The Situation Gets Roasted

March 17, 2011

donald trump roast

My Tuesday evening was spent watching The Roast of Donald Trump on Comedy Central. I was one of 3.5 million to tune in to watch comedians and celebrities crack jokes at The Donald’s expense (awesome, right?). Overall, I really enjoyed it.

For those of you who didn’t watch, the roasters were Larry King, Seth MacFarlane, Marlee Matlin, Whitney Cummings, Anthony Jeselnik, Lisa Lampanelli, Jeff Ross, Snoop Dogg, and The Situation. Lisa Lampanelli brought the sass, Seth McFarlane came across like a funny millionaire, Larry King nailed it, Snoop Dogg was high and giggly and then there was The Situation …

I’m actually having trouble describing to you how terrible The Situation’s jokes were. To be honest, they weren’t even jokes! Jokes have to be funny to someone- anyone! And these were not. The minutes that The Situation was on the stage were the most awkward of my life, and I went through some pretty awkward teenage years.

The crowd actually turned on him and started booing about halfway through his set, which was generous. The crowd was so loud and hostile that seasoned comedian Jeff Ross actually came on stage to help The Situation, which did help, but The Situation wouldn’t take a hint and kept talking. If you’re looking for a good cringe-session, here’s part of The Situations first “and last” night of comedy:

The Roast of Donald Trump
The Situation – Married for Love
Jokes The Comedy Awards The Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump

After the train wreck was over, I got to thinking about celebrity spokespeople and how cultural relevance alone is not good enough. My colleagues and I are currently in the process of establishing a relationship with a celebrity on behalf of a client and although relevance is a factor, it’s not (and never should be) the most important. A good spokesperson should embody the brand, connect with the target audience and really “walk the walk,” among other qualities.

Let’s take another look at The Situation’s appearance:

  • Cultural Relevance: Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is definitely “hot right now” (just admit it), and his terrible performance will likely keep the buzz going about the TV event.
  • Embody the Brand: The Situation definitely does not embody the Comedy Central brand, which I would argue is smart humor. He gets laughs on the Jersey Shore, but people are laughing at him, not with him.
  • Connect with Target Audience: Big N-O there, captain. As decided by the booing from the crowd, The Situation did not, and probably never will, connect with the Comedy Central audience.
  • Walk the Walk: This is a little more difficult to describe, but it’s still a ‘no.’ The way I see it, the whole concept of a roast is to make fun of everybody on stage, but not while bragging about yourself. The Situation did not get the memo.

I’ll end on a quote from one of the better roasters of the night, Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin (who happens to be deaf): “I guess I am the perfect choice for this roast, because like The Situation, I too have never heard the sound of laughter.”

There’s an encore of The Roast of Donald Trump on Comedy Central this Friday at 9 p.m. CST.