Review: What We Do in the Shadows, “The Roast” | Season 5, Episode 8
I was born in 1970, so I grew up in what could be called the second golden age of the celebrity roast. The first golden age was a real “you had to be there” experience—as in, you literally had to be in Manhattan in the 1950s, and to be invited to the Friars Club for one of their periodic tributes/takedowns of legendary comedians. These roasts weren’t televised, and they had a reputation for being absolutely filthy. In the ‘70s, Dean Martin produced a sanitized-for-network-TV version of the Friars Club roast; and then in the ‘90s (in the third golden age), Comedy Central started airing a version of the celebrity roast featuring comedians who grew up with both Martin’s specials and the stories about how raunchy the format used to be.
I mention all this because the people who make What We Do in the Shadows are almost certainly aware of the history, given how precisely they replicate the gamut of the these roasts’ patter: from the good-natured insults to the more-mean…