Former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster stole the show at Anthony Rizzo’s “Laugh Off for Cancer” charity roast Thursday at Studio Paris.
Filling in for “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Jeff Garlin who couldn’t host the show due to a last-minute personal conflict, Dempster performed a stand-up routine that was second to none, and he didn’t hold back. (Warning: Dempster uses foul language).
Dempster started his routine by welcoming some of the new Cubs including reliever Steve Cishek, who previously played for the Rays.
“In Tampa Bay, your fan fest is usually at like a Burger King?” Dempster said. “I tell you guys, this is how it ramps up. This is only the beginning.”
One of the major talks of the night was Kyle Schwarber, who looked more tone than when the season ended. Dempster poked fun at Schwarber for his left field woes last season.
“I love the comment that you made that you want to win the Gold Glove. That is so good,” Dempster said before turning to former NBA star Shawn Marion who was seated by the stage. “Shaw, ‘Matrix,’ I want to play in the NBA. You can help me out. Kyle’s gonna win a Gold Glove.”
Dempster then went on to ask Kris Bryant if he could borrow his jacket that looked like it was a costume from “Game of Thrones.”
“Looks like you skinned Lester Strobe and made a jacket,” Dempster said. “You’re like Ned Stark and Tommy La Stella is Tyrion Lannister, right? Just a little cute guy. F—s off for a few weeks, and you don’t know where he went, then he comes back, all of a sudden he’s getting big base hits.”
The last notable dig came at the expense of manager Joe Maddon.
“Mike Borzello, the real manager of the Chicago Cubs is over here,” Dempster said. “Holy s—, Joe. Your wine matches your hair. Is it Cabernet? Merlot? It’s a Merlot.”
The laughs all came for a good cause. The night raised more than $500,000 for Rizzo’s Family Foundation that helps support children and families battling pediatric cancer.