At Comedy Central roast, ‘comedian’ Jeff Ross makes off-color Zimmerman/Martin joke

At Comedy Central roast, ‘comedian’ Jeff Ross makes off-color Zimmerman/Martin joke

Jeff Ross yukking it up: Too soon?
Jeff Ross yukking it up: Too soon?

No one to my knowledge ever said that someday the nation would look back on the 2012 incident that forever comingled the names of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin and laugh. But Jeff Ross — a comedian by profession — decided this past Saturday that the time for that laughter over that killing was now.

The occasion was a Comedy Central roast of actor James Franco.

And Ross, wearing corn rows (no, not to mock blacks but to mimic the manner of dress of Franco’s character in the film “Spring Breakers”), ended his two minutes of comedic gold with this knee slapper:

Face it, Franco, you and Anne Hathaway [as hosts of the Academy Awards in 2011] had the comedic chemistry of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman.

Mediaite’s Matt Willstein watched the roast (or at least the video clip from it that accompanies his article) and writes:

Franco appeared to make a sincere effort at not laughing at Ross’ joke, taking a deep breath and visibly wincing a bit.

The reader is invited to watch both the “joke” and the reaction, which begins at 0.33 in the video capture below.

I did watch and see none of the squirming or discomfort that Willstein reports. Nor does his headline — “George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin Joke Stuns James Franco Roast” — appear borne out by the audience reaction, which is unrestrained mirth.

Maybe the difference in perception harks back Willstein’s ideological orientation. One of Mediaite’s “progressive” writers, he also writes for Huffington Post and his own website, Gotcha Media, which he started “immediately following the 2008 Presidential Election, initially as a means of capitalizing on Sarah Palin’s stupidity.”

For the past year and a half, liberals have made a federal case of George Zimmerman’s presumed guilt in the shooting death of Martin, which (evidence notwithstanding) they maintain to this day had its roots in racism and racial profiling. They are still livid over Zimmerman’s acquittal and ready to dismiss any suggestion that the brutal murders of innocent whites at the hands of black miscreants in the ensuing months are somehow as evil in their own right. But when it comes to “their own” — especially Hollywood types, which are above it all — they are eager to look the other way.

Or as Willstein wrote in conclusion, the Martin/Zimmerman joke may have been distasteful “but, of course, that’s what these roasts are all about.”

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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