Netflix’s Historical Roasts is a “history lesson for millennials”
James R | On 25, May 2019
Netflix is getting ready to teach history a lesson this spring, with new series Historical Roasts arriving on the streaming service.
The show aims to provide “a history lesson for millennials”, exec producer Michael D. Ratner told EW, in an interview with host Jeff Ross.
“It was intimidating at first to take on history,” Ross added. “But I thought let’s do some real honest, truthful comedy. Jokes work best when they are based in fact. I was proud when I saw one of my Vietnamase comedy writers taking home his copy of The Diary of Anne Frank to read over the weekend. There’s a nice pattern of turning millennials on to historical figures that they might have never known about or just forgotten about.”
“I always would do a lot of research before the celebrity roasts,” he continued. “I would hang up pictures, whether it was Justin Bieber or Bruce Willis, all over my house and my office. I call it method roasting. So it was natural to do that with historical figures, where there’s endless amount of research you can do. I read all about these people, I would watch documentaries, and I’d roast them from inside out and setting myself up as if I was there. ‘What would have made Martin Luther King Jr. or Anne Frank laugh?'”
Both are on parade in the new series, which will feature other notable figures, such as Muhammad Ali and Cleopatra and even Rosa Parks. Six iconic names from the chapters of human past will be given the roasting treatment, with nothing off limits.
The series premieres on 27th May on Netflix. Here’s the trailer:
Historical Roasts: Season 1 is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £9.99 monthly subscription.
Netflix to serve up Historical Roasts
2nd October 2018
Netflix will be serving up steaming hot Historical Roasts, following a deal with Jeff Ross.
Ross, one of Comedy Central’s roast stars, will bring to the screen the hostile comedic stylings of famous figures, as people throughout history are put up for a tough grilling. The project is inspired by the long-running comedy club show in Los Angeles, which was optioned by OBB Pictures (Kevin Hart’s Cold as Balls). Now, a deal between OBB and Netflix (competing against other bidders) will see the series head to the streaming giant.
The show will feature A-list comedians in period garb and character, with a different subject being roasted each episode – roastees in the live show have ranged from Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Hendrix to Michael Jackson and William Shakespeare.
“People always ask me who my dream roast would be — this concept allows me to finally roast them all. Plus, I’ll be learning a lot along the way,” Ross told a Deadline, who broke the news. “The possibilities are as long as mankind itself. Everyone from Moses to Tupac can be in the hot seat. This is one more giant step in the global roasting movement.”
OBB president and CEO Michael D. Ratner will direct and executive produce Historical Roasts with Scott Ratner, Eric D. Cohen, Ross and Thruline Entertainment’s Amy Zvi. Ross’ collaborator and head writer, Frank Sebastiano, is a co-EP, alongside OBB’s Miranda Sherman and Kfir Goldberg, AJ Tesler, and Eddie Furth, Ryan Pigg and Samee Junio, the three creators of the live show.
“We couldn’t be happier to be creating Historical Roasts as a Netflix original series,” Michael D. Ratner added. “As we continue to expand and diversify our portfolio at OBB, it’s our mission to create incredible opportunities for both new and established talent. We look forward to showing the world our cast in these insane roles as we roast some of the most iconic people to ever live. Our motto here is certainly ‘it’s never too soon.’ ”