Julian Edelman details intense prep for Netflix’s Tom Brady Roast


“I needed walk-through reps, I needed a pre-season game, and then I wanted to go hit the game.”

Julian Edelman attends G.R.O.A.T The Greatest Roast Of All Time: Tom Brady for the Netflix is a Joke Festival. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman is no stranger to performing under pressure. However, before taking the microphone during Netflix’ “The Roast of Tom Brady” on Sunday, the former Patriots wide receiver admitted to experiencing a bout of stage fright.

“All the athletes were pretty nervous,” Edelman said on FOX’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” Thursday. “Just because you’re gonna get on stage, you’re gonna talk in front of a whole lot of people, and you’re also talking with professionals. Or going against professionals — these guys do this for a living, they’re comics.”

So Edelman, never one to be outshined — especially by his former teammates — took his comedy prep to the next level. In an attempt to learn from the best, Edelman and his team of writers connected with the “Roastmaster General” Jeff Ross’ team for a brainstorming session.

The meeting, however, was getting “overwhelming,” Edelman said. While he was clear on the kinds of jokes he wanted to make at Brady’s expense, he was unsure of how to deliver them to a live audience (and a live-streaming audience of two million).

“Jeff could kind of feel that from me,” Edelman said about his mounting nerves. “He goes, ‘Hey, I’m gonna do the Comedy Store next Thursday. Why don’t you come on and I’ll have you on the back part of my set?’”

Edelman’s response: “Awesome, let’s do it.”

The three-time Super Bowl champion performed a 12-minute set, treating the gig the same way he would a football practice before a big game.

“I needed walk-through reps, I needed a pre-season game, and then I wanted to go hit the game,” Edelman said. “So the walk-through reps were with my team where I would perform in front of them … We were in full roast-mode for two weeks.”

The Comedy Store gig was the perfect “pre-season” game for the former Patriot, he said. It was there that he was able to get his timing, cadence, and on-stage affect perfected.

And despite becoming burned-out by constant tomfoolery over those preparatory weeks, Edelman’s practice paid off.

“It was good to get that rep,” Edelman told Cowherd.

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