'An imposing limestone building at 57 East Fifty-fifth Street will be occupied by the Friars as a clubhouse starting Labor Day.' New York Times, 1957

Ross famously joked at a 1998 Friars Club Roast of Drew Carey that 'My one regret is that Abe Vigoda isn't alive to see this.' Vigoda, who was sitting just a few feet away at the time, loved the joke. From then on, that became a running gag at the Friars Club, where Vigoda had been a member since 1983.

Vigoda worked in relative obscurity as a supporting actor in the New York theater and in television until Francis Ford Coppola cast him in the 1972 Oscar-winning 'The Godfather.' Vigoda played Sal Tessio, an old friend of Vito Corleone's (Marlon Brando) who hopes to take over the family after Vito's death by killing his son Michael Corleone (Al Pacino).

The “I Left My Heart In San Francisco” crooner will become just the sixth star to accept the Entertainment Icon Award in the legendary private club’s 112-year history.

We wrap up our “Sinatra 100” series by remembering a moment that was pure Sinatra. Back at the 1976 Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon, he reunited two of Hollywood’s kings of comedy: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. The two hadn’t spoken for 20 years before Sinatra brought them together. We’ll talk about that reunion with Lewis himself, and Martin’s daughter Deana. Martin died in 1995.

“Super Agent” Don Buchwald, a Friar since 1972, will receive that honorary dragging over the coals May 12 at the historic Rainbow Room.

November 4, 2015

And the history of an American ritual.

In the early nineteen hundreds, a group of Broadway theater reps and New York City publicists founded the Friars Club, and the men started having an annual dinner where they ribbed on a member in a friendly, good-natured fashion. (“Let me give you an idea of the friendship Johnny Carson and I have for each other,” Groucho Marx deadpanned at the 1968 Friars Club roast of Johnny Carson, “I’ll never forget the first night I met him—and heaven knows I’ve tried.”) With their roots in the New York entertainment world, Friars were often celebrities.

“Thank you for coming, and what do you want?” Jerry Lewis said with mock impatience, addressing the 200 or so members and guests of the Friars Club who had come to see him on Monday night.

Experience Roast highlights over the past half-century on the Friars Club YouTube Channel, starring Groucho Marx, Johnny Carson, Milton Berle, Henny Youngman, Alan King, Don Rickles, Jerry Lewis, Red Buttons, Ed Sullivan, Jack Benny, Phyllis Diller, Jack Benny and many others.