The stars came out on Saturday night to the Comedy Central Roast of Die Hard institution and American treasure Bruce Willis — and it was a celebratory festival of reading the non-Oscar nominated actor to filth. But one of the best roasts of the evening came from surprise guest — and Willis’ ex-wife — Demi Moore.
In the middle of the ceremony, roast master Joseph Gordon-Levitt, out of nowhere, announced that it was Moore’s turn take the dais, surprising Willis, roasters and the audience. Not originally on the roast roster, the Empire actress stepped out on stage to excited applause ready to drag Willis.
She dug into his age, his bald head, his music, and made some Die Hard cracks — all topics that were targeted during the evening. But there was one thing that only Moore could skewer that no one else on stage could: their marriage.
“I look at our marriage like The Sixth Sense,” said Moore. “You were dead the whole time.”
It also should be noted that Willis’ daughters Rumer, Tallulah, and Scout and his wife Emma Heming were in the audience laughing at his expense as well.
The delightful slams, drags, and Willis takedowns continued throughout the evening with Edward Norton, who stars with him in the upcoming Motherless Brooklyn. The three-time Oscar nominee came through with a clever roast that was a brilliant combination of celebrating himself and back-handed compliments aimed at Willis. He wondered how a bartender from New Jersey became the biggest movie stars of our time. Norton, who works tirelessly to be the acclaimed, high-brow thespian he is, admitted he was jealous that Willis does the same character every time and has an incredible career that has lasted decades. He said that he wanted to be just like Willis and told him that he yearned to “be the global d*ckhead powerhouse you are.”
In addition, Gordon-Levitt, Moore, and Norton, there was a motley crew of Willis’ colleagues and random admirers that didn’t mince words when it came to railing on Willis and each other. Moonlighting co-star and one of Willis’ oldest friends Cybill Shepherd had fun throwing in some jabs and sharing her experiences working with him on the iconic dramedy while comedians Nikki Glaser and Lil Rel wondered why they were even invited to the roast — but that didn’t stop them from getting in some good shots in.
Dennis Rodman was probably the most random roaster on the dais and struggled to get through his jokes as a roast first-timer. All the while comedians Kevin Pollak, Dom Irrera, domestic Goddess & roast regular Martha Stewart, and Roastmaster General Jeff Ross enjoyed dragging Willis with jokes that tested the boundaries of what is offensive and what isn’t with loving inappropriateness.
As with all Comedy Central Roasts, the guest of honor took the stage at the end of the evening to take revenge on his roasters, enjoyably roasting each and every one of them without holding back. Even so, he felt the love and recognized the fun in the evening after the roast he said, “I thought I dislocated my jaw because I was laughing so hard.”
Despite some very savage jokes Willis and timely cracks about Trump, #MeToo, Weinstein and Woody Allen, the evening seemed surprisingly tasteful and a little less scathing (remember the Rob Lowe Roast with Ann Coulter?) Ross, who has been a huge part of Comedy Central Roasts since 2005, even said that “this is one of the classiest roasts we’ve ever done.”
But after the dust settled, Willis, like in all of his action movies, survived all the roast attacks and recognized what a badass he is. Before the roast ended, Willis pointed out that one of the roastees from the past went on to be President (he was, of course, referring to Trump). People were wondering if he would follow that path. To which he said: “Why be President when I can be Bruce f*cking Willis?!” And then he treated us with one last “Yippee ki yay motherf*ckers” before whipping out his harmonica for a little jam session.
The Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis is set to air on July 29 on Comedy Central.