Last night, at a secret location thick with the smell of cognac and cigars that must never be spoken of (unless the secret handshake is given and you sacrifice a virgin), some of radio's biggest personalities gathered to eat things on sticks, eat things on spoons, drink things in glasses and take the piss out of themselves, their competitors, the medium of radio, the Auckland media, New Zealand politics, TV newsreaders and, the guests of honour, agency folk.
The Radio Bureau, which "represents New Zealand's commercial radio industry at a national level", wanted to do something original – and slightly risky – that might inspire agencies to consider advertising on radio. So, in the style made famous by Dean Martin and his drunk friends, and, more recently, Jimmy Kimmel, the roast was conceived and, in an unusual show of collegiality, the duopoly, The Radio Network and Radioworks, came together.
Unlike at the CAANZ Media Awards, Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking turned up as MC and rubbed in the fact that his show has 21.3 percent of the audience. He drew attention to his own beautiful mug by drawing attention to those with stereotypical faces for radio (Murray Deaker, Leighton Smith etc etc), bemoaning the fact that most radio personalities are typically clothed and fed by the prize cupboard. He then introduced the first speakers, Paul Ego from The Rock and Jeremy Corbett from Milf FM, who Hosking felt were prime examples of broadcasters who had followed the typical DJ path and had spent way too much time in their bedroom masturbating.
This pair's fictional radio station routine was filed with cheesy stings spoken in a quintessentially deep radio voice ("The songs you want, just after you want them. You're on The Rayyyddioooo") and a fair dose of self-deprecating humour. There was even some mashing up involved: Ego's silky angelic singing voice was put to good use when they merged a few Rock classics with some housewife friendly More FM music.
John Tamihere from Radio Live was next up to roast New Zealand politics and, as Hosking pointed out, it was probably his biggest ever audience. He elicited a few smirks when discussing MPs spending, but was, overall, pretty mediocre, particularly compared to Jason Gunn, who went to town on Auckland media tossers/whores, swore like a trooper and ridiculed TVNZ – and himself – for the 50 years of TV embarrassment and for 'resting' Dancing With the Stars.
Fletch and Vaughn from the Edge were tasked with roasting TV newsreaders, so they stole a few bloopers from a website. Muted laughs were the result, and the undoubted highlight of their roast was when they showed irrefutable evidence that Mike McRoberts is a dead ringer for the fat kid on Two and Half Men.
But the best bit was Flava FM's Dave Fane. In keeping with the roasts of the past, it was the drunkest man who spoke last and in what is undoubtedly one of the most offensive speeches ever heard in New Zealand, he let fly with f-bombs, n-bombs, c-bombs and many other types of bombs, ticking all the taboo boxes in his unflinching roastery of the agency folks and inferring, among many other things, that they all have AIDS, that they're freeloaders (just like Islanders) and that Hitler was right. Some thought it was totally embarrassing and inappropriate, others thought it was absolutely brilliant.
And Fane also gets the award for best end to a speech: "Youse is c***s, youse is c***s, youse is c***s, and I hope you all burn in hell."
Here's the invite to the event, which is definitely worth a listen. TRB Roast