Paramount // 2005 // 82 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // February 8th, 2006
"I am the ultimate California girl, which is funny, being that I'm
-- Pamela Anderson
Get ready, because I'm going to say it. It's blasphemy, and I risk getting a torrent of angry e-mails and abusive message board posts, but here it is: Pamela Anderson is the Marilyn Monroe of our times. Think about it with an open mind and consider: she's built a career on her cheesecake qualities, she started off as a model, she's appeared in Playboy, she's typecast as the "dumb blonde" with a body, her affairs are routinely press-worthy, and she has become an American icon. So who could be more deserving of a celebrity roast? I love Pam. I purchased many of her movies on DVD (I am unashamed to have Barb Wire snuggled in close next to Barbarella), collected all of her Playboy issues, got the infamous sex tape with her and Tommy Lee, read both of her novels, and actually watched Stacked more times than I care to admit. Let's just say that if VIP is ever released on DVD, I will be in line at Best Buy at 10am on a Tuesday. I'm an unapologetic fan of the girl, as a thespian and as a person. And did I mention she's hot?
So when the Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson title appeared on the court docket, I raised my hand and begged for it. I had seen the broadcast version of the show several times, and even taped the "uncensored" version the cable channel ran late at night. It's a very funny roast, and one with a lot of star power to spare. Pam claims she really didn't know what to expect, and only did the special because the folks at Comedy Central promised to make a generous donation to PETA in her honor for allowing them to make fun of her publicly. Comedy Central has done quite a few roasts of comedians, but Pam was the first female they have chosen to honor (or dishonor). It's an odd choice when you think about all the female comediennes they could have gotten, but you can't fault them for taking the chance to garner huge ratings. When the roast aired, 16 million viewers tuned in to the cable channel, the network's single largest audience for a program.
The roast itself is an exercise in bad taste. How could it not be? Up on the dais were Dennis Rodman, Tommy Lee, Courtney Love, Bea Arthur, Elon Gold, drag queen Lady Bunny, and Andy Dick. Add to that motley crew some of the best insult comics in the business, like host Jimmy Kimmel, Adam Carolla, Eddie Griffin, Sarah Silverman, Jeffrey Ross, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Giraldo, and Lisa Lampanelli. T&A jokes fly left and right, and a surprising number of comics go after Tommy Lee's endowment, and each other. The DVD presents the night uncensored, with only one mysterious bleep over Lisa Lampanelli's routine. All of the presenters get quite a few laughs, and amazingly Courtney Love only falls down once. Tommy Lee performs a song off his album, and surprisingly, it's not half bad.
The presentation on DVD simply offers the show in its original form. There is no scene selection, so you'll have to skip around if you want to get to a particular presenter. The box promises "uncensored roast outtakes," but all I could find on the disc were outtakes from the red carpet sequence and the after party. There is a fifteen minute red carpet segment, which is pretty funny in and of itself. The "pee break" is shown, with highlights of the roasters backstage trying to find a bathroom. Also included is a surreal segment with Courtney Love and Andy Dick rehearsing their material. The show is in full screen, and colors are up to the level of a digital broadcast. Sound is a simple stereo mix, and gets the job done without any fuss.
It's a fun evening, and worth a look if you like Pamela or roasts in general. The whole thing is politically incorrect, filthy, and often hysterical. It's a fitting tribute for the Marilyn Monroe of our times, and Pamela takes it all graciously in good spirits. It's rare to find a celebrity so willing to laugh at herself. Pam has always been willing to poke fun at herself, and that's part of why I love her so much. I imagine it's why most people like her. Oh who am I kidding? She's got two things people love, and at the end of the roast we find out they are nicknamed "Poncho" and "Lefty."
Review content copyright © 2006 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 82 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Rehearsal Footage of Courtney Love and Andy Dick
* Uncensored Red Carpet Outtakes
* Red Carpet Interviews
* Backstage at the Pee Break
* Comedy Central Quickies
* Official Site
* Pamela Anderson's Official Site