When I interviewed Carrie Fisher on the red carpet of a Comedy Central roast in 2006, I did that grabby little journalist trick where you try to cheat and get not just one pre-approved quote but another one on something totally unrelated entirely.
Sure, sure, Carrie, thanks for your thoughts about the roastee, but tell me: What is YOUR craziest story of all time? Screw the rules. I want to know about you, babe.
Fisher looked at me with laser-precision focus, absolute fearlessness and an unsaid challenge of "You really want to play, darling?" then told me about driving in a car, totally obliterated, while tripping on LSD, high and completely out of her mind. Any other questions, reporter?
I got nothing.
So it came as no surprise that during the Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne, an event that read as an almost enchantingly dated while at times cringe-inducingly constructed fest of lame menopause jokes aplenty, it was Fisher who was the fuck-all-'y'all bitch who stole the night with a single line.
Just as Norm Macdonald once famously satirized the roast format itself by telling the most square un-blue jokes possible, Fisher went off teleprompter and called out how contrived the entire proceedings really were. Off the cuff. Like she was bored, reciting a math formula.
First, she threw away the bullshit of playing along with fake celeb-friendship relationships and said, "So, Roseanne. When they first asked me to do the show tonight I said, 'Why?' And then they explained that we were actually good friends and had apparently worked together. Did you know I wrote an episode of your show? I didn't know that but it must be true because I read it online next to the posting about how much I look like Elton John. So. As you may have noticed about me, yes, I have big tits, but also I am mentally ill." Yeah. That's my girl.
As she went into her prepared jokes -- "Wayne Brady, you're so white that I tried to snort you backstage" and then switched to master of ceremonies Jane Lynch, "Jane. I do love you on 'Glee' and it's such a change to see a coach that doesn't take showers with little boys," roaster Jeffrey Ross started to make noise. He too had made these topical, squirmy Sandusky jokes.
So Fisher responded to his rumbling by going off script entirely. In the process, she got the most brilliant unplanned laugh-line of the night -- by roasting the Comedy Central roast itself.
"I'll do another period joke," Fisher responded to the crowd. She sneered flatly, brutally, hilariously, all pretenses gone. "White joke, short joke, old woman joke, ah-ha-ha-ha-ha, yes God, hilarious." The audience lost it.
Fisher tagged it into her next round. "Anthony Jeselnik, I've heard you are a pretty gutsy guy," she continued, turning to the normally fearless young comic who looked on in semi-amazement. "You say what other rapists only think."
She then ad-libbed, not missing a beat, continuing her anti-hack-rant from before: "You don't get your period anymore do you. God. I could laugh about that all night."
Fuck yeah, Princess Leia. Fuck yeah.
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