November 30, 2010 - Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images North America)
Cinema Retro contributor- and Friars Club member- Eddy Friedfeld takes you inside the recent roast for Quentin Tarantino.
“Quentin Tarantino changed the face of cinema, and now it’s time for cinema to return the favor,” Roastmaster General, filmmaker/comedian Jeffrey Ross said, as the Friars honored the acclaimed writer/director with an assembled dais of actors and comedians skewering him with insults, making fun of his body of work, his body, and each other.
The eclectically star-studded event held in front of a capacity crowd at the New York Hilton’s ballroom on December 1st, included Uma Thurman, Jerry Lewis, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi, Cheech Marin, Rosario Dawson, Eli Wallach, Patricia Arquette, Kathy Griffin, Howard Stern, and Harvey Weinstein and was ably hosted by Samuel L. Jackson, who turned to his friend and collaborator and said: “I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Jim Henson every day for designing your face.” “Quentin believes that men and women of any race had equal rights to be raped and maimed on the movie screen.”
“Inglourious Basterds” co-star Eli Roth turned to Madsen and Buscemi and said: “Mr. Brown and Mr. Blond, you look like Mr. Ash and Old Yeller,” referring to their “Reservoir Dogs” characters. A raspy voiced Madsen said: “Uma Thurman, you are the object of Quentin’s affection. I used to be.” “Quentin, because of Harvey Weinstein you’re sitting here. And because of “Grindhouse,” Harvey has to borrow cab fare to get home…He is the only documented case of a man who envies his own penis,” Richard Belzer said. “Quentin has severe abandonment issues. His father left not only before he was born, but before he came.”
"Quentin rips off so many filmmakers, when I Googled him to do research for this roast, Google said, 'Did you mean Brian de Palma?’” said Comedy Central staple and first-time Friars roaster Whitney Cummings. Turning to Jackson, she said: “I cried at Lakeview Terrace, especially at the beginning when I had to pay the 12 bucks to get into the theater;” to Roth: “Eli, Your movies are like Kathy Griffin's face. No matter how many times you cut it and re-cut it, it's still horrible;” and to Rob Schneider: “Right now at Barnes & Noble they have a whole rack dedicated to Rob Schneider movies. It's called clearance.”
Schneider turned to Kathy Griffin and said: “You should sue every plastic surgeon who worked on your face, and then you should sue your parents for fucking each other.” He said John Travolta couldn’t be here because he had to attend a convention for ‘fags in denial who believe in aliens’ convention.”
Jeffrey Ross referred to Jackson as ‘Denzel Washed Up,’ and speculated that the sequel to “Snakes on a Plane” would be ‘Alligator in an Elevator,’ or ‘Hamster in my Underpants.’ “Sam, you really gotta start saying the “N” word more- and the “N” word is “No!”
Turning to Tarantino, he said: “Some critics say that your movies encourage violence. I say it’s your personality… Tarantino is an old Italian word- it means ‘Plagiarism.” “You’re so derivative, I feel like I’ve already roasted better versions of you. You’re like Martin “Scor-so-so.”
“Richard Belzer is my favorite comedian on ‘Law and Order SVU,’ after Ice T and rape,” Sarah Silverman said, roasting her colleagues: “I can’t look at Michael Madsen and think about how great John Travolta was in “Pulp Fiction”… it’s hard for Rob Schneider to go anywhere- except directly to DVD… whatever Jerry Lewis says today will be quoted by elderly people in hospices for the rest of their lives.”
“Like the last film we made together, this roast is unscripted,” frequent star and muse Uma Thurman said. “You came up with everything I never wanted to do.” At the end of her set, Thurman slipped off her high heels, and in a nod to the director’s well-known foot fetish, poured champagne into them and toasted Tarantino.
The indefatigable 82 year old Pat Cooper closed the show by admitting to the director: “I never seen any of your movies. They asked me if I wanna see “Pulp Fiction.” I said I’m not gonna see a movie about oranges.” And then he offered Tarantino some advice: “Don’t be like the other directors: “Don’t make another Robin Hood.”