The Comedy Central Roast of Kenny Kunene wowed the audience at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, Johannesburg on Thursday 3 April, 2014 with an explosive night of laughs, jokes, stunts, songs, anecdotes, praise and criticism – directed at "Sushi King", entrepreneur, reality TV star and politician, Kenny Kunene.
The sparkling night of comedy began with a flourish as Kunene made a triumphal rockstar entrance clad in an electric blue smoking jacket and surrounded by scantily clad cabaret dancers equipped with giant ostrich feather fans.
As cigar-smoking Kenny descended the neon lit staircase, he magnanimously scattered bank notes while blowing extravagant kisses to his dancers and the Roasting panel.
Roastmaster Jimmy Carr presided over the Roast with his trademark deadpan aplomb, keeping the Roasters and Roastee under control with a panoply of cutting remarks and acutely withering one liners.
The Roasters were Khanyi Mbau, PJ Powers, Rian van Heerden, Somizi Mhlongo, Tumi Morake, Jack Parow, Dineo Ranaka and John Vlismas.
The Roast was packed full of sex jokes, sushi jokes, fat jokes, prison jokes and Zuma jokes, and Kenny wasn't the only one getting "Roasted" – Jimmy Carr and the Roast panel all came in for tons of over the top praise and criticism, while Khanyi Mbau took a lot of extra heat.
Roastee Kenny kept up a smiling demeanour as the panel dissected his love life, colourful past and political ambitions, and saved his riposte for the end of the show, when he decimated his critics in devastating form.
A surprise moment came when John Vlismas brought a gun and security guard on stage with him in reference to his experience at the 2012 Roast of Steve Hofmeyr, when the "Pampoen" singer tried to stuff his script down Vlismas' throat.
Bling was the order of the day on the dazzling Roast set, lavishly dressed in black and gold and dominated by two giant 'K's and a rococo-inspired gilt throne for Kenny.
Sequinned curtains, gilt-framed mirrors and giant pastiches of Kenny portraying great men/women in history - including Napoleon, Barack Obama, the Mona Lisa, Queen Elizabeth II and Michelangelo's David - completed the over-the-top look.
The audience was thronged with comedians, famous faces and celebrities including comedians Joey Rasdien and Loyiso Gola; actor Thapelo Mokoena; singers Thandiswa Mazwai and Donald; actress and TV presenter Boity Thulo; MTV Base VJs Nomuzi Mabena, Sizwe Dhlomo and Sandile Ntshingila; DJ Lulo Café; Isidingo soap stars Ashish Gangapersad and Kgomotso Christopher; Rhythm City's Jena Dover; Kwela Tebza, Raphael Griffiths from Muvhango; former Big Brother housemate Lerato Sengadi; Power FM's Azania Mosaka, Pabi Moloi, Given Mkhari and Eusebius McKaizer; Metro FM DJ Nothemba Madumo; and Supersport presenters Elma Smit and Gcobani Bobo.
The show was preceded by the official Roast red carpet show, hosted by Deep Fried Man and Jen Su. The jokes or roast lines were prepared by South African and British comedy writers: Steven Francis, Gus Silber, Elmir Arnautovic, Kagiso Lediga, Camilo Salojee, Christopher Steenkamp and Daniel Friedman.
The Comedy Central Roast of Kenny Kunene was a production of MTV Networks Africa (Pty) Ltd trading as Viacom International Media Networks Africa.
On Comedy Central, the first Roast was Steve Hofmeyr and the second Kenny Kunene. This order was reversed for the broadcast on SABC3.
The transmission on Comedy Central was 105 minutes for each Roast. On SABC3, these were edited down to 60 minutes.