The combination of sports and comedy is a time-honored tradition with the Friars, having Roasted & Toasted famous athletes since the club’s inception in 1904. As former Roastee Boomer Esiason noted, “What a rarefied badge of honor it is to be Roasted by the legendary Friars Club. Knowing it was all for charity made it well worth the roasting.”
'Our partnership with ESPN highlights what the Friars have been doing for over a century-- honoring performers and entertainers, as well as sports personalities, with our special brand of humor.” Says Friars Club Executive Director, Michael Gyure. 'There’s much to be said for comedy in sports and the rich fodder for comedians to rib athletes about their performance on and off the field. I’m thrilled that we have an opportunity to showcase our unique event with the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company in the world and discover a new audience to enjoy our Friarly antics.'
Matthew Volk, ESPN Director of Programming and Acquisitions, is 'looking forward to incorporating the famed Friars Club comedy into our wide-ranging Super Bowl week offerings. The Friars have a well-known history in entertainment and we are excited to bring fans these sports-themed ‘best of’ specials.”
In addition to sending up the best and the brightest in the NFL over the next few years, the Friars and ESPN will take comedic aim at legends from the NBA and MLB as well.