Friars Club Classics Now Online

VIDEO: Smoke gets in Don Rickles eyes during roast for Jerry
WATCH Don Rickles Roasts Jerry Lewis

For the first time, the Friars have made available online "The Classic Friars Club Roasts," a DVD box set featuring roasts of legendary comedians Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles and Johnny Carson.

Video of the roasts is accompanied by a DVD of previously unseen classic out-takes. Almost a half-century has elapsed since these shows aired originally, and the pop-cultural artifacts have never been made available to the public until now.

VIDEO: Smoke gets in Don Rickles eyes during roast for Jerry Lewis.Play
Don Rickles Roasts Jerry Lewis

Summing it up, writer Greg Beato said, "Thanks to the Friars Club roasts, America's comics were acknowledging humanity's intrinsic comic baseness rather than ignoring it. Finally, they were using their comic skills to push against the bounds of propriety, instead of merely tickling the public with childish euphemisms and coy innuendo. Cursing with abandon, reveling in their unconstrained crudity, erstwhile Catskills tumblers elevated themselves, at least temporarily, from jokers to truth-tellers."

VIDEO: Johnny Carson jokes about Jerry Lewis large fan base in France.Play
Johnny Carson Roasts Jerry Lewis