The Shmooze

First Taste of the James Franco Roast

By Anne Cohen

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James Franco

No doubt about it, James Franco deserves to be roasted. Just trying to settle on a descriptive adjective to qualify his career is parody enough: actor? director? writer? poet? perpetual student?

And do we even need to mention his Oscar hosting performance? The friends and co-stars chosen to speak at the filming of the “Comedy Central Roast of James Franco” last night certainly didn’t hold back.

According to USA Today, the actor/director/ you get the picture, felt pretty good about the whole thing. “It didn’t hurt,” Franco said after the show. “If you’re going to do this kind of thing, you should just be ready for whatever. It’s not like I haven’t heard criticism about my performance in the Oscars. Or jokes about my choice of gay roles.”

Seth Rogen presided over the festivities alongside Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman (to name a few). Almost everyone made some kind of crack about the Oscars.

Jeff Ross, dressed as Franco’s character from “Spring Breakers” left no stone unturned.

“You never really said what was going on that night, man,” he told Franco. “You were like Billy Crystal-meth. You were a worse host than the AIDS monkey. The academy should have known when you combined Anne Hathaway and James Franco you get Anne Franco, which makes sense since you should have gone into hiding after that.”

At the end of the night, Franco appeared onstage to acknowledge his peers, who had spent the last couple of hours shredding him to pieces. “What a weird night,” he said. “I do think this is my punishment for the Oscars,” he added. “America and the rest of the world can have a cathartic moment after this airs.”

Too bad Anne Hathaway wasn’t picked to host this round — surely she still has some feelings left to vent.

The roast will air Sept. 2 at 10 ET/PT, on Comedy Central. For a little taste, check out some teaser photos released by Franco via Instagram.


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