I just got done watching the Pamela Anderson Roast on Comedy Central. And, I think, this is what happens when you take a comics’ tradition and set it loose on the general public.
If you are on the dais of a comedy roast, you are not supposed to heckle. You don’t flip the roaster off, you don’t make the “FU” gesture by placing your fist at your elbow and pumping, you don’t roll your eyes and call the roaster a “bitch”, and you don’t attempt to yell him down. You’re supposed to clap and laugh because you’re on the dais, which is an honor.
The greatest performance of the evening was Bea Arthur. All she did was read from one of Pamela Anderson’s novels. The excerpts she read should have graced the Bulwer-Lytton Awards. It was ballbusting, and funny, and smart all at the same time.