To hold a roast, in the Dean Martin tradition, is probably more old-school than even the founders of community gem KXCI FM 91.3 could have imagined. Cutting-edge clever, or fraught with disaster? This easily could have gone either way.
Here was the premise: Stick four of the oldest, crustiest, longest-tenured volunteer DJs onstage for three 15-to-20-minute segments, and allow more than a dozen friends and associates to poke fun at them between four musical interludes by various two- or three-piece acoustic ensembles. Then let it all run late (almost four hours) ... and, well, pray that the gods of comedy are in your corner. Fortunately, they were—and big-time, on a night when roastee Carol Anderson, host of Ruby's Roadhouse, exclaimed, "My face hurts so much from smiling so hard!"
She was joined in the roastee box by Milo Solujic (The Bluegrass Show), Dave "Kidd Squidd" Squires (Mystery Jukebox) and Marty Kool (Blues Review). All were easy targets, except for Kool, who seemed to get a pass due to his ultra-nice-guy persona. That is, until his wife came onstage to give support to the "love of my life," only to pass Kool's outstretched arms and lay a big, juicy hug on Squires.
As expected, there were plenty of old, recycled jokes. Former DJ Mary Buckley quipped, "We all know about the three stages of life—youth, middle age and don't-you-look-wonderful?" Jazz Sundae host Mark Rosenbaum was so funny that he earned two trips to the lectern. Making fun of Squires' nickname, he offered some alternatives, including "My Kids Are Old Enough to Have Grandkids Squidd" and "I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up Squidd."
There were lots of other highlights, including the roastee rebuttals, but no one carried the night better than KXCI general manager Randy Peterson, who killed with his monologue and managed to skewer not only the four guests, but nearly every roaster as well.
Musically, Stefan George and Tom Walbank; Way Out West; and Los Hombres all turned in fine sets. What stood out most, however, was a stellar a cappella performance by the Titan Valley Warheads trio.
The event will be broadcast at 8 p.m., Friday, Jan. 6, on Access Tucson.