Too Much for Trump: One Subject Was Completely Off-Limits in his Comedy Central Roast


Donald Trump has become known as a guy that will say just about anything. His crude jokes have landed him in hot water recently as people start to question his ability to actually serve as president, but it sure hasn’t stopped his supporters from applauding him.

You’d think there wouldn’t be any topic he’d want off the table considering what he says about other people. Apparently, however, there’s one subject Trump does NOT want anyone making fun of him for, and spoiler alert: it’s not his hair.

The Huffington Post recently wrote an article investigating into the 2011 Comedy Central “Roast of Donald Trump”, and it revealed some pretty interesting insight into the way the Donald’s mind works. For instance, there was one off-limits subject that he made very clear he didn’t want to hear any jokes about.

Trump Tower made it known that two subjects were off-limits: Trump’s past bankruptcies, and any suggestion that he was not as wealthy as he claimed to be. “I don’t think we ever got that in writing, but that was definitely conveyed verbally,” Larsen said. In August, Aaron Lee, another roast writer, posted a note on the that referenced Trump’s prohibition on, “any joke that suggests Trump is not actually as wealthy as he claims to be.” Bankruptcy jokes are the “one thing [Trump’s] super sensitive about,” Ross told Jimmy Kimmel in July.

“We don’t do any of these roasts with idea that the roastee gets to approve the jokes, but they do get to cite a couple of things that they would say are just off limits,” Austin told The Huffington Post. For example, Austin said, actor William Shatner, who was roasted in 2006, requested that no jokes be made about his third wife Nerine, who drowned at the couple’s home.

It didn’t just end with the jokes that other roasters made about him. At the end of the night, the roast victim gets a chance to lash back at the room in exchange for undergoing nearly two hours of slaps in the face. As a non-comedian (I know, it’s hard to believe), Trump left the jokes up to a team of writers. When it came time to review the jokes, he had some pretty odd corrections to make.

After the writers went through numerous drafts of Trump’s rebuttal, they forwarded a version to him in early March. He responded a week later with his first set of edits, handwritten in black Sharpie.

“I have done this a long time and nobody blacks out punchlines,” said Jesse Joyce, one of the writers. Scrapping punchlines represents “a classic lack of an understanding of how a joke works,” he added.

Trump’s edits were all over the place. He crossed out an entire riff on condoms in the first draft, scribbling “No” in the margin. Elsewhere, he seemed to revel at opportunities to be crass. He complained a line suggesting Lisa Lampanelli should “shut the fuck up” didn’t end with an exclamation point. But in a later revision, he wanted to switch the line to “get off the stage.”

Some of Trump’s other bizarre edits included a typo-ridden line about how the roasters are, “all losers and I like associating with loser (sic.) because it makes me feel even better about myself,” rewriting a line about Seth McFarlane from “The only way you’ll ever draw a crowd is with a pencil” to “The only crowd you’ll attract is flies,” and changing a line about him being the “smartest man in the world” to “perhaps the smartest man in the world.”

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Keeping with the money theme, Trump also took to rewriting jokes to make himself appear wealthier. He took a joke about him owning a “25,000 square-foot penthouse atop my solid-gold space station” and changed the square footage to 50,000. He then changed a line that said “I’m sorry, I must go now and make a million dollars somewhere else,” to a “billion” dollars

As mentioned earlier, one thing the writers were able to get on board about were jokes about his hair. It took a little money to do it, though

The writers eventually convinced Trump to “own” his hair by wrapping follicular self-deprecation into a boast about his wealth. The joke, not in the rebuttal drafts obtained by HuffPost, originally went: “What’s the difference between a wet raccoon and Donald Trump’s hair? A wet raccoon doesn’t have $2 billion.” Trump eventually agreed to use the joke, according to several people involved in the show, so long as the $2 billion was changed to $7 billion. Ross told Kimmel that settling on the amount was like a “business negotiation,” with Trump initially wanting the number to be $10 billion.

Clearly Trump isn’t going to be working as a comedian any time soon, but the results of this year’s election could make him the President of the United States. If this happens, it will be the first time EVER that a US President was roasted on Comedy Central. History in the making, folks.