Proving that turnabout is fair play, Donald Trump – who squirmed his way through as the butt of last year’s Friars Club roast – served as host of the 2005 gathering on Friday, which targeted controversial boxing promoter Don King.
Setting the tone for the no-holds-barred event, the Donald trumpeted from the podium of the grand ballroom of the New York Hilton: “Don King is a big, fat, f—ing thief. He f—s everyone he touches. But he’s not a bad guy other than that.”
Unexpectedly lively and loose as an emcee, Trump, 59, opened the program by promising King , 72,”You re not going to like this, then criticized some of the jokes that the comedy fraternity provided him for the event. “I’ve got a catchphrase,” said Trump, reading from his notes. “‘You’re fired.’ Don King has a catchphrase. ‘Not guilty.'”
What links these two self-professed friends – besides the same first names and some occasional bad publicity (Trump s longtime financial boasts are carefully deconstructed in the new book Trump Nation, while King’s notorious past includes serving time behind bars in the ’60s for the non-negligent homicide of a man) – are their distinctive crowns.
Comic Stewie Stone said that the spiky haired King has an even worse hairstyle than Trump’s comb-over. “I didn’t think that was possible,” he told the Donald. “You have turned prematurely orange.”
“What do you say to a barber to get a haircut like that? ‘I f—ed your daughter?'” comedian Lisa Lampanelli asked the star of The Apprentice.
Former Saturday Night Live star Colin Quinn tossed event guest Rev. Al Sharpton into the comedy mix when he said that the activist-politician, Trump and King each “look like the three stages of a forest fire.”
Sharpton got in his licks, too – telling the crowd “last year Don supported President Bush.” Explaining why the African-American fight promoter supports Republicans, Sharpton said: “They never, ever indicted him without giving him bail and letting him go home.”
When it came time for King to have access to the microphone, the roastee – who good-naturedly laughed throughout most of the proceedings – called a lot of what was said “unfounded and unwarranted. I’ve been the recipient of all this pain, but without pain there is no gain.”
In which case, King gained a lot on Friday.