Jeffrey Ross's Aurora theater shooting joke won't be aired by Comedy Central

jeffrey ross.jpg
Jeffrey Ross.
Update: Earlier this morning, we posted about comic Jeffrey Ross making an Aurora theater shooting joke at a Comedy Central roast of onetime Denver resident Roseanne Barr; see our earlier coverage below.

We noted that Ross hasn't apologized for the gags, and he still hasn't. But he's now admitting he may have gone too far with the material, which won't air as part of the event's broadcast.

According to a just-published NBC News item, Ross says he "crossed a line" with the joke, in which he likened actor Seth Green to accused shooter James Holmes. However, he defended doing so by saying, "that is what the roasts are about. That's what Roseanne is about -- unapologetic comedy. If I had held back, I would have done her a disservice.

"I think that this particular roast -- in these particular times we are in -- it is important to exercise freedom of speech," he went on. "Comedians are apologizing a lot. I am not saying that is right or wrong. But it scares me when I start second guessing myself. So I wanted to put it out there and remind people what America is about -- and on some level, what the roasts are about."

It won't be what the roast broadcast is about, however. The show's producer, Jonas Larsen, told NBC that the jokes won't be included in the Comedy Central's airing of the happening, slated for August 12.

Here's our previous coverage.

Original post, 5:46 a.m. August 6: We appear to have already reached the no-apologies stage when it comes to jokes about the Aurora theater shooting -- at least in comedian Jeffrey Ross's opinion. After stand-up Dane Cook delivered an onstage gag about the massacre days afterward, he tweeted an apology. But no such mea culpa was shared by Ross after comparing actor Seth Green to accused assassin James Holmes at the taping of a Comedy Central roast targeting former Denverite Roseanne Barr.

Moreover, the press paid more attention to Ross's costume for the evening -- he dressed as the late Penn State football coach and alleged pedophile protector Joe Paterno -- than for his lines about Aurora.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Ross aimed his theater attack barbs at actor Seth Green, whose red hair he likened to Holmes's bizarre dye job. "Congratulations," he told Green. "This is actually a really big night for you. You haven't gotten this much attention since you shot all those people in Aurora."

14b99e08df3c11e1aeda22000a1d0343_7.jpg
Courtesy of Seth Green on Who Say
Seth Green at the roast.
Following some oooohs from the crowd, Ross reportedly came back with this: "I'm kidding! You're not like James Holmes. At least he's doing something in a movie theater that people remember."

Afterward, Ross took to Twitter, but not for an I'm-sorry. Instead, he offered this....

...and this....

Granted, Ross's shtick is to be purposefully offensive -- and in not backing down, he's at least being consistent. In a previous interview with the Huffington Post, Ross dismissed post-joke apologies by saying it "would be a real state of affairs in this country, if comedians started putting a filter on our brains."

No word if the loved ones of shooting victims concur -- or if this attempted witticism will make the final broadcast, which is slated to air on August 12.

More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "James Holmes inspires Holmies fan groups: Real phenomenon or media overreaction?"


Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
36 comments
Wayne Brown
Wayne Brown

Josh, I def respect your opinion. I myself was not physically injured, but I can promise that more would have been had I not been pushing them out with me. They had the deer in headlights affect. Trust me, I garuntee that otheers there would have a different outlook than me. That was just my opinion. And again. I feel for the people who were, unfortunately, not as lucky that night. Very very deeply.

Kaitlin Herrera
Kaitlin Herrera

Censoring isn't the answer. We all know he said it. Furthermore, Comedy Central didn't make this big of a stink at Steve-O's roast for making jokes about Ryan Dunn's death, which was another recent tragedy at the time. You can pick and choose what's crossing the line and what isn't.

Mannick D Pres-Saint
Mannick D Pres-Saint

@ Crochet: You mean such as jokes about bin Laden or Obama's indiscriminate killer drone program? I suppose it's okay in the latter circumstance since the families of the drone victims' do not have access to American media to be exposed to such "insensitive" jokes made by late-night comics. Hyprocrites. A roast amongst some of the most raunchiest comedians is not exactly meant to be "PG" nor is this type of entertainment marketed to thin-skinned folks such as yourself and the rest of the whiners across FaRcebook. Thus, I applaud Ross for not caving into the butthurt campaign. There are no boundaries in comedy. Suck it up or go hide under a rock.

Shanna Leota Dempsey
Shanna Leota Dempsey

This is what comedians do. Not everyone will find it funny but for a comedian to apologize for a joke is like comedic suicide. This joke was not intended to be hurtful nor directed at the victims. It was honestly directed at Seth Green for looking like James Holmes and having a whack career. It's always going to be a sad and sensitive topic no amount of time will change that, so I don't understand the argument of too soon especially if the joke is not mean spirited.

