Jeffrey Ross on the Dana Jacobson Incident
Jeffrey Ross isn’t one to mince words -- which made him an ideal choice to emcee ESPN’s roast of Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg on Jan. 11. But it wasn’t the veteran standup, comedy's "Roastmaster General," who made headlines afterward -- it was ESPN First Take host Dana Jacobson, who unleashed a drunken tirade against Notre Dame and coach Charlie Weis. Snapshots of Jacobson brandishing a bottle of vodka quickly made the rounds online, and she was suspended for a week by ESPN. Tbt* caught up with Ross, who’s performing at the Tampa Improv from Feb. 28-March 3, and asked for his take on the Jacobson incident. (For the full interview, pick up next Friday’s tbt*.)
Roasting was in the news recently, where Dana Jacobson got in trouble for getting hammered and screaming obscenities about Notre Dame at the Mike and Mike roast. You, in the articles that I saw, were cited as a guy who could have gotten away with it. She was suspended for a week. Fair or not fair?
Yeah, that was an interesting turn. Fair or not fair? I would say not fair. Because what happens at a roast stays at a roast, especially at a private, un-televised roast. And you can't send people onstage with a microphone and booze and not expect somebody to have too good a time.
To his credit, Charlie Weis was a great sport, and he seemed to be okay with it. I was exceptionally vicious on him. And he was laughing his boobs off. I mean, he’s a big man. I called him the Lunchback of Notre Dame. I said, "What happened, Charlie? It looked like you put on all your freshmen's 15." And he loved it, because I took the time to write good stuff about him.
Dana was sort of on a rant, and wasn't particularly interesting, wasn't funny, was arguably tragic. Eddie Griffin handed her a bottle of Grey Goose, and she was just drinking it right out of the bottle -- which, normally, at a roast, would be a lot of fun. You want a chick like that at a roast! She was our Courtney Love for the night. But unfortunately, she got punished, and I think it wasn’t necessarily fair. Probably appropriate, but not fair.
Is there a lesson that comes out of this?
Leave the roasting to the professionals. This is like driving a race car. This is not for amateurs.