Pytka Roast Redux

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Ogilvy vice chairman Steve Hayden presented this parody ad Tuesday night at the Joe Pytka roast.
Industry luminaries had their knives out Tuesday night at the Joe Pytka roast sponsored by the VCU Adcenter, and not just to cut into the filet mignon. The lengthy affair -- which went on until nearly midnight -- was packed with vicious invective and bawdy innuendo, along with the occasional visual aid. Ogilvy & Mather's Steve Hayden, for example, showed a film about an alleged program at Ogilvy designed to help staffers overcome working with the notoriously volatile director with the use of therapeutic Joe Pytka dolls. As Hayden noted, sending young creatives to work with Pytka is "like sending a scout troop camping with Jeffrey Dahmer." Pytka sat by quietly -- for the most part -- accepting his colleagues' barbs and sampling a selection of fine red wines. At the end of the night, the director received the first ever VCU Adcenter Award, and listed the people who had helped him in the course of his career, many of whom flanked him at the roast table. Proceeds from the event will go to setting up a scholarship in his name at VCU. Here are some of the night's memorable digs, sanitized (somewhat) for your protection.

Phil Dusenberry:
"The first time we had lunch, he ordered a broken leg of lamb. ... At pre-pro meetings he used to say, 'If I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you.'"

Hal Riney:
"In 25 years working with Joe, I can only remember having two problems. One of those was directing. The other was shooting."

Steve Hayden:
"Working with Joe Pytka is like being trapped inside an episode of Oz, only with a really well-stocked craft services table."

Ted Sann:
"The first time I worked with Joe was on a Thom McCann commercial that involved a pair of shoes and a snake. He yelled at the snake and it died. We had to use a cat."

Cindy Crawford:
"Joe is a warm and positive force in our world. ... Shit, Joe's right. I can't act."

Michael Patti:
"Joe is of Polish descent and was raised in Pittsburgh -- by wolves."

Jim Ferguson:
"People ask me if working with Joe makes you more creative, and I say yeah. Every night after a Joe Pytka shoot, I go back to my hotel room and think of creative ways to kill his ass."

Joe Pytka:
"I have had a great time. I've had a great time because I've drank some of the best wines I've ever had. And you haven't."

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