The late, great comedian George Carlin made the observation that there are 7 words that you can’t say on television. This past weekend, Jeff Ross performed at The Improv in Atlanta and proved that there are quite a few that you can’t print either. Known as the Roastmaster General, Jeff Ross has elevated cutthroat comedy to an art form. According to his website, he believes in all-deprecating humor and specializes in making fun of others. Back at The Improv, no one was safe! Quickly pointing out a man in the front row who was wearing shorts, Jeff was off and running! His act hit on local attractions like Centennial Olympic Park, the Atlanta Falcons training camp, and the infamous Clermont Lounge. He also joked that he took in a yoga class while in town and said, “Yoga is just sixty minutes of trying to hold in a fart. I think ‘Namaste’ really means ‘it wasn’t me!’” At the end of the show, Jeff called for volunteers who wanted to be roasted. About 20 people filed on stage and ranged from dorky to pregnant to intoxicated business people. One by one, he went down the line and blasted show-goers, though no one looked offended by his special brand of humor.
After the show, I had an opportunity to meet Jeff and talk for a few minutes. He told me about an upcoming festival that he is participating in with other comedians like Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari, and Whitney Cummings. The festival, sponsored by Funny or Die, is called Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Fest and will visit cities across the country until late September. Smiling, he said, “Plug the festival in your article!” After assuring him that I would, I asked if there was anyone that he wouldn’t roast. With a slight shake of his head, Jeff answered, “Someone that I don’t like.” I then asked who had been his favorite subject to roast. With a twinkle in his eye, he replied, “Whoever’s next!”