Jeremy Leprekon Atkins
Jeremy Leprekon Atkins

Josh, you sir are WAY out of line telling someone who was in the theater how their location/sustained injuries/ relation to victims in the theater somehow affect their mental state, #1 I highly doubt you are a psychologist so I you are probably not in any way qualified to make that decision. You apparently don't understand ptsd. What right do YOU have NOT, being there to pass any kind of judgement on someone who WAS there. Your opinion is passive aggressive and fairly offensive.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Wayne, I doubt you speak for everyone involved but I understand your point. I often make jokes about crazy things but not when people are killed. Were you even physically injured? Emotionally close to anyone who was killed? Were you on the far side of the theater? All of that makes a difference in your perspective of whether it is ok to joke about it. I doubt the family and friends of the real victims (dead) find it ok to joke.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Westword, you do realize u posted the exact f'ing same thing yesterday, right? Your content lately has become a joke to put it mildly. I have been a fan of your publication for a couple of years but whoever is in charge of your FB page needs some re-evaluation and originality. Get off the Aurora story's testes until a real development occurs. I feel like Im subscribed to a jr. high newspaper.

Anna Crochet
Anna Crochet

There are so many lighter topics to 'joke about'!! Not a tragedy-Doesn't anyone have boundaries? What if it were one of HIS loved ones killed? Need we say more?

Wayne Brown
Wayne Brown

I was in theater 9, "a survivor". This is a very sensative subject, but how else do we move on???? What better way than comedy. My heart beats deep for the ones who lost there llives and the ones who were injured, but that is jeff ross's job. I saw things no one should ever see on that night, but I know that life goes on and the sooner the better. Coming from someone who was there, you should all keep an open mind and not be so quick to judge.

Mario Martinez
Mario Martinez

Yes they are making the right decision and since he wants to be a fuckin' asshole Comedy Central should ban him from ever doing roasts again that way he'll disappear from television for good because that's pretty much the only air time he gets. Fuck jeffery ross!!

Andy Jackson
Andy Jackson

Jeffrey Ross owes an apology for living!!

Andy Jackson
Andy Jackson

Jeffrey Ross is a douchebag anyway....He has never once made me laugh!

Ben Beeby
Ben Beeby

Jeffrey is the most unfunny person on a terrible show. I have watched most of the roasts he has been on and he simply must be married to someone's daughter at Viacom to still have a job.

Jeremy Coss
Jeremy Coss

no, its a joke. We can't keep getting upset over jokes, it's not like he wasn't sad about it....this is just what he gets paid to do

Katie Quinn
Katie Quinn

I think whomever does your reporting should be apologizing. Seriously Westword, your coverage of this tragedy has been an absolute joke.

Robbie Ratay
Robbie Ratay

Jeff ross is a fuckin clown and isnt really all that funny.. what a dbag

kwame
kwame

Ha. The ironic thing is that even though Jeffrey Ross is really not that funny at all, that was probably his best joke EVER.

 

It was funny.

 

Move along .... 

Mannick D Pres-Saint
Mannick D Pres-Saint

....and the Butthurt Brigade, once again, does not disappoint with their endless stream of faux outrage.

PhatCheddar
PhatCheddar

although he crossed the line with the joke, I think people should lighten up. I pray for the victims, and this was a tragic event, but calm down. The first joke was stupid, but the follow up joke was actually pretty funny. I'd expect an apology from a comedian for racist slurs, actual threats, etc., but not this. Just air it and let him be an a$$hole for the joke to you, i would have said "oohhh" too, but only after i shook my head laughing.

Lisa Hill
Lisa Hill

He is a no talent jew who thinks death and murder are funny???

Jimmy Nigg
Jimmy Nigg

If it was a funny comedian it would be ok. This is the 2nd comedian in two weeks to make a joke about it as their career is coming to an end. There scratching and clawing to get attention anyway they can

Hunter Sondeen
Hunter Sondeen

No. Comedy is meant for things like this. Making light of dark/serious issues. Look at bill hicks, George carlin, mark Thomas

Ric Gonzalez
Ric Gonzalez

When theres not a dick in his ass or mouth he says stupid shit

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

Sure he has a right to say such. I'd never argue against his right to free speech. Of course, it goes hand in hand that I've the right to call the man an insensitive asshole.

Brian Eastin
Brian Eastin

It may be insensitive that he said those things, but we DO have the 1st Amendment of the Constitution fully protecting what he said. Remember, free speech doesn't just protect speech that you like, it represents speech you hate as well.

Aaron Wells
Aaron Wells

Yes lets laugh at 12 PEOPLE BEING KILLED! and hey while we're at it lets visit the wounded in the hospital and laugh at them too after all it's only comedy right?

Joel Bader
Joel Bader

Hey there were sick jokes about the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion and the OJ Simpson trial going around right after those events. As far as I know, no one ever had to apologize after cracking them.

Tarayn Marissa
Tarayn Marissa

Too soon? It's always too soon to make fun of something like this.

Matt Woodall
Matt Woodall

No! He absolutely should NOT apologize. It's comedy! It's funny! People need to wash the sand from their vaginas.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @kwame Thanks for sharing an alternate point of view, Kwame. We're going to make your post an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...