Last week Wednesday, Gold Reef City hosted South Africa’s first Comedy Central Roast, which featured Steve Hofmeyr as the subject. What started off as a just-for-laughs event, with fellow celebrities poking fun at one another, soon turned bitter as it appeared some could not take it as well as they were dishing it out.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, it’s fairly simple – an individual, the roastee, is publicly ridiculed for the sake of comedy. Roasts originated in America, at private banquets, at the turn of the previous century and only made their public debut more recently, most notably on Comedy Central which over the past few years has roasted several very prominent members of society including Donald Trump, William Shatner, Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff to mention a few. The events are no-holds barred and roasters seldom hold back, leaving very little untouched, however personal or private it may be. Ultimately roasts are intended to honour the roastee’s, who are supposed to be able to take the ridicule as good-hearted and not as offensive or insulting. It seems SA’s panel of roasters didn’t get the memo.
Anyone who’s ever watched a roast will know that it’s as much about the fellow roasters as it is about the roastee. Everyone has a little jab at one another, all for the sake of a good laugh. They will also know that it’s not a particularly savoury event and that vulgarities, taboo topics and private affairs are all fair game on the night. Clearly however, this was not the case at SA’s first official celebrity roast which left Kuli Roberts feeling “ambushed” and “abused”.
Roberts claims it became a “Kuli roast” and went on to accuse the host, Trevor Noah, of attacking her personally and “ambushing” her on the night. This came after Noah referred to her as “McSlutty” and implied that she was a drunk. Later in the night she was also singled out as a nymphomaniac and a cocaine junkie and there were also multiple references to her vagina, it’s unclear in what capacity.
Roberts was so offended by the “abuse” that she has decided to make a huge sacrifice and donate some of her earnings to a woman’s abuse charity.
Noah, on the other hand, waved off her comments saying it was all par for the course on the evening.
To call this an ambush on her is both unfair and narcissistic. Kuli has forged a career on roasting celebrities weekly, both in print and on TV. For her to now turn around and cry foul is a bit hypocritical.
I grew up in a household where I witnessed woman abuse first-hand and I take offence to her belittlement of it.
My jokes were no more personal than when she repeatedly joked about my small penis.
Kuli claims she was one of the few celebrity roasters who stuck to her pre-approved script and believes that many of her male counterparts strayed from their’s, particularly to attack her.
Speaking to eNCA later, when asked if she expected the ridicule from the other roasters she answered,
No, I didn’t expect anything. But the thing is, I got paid, so I don’t give a f**k.
She wasn’t the only one who couldn’t take a joke, the man of the hour himself could take it no longer when John Vlismas made a joke about Voortrekker leader, Piet Retief. Hofmeyr was so worked up that he actually left his seat and stuffed a script page into Vlismas’s mouth.
Shaleen Surtie-Richards, Anele Mdoda and Minki van der Westhuizen were among the other celebs on the panel, all giving and taking their fair share of abuse.
eNCA had more on the controversial event:
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