Written by Dave Sanders (a.k.a. Dave Sanders)
July 20, 2012
*The views and statements expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of iSPYCINCY or anyone else within a 25 mile radius.
Ahh, humor. I was recently reminded about the importance of a good laugh. In its truest sense, laughter IS the best medicine. While laughter won’t cure tuberculosis or reduce the signs of hair loss, it certainly can’t hurt. So, with that in mind, it’s refreshing for me to go to an event which doesn’t take itself too seriously. The annual River Roast is as good an example as you’ll find.
In it’s fourth year, the celebration was just one of many events during a jam-packed weekend that included baseball fans dancing with broomsticks as the chirps of angry little cardinals were drowned out by the sounds of World Choir singers performing in the streets. The Roast was originally dreamt up and patterned after the celebrity roasts that Dean Martin made famous back in the 70′s and early 80′s (you can eu-google-ize-it for a good laugh or two).
Being held at the Miami Boat Club brings on extra significance because “Dino” had performed there more than once, back in the day. And he would likely be rolling in his urn if he had been in attendance this past weekend.
This year’s Roastee’s, Tee and Ashley Maguire, are certainly not celebrities on a national stage, but locally they are somewhat infamous. The speakers on the Roast panel had plenty of ammunition. Remarks were made about their colorful fashion statements and eccentric social routines. As this year’s Roast emcee, Peter Hiltz eloquently put it, “Who’s idea was it to roast Willy Wonka and Barbie?!?!” The fun didn’t stop there… I even joined in as a speaker on the panel – and boy I haven’t gotten that many laughs since my singing debut a few months ago.
The speakers are usually chosen based on their knowledge of the Roastee and skills with a microphone. This year’s lack of talent was no exception. If I were to give a review of the evening, I’d have to say that Peter Hiltz’s skills as an emcee (or “Roast Master”) could best be compared to Stevie Wonder’s skills as a cab driver. Then, Amy Spasoff, proved that being quick with a camera does not always mean that you have a quick wit with a one-liner… or even half of one.
When “Magic” Michael Green took the stage he got more applause from the thousand or so Mayflies that decided to grace us with their 24 hour life span than the audience, but I guess that was to be expected. Btw, those mutant Mayflies were, without question, the best 3D-CGI special effect of the evening. The warning sign read: NO GOOFY GLASSES REQUIRED.
The next speaker, Adhrucia Apana, drowned out the lovely scent of her less than exotic perfume with the bug spray that was being passed around the room. Our final speaker, Andrew Campbell, proved he has a face for radio and a voice for silent films getting about as many laughs as a dental office waiting room. It was pure magic. Of course, the final comments belonged to the man and woman of the hour, and they once again proved why they are one of Cincinnati’s most roastable couples. They also proved why parents should not build swingsets too close to the trees.
Now if my review of the evening seems a little harsh — it’s because I know each of the players involved are just as good at taking a joke as they are at dishing them out. I too had a fair share of sparks thrown my way and loved every minute of it. After all, if you can’t laugh at yourself than what’s the use of laughing at all.
Proceeds for the event went toward a very worthy cause, The Starfire Council of Greater Cincinnati, as picked by Tee and Ashley. For more information visit: www.starfirecouncil.org.
Photo credits: Ann Van Epps of AVE Photographyto top ↑