Mack’s birthday celebrity roast offers brutally funny momentsWritten by Martini Rox | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t know many people who could sit in a room, on a stage, while a select group all take (at times) embarrassing shots at their life and character. I guess you would have to know Charlie Mack and I mean really know him to get why he thought it was a great idea. Mack is the program director at WJUC the Juice 107.3FM, the voice behind some of the station’s funniest commercials and he has begun a career as a professional stand-up comedian. Every year his birthday is a labor of love, bringing big acts and parties to Toledo’s Hip- Hop audience like last year’s guests Hurricane Chris, Jeremih and Twista to help him celebrate. This year, Charlie wanted to give everyone the gift of laughter … on him.
The idea behind a roast is to honor a successful and accomplished person who wants to give their friends and family a chance to say how they really feel, in the form of comedy. There is a program which includes insults, stories that may or may not be true and embarrassing memories shared by the roasters. The line up of those chosen by the person of honor will provide comedic commentary (roast) about each other briefly before focusing on the honoree. I knew what I was getting into when Charlie asked me to be part of the event, but after much-needed convincing I decided to give him exactly what he wanted.
The “invitation only” free event took place May 24 at Fat Fish Blue’s Home of The Funny Bone in Perrysburg. Originally, Andrew Z of 92.5 Kiss FM’s morning show was to be the host, but upon learning the news of Crystal Bowersox making the final two on “American Idol,” he had an obligation to be there to support Toledo’s talent. No worries — his morning show resident comedians Hurricane Catrina and Owen were ready to take over as roastmaster/hostess and roaster.
Due to the mature nature of the content, I’ll refrain from listing jokes from the roasters but I hear a video maybe leaked online soon.
Up to 200 of Charlie’s friends, family and WJUC’s station contest winners piled into the venue around 5 p.m. They enjoyed a free buffet that consisted of signature cuisine and around
7 p.m. the show was ready to begin. It started with a kick from Hurricane Catrina’s light-hearted humor with larger-than-life jokes clearly proving she could hold her own with the boys. She and I would be the only females roasting at this event. When I asked Charlie about the imbalance, he replied, “There aren’t many women who can dish it out and take it.”
That sounded like a warning to me.
The first roaster was Toledo comedian Keith Cook, who proved he was “King of the Dozens” as he free-styled a tirade of insults for five straight minutes, providing non-stop laughter. It was not an act anyone wanted to follow, but somehow the flow managed to continue after the bar was set so high. Comedians Owen, Jimmy King and Daryl Banks represented some of the city’s most well-known comedic talent. These seasoned vets didn’t go easy on the birthday boy, giving us some of the evening’s more brutally funny moments. Drew Rives of Def Jam, Shaun C, DJ J Roc and I continued with the program, producing for Charlie the insults he not only asked, but begged for. It was all for a good cause and according to the event planner (and WJUC Midday on-air personality) Tisha Lee, the audience response made it well worth it. Charlie Mack was the last speaker of the night and after responding to what the roasters said about the roastee, he thanked his family, friends and fans for their participation. It was another night to remember ending in hugs, pictures and well wishes for Charlie Mack. I wonder what he has planned for next year.
As we continue on …