The Friars Club is older than Betty White and that’s really saying something cause Betty is 90! The Friars was born in 1904. I’m sure that people were making fun of each other before, but the first official Roast was in 1950 honoring Joe E. Lewis.
Even though they skewer you, it’s considered a great honor to be Roasted by The Friars Club and Betty White stepped up to the plate. In the video I shot on the red carpet (below) you’ll hear Stewie Stone, the Prior of The Friars Club tell about how when Quentin Tarantino was asked to be the honoree his PR company turned it down, and he happened to be there, noticed the letter from The Friars Club and said something like, ” What are you crazy, turning this down? This is a great honor.” And so last year, in 2011 Quentin was the Roastee!
The red carpet was packed with press, so I took up a position all the way at the end, so far down it was almost in another hotel, hoping that some of my friends on the red carpet would come over to say “Hi” for Comedy Matters TV.
Besides Stewie Stone and Scott Blakeman who was doing interviews for The Friars archives, I got some great interviews with legends like Larry King, Dick Cavett, Abe Vigoda, Bill Boggs, Don Buchwald, Donny Deutsch, Dominic Chianese, and even Uggie from The Artist! He was very insightful!
I didn’t get to see Betty White, but she’s only 90 so maybe next time! Check out the video right here!