Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
3 minute read
8 Nov 2021
4:05 pm

What happens to Comedy Central Roasts under a pandemic?

Kaunda Selisho

The pandemic forced the 'Comedy Central Roast' to evolve and social media sensation has been tapped to take it into the future.

Ntsiki Mazwai at the 'Comedy Central Roast of Somizi'. Picture: showmanx.com

Live events have suffered greatly under the Covid-19 pandemic and the Comedy Central Roast is no different. 

Since 2003, the Comedy Central Roast has “honoured” celebrated personalities by making fun of them – often in the most offensive ways imaginable to man.

Participants are given the option of declaring some topics off-limits, even if said topics have been publicised in the media.

American celebrity Pamela Anderson prohibited jokes about her hepatitis C infection, while Joan Rivers disallowed jokes about her daughter Melissa. William Shatner asked that the death of his wife not be mentioned when he participated in the roast, reports Digital Spy.

Roasts are always filmed in front of a live studio audience and often take place in some form of theatre so it’s easy to see why they would be among the casualties of the pandemic. 

So what happens to the Comedy Central Roast now? 

Well, they scaled down in terms of production value and tried to bring themselves into the digital era by turning into the Comedy Central Mini Roast with social media sensation Lasizwe as its host. 

“In a year where the pandemic has affected our ability to host our classic Roast, we had to come up with an innovative alternative that borrows from what makes the Roast so successful in an intimate and unique setting. VCNA [ViacomCBS Networks Africa] is thrilled to give local talent a platform to authentically express themselves through the power of storytelling,” said Dillon Khan, vice-president of Comedy Central Africa. 

According to Comedy Central, this new show format is an innovative evolution of Comedy Central Africa’s classic Roast franchise. 

“In a year where Covid has impacted live events and the opportunity to host the brand’s flagship Roast, the Mini Roast is an exciting spin-off that will be hosted by Lasizwe Dambuza, a seasoned YouTuber, social media sensation and star of MTV Africa’s ;@Lasizwe Fake it Till You Make It reality series.” 

The Comedy Central Mini Roast will see Lasizwe take shots at topical issues relevant to the day and age we’re living in. 

“From cancel culture, conspiracy theories to the Gen Z millennial divide, no topic is too taboo for our host,” added Comedy Central.

“Whenever there is a Roast it is sure to be the subject of much debate and laughter on social media. The Roasts have produced firsts over the years and the Comedy Central Mini Roast will be no different. The four-part digital series premieres on Comedy Central’s digital platforms and will also air to a pan African audience on the channel (DStv Channel 122),” added the channel.

“I am so used to being trolled and roasted on social media so consider this my sweet revenge. [I’m] really excited to partner with Comedy Central Africa on this innovative take of the classic Roast which I have grown up watching and loving,” commented Lasizwe. 

“No topic will be off-limits, it is a Roast after all! Buckle up and get prepared for Roast like no other, your faves are definitely not safe,” he concluded. 

The Comedy Central Mini Roast with Lasizwe will debut on Comedy Central Africa (DStv Channel 122) social media platforms from Monday, 8 November 2021.