James Franco submitted to that most ego-deflating of Hollywood rituals last night: A Comedy Central Roast. His This Is the End pals Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Aziz Ansari, along with Sarah Silverman, Nick Kroll, and professional roaster Jeff Ross, convened in Los Angeles to make fun of Franco's ambiguous sexuality, roster of bad movies, pretentious art projects, and, of course, his legendarily awful 2011 co-hosting of the Oscars. That last point is particularly interesting because, though many of these topics were already mined for comedy in This Is the End, the Oscars weren't, almost as if it was still too sore a point. Obviously, that was not the case. Check out our picks for the funniest 12 Jokes of the Night below.
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1. Seth Rogen: "Judd Apatow was going to direct this roast, but Comedy Central didn’t want it to be 40 minutes too long.”
2. Rogen: “Franco, you look like you’re asleep. Did you just read a James Franco book? In all seriousness, he is a very hardworking actor. He once told me he worked for 36 hours straight, which I don’t believe, the straight part, obviously.”
3. Rogen: “James has acted alongside some amazing actors — Robert DeNiro, Tommy Lee Jones. He once played opposite an unruly chimp with giant teeth but it was worth it because Eat, Pray, Love turned out awesome. What? Is she here? She’s not here. Like she f–king watches this bulls–t.
4. Nick Kroll: “James Franco is truly our generation’s James Dean. So handsome that you forget he’s only been in two good movies. Dean, of course, died at the tender age of 24 sparing himself the embarrassment of writing self-indulgent short stories and getting roasted by a bunch of jealous Jew monsters.
5. Kroll: “If at any point James fully opens his eyes tonight, there will be six more weeks of summer.”
6. Jonah Hill: “He recently got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is incredible because now critics and homeless people can s–t on him all the time.”
7. Sarah Silverman: “Jonah actually gained 50 pounds for his role in the new Martin Scorsese film because the producers wanted the character to be a Jonah Hill type. But seriously you’ve had such a body transformation in the past couple of years. You have come a long way from just being Sonny and Cher’s daughter.”
8. Aziz Ansari: “I saw Jeff Ross at a comedy club the other night. A woman comes up to him and goes, ‘Hey, if you’re who I think you are, I’m definitely sleeping with you tonight.’ And he goes, ‘Hell yeah I’m Jeff Ross.’ And she goes, ‘Oops sorry. I thought you were the main orc from The Lord of The Rings.”
9. Ansari: “So many gay jokes tonight about Franco. Apparently if you’re clean, well dressed and mildly cultured, you’re super gay now. Is that why the rest of you guys are so aggressively fat and dirty? You think if you read one book and take a shower, dicks are going to just fly into your face.”
10. James Franco: “I agreed to do this roast because I wanted to do something I’ve never done before — something that has zero artistic value, something nobody will remember three months from now, something that’s offensive, homophobic and stars horrifically untalented people and something that’s only a big deal to a handful of teenage stoners on Twitter. You might say, ‘James, didn’t you just describe Your Highness? I wouldn’t know I didn’t see Your Highness.”
Franco: “The joke’s on all of you. This is not a roast. This is my greatest most elaborate art installation ever. I’m not the real guest of honor, these aren’t real comedians and we’re not even on a real network. What you’ve seen tonight was my brilliant opus to sequester an artistic visionary and subject him to the mindless incoherent trashings of talentless abnormalities. I call it Genius Unscathed and this is my masterpiece”
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