"I'd like to say this is a great honor, but it isn't" - Bobby Riggs
I enjoyed watching the Dean Roast Comedy Hour when the guest of honor was one of the greats, like Sinatra, Hope or Benny, but when the show began featuring a Man of the Week like Bobby Riggs, it lost a lot in the way of top name celebrity roasters and the presentation suffered for it. Fortunately, the Riggs episode was mercifully short, in a way, just like Riggs himself.
This show aired in March of 1974, and the famed challenge tennis match between Riggs and Billie Jean King occurred on September 20th, 1973 at the Houston Astrodome, so Riggs' defeat was still fresh on the minds of the celebrity panel. Just about every presenter offered a line about the event, with Riggs generally taking it all in good stride. Those who were around to remember the circumstances surrounding Riggs' challenge know that it earned him top honors in the male chauvinist hall of fame.
Members of the dais for this show were a disparate group of entertainers and sports celebrities including Vincent Price, Leo Durocher, Lynn Henderson, Wayne Newton, Alex Karras, Chuck Connors and Jack Carter. Tennis player Rosemary Casals got in a few good natured shots at Riggs, but I thought it a little unseemly of the guest of honor when he remarked that he would have challenged Casals to a match except that he only played against women. Riggs really was a male chauvinist pig.
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