The roast of Tom Brady is proof that old-school outrage is back in business.
The Roast of Tom Brady was raunchy and crude and totally politically incorrect—and very, very entertaining. (Photo by Elyse Jankowski/FilmMagic)

Fun Is Back

The roast of Tom Brady was crude, raunchy—and incredibly entertaining.

On Sunday, A-listers from Kim Kardashian to Ben Affleck brutally mocked former NFL quarterback Tom Brady (and each other) for three hours, live on Netflix.

The Roast of Tom Brady was scorched earth. Tony Hinchcliffe joked about cotton picking and said Brady “looks like a Confederate fag.” He said the football player’s ex-wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, took after him—because she was out “draining balls right now.” He also threw this barb at comedian Jeff Ross: “Jeff is so Jewish he only watches football for the coin toss.” UFC’s Dana White ragged on Netflix for giving him so little time on the mic: “You guys gave me 60 seconds? My name is Dana! Is that not trans enough for you liberal fucks?” Former New England Patriot wide receiver Julian Edelman even managed to make fun of Aaron Hernandez’s suicide in the middle of a dick joke

You know what happened. The Washington Post called it “misogynistic” and “cruel.” Gisele Bündchen is said to be “deeply disappointed” by the show—and wanted the world to know that she is currently focused on her charity work.

But guess what? No one cared. 

Because the roast—raunchy and crude and totally politically incorrect—was fun. 

It felt like a throwback to a simpler time, before Hannah Gadsby made us feel sorta bad about comedy, and SNL fired Shane Gillis for saying a rude word before his first day on the job.

And it’s not the only thing that feels old-school and alive in the best way. 

The rap beef between Drake and Kendrick Lamar is vicious and, in the parlance of the decade, homophobic, misogynistic, and ableist. There’s wordplay about Parkinson’s; talk of “ho shit”; and gay-tinged put-downs. (Kendrick called Drake’s crew “dick riders.”) It’s not quite family-friendly, but it’s very, very entertaining. 

Streams don’t lie, nor do laughs: The Roast of Tom Brady is in Netflix’s Top Ten and the song in which Lamar called Drake a pedophile broke streaming records. Woke scolds and Keffiyeh Karens are still screaming their heads off, but normal people are just tuning them out.

There are other clouds of fun rising up like vapor through the grates. The wellness regime of daily workouts and endless supplements and dietary restrictions—which always felt puritanical and smug—has been vanquished by Ozempic, a cheat that allows you to eat whatever you like, just less of it. Even the fact that Sweetgreen announced it’s now serving steak—cue the Times’ ceremonial hand-wringing over red meat’s carbon footprint—feels like an unbuckling. Pop music, and there is so much of it, is a Technicolor dreamscape tinged with Americana. Taylor Swift is dating a cool jock who dressed like Al Capone for the Kentucky DerbyJoJo Siwa is letting her freak flag fly. The Kings of Leon’s new album, set to release in two days, is called Can We Please Have Fun. Yes!

The band’s last album, from 2021, was called When You See Yourself. It came at a time when we were all meant to reflect, check ourselves, dig deep, do the work, and most importantly, do better. Now? It’s the Morning After the Revolution. It’s time to let loose.

Suzy Weiss is a reporter at The Free Press. Follow her on X @SnoozyWeiss.

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