by Jay Light, photos by Troy Conrad

At the last Roast Battle of 2016, the night starts off like so many around the USA likely will in the new year: with a chant of “WHITE POWER!” The biggest difference? Here in the Belly Room, that chant is led by a black guy. No, it’s not Clayton Bigsby, it’s the fearless Brian Moses, our ringleader of the three-ring circus of hate that will soon premiere its second season on Comedy Central. Tonight, he shows up dressed as Kwanzaa Claus, with his little helper Earl Skakel sitting in his usual seat off to the side.

“You know, I love Hannukkah. I’m Jewish, but was raised Catholic, so I celebrate both holidays, and in 22 days, I get the best present ever: a white, misogynistic racist in the White House.” – Earl

“30 days notice, Obama. Get the fuck out!” – Moses

After addressing the fact that there’s a one-man Wave tonight, Moses introduces the first battle of the night: Compton’s Long You versus Washington DC’s Isaac Hirsch.

“What up homeless Donald Glover, how you feelin’?” – Moses

“It’s weird that you’re not from DC, because you look like one of the snipers.” – Andy Haynes

“I’m proud to announce that me and Jay Light had homosexual sex ten months ago, and this is what happened.” – Earl

“He looks like he’s put together by five different nerds.” – Al Jackson

Isaac says he’s a gambling addict, though Long rolls the dice and goes first.

“Isaac only fucks fat chicks ‘cause he reminds them of a five-foot French fry.”

“Long’s biggest influence is Dave Chappelle’s white guy voice.”

“Isaac aced his SAT ‘cause he filled it out with his pencil dick.”

“Long has experienced police brutality. Cops constantly give him wedgies and call him gay.”

“Isaac looks like the one college swimmer that didn’t get to rape anybody.”

“Long’s Cambodian father actually left when he was young. When Long was born, his dad was like, ‘me love you short time.’”

The crowd is on board with these two from the first joke, but can’t decide who won this first match. After a few votes prove to not be definitive, the virgins go to overtime.

“White people cross the street when they see Long coming ‘cause they’ve seen him do stand-up.”

“I gotta do this quick ‘cause Isaac’s on his last liter of blood right now.”

Long wins it in overtime, but both these guys deserve praise for kicking off the night on a great note.

“That’s the first time you’ll ever hear we’ve got a winner from Compton.” – Earl

“Aw, c’mon. Venus and Serena?” – Moses

“Those are good dudes!” – Earl

The next two on stage are veterans with combined decades of experience. Perry Kurtz, who you may vaguely remember from America’s Got Talent, comes on stage doing an interpretive dance to the Seinfeld theme song and accuses Billy of being an easy target. Billy, proprietor of the Van Nuys Comedy Club, uses his intro to claim he’s only here to respect his elders. The final two judges, Tone Bell and Brody Stevens, slide in to their places on the dais, and Perry elects to go first.

“Now, Billy’s had a lot of trouble looking around. He’s got a bad nerve in his neck. He’s had a lot of pain, and his doctor said there was a lump on there and they were gonna have to cut that out. Thought it was cancer. But I told him cancer has to be with a living host.”

The crowd reacts appropriately to Perry’s long-winded attempt: with almost total silence.

“See, I thought I’d start slow and then build up.”

“You accomplished that.” – Earl

“Those are two minutes of your life you’ll never get back, people. Perry looks like E.T. had Down syndrome.”

“I don’t wanna say Billy has a tiny dick, but when he has to, he just facefucks them with his mole.”

“Perry’s jokes are so bad, half the dots on his jacket just said ‘fuck it’ and jumped off.”

“A lot of people think Billy looks retarded. Bottom line is, he really is retarded. That’s something.”

“Perry’s so annoying, when he walks into a movie theater, black people complain.”

While Billy’s jokes actually hit at least a little bit, Perry seems to have the likability game won in a walk, buoyed by the strength of his jacket game.

“I felt like I was on a cruise ship somewhere.” – Brody Stevens

“It was all terrible.” – Tone Bell

“I’m gonna vote for Billy ‘cause I love his vape shop.” – Andy Haynes

The crowd votes for Perry three times in a row, and Moses apologizes to Billy, who clearly came with a better understanding of the show’s mechanics. While Perry shows off his best Saturday Night Fever moves, Haiti ushers him off the stage.

Next up is softspoken wannabe gangsta Wade Wammer versus softspoken wannabe line cook James Hurlbut. James comes up wearing his best Doug Stanhope outfit and Moses asks him who called who out.

“I called him out.” – James Hurlbut

“Was it another racist plantation owner?” – Al Jackson

“He was like, ‘nobody fries chicken better than me!’” – Tone Bell

Wade Wammer rushes the stage and explains that he took the battle because James is a virgin. Moses tries to play matchmaker to no avail, finding no willing young ladies who will deflower this poor sap. After a little more commentary, the battle begins, but quickly proves itself in need of some serious assistance.

