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Roasting refers to the practice of mocking or insulting someone for comedic purposes. Online, videos of people being roasted have circulated widely on sites like YouTube and Vine, including What Are Those?, "You Look Like a Mufuckin Uhhh" and You're Not My Dad.
The term roasting in the context of comedy was first used to describe events in which a guest of honor would be subjected to various jokes at their expense. In 1949, the first roast event was held by the New York Friars Club for the French actor Maurice Chevalier. On December 7th, 2005, Urban Dictionary user Creff von Crinklepants submitted an entry for "roast," defining it as "to humorously mock or humiliate someone with a well-time joke, diss or comeback."
Comedy Central Roast played a vital role in popularizing the concept in the mainstream media through a series of TV specials featuring celebrities as roastees in the mid-to-late 2000s, most notably Pamela Anderson in 2005, William Shatner in 2006, Flavor Flav in 2007, Bob Saget in 2008, David Hasselhoff in 2010 and Donald Trump and Charlie Sheen in 2011. On February 20th, 2011, Urban Dictionary user Aysis submitted an entry for "roasting," defining the term as "verbally assaulting someone until you hurt their feelings." On December 12th, 2013, Viner Logan Paul uploaded a video titled "Well that escalated quickly … #RoastJoffrey". Over the next three years, the Vine gained over four million views, and 280,000 likes.
On April 14th, 2015, popular YouTuber, Filthy Frank, released a video titled "LOSER READS HATER COMMENTS 2," featuring a short clip of himself saying "you just got roasted." The clip has widely been used as a reaction video.
On April 22nd, the /r/roastme subreddit was launched, in which Redditors post photographs of themselves and invite viewers to mock them. In March 2015, Comedy Central hosted a roast for Justin Bieber, during which comedian Hannibal Buress insulted the pop star’s music by saying, “I hate your music more than Bill Cosby hates my comedy” (shown below). The joke was subsequently cut from the televised recording of the event.
On May 15th, 2015, viner Aaron Doh released a vine titled "5 year old roast sessions". The vine received 7 million views. On December 26th, the Internet humor site Runt published a listicle of the "most savage Reddit roasts of 2015." On March 5th, 2016, CollegeHumor posted an article titled "12 Brutal Roast Jokes You'll Probably Feel Bad Laughing At."
The Roast Hand
The roast hand is a hand gesture made with outstretched fingers that is associated with scolding or insulting others. On Vine, videos featuring the gesture are often posted under the tag "#TheRoastHand" (shown below).
The phrase "joaning" is often used as a synonym for roasting in the context of insult comedy. On May 4th, 2005, Urban Dictionary user Inquisitor911 submitted an entry for "joaning," defining it as "to put down, or make fun of someone." On September 20th, 2006, another definition for the term was submitted, which identified it as an initialism for the phrase "joke on a nigga."
 Urban Dictionary – Roasting
 Reddit – /r/roastme
 Runt-of-the-web – The 66 most savage Reddit roasts of 2015
 CollegeHumor (via Wayback Machine) – 12 Brutal Roast Jokes
 BuzzFeed – The Art of Roasting
 Urban Dictionary – joaning
 Vine – Hashtag Results for #TheRoastHand (page unavailable)
 Urban Dictionary – joaning
 Vine – #TheRoastHand
Apr 17, 2016 at 12:12PM EDT
Apr 16, 2016 at 05:59PM EDT
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