The Burn Needs To Be Burned

The Burn with Jeff Ross premiered on Comedy Central last night. Ross is is known for his ability to “roast” various celebrities, earning him the title of Roast Master. It seems like giving him a talk show would be a good idea. It certainly would be if he was at all funny. The show isn’t hard to watch or cringe worthy. It’s just boring. The Burn is meant to be a show that satirizes the lives of celebrities and pokes fun at current events. Ross did not do that at all. He made cheap puns at which the audience seemed to be prompted to chuckle.  He insulted the celebrities mentioned in an attempt to be playful. They would be more enjoyable if the punchlines were funny or well thought out, but they just fell flat.

The show opened with a lackluster run-down updating the viewers on the lives of various celebrities.  This included Magic Johnson’s birthday.  It surprised Ross that Johnson was alive to celebrate. The mention of Johnson’s birthday did nothing more than crudely remind everyone that he has HIV. The tension in the audience was very noticeable as they laughed uncomfortably at every one of Ross’ attempted jabs. Ross also mentioned Mila Kunis’ birthday, although the purpose of that was to comment on Kunis’ attractiveness. He also commented on Stevie Wonder’s divorce, making a cheap pun about he couldn’t “see it coming”. This once again cued uncomfortable laughter. As a show with a studio audience, laughter was ostensibly present. It just did not seem genuine. The half hour continued with irrelevant footage of Ross complaining to meter maids about parking tickets. It wasn’t funny at all and it was incredibly annoying.

Throughout the episode, Ross’ persona grew irritating. He is not worthy of holding anyone’s attention. Next, guest comedians were on the stage to join Ross in discussion. Ralphie May, Amy Schumer, and J.B. Smoove are all funnier than Ross, but it was not their job to be funny on that stage. Their only job was to respond to Ross and the subjects he failed to make funny. In this case, the task was to comment on a picture in which a member of the US Olympic Rowing team displayed a noticeable erection.  This is very crude and lazy.  It isn’t necessarily wrong to comment on such a subject matter. It was simply poorly executed. Any viewer could have mocked it themselves. The difference is that Ross is a professional comedian with an arrogant sense of entitlement and no more talent than seemingly any viewer watching his show. May, Schumer, and Smoove were all given very little to say and it was extremely disappointing.

The show closed with a segment called “Too Soon?” whose aim is to poke fun at recently dead celebrities. This is a very absurd premise and it is disturbing that it is encouraged on this show. Jokes which beg the question, “Too Soon?” can be funny, but they can never sustain themselves as an entire talk show segment. The person featured was astronaut Sally Ride. The mockery in her tribute was very disrespectful and should not be encouraged. Despite the segment’s wrongness, all would have been forgiven if the things Ross said were funny.

A talk show mocking celebrities has been done many times. A show like this is only as good as the person presenting it. Jeff Ross is a terrible host is not funny. Naturally, The Burn with Jeff Ross is a terribly unfunny show.

Posted on August 15, 2012, in Comedy, Comedy Central, Talk Shows and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Jeff Ross is funny and The Burn was funny. But you thought Ralphie May was funny so……

  2. Jeremy Einbinder

    Not particularly. I said they were all given very little to say, so Ralphe couldn’t have been that funny. I found Ross to be particularly unfunny.

  3. yourfriendelectric

    Thanks for your review.
    What a foul show.
    Embarrassing for everyone involved.
    Gave me an Instant headache.
    I find it incredible that they thought this was worth producing. It’s such a stale, desperate , depressing affair.
    Saying shocking things is apparently hysterical. No need to be smart or funny, just say something offensive.
    The “Too Soon” segment sums up this thought.
    He makes fun of someone that died that nobody cares about. This is meant to be a risky , outrageous idea. Instead it’s flat, mean spirited junk, the worst kind of filler.
    I imagine a hell with Jeff Ross as the MC.
    I think we might be in it.

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