'Jeffrey Ross Roasts Chicago'
Ryan Dempster (shouldn't he have been getting some sleep?) was at the Vic to take Ross' signature abuse (he was the only famous roastee; I was expecting more, given that the show was titled "Jeffrey Ross Roasts Chicago"). But as Dempster, a good sport, squirmed in his chair, Ross let him have it. "You've walked more people," he said, "than people walk dogs."
After Ross observed that Dempster seemed to be the only pitcher not on the Cubs' disabled list, he asked whether Dempster might, in fact, be on the Cubs' mentally disabled list. Such was the tone.
After Dempster was released -- to his evident pleasure -- Ross turned his attention to those he wished he could have roasted, like Abraham Lincoln ("America loves you so much, we put you on the only coin we throw in the garbage"). He got in some very funny in-absentia licks at Oprah ("the Fidel Castro of talk show hosts"), deep-dish pizza ("just a chance to eat lasagna with your hands") and those who searched long and hard for Osama bin Laden ("they should have sent TMZ. They'd have found him in half an hour").
And then Ross ¿ whose very savvy shtick is basically saying that which most of us think but don't dare utter -- turned his attention to a motley crew of audience volunteers, who traipsed on stage for the pleasure of suffering Ross' public abuse, based mostly on their physical appearance. Anything is better, I guess, than anonymity. -- Chris Jones