James Franco joined the likes of Donald Trump, Flavor Flav and Pamela Anderson as the guest of honor at one of Comedy Central’s 90-minute celebrity roasts, which will air this weekend.
A recently released promo for the special caught a candid moment between Franco and his reflection. “Has Comedy Central ever roasted anyone so good looking?” he asks himself before firmly planting a kiss on the mirror.
A second promo shows Franco phoning his longtime friend Seth Rogen for some advice. Rogen quickly admits the show is a terrible idea.
“Why would we do that? We should bail,” Rogen suggests. He continues to say “as long as they haven’t started advertising for it, it’s easy to bail on.”
Seth Rogen, who starred opposite Franco in Freaks and Geeks in 2000 and Pineapple Express in 2008, served as the roastmaster. Rogen was tasked with opening the ceremonies and with introducing his fellow celebrity roasters to the dais.
Aziz Ansari, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Nick Kroll, Natasha Leggero, Jeff Ross, Andy Samberg and Sarah Silverman all took jabs at the Golden Globe-winning actor.
The roasters focused on Franco’s misfortunes as a host of the 2011 Oscars, his recent role as Alien in “Spring Breakers” and his frequently questioned sexuality. There were even a few jokes about his grandmother, who watched from the audience beside Franco’s famous brother Dave.
Comedian Jeff Ross was responsible for the gag aimed at Franco’s grandmother, as well as a number of other I-can’t-believe-he-just-said-that moments. Ross dressed as Franco’s “Spring Breakers” character and had arguably the best jokes of the night.
Ross called out Franco’s Oscar gig, saying, “the Academy should have known when you combined Anne Hathaway and James Franco you get Anne Franco, which makes sense since you should have gone into hiding after that.”
Other roasters poked fun at Franco for continuing to attend college and regularly partaking in odd art projects of his own creation. Franco addressed this matter in his final moments on stage.
“This is not a roast. This is my greatest, most elaborate art installation ever,” he said while spray painting an obscenity on the stage. “I call it ‘Genius Unscathed,’ and this is my masterpiece.”
Catch “The Comedy Central Roast of James Franco” Sept. 2 at 10 p.m.
A version of this story ran on page 7 on 8/29/2013 under the headline "Seth Rogen and friends roast James Franco in a show that airs Sunday"