Parents TV Council Zeroes In on Joan Rivers Roast, Call For Cable Choice

Advisory to members warns of likely explicit dialog and innuendo

Cable a la carte fan Parents Television Council is hitching its latest call for "cable choice" to the upcoming Comedy Central roast of Joan Rivers Aug. 9.

In an advisory to its members, it warns that the show will likely contain explicit dialog and innuendo, though it does point out as part of the warning that a preview of the show on the Comedy Central Web site contains the parental warning: "Explicit Language, Viewer Discretion Advised."

"This type of show is one of the main reasons why consumers want the ability to choose and pay for only the cable networks they want through some form of cable choice," said PTC President Tim Winter in announcing the member warning.

PTC also says it plans to contact all the show's sponsors "if the content of this year's broadcast comes even close to that of prior years."

The Comedy Central roasts are raunchy and ribald, but, according to a veteran of the Friar's Club roasts, on which the Comedy Central roast is patterned (the channel broadcast four or five Friar's roasts before launching their own franchise), the Comedy Central versions are actually less raunchy than the originals.

Among the many who have willingly subjected themselves to that Friar's punishment have been Matt Lauer, Drew Carey, Johnny Carson, David Frost, Richard Belzer, and Whoopi Goldberg.

"The Roast is designed to appeal to the Comedy Central audience, not the PTC audience and is scheduled accordingly," said Comedy Central spokeswoman Aileen Budow.