal to the roast, but to the last six months of his life?
That is how I see it and that is how I pitched it to Charlie.

Will you write his rebuttal or will he?
No, that is Charlie’s mind only.  That’s what makes it so exciting.

You went on the road with Charlie last spring for his “Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour.  Some shows were big hits, others bombed.  What happened?
Charlie is a showman, but not a comedian.  Most people are trying to get their life together, Charlie chose to go on a comedy tour.  Which was brave and also a little insane.  I feel like it turned into something between a rally and a roast.  He said he was a warlock from Mars. And maybe he is  But I will tell you what he is not – a comedian from Earth.

Is he still in Warlock mode?
I think he is in full Warlock mode going into the roast.  If I am the roast master, he is the warlock.  We all have these parallel lives that emerge as we get into these big moments.  I think the roast for Charlie is a big moment.  It is something he was daydreaming about for a long time.

We have heard so many Charlie Sheen jokes.  What is left to say?
When you give it in the context of a roast.  In his suit, looking good.  We hear a lot of Charlie Sheen jokes in the media and on late night T, but to tell them to his face, I think, adds an element of danger and excitement and uncomfortability [sic] that you can’t duplicate in any other medium.  And when you put someone up there like Tyson as a wildcard…

If Charlie is not a comic, can you convince me Mike Tyson is?
I think that is what is fun about this.  Everybody loved Tyson in the hangover movies.  He obviously has built thick skin and a sense of humor.  And nobody has ever really seen it naked like this.  Just mike Tyson at a podium saying whatever he wants.  I got pretty pumped when I heard about that.

A lot of fans would like to see Chuck Lorre and Denise Richards on the dais.
That would be awesome!  Maybe they will roast from wherever they are, but I couldn’t imagine those two bookings.

Were invitations extended to them?
I would imagine they have [been].  There is a long line of people who want to roast him.  From the incoming calls, most of which I have to keep secret.  But there is a long line of people from Charlie’s past that would love to get some comeuppance.  But this is more about going forward, not looking back.

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