The Situation bombed spectacularly at Donald Trump’s Comedy Central Roast on Tuesday. Not all that surprising. Life, death, reality television, hooking up with girls, parlaying your douche-iness into millionaire celebrity status—all of it is easy. Comedy is hard. But it was really brutal. The crowd actually started to boo him loudly, which I’ve never seen happen before at one of these things. He admitted that comedy wasn’t “his thing” at the end.
You know, I’m positive Donald Trump doesn’t write his own jokes. And if I had to take a guess I would say even someone like Jeffrey Ross or Gilbert Godfrey occasionally hires someone to write jokes for them, when they’re up against the wall or just feeling lazy. Mike Sorrentino’s a multi-millionaire. And I think he wrote all of his own jokes! I can’t say how much more successful he would have been if he’d hired a professional for his material—but I honestly think he might’ve done okay with some coaching, and the right attitude and delivery.
But the thing is, the Situation always seems either uncomfortable or totally not in sync with reality when he does appearances as himself. On Jersey Shore he doesn’t come off as “real” but the persona he adopts—basically a conceited jerk who sells himself that way but also begs in a sly way for you to love him anyways—absolutely works. You cheer for him, as much as or more than anyone else on the show. The persona totally falls apart in his non-taped, non-edited appearances. You would never want to hang out with the person who was delivering those awful, awful jokes Tuesday night. You’d think he was weird and creepy.
Oh, and something else—Seth MacFarlane is really, really funny! But in a way that completely fits in with a crew of seven professional comedians who specialize in raunch-slinging. I would have guessed the creator of Family Guy would be an uber-dork, somewhere in the realm of a much less likeable Conan O’Brien with a penchant for constantly stretching his references to the point of incoherence. But MacFarlane is a deep-voiced, clean-cut, pretty good-looking guy who slings vile, racist, misogynistic mud with the best of them. I would never guess this is a guy who sits at his keyboard and imagines Octimus Prime donning a yarmulke.