Jeff Ross says people still want their comedy “right to the gut” even though times have changed.
After taking a three-year hiatus, Ross is back to roast Mr. Peanut for Planters’ 2023 Super Bowl ad. As the comedian prepares for his big moment back in the spotlight, he spoke to Fox News Digital about the current state of comedy.
“I thought people might get more sensitive over the years. During the pandemic, I was honestly worried, like, is roasting over? Are people too sensitive? And then as things opened up a little bit I got back out into the clubs and I realized – no,” Ross said.
“People still love seeing their idols get taken down a notch,” he explained. “They love to see people they admire, laugh at themselves. Nobody wants their roasts watered down. They want their roasts potent. They want their comedy right to the gut. And I think roasting speaks to that specifically.”
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Ross noted that even though comedy and his comedy specifically have “evolved,” humor is still a “real medicine.”
“We all evolve as human beings,” Ross explained. “No one kind of talks about the world the way we did 10, 20 years ago. So, I evolve like everyone else, and my comedy evolves like everyone else. But to be honest with you, comedy is almost like a vaccine for your brain. It protects you from any mental health worries. It’s a real medicine.”
“It sounds corny, but it really can lift people up,” he added. “And that’s sort of my mission is to make people happy, to make people laugh through whatever is going on in their lives.”
Ross is best known as the “Roastmaster General.” Throughout his career, he has made countless appearances at celebrity roasts held at the New York Friars Club. Ross also starred on “Comedy Central Roasts.”
The stand-up comedian also appeared Netflix’s “Historical Roasts” where he and others told jokes about major historical figures.
Even though he’s roasted countless celebrities, Ross wasn’t able to choose the least favorite roast he’s ever done.
“It doesn’t really click in my head like that because I very carefully select individuals that volunteer that are good sports, and they have a real reason to be roasted,” Ross explained. “Even when a roast kind of flies off the rails, it’s still really fun. It’s like a Super Bowl game. There’s good games, there’s bad games, there’s close games and there’s blowouts. But you kind of remember every one forever. And roasts are kind of like that, too.”
“They’re such a cultural moment for the guest of honor and for everybody watching that you kind of remember them forever,” he added.
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As for his favorite roast, the comedian told Fox News Digital it’s “whoever is next.”
Fans can expect a well thought-out roast for Mr. Peanut on Sunday for Super Bowl LVII. Ross revealed to Fox News Digital that he prepared for this roast the way he would for any other celebrity.
“I immediately started reading all the research I could find on Mr. Peanut. I went to his Wikipedia. I went to the Planters’ site. I watched all his older Super Bowl commercials. I had some conversations with him and learned everything I could so that I could roast him as an expert, not just as a fan of his peanuts, but also somebody who I admire.”
“Mr. Peanut is an American legend,” he added. “He got us through the Great Depression. He is a cheap snack during tough times, and I wanted to honor him in the best way I could with well-crafted roast jokes.”
The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs will battle for the Super Bowl LVII title on Feb. 12 after winning their conferences on Jan. 29.
Chris Stapleton will perform the national anthem while Rihanna will headline the halftime show.