In 1988, Rob Lowe, then a charming, exceptionally handsome rising Hollywood star seemingly poised to dominate show business, met two women at an Atlanta night club and took them back to his hotel room for an evening of sexual activities. It wouldn’t have been a massive scandal or even public knowledge in that pre-internet era, but Lowe recorded the affair and the sex tape was eventually discovered. Even worse for the actor, it was revealed that one of the girls was only 16 years old, which wasn’t illegal in Georgia, but still, the damage to Lowe’s reputation and career was done, and it took years for the actor to recover.
Chances are you already knew that story, but if you didn’t, you might have tuned in to The Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe and found yourself very confused as to why the celebrities and comedians on his dais were endlessly mocking him for statutory rape. If you did know that story, then your first thought was probably “That’s gonna be ugly” when it was announced that Comedy Central would be honoring the still exceptionally handsome actor, and as we saw on Monday night, the comedians “honoring” Lowe did not disappoint in their efforts to mock his status as the original sex tape star. Even Lowe literally mocked himself.
Amy Poehler opened the show as Satan/herself, urging Lowe to get out there and make his best rape joke, so we knew what we were in for. And just like any good roast, there was the good, the bad, and the “Hoo boy, that’s ugly.”
Music as Hot as the Man
Using an ‘80s-inspired song like Steel Panther’s “The Burden of Being Wonderful” for the opening of Lowe’s roast is a great choice, if only because the lyrics are so apt. But the big question lingering in my John Parr-loving mind was “When am I gonna hear some ‘Man in Motion’ on this godforsaken roast?” The answer: Six minutes and 42 seconds into the show. If you use any form of the St. Elmo’s Fire theme, be it the full version or a simple parody, as is the case here, you’ll get a passing grade, no matter how terrible the rest of the show may be.
Roast Master David Spade
A roast is only as good as its host, and David Spade was built for nights like this.
“For years Rob Lowe had a sex addiction, but he cured it by getting less famous.”
“Rob was in a movie called The Outsiders back in the day. His character was called Soda Pop, because at the time Rob was 98 percent coke.”
“I remember the first time I became aware of Rob. I was at a casting meeting for Tommy Boy when I came across your headshot, and I do mean came across.”
Not counting the jokes about female orgasms that he opened with, Spade’s first set of jokes at Lowe’s expense was like classic “Hollywood Minute” material, a reminder of why we liked Spade in the first place.
The Peyton Manning Subtle Laughing GIF
If this roast gave us anything, it’s the Peyton Manning cut-to. He gets jokes, y’all.
The MVP of the Evening is… Jewel?
“And then there’s Rob Riggle. Rob, you look like every dad who can’t handle having a gay son.”
“Peyton Manning is here because Eli is still out there making his dad proud.”
You don’t expect Jewel to be a comedy heavyweight, what with her soft-spoken nature and her songs about whatever it was she sang about 20 years ago, but as she stood there lightly strumming her guitar, she nailed some great one-liners. In fact, her unexpectedly strong delivery made her jokes* about Ann Coulter the best of the bunch, because she didn’t really need to go overboard to hammer home the point. She seemed sweet about it all, which was nice (although, Nikki Glaser calling her “Trailer Swift” might have eclipsed her whole set).
*Or someone’s jokes that were written for her, but that doesn’t take away from her solid delivery.