Andy Samberg goes reverse roast, had nothing on Norm MacDonald

Andy Samberg roastThe James Franco Roast on Comedy Central was the best thing on TV Monday night, and it delivered just like all the other roasts on Comedy Central. Seth Rogen hosted, while Nick Kroll, Jonah Hill, Sarah Silverman, Andy Samberg, Aziz Ansari, Natasha Leggero, Bill Hader and Jeffrey Ross were the roasters. Everyone played it pretty straight except for Hader, who did his roast in character, and Samberg, who went reverse roast.

Samberg mocked the roast by being intentionally bad and making jokes about the same subject matters each roaster poked fun at. I didn’t think the intentionally lame jokes were that funny, much less his delivery, but some others enjoyed the changeup he threw. His style wasn’t exactly new; the real innovator of the anti-roast roast is Norm MacDonald, who literally pulled lame jokes out of an old joke book when he roasted Bob Saget.

Video below:

MacDonald later said in an interview that he liked Saget too much to say mean things about him, which is why he went with such a lame set. He also says he was instructed to be shocking, which he accomplished by having the most unusual bit of everyone.

To me, what MacDonald did was a thousand times better than Samberg. Samberg came across as trying to hard, whereas Norm was so much more natural. His lame jokes were fantastically lame, and his delivery and timing were excellent. Samberg was so over-the-top intentionally bad, it made my cringe. Norm made me laugh.

As for the others, I already was a big fan of Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen, so I thought they were great — particularly Jonah. Silverman was really funny, and I was pleasantly surprised with Natasha Leggero. But as much as I LOVE Aziz in his acting roles, his stand-up work still underwhelms me. Ross continues to just dominate the roast scene. Also, is it just because I’m Jewish, or did they go a little too heavy on the Jew jokes?

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  • looneylad

    Samberg’s was way funnier. Sometimes you have to overact to sell what you’re doing (like all the humor in SNL). Norm’s routine was funny and it was a nice step away from the typical Roast style, but Samberg seemed to be doing a full critique of the Roasting format with his act and it was great and probably the most memorable from the Franco Roast.

  • Casey Williamson

    MacDonald’s set was doing 1950s retirement party jokes. It was like he went to the wrong event…

    Samberg’s set was complimenting everyone else and roasting himself, while being completely oblivious about it. His jokes are all turned around on him, while making everyone else look good…

    Apples and Oranges…
    Completely different styles…

  • Lori Lynn Jackson

    Norm MacDonald didn’t get nearly as many laughs at the Roast as Andy Samberg did. The entire audience was laughing hysterically the entire time, which made Andy’s set even more enjoyable. I think Andy Samberg was the favorite of the evening, definitely not trying too hard, the delivery was perfect.

  • Bob thebuilder

    Leave it to a whiney jew to complain about roast material.

  • Jacob Russell

    I’m with you here. Norms set was much funnier for me and part of it was the audience not getting it. If you’re going to bomb… then go all the way and bomb. Andy’s set was too obvious and the audience got his joke right away. Making it seem more conventional and predictable. Norm’s was out of left field and the audience not getting it while we watched him bomb in front of all those big wigs and was a big part of the joke.

  • David Martinez

    Jews are allowed to make Jew jokes.

  • SZ4L

    Sambergs was wayyyyyy funnier

  • Bob thebuilder


  • Bobert

    If you’re comparing the audience laughs then you are completely missing the point of Norm’s set and why it was so much more ballsy. Andy did a great job but was playing it safe.

  • mitch

    Samberg was the best of all of them, he was subtle and hilarious, I watched his set like 20x still laughing.Sorry Seth, but Rogan has an agent, and he probably writes all Seths jokes, his stand up is mediocre, and he is lucky Franco is so nice, because I dont believe Rogan would have any carrer, if Franco didn’t make it. That and Seth is Jewish so he has a foot-in, his uncle probably owns universal. Anyway Andy, your hilarious, anyone who makes a south park writer piss his pants laughing, is gold in my book.

  • bulldogvillan

    Norm was playing to the back of the house (the comedians), not the audience.

  • bulldogvillan

    On a whole, I felt the Franco roast was one of the least funny. Aziz was terrible. To be fair, the prior roasts had Patrice O’neal (RIP), Greg Geraldo (RIP), Jim Norton, Norm MacDonald and Gilbert Gottried, so it would be pretty hard to live up to a lineup like that.

  • Rob

    You couldn’t be more wrong.

  • Chris M

    Andy Samberg Bombed. Such a poor performance.

  • Kasper

    Samberg was HILARIOUS. I dug Macdonald’s set and Andy’s made me instantly think of it… Samberg’s sarcasm and self-deprecating style was a blast! His delivery trickled into this sexual mess at the end… loved it!

  • HirosFan

    Trying too hard? Made you cringe? The writer is obviously not a fan of Andy Samberg. But if you think his roast wasn’t funny, your taste in comedy is pretty questionable.

  • Durrutix

    Samberg isn’t fit to hold Norm’s nutsack. Norm’s act was pure genius.

  • looneylad

    Don’t respond to thing I wrote 5 months ago, I don’t have time for this.

  • Lana Tapia

    Samberg isn’t fit to hold Norm’s nutsack. Norm’s act was pure genius.

  • Durrutix

    Dude, you just gave a thumbs up for Samberg over Norm. You’re already infamous.

  • Durrutix


  • Durrutix

    *and a douche bag.