By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough?An A-list of wisecrackers assembled May 16 for the third annual Celebrity Roast to benefit Employment Options at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel. They tossed good-natured barbs at Marlborough resident Mike “Mikey” Adams, the WEEI sports radio host of “The Planet Mikey Show.” Returning for the second year as master of ceremonies was NECN television reporter Eileen Curran.
Among the roasters was actor John Fiore, best known for his roles in “Law & Order” and “The Sopranos.”
“What's with the name “Mikey”?” Fiore asked Adams. “After 12 years old, you don's get to be called Mikey anymore. If you want to be taken seriously, you'sl lose the Mikey from now on.”
Adams continued being called Mikey by each roaster, including Boston-based comedian Dave Russo, co-host of New England Sports Network's “Dirty Water TV.”
“Mikey said in an interview that he hopes this will be like “The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast,”” Russo said. “It is, because no one under 30 has ever heard of any of the people here.”
Russo described this roast as the best of both worlds.
“I get the pleasure of being on a Celebrity Roast without the hassle of being around any celebrities,” he said. “I haven's seen this many washed-up losers since “Gilligan's Island.””
Another comedian who traveled from Boston was Craig Murphy.
“I can's think of one place I's rather be now – I can think of 3,000 places,” he said, adding a reminder of that evening's conflicting schedule for sports fans. “I's rather be in front of a TV, watching the Bruins game.”
The panel of roasters featured a longtime buddy, Bill “Spaceman” Lee, the Red Sox Hall of Famer, who reminisced about a television appearance on “Mike Adams Sports World” in the 1990s.
“Mikey and I go way back,” Lee said. “He had a show on New England Cable News and I got him his first Emmy the first time we were on it. He's more like my brother than my brother – and that's not saying a lot.”
Also getting razzed by other roasters was sportscaster Glenn Ordway because he recently got fired by WEEI after 18 years.
The unemployed Ordway told the audience, “A guy called me three weeks ago and asked, “Can you come out to Marlborough on May 16? We'se got Employment Options.” I said, absolutely!”
Ordway offered Adams some backhanded encouragement.
“I's impressed by your burgeoning career, a career that can only be described as 30-plus marvelous years of doing Carl Yastrzemski impressions,” he said. “Mikey, when you get fired from WEEI – and trust me, it will happen – there's a whole career for you out there. I can see it now – Mikey Adams coming back, doing impressions and playing the hotel circuit.”
Another roaster was sports columnist Lenny Megliola, who frequently co-hosts “Planet Mikey.”
Proceeds from the Celebrity Roast will help Employment Options continue to provide mental health rehabilitation services. Toni Wolf, the nonprofit agency's executive director, expressed gratitude to everyone onstage.
“The people here tonight are generously offering their talent for free,” she noted. “Being a “roastee” is not an easy role; nobody likes being made fun of. But Mike could not have been more generous. He came into our organization, he met our members and he listened to their stories.”
Wolf also shared gratefulness to the audience.
“We'se a small nonprofit and you make a difference in two ways,” she said. “Not only do you support it financially, but also you'se here and acknowledging that mental wellness should be just as important as every other illness.”
For information about Employment Options, visit employmentoptions.org.