17th Dec2019

‘Historical Roasts’ Review (Netflix)

by Rhys Payne

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Historical Roasts is a Netflix original comedy series that follows in the same vein as the Comedy Central celebrity roast series. It has a famous face of the past to come on the show to ‘roast each’ and to be ‘roasted’ which basically means to insult each other in a comical fashion.

This is a show that is perfect for casual watching when you can find the time. The show is hilarious but doesn’t follow on meaning that you can watch one episode and a few days later watch another without being confused. With all this mind, you can equally binge-watch the whole series (like I did) as the episodes are very short. The host of his show was Jeff Ross who is famous for being a roast master. He was a hilarious host that is clearly very familiar which this style of the show. Each episode Jeff dresses up to fit the theme of the episode and delivers some ‘warm-up’ jokes to set things up. He is the ideal host for Historical Roasts and I can’t imagine anyone else presenting this type of show.

In my personal opinion, this is a show for an older more mature audience due to the harshness of the show. But also a younger audience may miss some of the references and not fully understand some of the characters – which I may self suffered within this series. Despite the comical nature of the show, it is also in some senses educational. It brings famous figures in history and discusses what they did that made them so famous but also teaches you some interesting facts along the way. Like for example did you know Július César was married to Cleopatra? No me either.

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Historical Roasts contains many incredible impressions with the highlight being Freddie Mercury and Barack Obama. The actor who did these impressions nailed every part of the characters from the voice, appearance and mannerisms. Although due to the, at times, the realness of the impressions some of the jokes become difficult to watch. Specifically, the episodes which had Rosa Park and in another Anne Frank being roasted was at times uncomfortable and hard to watch due to their history. There was Gilbert Gottfried – who took on the role of Hitler (pictured above) – which was incredibly hard to watch. Despite this seriousness, there was also some incredibly ridiculous segments with the light being the singing ancient Egyptian goddess Isis.

Overall Historical Roasts is a fun and enjoyable series that reveals in insult based humour. It is at times cringeworthy and uncomfortable but I believe that was the intention of the show. If you have a dark sense of humour this is one for you.

*** 3/5

Historical Roasts is available to watch on Netflix now.

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