We've heard of comedians performing in unusual venues — combat zone Army bases, hospitals, the Chuckle Hut — but never jail. But veteran comic Jeff Ross can cross that one off the list; he gave three performances at the Brazos County Jail in February that will be featured in his June 13 special for Comedy Central.
The Bryan-College Station Eagle reports: "Famous for his insult comedy routine, Ross has roasted dozens of celebrities including Charlie Sheen, Joan Rivers, Pamela Anderson and, most recently, Justin Bieber. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he wanted to find a more 'dangerous and provocative target' to poke fun at."
Ross recently promoted the 75-minute special on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, saying that spending three days at the jail — two shows for the male inmates, one for the women — was heavy, according to the Eagle.
"None of us are perfect. We all do dumb stuff. I've drank and driven. I've lied on my taxes. I shot Suge Knight," he told Kimmel.
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The paper also reported that "While Ross spoke with inmates about life behind bars, he also met with [Brazos County Jail Administrator Wayne] Dicky and jailers about the challenges they face. For Dicky, it was an opportunity to highlight the county's inmate behavior management program. Dicky told The Hollywood Reporter that one month of playing by the rules earned inmates a spot in the audience.
'The response was really positive prior to the show — we had a lot of interest,' Dickey said. 'I don't know how many people put in requests to go, but not everyone who requested go got to go.'"
Dicky also said, according to the Eagle, that while "behavior in the jail typically is good, it's not common for 350 inmates to be positively engaged for more than an hour. Producers for the event received more than 100 applications from jails and toured three before deciding on Brazos. Dicky said he believes the jail was chosen because of their philosophy toward the inmates."
We look forward to checking this out. Who knows, maybe other comedians, like Bill Cosby, might soon be performing in jail as well.