Top 10 Savage Celebrity Roasts at Award Shows



Top 10 Savage Celebrity Roasts at Award Shows

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Boom! Roasted! You got buuuuuurned! For this list, we're looking at celebrities were savagely and hilariously roasted at award shows. Our countdown includes James Franco, George Clooney, Mel Gibson, Matthew McConaughey and more!
Script Written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Savage Celebrity Roasts at Award Shows

Ouch. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten savage celebrity roasts at award shows.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most hilariously savage award show digs aimed at specific public figures. We’ll only be including jokes aimed at individuals, so general jokes about Hollywood or, say, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association will not be included.

#10: Joe Pesci

“77th Golden Globe Awards” (2020)

Ah, there’s nothing quite like mixing topical memes with older celebrities! At the Golden Globes, host Ricky Gervais, not exactly known for holding back, purposely and jokingly confused the diminutive Joe Pesci with Baby Yoda, perhaps pop culture’s cutest and most popular character. Now, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Baby Yoda. We all love Baby Yoda, But when you’re in your mid-seventies, and happen to be one of the most accomplished actors of the last half-century, that comparison’s gotta sting. (xref) Then again, at least he wasn’t called a “fat pussy” like James Corden…

#9: James Franco

“70th Golden Globe Awards” (2013)

If you didn’t watch the 2011 Academy Awards, then you missed one of the all-time greatest live TV fiascos. Seriously, that thing was a gold mine of cringe. And most of it stemmed from awkward and robotic co-host James Franco. Franco single-handedly ruined the entire night, while also making his co-host Anne Hathaway look bad. Luckily, she found some solace at the 2013 Golden Globes. While praising her award-winning performance in “Les Misérables,” host Tina Fey stated that she hadn’t seen someone “so alone and abandoned” since watching Hathaway host the Oscars with James Franco. All Anne could do was hang her head and try to hide a smile. She knew Tina was right. She just didn’t want to show it.

#8: Mark Burnett

“68th Primetime Emmy Awards” (2016)

Whether you love him, hate him, or somewhere in-between, Donald Trump’s presidency is historic, and both the issues and motivations behind his election will be studied for generations. The reasons are plentiful and cannot be aimed solely at one thing or person. But Jimmy Kimmel thinks we should target Mark Burnett. Burnett is the sole creator of “The Apprentice,” the show that made Donald Trump a reality TV sensation and arguably helped lead to his election. Kimmel singled out Mark Burnett at the 2016 Emmy Awards and directly blamed him for the Donald Trump “phenomenon.” After a lengthy rebuking, Kimmel claimed that Mark Burnett should be thrown over “the wall” if Donald Trump were to be elected. We now know how that turned out.

#7: “Some Famous Scientologists”

“68th Golden Globe Awards” (2011)

Scientology is a touchy subject of discussion for many people. But then again, this is Ricky Gervais we’re talking about here. The Golden Globes host referenced the movie “I Love You Phillip Morris,” in which straight actors Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor portray gay characters. He then says: “Sort of the complete opposite of some famous Scientologists then”. You can tell from Ricky’s face that he was nervous about telling the joke, and for good reason – it elicited audible gasps, groans, and some boos from the audience. We don’t know who Gervais was referring to specifically, but we’re sure you have your assumptions.

#6: Roseanne Barr

“70th Primetime Emmy Awards” (2018)

The 2018 Emmys were not especially memorable from a comedy standpoint. But hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che came equipped with at least one certifiable zinger. And it came at the expense of Roseanne Barr. Just four months before the ceremony, Roseanne made an extremely controversial tweet aimed at former President Obama’s senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Barr was quickly fired by ABC, and the revived “Roseanne” was canceled. The hosts briefly mentioned the controversy and joked that the show was later “picked up by white nationalists.” There’s no denying that is a powerful burn.

#5: Robert Downey Jr.

“68th Golden Globe Awards” (2011)

Robert Downey Jr. had a comeback for the ages. He is one of the most beloved actors in Hollywood thanks primarily to his work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But things weren’t looking so hot for the actor for quite a spell before that, And Ricky Gervais (yep, him again) isn’t the type of comedian to forgive and forget. While introducing Downey, Gervais made fun of his ostensibly racy-sounding movie titles and declared that the audience probably knew him best from The Betty Ford Clinic and Los Angeles County Jail. Luckily, Downey is the coolest dude ever and seemed to take the jab in stride, even clapping back.

#4: James Cameron

“70th Golden Globe Awards” (2013)

James Cameron is one of the most creative and innovative directors of all time, but by most accounts, he is a real pain to work with. Many people have reported difficulties working with Cameron, calling out his intense temper, annoying perfectionism, enormous ego, and confrontational mannerisms. So while praising Cameron’s ex-wife, noted director Kathryn Bigelow, for her film “Zero Dark Thirty,” which delved into big issues like war and torture, Amy Poehler let loose with a brilliantly pointed barb about James Cameron, evoking an uproarious reaction from the audience. Perhaps the best individual reaction was from Jessica Chastain, who was quite visibly (and hilariously) shocked by the comparison.

#3: Bill Maher

“69th Primetime Emmy Awards” (2017)

With a host like Stephen Colbert, you should expect a fair share of political jokes. But it wasn’t just the politicians facing Colbert’s wrath – it was also the political commentators. Colbert listed off the night’s many African-American nominees, including Jeffrey Wright, Viola Davis, and . . . well, Bill Maher. Obviously, Maher is NOT African-American, but Colbert opined that he thought Maher should count, due to his use of the n-word. For those who don’t know or remember, Maher infamously dropped the word on his show “Real Time.” The audience reacted favorably to Colbert’s joke, but the funniest reaction came from Anthony Anderson, whose cackling was very hearty.

#2: George Clooney

“72nd Golden Globe Awards” (2015)

The 2015 Golden Globes was supposed to be George Clooney’s night, as he was being honored with the esteemed Cecil B. DeMille Award. But Tina Fey and Amy Poehler brought him and his accomplishments down a peg. They unfavorably compared Clooney to his wife Amal Alamuddin and her accomplishments, like being a human rights lawyer and working with the United Nations. It was a scathing take on congratulatory entertainment award shows, and it could have done some real damage to a lesser actor’s ego. Luckily, Clooney seems to be a humble man and tilted his head in agreeable acknowledgment. (xref) This wasn’t the first time Fey and Poehler took a dig at him, either…

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Jason Bateman
“71st Primetime Emmy Awards” (2019)

Matthew McConaughey
“66th Primetime Emmy Awards” (2014)

Quentin Tarantino
“70th Golden Globe Awards” (2013)

Sam Smith
“2018 Brit Awards” (2018)

#1: Mel Gibson

Multiple “Golden Globe Awards”

Gibson has been the subject of Gervais’s jabs for years, stemming all the way back to the 2010 show when Gervais took a stab at Gibson’s alcoholism. Things got even worse the next year when Gervais joked about Gibson’s history with antisemitism while introducing Jewish actress Scarlett Johansson. Ricky found himself in a tight spot at the 2016 awards, as he was forced to introduce Gibson yet again. He acknowledged the awkwardness while still taking jabs at Gibson’s drinking, and he ended the ordeal by asking Gibson what his epithet “sugartits” meant. This seemed to be the final straw, as Gibson was left visibly distressed and annoyed by the question. You have to hand it to Gervais. He knows how to push buttons…