One of the great folk tales of Donald Trump’s life has been his 2011 Comedy Central Roast. The Donald never seemed to be adept at doing comedy, let alone having a joke tossed his way, which makes his participation in one of Comedy Central’s infamous roasts all the more interesting. But a new oral history about the event from The Huffington Post seems to suggest Trump had some difficulties grasping the concept of the roast, but was all for it feeding his ego.
The Donald’s 2011 roast occurred as rumors were swirling he was considering running for president in 2012. My, what an election that would have been. He ultimately chose not to run, but he had already agreed to do the roast. There have been numerous reports that Trump was game for jokes being hurled at him, as long as roasters did not make fun of his wealth or bankruptcies. But producers told The Huffington Post he had a few more caveats. Jonas Larsen, who was an executive producer of the event, said Trump insisted everyone refer to him as Mr. Trump, something he found kind of weird:
“I always thought that was weird. That was sort of the mandate, you call him ‘Mr. Trump,’ so when he shows up, in this day in age, it’s a strange thing to do. Even having been around a lot of different celebrities, I can’t remember a single other time I have had to call someone ‘mister.’”
Other anecdotes mined from The Huffington Post story showed Trump was integral in editing many of the jokes the writers sent him. One of the roast’s writers Jesse Joyce said Trump used a black sharpie on writer’s drafts to cut out punchlines or insert his own jokes, which Joyce said showed “a classic lack of an understanding of how a joke works.”
In one of Trump’s most dull attempts to pen his own joke, he edited a joke meant to burn roastmaster Seth MacFarlane from, “the only way you’ll ever draw a crowd is with a pencil,” to “the only crowd you’ll attract is flies.” Trump must have taken a page out of Norm MacDonald’s joke book for that zinger. Comedy Central President Kent Alterman told The Huffington Post the fact that a Comedy Central roastee is now a presidential candidate is outrageous to comprehend:
“It is impossible to not see how absurd the whole thing is. If you go back and watch the roast, there’re probably a lot of oddly prophetic things being said that are relevant today. But just the idea that someone who did a Comedy Central Roast [is] a major party [nominee] for president is pretty shocking.”
There are plenty of interesting tidbits in The Huffington Post’s oral history, including Trump’s “negotiation,” they emphasize his personal wealth and how he was doing it for charity, along with his stone-faced behavior during the event.
(Via The Huffington Post)