Commentary

Roasts have had ties with sports before

Updated: September 19, 2011, 10:24 AM ET
By Patrick Dorsey | Page 2

Charlie Sheen is back, too.

Shortly after his former show airs Monday, Comedy Central's pretaped roast of Sheen hits TV.

And it's not without its sports connection; ex-boxer/sudden comedy star Mike Tyson is among the roasters.

Thing is, sports and roasts have quite a history ...

THE DEAN MARTIN CONNECTION

The event's TV godfather, Dino, loved skewering athletes on his 1970s and 1980s "Dean Martin Celebrity Roast" series.

He hit baseball stars (Joe Garagiola, Hank Aaron and Leo Durocher) and others (Wilt Chamberlain, Evel Knievel, Bobby Riggs and Muhammad Ali) and always packed the dais with apt roasters: Howard Cosell for Ali, Braves manager Eddie Mathews for Aaron and even Mickey Mantle for Garagiola.

Fun fact: Nearly all of these roasts are uploaded in full on YouTube. You're welcome, nostalgia lovers.

ROAST COACHES

"I've known Bob for 35 years, and if any of you need a friend, get a dog."

--former USC basketball coach George Raveling

That came from a 2010 roast of Bob Knight -- hardly the only time a coach or player, past or present, made himself available for charitable joking. Old-timers like Don Zimmer and Pete Rose have gotten it. "Now" athletes Jimmie Johnson and Yao Ming also obliged.

And let's not forget Bob Huggins' night, when Duquesne's Ron Everhart mocked the injury-prone coach by pretending to fall -- only to actually break his own toe. Talk about committing to a bit.

HULK & HOF

Jeffrey Ross, Greg Giraldo (RIP), Lisa Lampanelli and the Hulkster? Yep, Hogan hit the stage for the 2010 David Hasselhoff roast, and ... well ... we give him credit for (1) cringing at a dirty Pam Anderson joke and (2) admitting (with his typical flair): "I'm not a comic, brother."

'BROADWAY' ROAST

It's likely that no athlete or coach has been involved in more roasts than Broadway Joe. He's one of the few to feel Dino's wrath twice and sat on the dais for Martin's own skewering.

But he didn't quit there. To this day, Namath still puts himself out there for charity, be it giving or receiving.

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