SBD/December 9, 2013/Events and Attractions

Jay Mohr Roasts Danica Patrick, Others At NASCAR Champions Banquet

Mohr dished it out, but also was on the receiving end of drivers' jokes
Comedian Jay Mohr hosted the NASCAR Champions Banquet on Friday, and his "rapid-fire punchlines directed at various drivers had some laughing and others groaning," according to Dustin Long of MRN. A series of jokes about Danica Patrick and boyfriend Ricky Stenhouse Jr. "left both stone-faced." Kyle Busch provided one of the "more entertaining speeches," noting he had not been on stage since '10 and "not much has changed." Busch: "Jimmie and Chad win the championship. Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. is the most popular driver. Mike Helton's mustache is the still the same. And Jay Mohr’s jokes haven't changed" (MRN.com, 12/7). USA TODAY's Nate Ryan wrote, "There were no sacred cows as Mohr tackled the season's biggest controversy and skewered some of the sport's biggest stars without mercy in a topical monologue." But his humor "went over well, even with those who bore the brunt of it such as Earnhardt." Driver Jeff Gordon during his speech "cracked he omitted a joke because he thought it wasn't funny but should have included it because 'Jay Mohr's been doing it for years.'" Gordon said that Mohr was a "good friend who did well and added he liked when the NASCAR industry could laugh at itself." Gordon: "We're a sport that just doesn't get it sometimes. I don't think Jay Mohr expects everyone in this audience to laugh." Mohr's humor "seemed infectious as many drivers' speeches were filled with quips" (USATODAY.com, 12/7).

A SOMBER MOMENT: MRN's Long noted Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson "provided the proper closing" to the banquet when he ended his speech by quoting the late Nelson Mandela. Johnson said, "Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. That's true. That's NASCAR" (MRN.com, 12/7). USA TODAY's Ryan noted it was a "rare instance of gravitas in a mostly light-hearted affair" (USATODAY.com, 12/7).
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