Jeff Ross / Credit: Matthieu Bitton

The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts is thrilled to announce a new collaboration with the Palm Beach Improv. A comedy staple in downtown West Palm Beach for more than 20 years, the Palm Beach Improv will join with the Kravis Center to continue their tradition of presenting the best live comedy to South Florida audiences.

The new collaboration, Palm Beach Improv at the Kravis Center promises weekends of uproarious laughter in an up close and personal setting featuring nationally renowned Improv artists.

The side-splitting line-up kicks off with Jeff Ross, AKA “The Roastmaster General” December 8 & 9 at 7pm & 9:45pm and continues with Carlos Mencia, December 29 & 30 at 7pm & 9:30 pm, Emmy and SAG-nominated actor and comedian, Kevin Nealon January 19 & 20 at 7pm & 9:30pm and fan favorite Preacher Lawson February 9 & 10 at 7pm & 9:30pm. Additional artists to be announced throughout the season.

Palm Beach Improv at the Kravis Center is reserved theater style seating. A full bar and light bites are available for purchase in the lobby for each show.

Jeff Ross (AKA “The Roastmaster General”) is a one-man verbal assault unit. For years, his name has been synonymous with Roasting. As a staple on the Comedy Central Roasts, Jeff has anchored the roasts of the industry’s most famous people including Justin Bieber, Alec Baldwin, Bruce Willis, James Franco, Charlie Sheen and more. His newest work, Take A Banana For The Ride is a hilarious and touching one-man show celebrating the lives of his grandfather, his best friends, and his dog. This intimate and revealing show offers a glimpse underneath the thick skin of America’s Roastmaster. It was a pleasure to sit down with Jeff Ross just a few weeks before his performance at the Kravis Center.

Jeff Ross / Credit: Matthieu Bitton

Did you always perform, even as a kid?

I am from New Jersey from a family of ball busters, and we all kind of performed. It’s just kind of how we talked. We talked in comedy and insults. It’s a jersey thing. 

Do you remember your first stand-up set and how was it?

OMG it was in 1989 it was April fool’s day, and it was a place on 54th street called the “Ye Old Tripole Inn.” I went on after a juggler. It was exciting and titillating. I loved it right away. I did jokes about the catering business, as my family owned a catering business. 

What was your first paid gig, and how much did you get paid?

It was $20, and it was at a comedy club in NYC. And that’s how much spots paid. They don’t pay that much more now…LOL! When you are working out new material, it was cab far. It was probably around 1990 and 91. I probably have that 20 bill somewhere in a scrapbook. You never forget your first paid gig! 

When did you know stand up/performing would be your career?

I never thought of it as a career. I still only think of it as a hobby as I love it so much. I think of it as life’s mission. Its why I am here on this earth. 

How did you get the title of “Roastmaster General”?

One day Jimmy Kimmel introduced me that way, and it stuck. I don’t know who made it up. It’s a homage to the Toastmaster general. 


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A post shared by Jeff Ross (@therealjeffreyross)

In your long career is there one performance or city that stands out to you?

WOW, I am coming down to south Florida soon, and one thing that stands out is the diversity of my audience in Sofla; I love that. They all fit into my world and get my sense of humor. South Florida’s environment feels like a homecoming even though I don’t officially live there. I don’t even stay at a hotel; I stay with friends. 

What has been your favorite roast, and why?

Whomever is next, it is so much fun. 

Is it hard being on the road a lot?

No, I love it. I have friends everywhere I go. I am lucky enough in my career to only take gigs in the cities that I enjoy.

Describe yourself in 3 words?

Too much pasta!

What do you do for fun?

I write jokes and tell them to people…everyone should try it. Don’t leave laughter out of your daily vitamin regimen. 

What should our readers expect from your show at the Kravis Center? 

It’s about How I became a comedian and it’s a tribute to the men and women who made me who I am. Towards the end of my show I bring people on stage to get roasted. I have even had people on stage who start roasting me, and those are great moments; I love them. Short of taking medicine, roasts are the most healing thing you can do. I want it to be a communal cathartic experience.

In addition, this is a new show that I have been work-shopping, and the Florida audience will be one of the first to see it. It’s about life and death. There is music and song, and roasting. It’s a multimedia experience. My shows are very therapeutic.


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Tickets for Palm Beach Improv at the Kravis Center are on sale at Kravis.orgTo purchase by phone or in person, call 561.832.7469 or visit the Box Office Monday through Saturday from 12pm to 5pm.