Parents' Guide to

Historical Roasts

By Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Language and rude jokes in bland roasts of historical VIPs.

TV Netflix Comedy 2019
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In a post-Drunk History era in which wringing comedy from olden times seems natural, pillorying public figures from the past sounds brilliant, but this show's mostly a swing and a miss. Part of the problem is the selection of historical luminaries being roasted: most people can laugh freely at Adolf Hitler, but working up a head of snark over Anne Frank, Abraham Lincoln, and Freddie Mercury isn't as easy. The roster of guest stars host Jeffrey Ross pulls for Historical Roasts is sparkling -- Seth Green as David Bowie, John Stamos as John Wilkes Booth, and Jaleel White as Muhammad Ali are highlights -- but the jokes they're given just don't land hard or often enough. What are you going to make fun of about Lincoln? His beard? His portrait on the penny? Ross and company do their level best, cracking wise about the Underground Railroad, Civil War-era dysentery, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter but they scare up mild laughs at best.

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