War of words erupts after Hofmeyr’s roast
Kuli Roberts says she feels “abused” and “ambushed” after celebs ripped into her at a show she had expected would be “about Steve”
Comedian Trevor Noah has labelled TV personality Kuli Roberts a hypocritical narcissist after a war of words erupted between them.
The two were part of the first ever SA Comedy Central roast this week, where controversial Afrikaans entertainer Steve Hofmeyr was the subject of a no-holds-barred ribbing by fellow celebrities.
The liberal lashings of sexism, gay insults and crude vagina jokes thrown around on Wednesday night were par for the course in an American-styled roast, but a furious Roberts says she was unfairly singled out.
“It became a Kuli roast. I thought it was about Steve,” she told City Press.
“Next time Trevor Noah wants to attack me personally he mustn’t ambush me.”
As roast host, Noah set the tone against Roberts, as he did with all participants.
“McSlutty, I’m glad you’re sober enough to join us,” he said to her, before having a go at a controversial column on coloured women that saw Roberts fired from Sunday World last year.
After that, she was repeatedly lampooned for being a nymphomaniac, a cocaine junkie and an alcoholic, with multiple references to her vagina.
“I feel abused,” Roberts told City Press.
“So much so I’ve decided I’m giving a portion of the money to a woman abuse charity … I understand Trevor’s abusive because of his background, but this was personal.”
Noah rubbished the accusation, saying “the majority of the jokes were aimed at Steve,” he said.
“To call this an ambush on her is both unfair and narcissistic. Kuli has forged a career on roasting celebrities weekly, both in print and on TV. For her to now turn around and cry foul is a bit hypocritical.”
Roberts apparently became upset because she believed she had stuck to her script while several male comedians had strayed from theirs and roasted her in an unnecessarily personal way, including her privates.
Participants were given a list of forbidden subjects and their scripts were screened before the recording.
“I grew up in a household where I witnessed woman abuse firsthand and I take offence to her belittlement of it,” replied Noah.
“My jokes were no more personal than when she repeatedly joked about my small penis.”
The Mzansi Headline presenter was not the only one who came in for a drubbing.
John Vlismas was called the product of a union between Satan and a rat; Robert Whitehead was held up as a drunk, debauched queer; Noah was accused of stealing jokes; David Kau was described as a has-been.
But when it came to the women roasters, bodies were the battlefield, not careers. Shaleen Surtie-Richards and Anele Mdoda were mocked for being overweight and Minki van der Westhuizen’s breasts were a common theme.
At one stage, Noah did mention Mdoda’s career, quipping, “Your career’s moving so fast. Pity your metabolism isn’t keeping up.”
The radio jock received some of the biggest applause of the night.
“I want you to live,” she told Hofmeyr, who was seated on a converted braai with Blue Bulls balls hanging from it, “Because I’m on radio and if you die I’m gonna have to spend a whole week playing your music.”
Of the female roasters, only soap actress Shaleen Surtie-Richards had a real go at Roberts and her column when she said (referring to herself), “This toothless, drunk, coloured woman has won more awards than you’ve had orgasms!”
It elicited screams from the audience and several people stood and cheered, including actor Clint Brink.
Hofmeyr’s legendary temper flared up when comedian John Vlismas questioned his Afrikaner pedigree.
An annoyed Hofmeyr stood up and shoved a page of the script in Vlismas’ mouth.
On a night characterised by the most vulgar language ever to grace a local TV show, only the wholesome model Minki van der Westhuizen kept things clean.
Her autocue-reliant and cringeworthy roasting was all about how hot she is and how Hofmeyr has always wanted to bed her but never will.
She did manage an amusing parting shot, though: “Steve, if it wasn’t for you I’d be the dumbest blonde in South Africa.”
“That was sweet. But don’t talk,” said Noah as she returned to her seat.
» An edited version of the roast will be broadcast on 24 September on Comedy Central