“Every time James tries to lose his virginity, he gets punched in the face by Helga from Hey Arnold!”

“That’s a joke you tell when your Uber is already waiting outside.” – Al Jackson

“Wade is half-German and half-Mexican, like a Corona. Unlike a Corona, he does not come in light.”

“Guys, this battle just got picked up by SpikeTV.”

“Is this a comedy workshop graduation?”

“James used to wet the bed. Now he just wets the backseat of his car.”

“Wait, was that a question?” – Tone Bell

“Did you guys write on Undateable?” – Earl

“Wade’s first sexual experience was a handjob from an older kid at age 8. His experiences have matured, unlike the kids.”

“James has never made it to second base, because he’s always stealing little boys from home.”

“Wade is a unsure of his gang status as his parents were of their years in Argentina.”

“That’s the first Argentina joke ever.” – Earl

Everyone hates this battle. Everyone bombs endlessly after it’s done, from the judges to Earl to Autistic Thunder. It’s a double loss as Moses explains that this battle proves it’s not easy to do this show. James and Wade get a handful of votes, but Haiti winds up winning this one after being brought on stage for the audience vote.

“It’s hard to book battles when nobody’s in town.” – Moses

Moses introduces the next battlers: Andy Pupa and Neal Lockwood. Andy’s Boston accent makes his intro hard to understand, while Neal’s slam on Andy for having an alcoholic mom comes out crystal clear.

“Neal, you white privilege cunt. You smell like if Coachella was a person.”

“Andrew likes to run marathons. The thing that keeps him running is he pretends his secret feelings for men aren’t right behind him.”

“Neal’s a musical comedian, ‘cause that’s what the world needs now: meth Adam Sandler.”

“Andrew’s always squinting. I think he’s trying to look past his nose.”

“Neal, you white power bottom. You’re what would happen if Doug Benson lost 40 pounds and all of his talent.”

“Andrew Pupa’s nose is so big, it took up two of my jokes.”

Neal wins on the strength of his absurdist final joke and his sweater game.

“This seemed like a battle between two different racist NASCAR drivers.” – Al Jackson

“I’m gonna vote for blue, too. I don’t want that trip to Nordstrom Rack to be for nothing.” – Andy Haynes

The final undercard is upon us: Alfred Konuwa versus Jacob Trimmer. This match between two Orange County veterans of the battle is one of the night’s most anticipated battles, and from the get-go, they do not disappoint. Alfred comes on to the strains of Michael Jackson’s “Black Or White” before Earl reminds us that this is, in fact, two black men on stage:

“Is this an auction? I’ll go $500 on the big guy. There’s a whole truckload of cotton that just spilled in the parking lot.” – Earl

“Cotton? Who even picks cotton any more?” – Moses

“I don’t.” – Earl

“Were you in Blind Side?” – Brody Stevens

“Have you found Forrester yet?” – Andy Haynes

After a brief bidding war, and some advice from Earl for Alfred to never dance like a white guy, Jacob Trimmer is brought on stage to Weird Al Yankovic’s “Amish Paradise”.

“This is the fourth night of Hannukkah, and I wanted to celebrate with the time-honored tradition of roasting a Kwanzaa goblin.”

“Jacob looks like he pronounces African-American with a hard R.”

The heat is on. Not wanting to lose momentum, Moses officially starts the round.

“Jacob went to prison for a month. But that’s all they gave you for trying to kill Sonic the Hedgehog?”

“Alfred, you look like Tyler Perry Presents: A Faggot.”

“Thank you, Stone Cold Steve Alt-Right. Listen: I have a question. How come when I use the N-word, it’s perfectly fine, but when Jacob uses the N-word, he’s screaming it inside a black church?”

“Alfred, your skin says Black Lives Matter, but that voice says the cops were right.”

“Oh wow, another black joke. If you ride that premise any harder, it’ll be one of your cellmates. Listen: people think Jacob is racist, but he’s really Jewish. He’d never burn a cross, they like using nails.”

“Alfred, you look like you would do jazz hands at your slave auction.”

Each joke rips the room up. Not wanting to stop things short, Moses calls for an instant overtime.

“Alfred, you look like you get picked last for Mandingo fights.”

“Jacob, you would have been great in the KKK if you weren’t too heavy for a horse.”

It’s an amazing round that earns a ton of praise from the judges, who lean towards Alfred for his KKK joke, even after a rambling promotional rant from Tone Bell.

“Tone, if you take any longer, they’re going to cancel your judgment.” – Andy Haynes

However, the crowd’s vote is too close to call, prompting a rare double overtime.

“Jacob has a GED, ‘cause who’s gonna trust him to finish high school without shooting in it?”

“Alfred writes for Forbes, which is his greatest accomplishment since learning sign language from his zookeeper.”

Ultimately, this racism slam dunk earns Jacob the win and a three-win streak in the ring.

