Rosario Dawson made him scream, bit him hard, chewed him up, tickled his feet, gnawed on a protruding bone and yanked his elbow. All this happened metaphorically, of course, at Quentin Tarantino's 'Roast' at the Friars Club in New York. Tarantino, who can dish it out all right, was left begging for mercy as some of comedy's most barbed wits (and Rosario Dawson) rounded on him to dissect his pretensions in a devastating satirical deconstruction.

We like the idea of roasting. We're talking about the comedy term here, not anything else. Pick your minds up out of the gutter, for once. It's meant to be taken in good spirits, where friends of the individual being roasted compliment their success in a very roundabout way. But, as you'd expect, egos abound. It's a wonderful thing to watch when someone with great self-regard is cut down in front of a baying audience. So satisfying, when you see that rictose smile alongside the hatred in the eyes, giving everything away.

Tarantino didn't appear flustered after the painful proceedings

If you'll remember, they did a British version of the comedy roast on Channel 4 a while back. It was pretty tame compared to its American counterpart, and the comedians infinitely inferior, but there were a couple of episodes worth watching. Sharon Osbourne's roasting was interesting solely for her continuously hollow laugh throughout, but Chris Tarrant's one took the biscuit. The seething bitterness is a joy to behold, and culminates in his attacking of a roaster.

Ready to rip that perverted gore-lover to shreds...

So, Rosario, we commend you for taking part in one of these spectacles, even if you didn't write a single joke yourself. And if you did, God help you. It's important, in the fawning world of celebrity, to bring these mortals down a peg or two. Yet its greatest success is to reveal the true nature of the individuals being derided. Under a constant barrage of personal insults, it's not long before they all unravel. Which generally makes for rather fun viewing.