It may not be ‘World’s Greatest Dad,’ but this will do just fine until the Pearson family gets its act together. “This Is Us” star Milo Ventimiglia was fêted and roasted at Harvard on Friday night as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals presented him with their 2019 Man of the Year award.
Though the country’s oldest theatrical organization said ahead of their customary roast that Ventimiglia had been selected for making “significant impressions on television and film,” emcees Elizabeth Mann and Mariana Sanchez Medina seemed less than convinced by that explanation.
“For those of you who don’t know, Milo starred in the 2015 film ‘Wild Card,’” said Mann, with Medina following, “Which coincidentally is what most people thought when we announced him as our Man of the Year.” The Emmy nominee’s looks and acting ability came under fire from the emcees (both Harvard juniors). “Milo was named world’s sexiest vegetarian by PETA,” stated Medina, with Mann drawing a stunned laugh from the actor as she added, “Even though everyone sees you as a piece of meat.”
Ventimiglia wore a dapper suit and a game grin throughout the event, appearing highly capable of taking the heat. (Fans of “This Is Us” will note he’s been roasted more unforgivingly in the past.)
Before receiving his pudding pot, Ventimiglia completed tongue-in-cheek challenges, from attempting a rendition of Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry” (he appeared in the music video) to more successfully rapping the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme (the show provided his first TV role).
The actor also gave a lap dance to a Hasty Pudding cast member dressed as a “sexy man” (a reference to Ventimiglia’s sex symbol status); after apologizing to an audience that included his mother, the actor got to work, tossing his suit jacket into the audience and grinding on the cast member’s leg.
Ventimiglia hung around Harvard after to attend the opening night of Hasty Pudding’s latest production, “France France Revolution,” its first to feature female cast members. At a post-roast presser, Ventimiglia praised the group for its decision to begin adding women to its ranks. “It’s absolutely the right thing to do,” he said. “The heart of an artist isn’t only in one type of person or way of being. It’s really in all of us.”Isaac Feldberg can be reached at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @isaacfeldberg.