Tom Gleeson absolutely roasts comedy legend John Cleese in TV special for Seven

Some of Australia’s best-known performers didn’t hold back when they paid homage to comedy legend John Cleese during Tuesday night’s The Roast of John Cleese, which screened on Seven.

The proceedings were overseen by Shane Jacobson, who wrangled an array of comedians, who gathered at the Palladium at Crown in July last year to “roast” the Fawlty Towers star — the event was recorded for Tuesday night’s special.

The assembled “roasters” included Tom Gleeson, Joel Creasey, Christie Whelan Browne and Steve Vizard, along with radio identity Lehmo and comedians Alex Lee, Lawrence Mooney, Damien Power, Stephen Hall and entertainer, Rhonda Burchmore.

“Comedy roasts don’t often happen in Australia, but when there’s someone to roast they don’t come any bigger than this,” Jacobson said, before introducing the 84 year-old comedian, who enjoyed a standing ovation from guests and roasters.

Cleese sat centrestage on a gold throne while each comedian took to the podium to rib the octogenarian comedian.

The Roast of John Cleese saw Cleese’s daughter Camilla Cleese join her famous father on stage
Camera IconThe Roast of John Cleese saw Cleese’s daughter Camilla Cleese join her famous father on stage Credit: Supplied/Seven

Vizard delivered the first roast of the evening, quipping, “It’s been a massive effort to get John here tonight — they’ve had to thaw him out,” before softening the blow by saying he thought the “giant of a man” had single-handedly changed the face of modern comedy.

Some of the biggest laughs of the night were reserved for Gold Logie-winning comedian Tom Gleeson, who wasn’t afraid to “go there” during his set, opening with a joke comparing Cleese to other 80s comedy legends Bill Cosby and Rolf Harris — it only went downhill from there.

Thankfully Cleese proved he was a good sport, laughing off some of Gleeson’s more outrageous gags.

The evening ended with a special guest appearance by Camilla Cleese, the comedian’s daughter, who travelled from England along with her father.

The Roast of John Cleese is available to stream on 7Plus.

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