AJ Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker runs every Friday. Email him to let him know what you think. And remember: He's covering the Super Bowl for us all next week.
There are only a few things I'd like to experience before I die: I'd like to see the Grand Canyon, I'd like to have the Eagles win the Super Bowl, I'd like to finally pay off my student loans ... but if none of those things happen, I'd one day love to have a roast in my honor. I think that would be one of the most sincere forms of flattery if all of my friends ripped the crap out of me in public. I'd even help write the jokes to ensure I'm squirming in my seat the whole time. Maybe this is masochistic of me, and reveals a deep-seated self-loathing, but I couldn't think of a better more therapeutic way of dealing with these issues.
One of the best columns Bill Simmons ever did was the running diary of the Shaquille O'Neal's roast. It wasn't his most clever, or the funniest piece he'd ever pulled together, but it did a great job at showcasing how extremely awful roasts can be if they're left in the wrong hands. Plus, his replay of former "A Different World" star Dawnn Lewis' feeble attempts at poking fun at Shaq are some of the most wince-worthy ever written. I still feel bad for her.
Enter 2007, and a new NBAer has graciously offered his personal life to be flayed for the masses at another roast. This time Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has volunteered to be willingly crucified in Cleveland on Tuesday night at a charity event. And much like O'Neal's, this is sure to be one that probably falls well short of an actual roast and more of a fawning tribute given the comedic minds lined up to poke King James with a stick: Cedric the Entertainer, Mo'Nique, Ralphie May...
Yeesh. It's fair to say that LeBron can go into this roast secure in the fact that he won't leave feeling humiliated. If only he had the guts to have some people who are actually funny destroy him. It'd say a lot more about him as a person than those ridiculous Nike commercials. But, sadly, this will most likely be another bland, uninspired suck-up event, with a lot of recycled material that wouldn't be grade A material for Yo Momma.
So this week, I'm polishing my portable dais, fastening my Bea Arthur strap-on and placing odds on some of the possible insults you'll hear at LeBron's roasting.
Let's follow Jeffrey Ross, after this jump.
Jokes about LeBron's parenting: 1/4
"Now, whatever, Lebron does in his career from here on out, there's one area where he surely doesn't need improvement. It's important that Lebron takes time out of his busy schedule to raise his son right and give him all of the experiences most normal kids had growing up, you know, like, going out for ice cream, trips to the circus, and... ogling bare tits at an exotic Miami poolside resort. At this rate, Lebron's son will be having his 4th birthday party at a Donkey Show in Tijuana. "
Jokes about his appearance: 3/1
"Now, LeBron isn't the most handsome NBA superstar, that's for sure. His nose is so flat, every time he wears sunglasses they whack him in the chin. And look at the size of those lips? I always wondered what Biz Markie would look like with Botox. And even though LeBron isn't leading the league in scoring this year, he can take solace in the fact that he leads the NBA in neck acne. He's the first NBA player to get a shoe deal from Proactiv."
Jokes about other NBA players drafted in high school: 4/1
"When Lebron was drafted out of high school there were a lot of expectations placed upon him. He was called the 'Chosen One,' and everybody expected him to be great the first minute he stepped on the court. But, given all his accomplishments, he still doesn't have the best-selling jersey in the NBA. No, it takes a lot more than just having a great all around game and a nice personality to become the most popular player in the NBA — it takes scoring titles, NBA championships and ass-raping white girls in a Colorado hotel room. "
Jokes about his mother: 10/1
"Most of you don't know this, but Lebron's mom was kind of young when she had'm. She had him at 16. 16! But before you go accusing his Mom's of being all loose you have think about it: See Lebron grew up in the ghetto — the Akron ghetto — where 16 is considered menopausal. At 12 her vagina was so stretched out she was using a dust buster as a vibrator. By 14, she was using two loaves of bread for tampons. At 15, she was subletting the inside of her pussy to midgets."