The Comedy Central Roasts are a series of celebrity roast specials which air on the Comedy Central cable network. Between 1998 and 2002, Comedy Central produced and televised the annual roasts of the New York Friars' Club. After the original five-year agreement expired, the network began producing its own roasts in the same spirit. The first, featuring roastee Denis Leary (and produced by Leary's production company, Apostle), aired on August 10, 2003 and was the most watched program in the channel's history, excluding episodes of South Park. Some roastees have stated that certain topics are off-limits. For example, Pamela Anderson had the topic of her Hepatitis C infection as off limits (though Andy Dick did make a joke that was cut out), and William Shatner requested the comics not mention his late wife Nerine Kidd-Shatner's drowning in his swimming pool.
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