Roast Master General Jeff Ross comes to Tempe Improv

By Jonathan McNamara

During the Comedy Central roast of William Shatner, Jason Alexander of "Seinfeld" fame welcomed to the stage, not five feet from Shatner himself, “Roast Master General” Jeff Ross. After insulting a few of his colleagues in the stand-up world, Ross took aim at Shatner and fired mercilessly.

“As many of you know,” Ross said, “last year Comedy Central threw a very successful roast of Pamela Anderson. And this year, in keeping with that tradition, we’re roasting another bad actor with big tits.“

The Roast Master General will take the stage tonight at Tempe Improv for the first of four nights of shows. What should audience members expect? Ross took time out of his workout to let us know.

New Times: What do you think about Tempe Improv?

Jeff Ross: I’m working out material for my hour Comedy Central special. I always know that Tempe has a good crowd for me.

NT: What are you planning to focus on during your shows?

JR: The elections are going to be a big part of it. A big focus, I think. That, and sort of my travel the last year around the road. And roast fans won’t be disappointed because I will definitely be making fun of the front rows.

NT: Do you have a good story from the road for us?

JR: Recently I went down to Guantanamo Bay and did a show that was an interesting experience. Five minutes into my act, my jokes were declared torture by the Geneva convention.

NT: What was the crowd like?

JR: It was a captive audience. They were starved for entertainment. Some of them were actually starved for food.

NT: Who has been your favorite celebrity to roast so far?

JR: I get this question a lot. It’s like… I always think that my favorite one is the next one. Cause you enjoy your process and then it’s exciting to look forward to the next roast.

NT: Who’s next?

JR: I don’t know yet. It’s driving me insane. I’ve got comedy blue balls over here waiting to get a roastee. Who do you think we should get?

NT: How about Jackie Chan? JR: That’s a really strong idea. An Asian roast would be more of a BBQ, right? I’ve never stir-fried anybody before.

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