Comic Jeff Ross brandished his razor wit at a Texas jail and sliced and diced men and women inmates with his biting brand of insult comedy. And we the viewers are the better for it.
Ross is typically funny on TV specials, and he’s especially hilarious on Jeff Ross Roasts Criminals: Live At Brazos County Jail, which premiered last night on Comedy Central. Making the thing even funnier is he’s practically trembling with fear while he’s insulting murderers, rapists, and white supremacists.
To a “creepy” looking inmate: “You look like what happens when the morning-after pill kind of works.”
To a baby-faced prisoner: “You’re one of those rare people who looks like a child and a child molester at the same time.”
Ross discussing his own questionable behavior in the past: “I’ve drank and driven a car. I’ve lied on my taxes. I shot Suge Knight.”
To a white supremacist with large swastikas tattooed on his stomach, who said he’s serving 99 years in prison — “You should get six million years for every Jew that died in the holocaust.”
Ross did a separate show for women inmates and was a little easier on them, but not much.
To a pregnant inmate — “Why are you here, did you rob a sperm bank?”
To an elderly, droopy inmate named Big Mama Jo who mumbled something about child support — “Child support? How about some boob support?”
What was most interesting about this special is that Ross combined humor with a genuine empathy for the inmates, sprinkling in serious commentary along the way — just enough to make it heartfelt and socially conscious but without hurting the comedy.
The only time the special dragged is at the end when Ross performed a song on guitar. I usually love funny songs by comics but the lyrics on Ross’s song weren’t particularly funny and his playing and singing sucked. Otherwise, this special would get an A-plus.