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The legendary Friars Club has reached an agreement with ESPN for the network to televise portions of sports-related Friars Roasts. The first Roast, (subject to be announced) will take place on Thursday, January 29, 2015 at a luncheon at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, in Phoenix, AZ. Taped excerpts from the event, which will take place during the week of the Super Bowl, will premiere on ESPN2 in an hour-long special before the Super Bowl, on Friday, January 30th from 8p-9p ET.

The Friars Club has partnered with The V Foundation for Cancer Research, which will become a beneficiary of the Friars Club sports-related Roasts.

Combining sports and comedy has become a time-honored tradition with the Friars, having Roasted and Toasted sports personalities since they began in 1904. As former Roastee Boomer Esiason noted, "What a rarefied badge of honor it is to be Roasted by the legendary Friars Club. And knowing that it was all for charity made it more than just fun, but well worth the ribbing!"

According to Friars Club Executive Director, Michael Gyure, "Our partnership with ESPN highlights what the Friars have been doing for over a century-honoring performers and entertainers, as well as sports personalities, with our special brand of humor. There's much to be said for comedy in sports and the rich fodder for comedians to rib athletes about their performance on and off the playing fields. I'm thrilled that we have an opportunity to showcase our unique event with the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company in the world and discover a new audience to enjoy our Friarly antics."

"We are looking forward to incorporating the famed Friars Club comedy into our wide-ranging SUPER BOWL week offerings," said Matthew Volk, ESPN Director, Programming and Acquisitions. "The Friars have a well-known history in entertainment and we are excited to bring fans these sports-themed 'best of' specials."

The Friars will send their sharp-witted comedians to whatever city is hosting the SUPER BOWL and ESPN viewers will see that good sportsmanship is really about comedy.

About the Friars Club

The Friars Club was founded in 1904 as a meeting place for entertainers and has achieved legendary status over the years. Its membership includes the likes of Jimmy Fallon, Jon Stewart, Brian Williams, Barbra Streisand, Jerry Seinfeld, Leslie Moonves, Whitney Cummings, Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro. The Friars Club Monastery is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan in a classic townhouse and is a HAVEN for entertainers young and old. For more information including news on upcoming events, please visit

About the Gift of Laughter Wounded Warriors Program

The Gift of Laughter Wounded Warriors Program, established in 2007, is a project of the Friars Foundation that has responded to the long-term plight and recovery of military service members injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Gift of Laughter Wounded Warriors Program was established as a project of the Friars Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Friars Club and a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. The Friars Foundation is the conduit through which the Friars Club accomplishes one of its major goals: to improve society through the performing arts. Among the horrific legacies of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan are the untold numbers of terminally ill, maimed and traumatized U.S. service members returning from active deployment. Those afflicted are predominantly once-healthy young individuals who, in many cases, now require full-time medical care and may continue to do so for the rest of their lives. Adding to their misfortune - and perhaps even more pervasive - are the emotional and psychological scars that returning warriors face as a result of the stress of their total experience. The program provides uplifting entertainment as a means of contributing to recovery and fostering good will. For more information, please visit

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