The Comedy Central celebrity roasts have made fun of everyone from William Shatner to Justin Bieber over the years, but the behind-the-scenes story of Donald Trump’s time in the roastee chair has brought some interesting insight.
For the 2011 Trump roast, the real-estate mogul and now Republican presidential candidate was reportedly open to jokes about anything — except his wealth. And he reportedly even rewrote some jokes himself to help out in that regard.
Roast writer Anthony Jeselnik recalled the mandate like this when he talked to Joan Rivers about it in 2013: “Make fun of my kids, do whatever you want, just don’t say I don’t have that much money.”
A new Huffington Post story on the making of the Trump roast reveals that Trump was extremely sensitive of not just slighting his wealth, but he also didn’t want his business bankruptcies mentioned. As Roast Master Jeff Ross told Jimmy Kimmel over the summer, bankruptcy jokes are the “one thing [Trump’s] sensitive about.”
The Huffington Post story also highlights how Trump was heavily involved with the jokes that would be told to him.
One original joke went: “What’s the difference between a wet raccoon and Donald Trump’s hair? A wet raccoon doesn’t have $2 billion.” Trump eventually agreed to use the joke as long as the $2 billion was changed to $7 billion. Ross told Kimmel that initially Trump wanted the number to be $10 billion.
Then during Trump’s rebuttal at the end of the show, a line in which he talked about his “25,000-square-foot penthouse atop my solid-gold space station” was changed on Trump’s orders to a 50,000-square-foot home. He also changed a line that read, “I’m sorry, I must go now and make a million dollars somewhere else,” to say a “billion” dollars.
This is on the heels of the recent news that Trump may not be as wealthy as he claims, as The New York Times recently obtained tax records that show Trump declared close to a $1 billion loss in 1995.
Comedy Central did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
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