Poking fun at the boss is not usually a smart career move. Unless, that is, you do it at a corporate roast.

Michael Callie, one of the founders of Las Vegas-based VIP Rent-A-Roast, calls roasts "the best corporate morale booster ever." VIP Rent-A-Roast custom-scripts the roast and provides the roastmaster, the music, and three or four comics to act as "long-lost friends" or other associates of the guest of honor. "Last laughs" go to the guest of honor, for whom VIP Rent-A-Roast can also script a presentation and set up a rehearsal.

Don MacKay, CEO and president of an archaeological salvage company, San Diego-based Exploration Industries, recalls the roast his employees threw for him. "It was an opportunity to break down the personal wall I had placed in front of me all the time," says MacKay. "It made me come out from behind that wall, both in business and in life."

A comedy writer and former comedy club owner, Callie suggests using a roast to replace the dance band or other typical post-meeting dinner entertainment. "Roastees" can be anyone, from the CEO or other key executives to the employee of the year. --