For a successful Roast to happen, you need to start by assembling some of the sickest, most creatively perverse minds to write scathing burns. Enter Mike Lawrence, Roast Battle champion and a writer for the Roast of Rob Lowe.
What’s it like crafting quips for television’s cruelest night of the year? The seasoned vet takes us behind the scenes to let us in on the process.
Those unforgivable insults don’t just appear in the mouths of the dais members — Mike and the rest of the writers spend hours in the Roast offices cranking out barb after barb, even spending the night there if pressed for time.
And while taking potshots at Peyton Manning’s forehead may come naturally, Lawrence says that roasting someone like Jewel was a real challenge. “Do I want to take someone down a peg who helped me get though high school with their folksy hymns, poetry and mildly erotic white t-shirts? Not really.”
Once the dais members are picked, Lawrence and the rest of the writing team begin a marathon session of celebrity character assassination. As you might expect, it’s exhausting in more ways than one. “I am definitely still detoxing,” Lawrence says. “All the stand-up I write after writing for Roast jokes comes off really mean for a day or two.”
Even after writing himself ragged, Lawrence still loves stoking the flames. “Roasting allows you to get all your scores settled in a peaceful way. It has genuinely saved friendships and even created some.”
Hey, whatever keeps those sweet jibes a-flowin’. Rest now, skillful roaster, for tomorrow, new celebrities will arise — and they’re just waiting to get raked over the coals.