With the success of past Comedy Central roasts of James Franco and Roseanne Barr, the Viacom basic cable network announced Monday it will be continuing its series with Comedy Central's Roast of Stephen Hawking set to air in early October.
Hawking, the former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge, had long been rumored to be on the network's short-list of candidates, and reportedly easily drew a host of top celebrity roasters, including former Whose Line Is It Anyway? star Wayne Brady, and former rapper and timepiece Flavor Flav.
Appearing at a press event in Hollywood Tuesday, Roast mainstay comedian Jeffrey Ross spoke excitedly about last week's live taping. "You know, we were pretty much out of racist and sexist and homophobic jokes after Franco's roast, so given that Hawking's got ALS and is entirely paralyzed, you're going to hear a lot of great new material." Ross went on to suggest he's always thought the Cambridge professor's "blippidy blabbidy" about the nature of gravitational singularities was "pretty dickish," and that when the Honorary Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts lectures on the large scale structure of space-time, he "sounds like a real nerd bag."
Although a full transcript of the event is embargoed until the broadcast airs, a Viacom press release has disclosed some of the evening's material, and very surprisingly, in addition to taking a few punches, the US Medal of Freedom winner was able to give as good as he got. "I. See. That. Andy. Dick. Is. Here. Tonight. I. Presume. He. Wants. Me. To. Tell. Him. How. A. Black. Hole. Swallowed. His. Career." Joked Hawking,. "No. No. I. Kid. Andy. It's. Not. Fair. To. Make. Fun. Of. People. With. Disabilities. Boom. Roasted."
UPDATE: A senior Viacom spokesperson, speaking off the record Wednesday morning, alluded that more roasts may be on the way before the year is out, including a rumored Comedy Central Roast of Colin Powell, and a posthumous Comedy Central Roast of Pope John Paul II.
This post first appeared on Steve Kenning's website, lineandbreak.com.