“That zookeeper line? Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.” – Brody Stevens

“It feels like I owe reparations after that one.” – Andy Haynes

After our regular “Proud Mary” interlude from Boon, the night closes out with a five-joke main card pitting Roast Report creator Josh Waldron against plucky young ingenue Galina Rivina. Galina wisely uses her intro as an attack, choosing to assault Josh’s masculinity. Josh, on the other hand, uses his intro to show off his Star Wars fandom, donning a Darth Vader mask and using a patented Force Groan on the audience.

“Galina…I am your daddy.” – Josh Waldron

“I feel better about my entrance last week.” – Earl

“God, even your intros are gay, Josh.” – Moses

However, when it’s on the brink of being too campy, Josh pulls out a well-timed Carrie Fisher reference and wins the crowd back. Galina elects to go first, and just like that our grand finale is underway:

“Josh has never tried to fuck me, but he has tried to scissor.”

“Galina’s mom is an accountant, and her dad is an electrician, which makes her basic as fuck.”

“Josh is also a Mexican, but he doesn’t run from immigration. He skips.”

“Thank you, Mila Kuntis. Galina does guided meditation, where she sits silently while someone else speaks. So I guess her crowds do it, too.”

“As you guys can see, Josh spent more time filing his nails than writing these jokes.”

While the crowd laughs, a burly bearded guy sitting in the balcony yells that Josh’s nails are extremely on point.

“Looks like someone’s trying to get his dick sucked…it’s like live Grindr in here.” – Earl

Josh takes the focus away from the bear in the VIP section.

“Galina’s just mad our tits are the same size.”

“As you guys can see, Josh looks like he caught his AIDS with a Pokéball.”

“One time I matched with Galina on Bumble, which is crazy, because I thought the Elf on the Shelf disappears after Christmas.”

While Kwanzaa Claus likes the joke, the crowd reacts with more groans. Moses calls for last joke and the fighters plant their feet.

“Josh, you’re deeper in the closet than the hanger your mom tried to abort you with.”

“Galina works for Ferrari to show customers the girl they have to settle for if they don’t buy one.”

Josh’s final joke does well, but Galina’s blow’s the roof of the joint, even prompting our own Troy Conrad to take a mid-match selfie with her. The judges have kind words to say about both battlers, with Josh getting more praise for his ability to take a punch than for throwing them.

“I was excited to see two H&M mannequins battle.” – Al Jackson

“Maybe try without the bow tie, next time.” – Brody Stevens

However, before the judges can finish their voting, a drunk fan in the audience decides he needs to chime in and chide the judges for giving Josh credit for his performance.

“Don’t give him credit because he lost.” – Drunk Fan

“This isn’t Maury, but I like that you’re unruly.” – Al Jackson

“It’s okay to give someone a pat on the back.” – Tone Bell

The panel tries their best to explain their process to the drunk man, who can’t help but continue to shout over them.

“What’s your name, homie?” – Al Jackson

“[unintelligible]” – Wasted Guy

“That’s Mexican Robert Downey Junior.” – Moses

"You have a goatee like you own a pop-up magic shop.” – Al Jackson

After some more shouting, Moses tries to solve the puzzle: this guy is just a fan who is trying to prove why the winning team deserves more credit. The judges ask to pass the interrupter a mic so he can properly voice his concerns.

“Yeah, give the drunk guy more power.” – Andy Haynes

“Long time listener, first time caller, go ahead.” – Moses

“So she was good, baseball cap out of BC from…Oz…says that…” – Shitfaced Idiot

Earl takes the mic immediately back, cutting the interruption short and leaving room for a dogpile of insults.

“You just know one black dude and threw your fuckin’ 2006 reference out there.” – Al Jackson

“I know a lot of black guys…” – Plastered Moron

“To be fair, he is the owner from J&J Beepers.” – Earl

He sits back down, Moses calls for the final judge to cast his vote, but the poor guy just can’t keep his mouth shut, even as Josh himself explains that the judges are all agreeing that Galina won.

“She won four to nothing! What do you want us to do, shoot him in the back of the head?” – Al Jackson

“He voted for Gary Johnson, he’s pissed.” – Earl

Galina finally gets her arm raised, and Moses closes out the show with the standard roll call of thank-yous. However, tonight there’s one added detail:

“We’ll be on TV Sunday, January 1st on Comedy Central.”

Set those DVRs, folks. Roast Battle II: War of the Words is upon us.

Follow @RoastBattle on Twitter for all the latest updates, check out our Instagram and Facebook pages for the latest pictures from the impeccable Troy Conrad, and watch live on Periscope at 11 PM PST every Tuesday if you can’t catch the verbal violence in person. 

If you live in Los Angeles, get your tickets now to see the upcoming tapings of Roast Battle II: War of the Words, which will take place at the old House of Blues – right across the street from the Comedy Store – on January 20th, 22nd, 24th, and 29th. Use promo code “thecomedystore” to reserve your seat.

Thank you for reading, and thanks as always to our sponsor SpeedWeed.

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